I am often asked why I wanted to write stories about the Vikings. I’m not a naturally violent, bloodthirsty person so it seems an odd historical period for me to write about.
However, before I began Ragnar the Murderer I had just written some Victorian historical romances, and there are many, many of those about, so I wanted to go back further in history to a period when life was more basic and primitive. And I wasn’t interested in the usual stories of Vikings rampaging across the seas and raping and pillaging in every land they came across. They have been written about so many times before, over and over again.
No. What I wanted to explore was the settling of the Norsemen in Britain. When a new wave of invaders hits Britain, what happens? After the initial battle and bloodshed carried out by the fighters, what do the rest of the settlers do? The Vikings were just the battle force, the sea pirates. After them came their wives, children, relatives- how did they live in this strange new land of Britain? There was bound to still be conflict, but of a less physical kind- more suspicion, jealousy, misunderstanding instead.
And of course my very favourite subject of Forbidden Love. What happens when a Norseman and an Englishwoman fall in love against the wishes of their families and cultures? When a high born Dane falls in love with a slave? When two Norsemen fall in love with each other?
Relationships. Culture clash. Forbidden Love. Those are the areas which interested me, so those are what I set out to explore.