About the Book
Last Viking of Norway
Destiny. It is what binds is, connects us, it is what burdens us. As soon as we draw our first breath, entering this crazy and twisted world, we are burdened by one thing, finding a purpose. Old Vikings believed that their life is completely in the hands of destiny, from the moment of birth to the last breath they take, everything is planed. With that premonition they lost all fear, as what would they be afraid of when they have no say so in the next step. Our story starts with an unnamed boy, who came to Oslo, studying. But he wasn’t born there. He was raised in a remote village to the north, a place untouched by modern times, were old Viking tradition and stories still matter. But he is lost.
Suddenly all he does feels unworthy, like all he does makes no difference. That boy is in pain, as he suffered a loss. His grandfather has passed away, his last living relative. A man he held so dear, a man who he considered a father. He wasn’t there to say his farewell, so now he needs to pick himself up, and face the fact that his father is gone and needs a burial. But the boy feels indebted. The old man was a warrior. Does he really deserve to be thrown in to the ground? Or perhaps he deserves the ultimate honor, of entering Valhalla? But no one is burned anymore. Like the old man said no more pyres for the fallen, as there is no more wars to fight in. But the young man knows that you can either deny the path destiny offers or embrace it. So he will do what he must, he will return to the village, face the elders and honor his fallen father, no matter the cost. “Last Viking of Norway” puts the perspective in the hands of a young adult, Ragnar, who asks the hard questions that even the adults are afraid of. It’s is a story about destiny and how loud can one mans actions be. That after all, even the oldest of us, can’t see the errors of our ways, one man can be enough to redeem all. But then again if we take the path destiny offers, should we be afraid of the outcome of that path?
About the Author
Harisson Shaws is a native Londoner, storyteller and all-around cynic. He grew up on stories of the old world, tales of heroes and legends. Heavily inspired by those stories he read from Homer, Aeneid and writers of yore, he tries to honour the stories that build those hero’s and their virtues. But drawing the line he manages to humanize the hero’s who fall under the heavy burden that destiny provides them, asking how heavy the burden they carry can really be and how can it change the individual that chooses that path. At the end of the day, those heroes are still human, just like us.
Qn 1: Can you tell us more about Last Viking of Norway What is it about?
“Last Viking of Norway” is a tale of a young man, Ragnar, who goes against the wishes of the elders, trying to save his people. The story focuses on a village far in the north that is untouched by modern times. They still hold on to old Viking traditions and ways, including the legends of the yore. They raise their young same as few hundred years ago, as true warriors. Of course the young are allowed to go out of the village, purse knowledge, go to college, same as Ragnar did, going to Oslo to study. But unlike his peers, he wasn’t born in that village. His father gave him away to his grandparents when he was just a few weeks old after his mother died from childbirth. His father vanished after that and his grandfather never spoke of him that much after. His grandparents were like his parents, they raised him and showed him, immense love. His grandmother died a year ago, and it haunted him that he wasn’t there to say goodbye. Now his last kin has died. His grandfather. A village leader, their unofficial Jarl. But this time the thought that haunts the young Ragnar is not that he didn’t have an opportunity to say his farewell. But rather that he feels indebted to the old man. You see they did hold on to almost all old traditions. One of the few they didn’t was the old Viking funeral. The old died from natural causes, and the pyres that burn and sent the men to Valhalla was reserved for those who fell in battle. But to Ragnar and most of the villagers, the old man was their leader, a true warrior. So Ragnar will go back to the village, defy the elders. But what started as honouring the old man will turn out to be a fight to honour them all, as the elders turned their hearts to greed, holding the power to themselves, not really being bothered by what their ancestors left, as long as it suits them. Ragnar will have to prove that there are still warriors left, that there is still honour and that the actions of one man can still matter.
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in Last Viking of Norway, is it directed at any particular market?
I believe that this book can appeal to lot of people. We all search for purpose, for meaning. That is what this book is really about. But all who love myths and legends will enjoy reading this as well. But like I said, all will find a part of themself in Ragnar. At some point in our life, we all wonder what is there for us, what is our purpose under the bright sky of destiny. I think that we can learn a thing or two from Ragnar’s actions and sacrifice.
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
It has to be the one book that inspired me heavily to write this book. J. D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the rye” I was inspired by his take on Holden and how he sees the world run by adults. A fresh pair of eyes that are providing a new viewpoint on a world that is familiar to us. I believe he managed to capture perfectly what no one did by then, a familiar voice of a young adult that tried to find his place in this crazy world that judged him.
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
Try. Just try. We often think about writing, but being rejected by the notion of starting. We all draw inspiration from so many things, and like a pot, it’s filled with that inspiration. But the fear of trying stops us. No one says the first time you do it will be good or revolutionary. Neither it has to be. But practice makes perfect. Perhaps the first few times you will fail, but that 5th, 6th or 11th time you submit you words will make you proud how good you got. And the most important thing to remember is, you can’t please everyone. The most important thing is pleasing yourself. Because at the end of the day, those stories come from you.
Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
They can find me on Twitter at @HarissonShaws or they can check out my site harissonshaws.wordpress.com