Daughter of a Thousand Years by Amalia Carosella
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 442 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Medieval Romance
Greenland, AD 1000 More than her fiery hair marks Freydís as the daughter of Erik the Red; her hot temper and fierce pride are as formidable as her Viking father’s. And so, too, is her devotion to the great god Thor, which puts her at odds with those in power—including her own brother, the zealous Leif Eriksson. Determined to forge her own path, she defies her family’s fury and clings to her dream of sailing away to live on her own terms, with or without the support of her husband. New Hampshire, 2016 Like her Icelandic ancestors, history professor Emma Moretti is a passionate defender of Norse mythology. But in a small town steeped in traditional values, her cultural beliefs could jeopardize both her academic career and her congressman father’s reelection. Torn between public expectation and personal identity, family and faith, she must choose which to honor and which to abandon. In a dramatic, sweeping dual narrative that spans a millennium, two women struggle against communities determined to silence them, but neither Freydís nor Emma intends to give up without a fight.
Hi Amalia, thank you for taking the time to give our readers an interview.
1. Tell us a bit about your new book, Daughter of a Thousand Years.
Daughter of a Thousand Years is about the timeless struggle for freedom to exist as we are, to worship as we please, and build a place for ourselves within the greater community of the world – this is something that Freydis struggles with in Viking Age Greenland, and something that Emma’s still struggling to work out in today’s world. That fight is what connects their stories across time.
2. What did you love writing about it? What was hard to write?
This was the hardest book I’ve ever written. It terrified me and it put a hard deadline on a lot of personal things I had kind of been putting off addressing. I mean, I’ve written books that dealt with issues I was coping with on a subconscious level before – but this was the first time I was writing a book that dealt with things I knew I wasn’t ready to face for myself. So that added a whole extra layer of emotional turmoil to the process! But ultimately, I love that this book exists. I love that it offers people a different perspective. I love that it has the potential to reach people who need to read it. That it might just change someone’s life, because they’ll know they aren’t alone. All the tears and stress and heartbreak is worth it for that chance. To give someone that gift when they need it most.
3. What is your favorite period to write about and why?
I love Bronze Age Greece. I think I will always love Bronze Age Greece the most. Because there is so much room to explore, and we only have these tantalizing glimpses to fire our imagination – that’s pretty much my ideal for writing. But... I won’t say I’m not interested in potentially revisiting the Viking Age someday, either. :)
4. What is the favorite place in the world you traveled to? Where do you want to go next?
I am, sadly, poorly traveled right now. The majority of my adventures have been domestic, with just a few jaunts across the border North to Canada when I was younger. But my parents gave me and my siblings an amazing gift when we were young (I was only 3 but I still remember parts of it!) and took us all around the continental United States by car, camping out along the way, and I wish I’d been a little older to remember it better, but it’s definitely something that stuck with me!
There are a million places I’d love to go, though. First up is Iceland – that’s my number one travel priority – and then definitely I’d love to go to Greece and see the Bronze Age ruins everywhere there. Then Rome. Britain! All of Scandinavia. There is so much history to see!
5. What is your advice for aspiring authors?
Develop a habit. Build in yourself the habit of sitting down in front of your word document and putting words on the page. Once you have that, and your creative muscles have been trained to work with just that small level of discipline, you can play around with how you approach your goals and projects to find the most productive methods and fine tune, but ultimately, I think it all starts with that habit of writing. I know it changed my writing life.
On the other side of that coin, be kind to yourself. Be mindful of where you’re at and don’t drive yourself into burn out. Find the joy and the love and the passion for writing and keep that foremost. If that fire starts to flicker out or dim, give yourself permission to take the time you need to refill the tanks and rekindle that joy.
6. Why the love for goats? :)
Ha! Well, there’s the obvious association with Thor. Goats are his companion animals. He has a pair, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr, that pull his chariot and he can also kill them and eat them while he’s adventuring, and as long as he leaves the bones whole and unbroken, he can resurrect them again to continue on the next day. I love this element of Thor’s mythology so much because it makes it really clear that he’s in tune with the average farmer – he’s not fancy, and he doesn’t need fancy livestock like an eight-legged horse or golden boars. He’s practical and grounded. He’s the god of the common people, not kings and nobles.
But also I just think they’re kind of fun, and I have a REALLY BIG YARD that is kind of a pain to keep up, so I feel like goats would be a good life choice from a more practical perspective!
Quick questions round:
1. Coffee or Tea
Herbal Tea – and mostly only when I’m sick.
2. Ideal vacation
The kind where you kind of take a really extended stay and completely immerse yourself in the people and the culture and the area, without having to go crazy trying to jam everything you ever wanted to see into five days. I’d really love to have a month or three or six to just explore at my own pace and LIVE in a different place.
3. Writing at home, in a café or in a park
At home. A park wouldn’t be terrible, but I think I’d get pretty distracted and not get a lot done. Being at home (most of the time) allows me to focus and not worry about whether my battery is going to make it, or what the people on the other side of the room are whispering about, or what time the place closes, etc. When I want to write, I just want to write, with as little disruption as possible!
Thank you Amalia, this was fun!