Today on Meet the Author, we’re talking to the lovely Sarah Dahl about her most recent book, The Vikings and why she’d love to talk to Oscar Wilde…..
Historical Fiction (Viking age): sensual romance
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live on the edge of the rural German Eifel and write historical fiction (novels and short stories) primarily set in the Viking age. I was an editor in several German publishing houses and managed a translation agency. The magic of writing re-entered my life at UCD Dublin, where I sat in J.R.R. Tolkien’s office every day, while working on the ‘Dictionary of Hiberno-English’. Tolkien’s spirit must have done something to my creative muscles – it sure wasn’t the bland view from his office. I became a full-time writer soon after and still work as an editor, translate, and coach new authors. I’m interested in everyday life in bygone centuries and the human stories that may have occurred behind the hard, historical facts.
How many books have you written and published?
I have published seven short stories in my Tales of Freya series of sensual Viking romances, that I then bundled into my Tales of Freya paperback collection. Apart from that there is a German histfic novel, “Tilda & Leo”, that I wrote in German and placed in rural Germany of the 19thcentury.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
You can’t ask a mum to pick her favourite kid! To go pregnant and then birth a book is always a long process, then grooming and raising them until they’re ready to go into the world on their own … It’s impossible. They’re all unique!
How do you choose the names of your characters?
I have along list of Nordic male and female names of the period that I like, then pick from that or go search on the internet. It’s a matter of how they sound and what they mean: For main characters I like to pick a name with a fitting meaning, even if that meaning is only known to me.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Oh, that would have to be Aldaith, my favourite Viking warrior! He has a bunch of female reader fans already. I gave him and his shield maiden lover Nyssa three stories in the collection to see how their love would develop. He is a wonderful Viking: handsome and strong, yet caring and vulnerable. He isn’t afraid to show his feelings to his lover and no matter how much he struggles, he would die for her.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I’ve worked as an editor in several publishing houses and managed a translation agency. Being a mum of two, one a special needs kid, is pretty much a full-time job of its own. As a student I also worked picking apples, helped a vet gut pigs, and folded boxes.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go?
Guess that one! Of course the real Viking age. To see how far off I am with how I portray it. No matter how much I focus on accuracy vs. creative freedom – it’s never completely right, I dare assume. And maybe “right” would be boring?
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d love to go out one night with Oscar Wilde, as I admire his sharp wit and am fascinated by his difficult life, as an artist and a gay man. I’d like to see how much of what his works convey is shining through in his personality.
What are your favourite things to do?
I love peace and quiet, me-time. This can consist of reading books and magazines of all sorts, from home décor to genealogy, from thrillers to poems. I love soaking in a bath or hike through nature to plot and let my thoughts roam the wilderness. Something I cannot do enough with this busy family/writing life.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Find your voice, don’t compare yourself too much to others or what “one should do”. Find confidence in your work and then practice and build a following, be humble and helpful.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
“Tales of Freya” by Sarah Dahl: A collection of sensual short stories set in the Viking Age
In this collection of adult bedtime stories, Sarah Dahl pulls back the curtain of history to depict the erotic lives of Viking men and women. Amid the stark landscapes of fjords, forests and snowcapped mountain peaks, her characters search for love and passion. Dahl authentically illuminates the sensual side of a world of battle and plunder in an alluring collection perfect for every lover of gritty Viking romance.
A warrior recovering by a river is drawn into an unforeseen skirmish with a beautiful shield maiden. An enslaved Christian monk is entranced by his captors’ pagan allure. A dissatisfied housewife finds that her home holds an unexpected and liberating secret. An injured farmer is captivated by the magic of his irresistible healer …
In a world of crackling fires and rough landscapes, long winters and bloody raids, the immediacy of life and death ignites undeniable passions. Warriors and monks, healers and housewives – all follow the call of their hearts and bodies to indulge in pleasures that may forever change their lives.
“The Last Kingdom meets 50 Shades of Grey” / “Vikings meets Last Kingdom with a huge dose of the ‘feels’”
“Truly Norse, gritty and authentic” (previous reviews)
Buy links: sarah-dahl.com/book/tales-of-freya
Massive thanks to Sarah for this fab interview. The Vikings is one of my favourite time periods in history too!!!
If you have any questions/comments for Sarah guys then you know what to do.
Hope you’ve had a great day!