Exclusive Interview: “Rune Of Renewal” Author Bjorn Leesson


Usually, warrior women of the Norse variety are confined to fighting their battles in their native land, and their native times.

But sometimes, they get to travel. And not just to different places, either.

It’s what Myrgiol The Dokkrsdottir is getting to do in her second adventure, Rune Of Renewal (paperback, Kindle), a sword & sorcery fantasy novel by Bjorn Leesson, and the sequel to Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir.

In the following email interview, Leesson discusses what inspired and influenced both this series and this sequel, as well as his planes, sorry plans for more adventures.

Bjorn Leesson Rune Of Renewal Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir Outside The Thalspaar Series

I’d like to start with some background. First, who is Myrgiol The Dokkrsdottir, what does she do, and what kind of a world does she live in?

She is something. Without giving too much away, Myrgjol is half Norse through her mother, and half Moor (Northern African) through her father.

But more, she has some very unusual supernatural abilities: a mix of light and dark. So, you could say, she is very unique in the Norse world. She starts off in the world of the Norse, a very harsh place with few resources. Her culture is based on honor, but a violent kind of honor, and battle is often the solution to problems in that world. She does show herself to be very good at violence, but her complicated character also longs for peace and a life of plenty.

Throughout her adventures, she winds up in other places and other times, all while following omens, visions, and a sense of destiny that she does not fully understand. She is very loyal and loves deeply, which also serves to complicate things for her.

Next, what is Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir about?

Well, the story is layered with a bunch of story arcs, but essentially: Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir begins with the birth of Myrgjol and follows her through her early adulthood in Scandinavia, then to a settlement in another land, and finally another place and time.

All the while, it is very clear to her that she has a great and very important destiny, but the signs are blurry and vague — much to her frustration.

Along the way, she has dedicated friends and family that help her toward this mysterious purpose. But the recurring theme for her is she is a great warrior, and that more than anything plays an important part of what her purpose is.

And lastly, for people who have read Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir, and can thus ignore me writing SPOILER ALERT, what is Rune Of Renewal about, and when and where does it take place in relation to Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir?

Here is where things really begin to get twisty in this series. After she dies — dying being relative as the reader finds out — she is returned to the world of the living in 1941, and of all places, the desert of Nevada. But as always, she has friends, old and new, that are available to guide her.

When in relation to writing Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir did you come up with the idea for Rune Of Renewal, and what inspired this second story?

Originally, the series was going to be just one book, but very early on I realized Myrgjol has a lot to do — so fine, two books. I divided the original story outline into two, and expanded on the badassery that is Myrgjol to create two installments. And now here I sit at this time writing the draft for the sixth installment! “The Thalsparr isn’t finished with me yet.”

As you just said, Rune Of The Renewal has Myrgiol in Nevada in 1941. Why then and there as opposed to, say, in London 1800s or modern day Los Angeles?

It wasn’t a random choice. There are specific reasons why it had to be 1941. I don’t want to say why, as it is important to the story, but it involves preparation for the mission and the proper “conditioning” of Myrgjol (as well as many others) to complete it.

Bjorn Leesson Rune Of Renewal Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir Outside The Thalspaar Series

Like Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir, Rune Of Renewal sounds like a fantasy story, though more of the sword & sorcery kind than medieval or urban fantasy. But it sounds like there might be more to it…

Oh, a lot more. Honestly, Paul, I am not sure that the series as a whole fits into a single genre cleanly. There is a lot of “Viking-style” battling — even in the future timeframes that Myrgjol finds herself in, but there are elements of history (obviously), the supernatural, Old West style gunfighting, and some others. A mix of humor, drama, action, adventure, and mystery; I would like to believe it has a little something for everyone’s tastes.

And given that you have a Viking warrior in 1940s America, how much of a fish out of water story is it? Or shark out of water, as the case may be?

With this wild character that is Myrgjol, you might have to say “Bull in a china shop out of water.” She does struggle with her new and unfamiliar surroundings on occasion, but she is exceptionally adaptable and “roll-with-it” most of the time. But, as the reader discovers, there is a whole extensive support system setup to help her…all planned a very long time ago.

Rune Of Renewal is obviously not your first novel. Are there any writers, or stories, that had a big influence on Renewal but not anything else you’ve written, and especially not Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir?

I would say from a story or character aspect, not so much for Renewal. Not like Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir, with some of the style and the way I wanted to portray certain scenes has been influenced quite a bit by Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings and George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.

What about non-literary influences? Are there any movies, TV shows, or games that had a big influence on Rune Of Renewal?

Honestly, Paul, other than to say that a little bit of everything I have ever seen on film or television, nothing specific has had a major influence.

Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir and Rune Of Renewal are the first two books in the Outside The Thalspaar Series. But do they form a duology, are they the first two books of a trilogy or a four book series, or is this more of an ongoing thing? Because you mentioned a sixth book…

So, the first three installments will cover the main story arc of the series, which focus on Myrgjol and her destiny.

However, there will be several more books coming that tell the stories of some of the major supporting characters who all play major parts behind the scenes in the first three books. These also will take place in a few different places and times.

Bjorn Leesson Rune Of Renewal Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir Outside The Thalspaar Series

Finally, earlier I asked if Rune Of Renewal had been influenced by any movies, TV shows, or games. But to flip things around, do you think Rune Of Renewal and Runes Of The Dokkrsdottir could be adapted into some movies, a show, or a game?

Absolutely! I don’t know about as a game, but definitely as a film series or movies. I can already see it on the screen in my head.

If that happened, who would you want them to cast as Myrgiol and the other main characters?

Hard question. Very hard question. Myrgjol and Ingrid are both very distinctive looking people, and a little hard to find matches for I would think. But who knows, those “Hollywood magicians” can do lots of things.



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