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Tuesday 5 April 2016

D is for Dubh-Linn

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Dubh Linn

Throughout April I have invited 26 authors who had been selected as Editor's Choice by the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews
 to help me out with the 2016 A-Z Blog Challenge...

Except to be a little different I interviewed 
their leading Character/s...

Today's Character is from :

HH : Hello! I believe you exist in James L. Nelson’s  novel – what is the title of the book, and would you like to introduce yourself - who you are, what you do etc?
Who am I? My name is Thorgrim. Thorgrim Ulfsson but I’m known to most as Thorgrim Night Wolf. What do I do? Well, I can tell you what I don’t do is answer a lot of silly questions. As to what I do…I’m a seaman. A Raider. I fight. I’m what people of your time might call a Viking, though that’s not a word I would use.

HH : Where and when are you? Are you a real historical person or did your author create you?
I’m from Vik, in the country of Norway, but I swear by the gods I can hardly recall the place. I’ve been stuck in the country of Ireland for going on two years now. I came here with the jarl I served, a man named Ornolf the Restless. We came here to raid and be gone, but it pleases the gods to toy with me, and keep me here. The year, by your Christian calendar, is 851.

As to who created me, well, the gods created me as they created all things. Odin, all father. But he did it though the instrument of that mighty god of the keyboard, James L. Nelson.

HH. In a few brief sentences: what is the novel you feature in about?
Dubh-linn (which is what the Irish in my time called the city you might know as Dublin) is the second book in my saga, after Fin Gall. My son Harald, who sails with me, is sixteen, strong as a man – stronger than most – but not always so wise, as is often true of young men. He became tangled up with an Irish girl, a princess, so she says, and now she’s looking to him to get her out of whatever trouble she’s in. Women. Irish women. And all the tangled politics of this place, kings against kings, Irish against Irish, and against Northmen, Northmen against Northmen. It’s insane.

HH :  I ‘met’ my pirate, Jesamiah Acorne on a beach in Dorset, England -  how did your author meet up with you?
It was actually my son, Harald Thorgrimson, known as Harald Broadarm, who first appeared to James L. Nelson. Just popped into his head, standing there. Harald was probably lost, that happens, and ended up there in Nelson’s head. Anyway, Nelson was interested, started wondering about this character, where he was from, what he would do, where he would go. He started reading about the history of Northmen in Ireland, a soon after my sagas emerged.

HH : Tell me about one or two of the other characters who feature with you - husband, wife, family? Who are some of the nice characters and who is the nastiest one?
Well, we seem to have a frighteningly high attrition rate on the ship Red Dragon. In fact we lost the ship itself in the first book, Fin Gall. But I still have a few who are with me. My son Harald, of course. Also the jarl I serve, Ornolf the Restless, who is also my father-in-law and so Harald’s grandfather. Most folks who read the book and know the author, James L. Nelson, think Ornolf might be the most biographical character, which is no compliment, I can tell you. Also, I have just come to know a fellow I met on the last raid, by the name of Starri Deathless. Starri’s a berserker, one of these fellows who goes mad before battle and fights with an extraordinary intensity. He wants nothing more than to be killed in battle and lifted up to Valhalla, but, alas for him, he’s too fierce a warrior, it seems, for that to happen.
As to nasty characters, one never knows who might turn on you. You have to always be careful. As it says in Hávamál, the words of Odin, all-father:

At every door-way,
    ere one enters,
    one should spy round,
    one should pry round
    for uncertain is the witting
    that there be no foeman sitting,
    within, before one on the floor

HH : What is your favourite scene in the book?
I’m a Norseman. A Viking. I like the raiding and the fighting.

HH : What is your least favourite? Maybe a frightening or sad moment that your author wrote.
Well, I don’t like to give away any parts of the saga, you know, but there is a moment of great betrayal, and I can’t say I’m a big fan of that.

HH : What are you most proud of about your author?
Him? James L. Nelson? He used to be something, I can tell you. Used to be a mariner, went to sea in tall ships, stood on an open deck in the wind and rain and high seas. He used to hitchhike and motorcycle around the country. Now all he does is sit at his desk and spin tales! But I suppose he does have some redeeming qualities. Been married to the same gal for twenty-three years and he’s raising four tolerably good children. Still gets to sea on occasion. Oh, and he created me and my fellows, which is a fine thing, to be sure. On the other hand, he seems to keep giving us a world of trouble and hurt, and I’m not so enthusiastic about that.

Seafarer Jarl Nelson
HH : Has your author written  other books about you? If not, about other characters?
How do you feel about your author going off with someone else!
Jarl Nelson has been writing pretty much full time since 1994, so yes, he’s spun some other tales on many subjects, fiction and nonfiction, though most having to do with the sea. As to my saga, he’s written four volumes to date: Fin Gall, Dubh-linn, The Lord of Vík-ló and Glendalough Fair. The fifth should be out in a few months.

HH : As a character if you could travel to a time and place different to your own fictional setting  where and when would you go?
Where would I go? I can’t even begin to think where I would want to go. There is nothing of the past that interests me, and the future doesn’t look too promising, either. The only place I want to go is back to my farm in Vik, but this Nelson person seems to thwart me at every turn. Other than that, I wish to be lifted by the Valkyrie to Odin’s hall of Valhalla, there to fight and feast until Ragnarok. What more could a man hope for?

Thank you that was really interesting!
Now where can readers of this A-Z Blog Challenge find out more about you and your author?

Buy on Amazon: Fin Gall, Dubh-linn

And it just so happened  that 5th April was Jim's Birthday! 

Here is the company we will be keeping on this 
A-Z Blog Challenge!
A 1st  Friday - Aurelia  - Alison Morton
B 2nd Saturday  - Bloodie Bones - Lucienne Boyce
C 4th Monday - Man in the Canary Waistcoat Susan Grossey
D 5th Tuesday - Dubh-Linn  - James Nelson
F 7th Thursday - Fortune’s Fool- David Blixt
H 9th Saturday - The Love Letter of John Henry Holliday - Mary Fancher
K 13th Wednesday - Khamsin- Inge Borg
L 14th Thursday - Luck Bringer   - Nick Brown
N 16th Saturday - A Newfound Land  - Anna Belfrage
O 18th Monday - Out Of Time  - Loretta Livingstone
P 19th Tuesday  - Pirate Code  - Helen Hollick
Q 20th Wednesday - To Be A Queen – Annie Whitehead
R 21st Thursday  - The Spirit Room - Marschel Paul
U 25th Monday  - A Just And Upright Man - John Lynch
X 28th Thursday – The FlaX flower – AmandaMaclean

So call back tomorrow 
To meet the next exciting Character! 
(unless it is Sunday - in which case, I'll have something different 
but just as interesting !)


  1. Comment from Susan Grossey (who cannot access Blogger for some silly blooger-glitch reason!) “This is not an era I had ever even thought about, but now I can’t wait to read about Thorgrim. I love the idea of a high attrition rate!”

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Remember, Helen, I too had trouble commenting (and apparently still do getting into the right slot).
      Anyway, when I sign into any of my Google accounts (like gmail), things go smoother.

    3. hanks Inge - Oh yes, you did have problems didn't you - I'll tell Susan!

  2. I've not read Jim's books either - though I'm a great fan of the other great Viking writers. So will start on these as soon as possible. They look great! And happy birthday to Jim as well.

    1. I love Jim's novels of the early American Navy as well - great to read something from the 'other side' as it were.

  3. Uhh, he sounds like a feisty fellow. I mean the Night Wolf, not Jim - although, we don't know that. With all these sailors around, I am getting anxious to leave land again.
    Happy birthday, Jim - and best wishes.

    1. Well I think Jim's quite feisty as well LOL Jim's a real sailor, he started his first novel while aboard HMS Rose, better known, now, as 'Surprise' - or in my case Sea Witch (I use that fantastic vessel as myb template for Sea Witch).

    2. Thanks for the kind wishes. I can be feisty too, at times, though I try to keep the plundering and pillaging to a minimum, now that I have to set and example for my kids.

  4. What fantastic covers and what a tough group of men. Sounds as if Thorgrim has his hands full with his son, Harald, and Jarl Ornulf.
    And many happy returns of the day, James!

    1. Thanks Alison - those Vikings were a tough lot weren't they!

  5. Great read, and happy birthday, Jim.

  6. Thorgrim sounds like quite the acquaintance. But he should choose his Havamal verses somewhat better: "ett vet jag som aldrig dör; domen över död man". Have tweeted - of course!
    And Jim: happy birthday!

    1. Being Swedish you'd know about these things Anna! *laugh*

  7. Happy birthday Jim! The books sound very exciting, great covers too - another one for the tbr pile!

    1. Our TBR piles will be Everest high by the end of this tour! LOL

    2. Thanks, Lucienne. I sent your comment on to my cover designer. I do love the look he's created for the series.

  8. Jim says: 'Thanks for putting this together. I’ve been out all day but finally got home and had the chance to post this on my Facebook page.'

    And thanks for the kind birthday wishes!

  9. This is a cool format, a nice idea to interview the characters.

    1. Thanks Dale I thought the idea would be a bit different, and seems to have been a hit so far!

  10. Been a long day: last visitor of the day probably. Nice bit of bedtime reading. Good stuff, Jim.

  11. Jim makes the most fantastic viking. My theory is he channels that viking from the source! The books sound great.

    1. Good theory - and I agree! :-)

    2. Victoria, thanks for the comment and kind observation! My people are Swedish so I like to think there's some Viking in there way back. Eating, drinking, pillaging, seafaring...what's not to like?

    3. Hey! Stop right there! Us Swedes were the CIVILISED Vikings. We went mostly East and traded our way down to Miklagård and back again. (As an aside, it is estimated every second person in Sweden of the 10-11th century knew someone who had been to "Greece" - pretty much like today, except that these days it is sun and sea, then it was trade and...ok, ok, SOME pillage)

    4. LOL good Vikings? Is that a bit like saying there were good pirates? :-D


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