Interview & Giveaway with Greg van Eekhout

Posted July 11, 2011 by Carmel in / 111 Comments

Today I have the please of welcoming Greg van Eekhout, author of Norse Code, to the blog! Hi Greg! Let’s just drive right into it shall we?

What’s your favorite Norse myth? Why?

Pretty much everything involving Baldr’s death, because it’s the triggering event of Ragnarok. Also, it’s obviously a conspiracy. Frigg protects Baldr from every single thing except mistletoe? And look at all the gods who are set up to survive Ragnarok as rulers of the new order. Any decent detective, investigative journalist, or reasonably suspicious person would look at Baldr’s death and figure out something fishy’s going on. The myths that ask more questions than they answer are my favorites.

Can you tell us a bit more about how Ragnarok came to be associated with Southern California?

I grew up in LA and still consider it my hometown, and I love the city. But it’s not just prone to natural disasters, it *is* a natural disaster. Earthquakes, fires, landslides, occasional riots, the Los Angeles Clippers … If the world is going to come to an end in dramatic fashion, Southern California seems like a good place to start.

The Sword of Seven is one of the coolest swords ever! How did you come up with it?

Thank you! Well, swords, of course, are just cool. If you can come up with an excuse to put a sword in your novel, you should just go for it. And I needed some device with which to cut through Gleipnir, the ribbon binding Fenrir. Gleipnir is made of six impossible things, so the obvious solution was a sword made of seven impossible things. Having that sword lead me down all kinds of interesting possibilities. Like, what else could it cut through, and what were the ramifications of its existence?

Was making the leap from short stories to a full length novel difficult?

Very difficult, actually. A novel isn’t just a very long short story. It’s a totally different form, with different needs, a different shape, different intent. It took me a long time to figure out how to take what I’d learned from having written dozens of short stories and apply it to a novel. And I’m still learning more about structure and pacing with every new book. Probably a life-long lesson, which is part of what makes writing novels such an interesting challenge.

What sort of research (if any) did you conduct in order to be able to write from Mist’s (female protagonist) POV?

Like most characters, she’s an amalgam of people I’ve known, people I’ve read about, and subconscious invention. To write about a valkyrie, my research was the same as for the entire book: The Elder and Younger Eddas, various reference books, and the books of Hilda Ellis Davidson. To write from a woman’s point of view, I just dove in and hoped for the best. Fortunately, a lot of my first readers are women, as was my editor and my agent. I hope, given all their feedback, I was able to write a character who wasn’t just a man with a woman’s name or an unfortunate caricature of a woman.

What were some of the challenges you faced in incorporating ancient myths into a modern day world?

I don’t know if I’d call that a challenge so much as the fun part. I absolutely love imagining a garden shed that leads to a giantess’s mound where she’s nursing Fenir’s cubs, and a junk yard that leads to a dwarf smithy, stuff like that. The kind of fantasy I like best pries open the mundane and familiar to find weird, big, freaky, mythological stuff.

Is there a chance readers might get to see more of Hermod and Mist in a second installment?

Possibly in short story form, but not in novels for the foreseeable future. I would never discourage readers from contacting my publisher and asking, however.

I don’t know many men who freely admit to being a weeper! Why did you include that tidbit in your profile?

There is no shame in weeping. At least here ought not to be. I’m sentimental. Things touch me. Sometimes I weep. People should be allowed to express emotion openly. Nobody ever died from wiping a tear.

If you could be one character from Norse mythology for a day which one would you chose and why?

Loki. He is clearly the only one having any fun.

Who’s to blame for your sense of humour?

Society. I blame society. Society made me what I am.

Website / Blog / GoodReads / Twitter
Amazon / The Book Depository

   Greg van Eekhout was born in Los Angeles, has lived in the desert, and now lives near the beach in San Diego. He followed up his first novel, Norse Code, with two books for middle-grade readers, Kid vs. Squid and The Boy at the End of the World. He is currently working on a trilogy about sorcerers and magical creatures in Southern California for Tor Books. For more information about Greg, visit his website at

Is this Ragnarok, or just California?

The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. Given a sword and a new name, Mist’s job is to recruit soldiers for the war between the gods at the end of the world—and to kill those who refuse to fight.

But as the twilight of the gods descends, Mist makes other plans.

Journeying across a chaotic American landscape already degenerating into violence and madness, Mist hopes to find her way to Helheim, the land of the dead, to rescue her murdered sister from death’s clutches. To do so, she’ll need the help of Hermod, a Norse god bumming around Los Angeles with troubles of his own. Together they find themselves drafted into a higher cause, trying to do what fate long ago deemed could not be done: save the world of man. For even if myths aren’t made to be broken, it can’t hurt to go down fighting … can it?

This Giveaway is now CLOSED: Winner

Giveaway Details:

One signed copy of Norse Code and one The Boy At The End Of The World postcard. Must be 13 years of age or older to enter. Open internationally and closes on July 19th at 11:59 PM. Winner will be contacted by e-mail and have 48hrs to respond.

Mandatory Entry:

To enter this Giveaway please be a GFC follower and leave a comment with your e-mail address.

Additional Optional Entries:
*Please leave a separate comment per entry.

+1 Follow on Twitter.
+1 GoodReads Friend.
+1 Like my Facebook Page.
+1 Tweet about Giveaway (use hashtag #midnightsummerfestival).
+1 Networked Blogs Follower.

Visit my co-hosts!


Tomorrow’s festivities: Interview + Giveaway with Sirenz authors.

About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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111 responses to “Interview & Giveaway with Greg van Eekhout

  1. Intriguing premise and mythology? Wishlist here we come!

    GFC follower

    danaan at gmx dot at

    P.S.: Thanks for this great chance!!

  2. Thanks for the giveaway, I haven’t read too much about Norse Mythology seen a few documentaries though.



  3. Please enter me in the draw!

    I’m following you on GFC (Darlene), and my email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. +1 for following on Twitter

    My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. +1 for liking your FB page (Darlene’s Book Nook)

    My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. +1 Networked Blogs follower
    (Darlene’s Book Nook)

    My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Sounds interesting.

    I love Norse mythology and there is not a lot based on that around at the moment so these books would scratch my itch!

    Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

    I Follow Via GFC

  8. Hi, Carmel!

    Wow. LOVED your interview with Greg!! And his book sounds just FASCINATING, so I’m entering!

    I’ve been a follower for a little while now, and am participating in the Festival, as you know.

    Here’s my email address:

    Thanks for the giveaway!! : )