1. What gave you the idea to write The Adventures Of Merrick The Viking?
I really started looking at time periods that intrigued me, and I am a bit of a day dreamer, so I would wonder what it must have been like to grow up as a young teen in about 700 to 900 AD when all of Europe is still new and pre-America. So one thing led to another, and my protagonist turned out to be a young boy who happened to come from a long line of extremely well-crafted boat builders in a small Viking village. From there the adventure starts.
2. Have you always been interested in the history of Vikings and Scandinavia?
I have been an admirer of history and how cultures evolved over time, and I am particularly interested in the Viking and Irish culture, but mostly the advancements in trade and influences on culture not necessarily on the violent history. I also tried not to mention any exact locations or historical names, just more of a reference. Also, I added in some hidden fun references to the Viking famous folklore.
3. Would you tell us a little more about the character of Merrick and what he experiences during the course of the book?
The main character is Merrick, and I am writing this as a series of books with Merrick as the main character. He starts off around 16 to 17 years old, forced out of his village, and he really finds himself growing up pretty fast. Luckily for him, he has special traits that make him unique. He finds himself in survival mode but still keeps his adventurous personality as a coming of age teen. Plus, yes, once he makes it into an Ireland, he happens to start a new romance with a real headstrong Irish redhead girl, Kira, that keeps him in check.
4. What do you see as the challenges of writing for a young adult audience, and what do you most enjoy about writing for this audience?
I see the challenges of a writer these days is a difference with how young readers want immediate action and also wants to follow and enjoy characters into series of books, letting their imagination turn page by page. My biggest obstacle was from the beginning: it is hard to market a book with Vikings that is not gruesomely violent, but I do have to acknowledge, yes, in history they did have groups of Vikings that plundered and destroyed villages, so I am carefully keeping the story more on a positive adventure.
5. Are you working on any new writing projects at the moment?
Yes, I am currently writing the second book in the series which I refer to as Merrick Book 2 and should be a similar style and design so this should make for happy readers to continue the journey. To me I am just fascinated of the time to pull your boat up into an unknown port and be able to communicate and trade your goods--plus exchange ideas, technology, techniques, and food items. Even how that time period was able to put a universal price on their goods and services.