Date Published: April 2, 2015
Obsession. Treachery. Revenge. Redemption. Certain themes resonate across the centuries.
Selia is a girl on the verge of womanhood, frustrated by the confines of her gender and resentful of the freedom her brother boasts of. Intelligent and resourceful in a time when neither is valued in a female, she longs for an escape from her sheltered existence. Fascinated by the tales of Viking raids told by her maidservant, her hunger for independence is fed through the stories of heathen ferocity she hears at the woman’s knee.
A decision to sneak to the city’s harbor to view the Viking longships leads to an encounter with Alrik Ragnarson, a charismatic Viking warlord whose outward beauty masks a dark and tortured mind. With the knowledge that her father is about to announce her betrothal to a man she doesn’t love, Selia marries Alrik and within a day is on the longship bound for Norway and a new life.
While Selia’s relationship with her new husband grows, her friendship with his brother Ulfrik grows as well. And as Alrik’s character flaws come to light and tension mounts between the two brothers, Selia begins to have misgivings about her hasty marriage . . . especially when a secret from the past is revealed, one that threatens to destroy them all.
Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
Oh, I like this question! I love depth and symbolism, but I don’t want to insult my readers’ intelligence by putting it all out there at the beginning. I think a lot of readers enjoy the process of discovering the heart of a character the way I do. The ultimate message in my novel, and in the Sons of Odin series, is one of redemption, forgiveness, and being willing to risk everything for love.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The hardest part of writing has always been finding the time to write. I have a full time job and a busy family, so I had to get creative to carve out writing time. I’ve learned the best time for me is early in the morning while everyone else is still asleep! I set my alarm two hours before I need to get up for work to get some serious writing time in.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
There are three books in the Sons of Odin series: Odin’s Shadow, A Flame Put Out, and Oath Breaker. They’re all the continuation of the same story line so I’d like to say they are all my favorite!
If You had the chance to cast your main character from
who would you pick and why? Hollywood
There are three main characters in the series: Selia, Alrik and Ulfrik. I think Ariane Grande would do a good job as Selia. She’s tiny, feisty, and she can sing. I would want Alexander Skarsgard as Alrik and Charlie Hunnam as Ulfrik. They would be fantastic as my rival Viking brothers!
When did you begin writing?
I’ve written books in my head for years but never had the time to sit down to put the words on paper. In 2010, I was recovering from a significant surgery. After I accidently ripped some stitches out from running the vacuum cleaner, I received a stern warning from my surgeon: rest means rest. So I used those remaining weeks to write what would become the first draft of Odin’s Shadow.
How long did it take to complete your first book?
The first draft took eight weeks. But it was terrible! I continued to edit it for a year before I thought it was good enough to publish.
Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
No, not a specific author, although I have many favorites. I’ve always been a voracious reader and I have a very eclectic taste in books. I love a well-written story of any genre, so I think that helped inspire me to write books that cross genres.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Reading the completed book. It’s an amazing experience to read a book you wrote yourself and actually liking it!
Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Intense. Passionate. Multi-layered. Thrilling.
Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
There are three books in the Sons of Odin Series: Odin’s Shadow, A Flame Put Out, and Oath Breaker. A Flame Put Out will be released this summer and Oath Breaker before the end of the year. I’m currently a third of the way through my first draft of Oath Breaker.
Erin S. Riley has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in clinical counseling. She is also a board certified lactation consultant and has had extensive training in maternal-child health. Since Erin was a child, she has been fascinated with human nature and what motivates behavior. She enjoys writing stories that reflect real life: Erin's books feature complicated, imperfect characters who love deeply, make reckless decisions, and try again until they get it right.
A lifelong lover of books, Erin taught herself to read at the age of four and hasn’t been without a book since. She is an equal-opportunity reader of fiction and non-fiction, and her shelves are filled with books on psychology, archaeology, anthropology, and general history. The social history of women and their place in society across the ages is a favorite reading topic of Erin’s.
Erin is drawn to any creative pursuit, from making hand-stitched quilts to producing mini-movies for family and friends from home videos. But writing has always been her passion. When Erin isn't writing, she enjoys spending time with her two wonderful children, reading anything she can get her hands on, watching football, and renovating her house with her husband of 17 years who just happens to look like a Viking!