The Lords of the Wind | Thrilling Viking Historical Fiction by C.J. Adrien

I’m delighted to welcome acclaimed author C.J. Adrien to Author Chats today, to talk about his fascinating series set in Ireland during the time of the Vikings. First, a little about the first novel, and then do join us as we talk about naming characters, how important our beta readers and editors are, and why he’d like to spend a year on Noirmoutier.
The Lords of the Wind
(The Saga of Hasting the Avenger, Book 1)
By C.J. Adrien
Narrated by Gildart Jackson.

Orphaned as a child by a blood-feud, and sold as a slave to an exiled chieftain in Ireland, the boy Hasting had little hope of surviving to adulthood. The gods had other plans. A ship arrived at his master’s longphort carrying a man who would alter the course of his destiny, and take him under his wing to teach him the ways of the Vikings. His is a story of a boy who was a slave, who became a warlord, and who helped topple an empire.
A supposed son of Ragnar Lodbrok, and referred to in the Gesta Normannorum as the Scourge of the Somme and Loire, his life exemplified the qualities of the ideal Viking. Join author and historian C.J. Adrien on an adventure that explores the coming of age of the Viking Hasting, his first love, his first great trials, and his first betrayal.
“The Lords of the Wind” by C.J. Adrien is a gold medal winner in the 2020 Reader’s Favorite annual international book award.contest.
“If you want to sit down with an extremely well-researched tale involving heroic battles, first loves, and the making of a legend, this book is for you.”
The Historical Novel Societ
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This series is available on #KindleUnlimited
The Lords of the Wind (Book 1) –
In the Shadow of the Beast (Book 2) –
The Kings of the Sea (Book 3) –
Thanks for stopping by today. Let’s chat about your wonderful work! Does writing energize or exhaust you and how do you wind down / recharge?
Writing tends to energize me. My family and friends know to stay out of my way during a creative streak, and I’ve often found myself carried away for entire days while the proverbial iron is hot. Winding down has proven challenging at times, but a brief guided meditation or a workout help to pull me out of it.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I can only speak for myself in this respect, and the biggest trap for me is to think about the money. Writing is a passion and something I do to feed my creativity and soul. As soon as I start to think about my books in financial terms my creativity plummets and I find it impossible to write. My recommendation for aspiring and/or published authors is to stay focused on the joy of writing and ignore the money. If you make money, great! If not, still great, you wrote a book (which is a major accomplishment in and of itself)!
If you could go anywhere for a year to be inspired for your next book, what setting would you choose and what would you write?
I’d move back to Noirmoutier. It’s the focal point of my research and writing, and spending a whole year there away from the hustle and bustle of my current life would be a tremendous boon to my writing. Some day I may make the move and do such a thing, but it’s currently not possible for a number of reasons. Still, it’s a nice thought.
How important is working with your editor or beta readers, and how would you describe your relationship?
Working with my team of editors for the developmental edit, line edit, proof reads, and beta reads, is mission-critical. Behind every great writer is a team of great editors. I don’t think it’s possible to write well without editors. We are all bound to our biases, and I know for myself that I can’t see problems with my manuscript the way a fresh pair of objective eyes can.
Tell us more about your latest book. How do you select the names of your characters?
For the real historical figures who take part in the narrative of my books, the names are provided to me by the historical sources. However, since Viking names were spelled differently by different sources, I did have to decide on which spellings to use. I leaned toward the more latinized versions of Scandinavian names since my audience (primarily Anglophone and Francophone readers) speak latin-derived languages. For the fictional characters, I tended to do the same thing. Lucky for me, there’s a website called The Viking Answer Lady who compiled every name of Norse origin known to us from Saga literature and historical sources that allowed me to choose from a menu of historically verified names.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I used to read them, but learned over time to ignore them. Today I mostly pay attention to rating averages. The Lords of the Wind has a 4.4/5 star average based on close to 1,000 reviews, and I’m happy with that. It tells me the book appealed to most people.
Which scene or chapter in the book is your favourite? Why?
My favorite scene in The Lords of the Wind is when the main character Hasting climbs aboard the prow of the Viking longship he serves on and rides the waves with the birds above him and the dolphins below him. It’s the scene where he first travels to the Brittany region of France and falls in love with its land and sea.
Give a shout out to a writing buddy or fellow author; how did they help you with this book?
I’d like to recognize Eric Schumacher, author of Olaf’s Saga, for being a great connection over the years and supporting my work. Michael Larsen of All Things Viking has been a tremendous supporter as well, and a wonderful friend with whom I can bounce ideas to help me along the way.
C.J. Adrien is a bestselling and award-winning author of Viking historical fiction novels with a passion for Viking history. His Saga of Hasting the Avenger series was inspired by research conducted in preparation for a doctoral program in early medieval history as well as his admiration for historical fiction writers such as Ken Follett and Bernard Cornwell. He is also a published historian on the subject of Vikings, with articles featured in historical journals such as LAssociation des Amis de Noirmoutier, in France. His novels and expertise have earned him invitations to speak at several international events, including the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), conferences on Viking history in France, among others.
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