It’s blog tour time! I’m really excited to bring to you the Odin Blood series by Ronell D. Porter. Not only is it a great series, but I have a great interview for you today! But before we get to that, let’s learn a little bit about the series.
Title: Dagger Heart (Book 1)
Author: Ronnell D. Porter
Published: January 26, 2012
Word Count: 70,000
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Content Warning: It does contain some graphic fantasy violence as there is a sequence wherein an army of undead invades the heroine’s homeland, and a Tolkien-ish battle ensues. 16+ recommended
Note: Dagger Heart is currently FREE on Amazon!
Norway, 704 A.D.
The valiant King Ulfur defeated the evil that swept the seaside village of Nornör into despair; Morgan, the demon witch, has been dead for nearly twenty years. The truce between King Úlfur and the Queen of the Fae has remained intact since the day that Morgan’s dark curses vanished. It seemed that peace had finally come to the wounded souls of the village.
But this peace is shaken when three curses that Morgan promised with her dying breath are placed upon the Norwegian village: who among them has cast the spell?
Seventeen-year-old Erica finds herself trapped in the middle of a witch’s deadly revenge scheme with no way out but to fight for survival. On top of trying to end the curses devouring her village like a savage beast she finds herself at the center of attention when it comes to Viking King Úlfur’s three sons: Kriger, Paul, and Finn.
Three of them will fight alongside her.
Two of them want to marry her.
One of them could be the son of King Úlfur… and Morgan.
Published: January 22, 2013
Word Count: 70, 000
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery
Sequel to ‘Dagger Heart’.
“You know not of King Bersek, Lord of Berserkers… The Berserkers are men of darkness; heartless and unyielding. They know no fear, they know no pain – and the sound of them ripping and slashing and tearing people apart by their limbs: chaos incarnate.”
One year after triumphing over the events surrounding the cursed Blackthorn Dagger, Queen ‘Dagger Heart’ Erica receives an ominous warning from a group of survivors that arrives in her village of Nornör: an army like no other, steeped in dark necromancy, heads for her Norwegian shores. With the winter solstice quickly approaching and no sign of the black wolf that used to roam the woods of her lands, she races against time to uncover the mystery of The Necromancer, as well as the absence of her dear friend and love, Finn.
I’m excited that Ronell took the time to answer my questions, so let’s take a look!
SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?
RDP: My process usually consists of plotting out the main points of the story in my head. Then, along the course of actually writing and filling in the bits in between, the story has changed in its entirety by the novel’s end.
SJ: Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?
RDP: I’m not a superstitious individual, so no capes, sacrifices, or hoodoo chanting. I would have to say that my strangest habit would be that I write very slowly while trying to flesh out the beginning of the novel, say, the first 20% of it. This can take months. Then, once I’m past all of that and pick up traction I begin to write vigorously, for hours on end, and finish the other 80% in about 10-14 days.
SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?
RDP: I wouldn’t say that I am a meticulous planner, but I do plan things out in advance, before I begin to write. But, as I said earlier, I don’t usually stick to that plan, and it ends up being changed during the process. My ideas comes from the imagination, but outside influences (books, films, games, news) kindle the flame.
SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?
RDP: If I had a use, I imagine it would come in the visage of Sebastian Stan, it would speak only in limericks, using seventeenth century English, while having a Scottish accent. And I could only hope that it would show up at the most inappropriate of times.
SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?
RDP: I would say that I do play favorites as the most recent novel tends to be my favorite, simply because I improve which each one I write. I would say the closest one to my heart would be The Untold Want. That is a horse of a different color in terms of what I usually write. I wasn’t trying to write a bestseller with that one, it was something that I needed to get off of my chest. I love the characters in that one, though.
SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?
RDP: My dear, that’s what pseudonyms are for. But if I seriously had to sacrifice all other branches of literature and write in only one genre for the rest of my life, I would stick with the paranormal romance genre. I have to make a living at this and, honestly, that’s the genre that’s been putting at least something in my pocket
SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?
RDP: Where clichés are concerned I was thinking about this when I saw Jack The Giant Slayer over the weekend; fainting is the laziest form of transition in film and literature. I’m talking about the instances where there’s absolutely no reason to faint – this is a healthy individual, they don’t have any health issues, they haven’t forgotten to take their insulin, etc. “Something happens and since I can’t think of anything better to do to end the scene, s/he fainted.”
I would say that the biggest frustration for me as a writer is having to pick one project to focus on at a time, otherwise nothing would get done.
SJ: If you had to be stuck in one of your own books/stories for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? If you had to stick a loved one in one of your own books, what would it be and why? An enemy?
RDP: I wouldn’t really want to be placed into any of them. I enjoy comforts and technology, I wouldn’t want to go work a farm in Viking Norway, or live by every rule of the Old Testament as they do in The Untold Want. If I had to choose one, I suppose that I would want to live in the universe of The Trinity Saga, where I would be able to live in our modern world, but would at least have a chance to develop some form of magical power.
SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it?
RDP: If I knew of a recipe for success, I would certainly have used it. Readers hold all of the power in making or breaking the success of a novel. The best books you could ever read may be left behind, and the worst drivel ever put to paper could sell a million copies all because of how well readers pushed them onto other people. From indie authors, I have read a vampire book that was absolutely fantastic – rich in history, dark magic, romance, and the characters were unforgettable. Around the same time, I read a vampire novel that was blatant plagiarism of Twilight, and it became fairly popular. And it was because the audience reacted differently to each. I can’t say why, but they simply did.
SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?
RDP: These few success stories are found among millions of unsuccessful ones. I other words, it’s no different than any other field – doctors, architects, actors, any career you can think of – a few are wildly successful, the others will struggle. And success isn’t necessarily making millions of dollars – to me, being able to make $1,500 a month from my books would be an incredible success that I have yet to achieve. I think there tends to be a certain romanticized view of the self-publishing world, as though indie authors are underdogs. I don’t think that they are in any way the underdog. Most of them have spouses or domestic partners, homes, careers – that isn’t really the picture of a person with a disadvantage in my eyes. It certainly isn’t an easy career choice, and it will offer you no stability, which can make things difficult if you’re not the only one you’re supporting. It can, however, be a nice extra source of pocket change if you already have a decent day job and write on the side.
SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.
RDP: My genre does tend to advocate ignorance and stupidity among young teenagers at the worst of times, but it also has fine examples of supporting equality and humanitarianism at the best of times. Every genre has its great novels, and every genre has crud. Those who choose to attack other genres as inferior are usually practitioners of the messages found in the lower shade of that spectra.
SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?
RDP: I would like them to think something fantastic, and that could be along the lines of “He really changed the way I think about some things,” or it could me “He’s a right bastard for what he said,” but I would not want them to think indifferently of my work. I think indifference is the worst thing someone could take away from my books. Good or bad, I want there to be some form of spark in the brain when they recall something I’ve written.
SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!
RDP: I’m playing it safe at the moment and writing Raven Heart, the third book in the Odin Blood series, simply so that anyone who enjoys Ebon Heart won’t have to wait very long to find out what happens next. It’s going to be quite long, much longer than its predecessors, since a lot of ground is covered in the third book. But what I have been plotting out on the side is a horror novel, since I would really like to try my hand at that genre. I also have a ‘reboot’ of something in the works. It’s not a ‘rewrite’ of a previous book, but rather an alternate universe glace at the characters and events of that novel and how differently everything could have (and will) turn out. I really feel that I owe it to the novel in question since many people have written to tell me that they loved the characters and the story, and I would like to apply what I’ve learned to those characters. Could I simply rewrite it? Sure, but I’m aiming for something that a.) can be considered its own beast and b.) doesn’t completely bore me during the process.
About the Author:
Ronnell D. Porter was raised in Ogden, Utah, and now resides in Denver, Colorado. During his free time he plays the violin, dabbles in graphic design, and, of course, thoroughly enjoys writing stories. He believes that a novel written simply to entertain does its readers a disservice; instead, a book’s narrative should always change the way we perceive the world around us, and grant us a little more wisdom than we had when starting the story.
And if that wasn’t enough, we have an excerpt, as well!
The soft candlelight lit her room with hot yellow flickers of flame as she held a black iron jewelry box in her lap. It was so intricate, so lovely, and it allowed her to not only read Finn’s words of love, but to run her fingers across them so that she knew that he was real, that the feeling of his love wasn’t just the fading dream of a naïve girl. When she closed her eyes and held the jewelry box close to her, she could almost see his round face, his dark hair, brows, and lashes contrasted against the pallor of his skin, and those eyes that always seemed to catch whatever light was near to make them glow, even with the faintest of rays in the night. They were the eyes of the Fae blood within him, eyes that held an ancient magic and natural wisdom pooled in shades of forest green.
Finn rolled onto his side and took her hand into his. He left soft kisses along her hand, her wrist, and slid his body against hers.
“I want you to know that I’d decided never to leave your side again,” he said. He looked suddenly uncomfortable, his brow strewn together and his jaw clenched tightly. Then he finally drew in a deep breath through his nose and nodded to himself.
“Before I returned here, I think I was starting to forget what it was like to be human… To be me. Emotions were starting we feel dulled, and something like a memory. Suddenly what was important in my like didn’t seem to matter much; my old life, the death of my brothers, my mother, my father… Even you. I almost didn’t return to Nornör at all, but something inside of me – maybe the last little piece of humanity inside of me – urged me back here. And suddenly, when I saw you again, all of the parts of me that got lost inside of that wolf’s body began to come back together. Suddenly I felt fire again, and passion, and I felt that there was something that gave my life meaning again. When I held you for the first time, I felt whole again.”
Finn grew bolder, and nodded to himself.
“I can’t risk forgetting who I am again – but more importantly, I can’t risk forgetting what you mean to me.”
“I don’t think you ever would have forgotten who you are,” Erica said.
“I very nearly forgot you – that’s bad enough. I wouldn’t want to live with myself if I’d forgotten your name, your face, your voice, your scent…”
“You won’t,” Erica whispered. She cradled his head against her chest and let him rest there as she tangled her fingers into his thick black hair. “I promise that you’ll never have to go another day of your life without me there to remind you of who you are. You are Finn Úlfurson, the man that I have loved since the first time we ran through the woods and howled together like maniacs.”
Finn chuckled against her, and lifted his head.
“And you are Erica, great leader to the people of Nornör, and the woman I have loved since you struck me over the head with a rock.”
Besides all of this, there is also a tour-wide giveaway going on. To access the Rafflecopter, go HERE
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- Grand Prize: A Kindle Touch, pre-loaded with 5 books by Ronnell D. Porter
- 10 eBook copies of Ebon Heart
The grand prize is available to the US only! The eBooks are worldwide.