Words with Travis Ludvigson author of "Iron Song"

Can you tell us a little bit about “Iron Song?”

Iron Song tells the story of Soren, a Danish warrior who is lost at sea during his first battle and washes up on a strange shore. The trials of surviving alone in the wild turn him into a Berserker, one of Odin’s fierce warriors who feel no fear and crave battle.

After returning home years later, he becomes unstoppable on the field of battle and joins a campaign to raid the land of Frankia. Soren’s battle prowess gains him both great fame and a host of enemies along the way. Then during the siege of Paris he learns of evil creatures that roam the land, and he leaves behind all that he knows to do battle with this dark foe.

This is a Viking tale that presents a protagonist who is equal parts hero and villain. Warfare during that time was a close up, brutal affair, and Soren was a man filled with bloodlust who thrived in that world and reveled in the death of others.

Although "Iron Song" deals with the Danish Vikings, my ancestors came from a place near what is now modern day Oslo in Norway. So with the Viking blood that flows through my veins, I believe I was always meant to write this story. I really enjoyed spending time doing research and getting to know those warriors and the lives they led during the dark ages of this world.

The title of the book is taken from a line in "Beowulf" (one of my favorite classic hero tales) and refers to the sound that the sword makes when set to purpose against the enemy.

"Iron Song" is the second book in The Nephilim Chronicles, a three part supernatural series that tells the story of an ancient bloodline of warriors chosen to protect the world against the forces of darkness. The first book, “Yare’ Darkness Bound” is set in modern times, “Iron Song” in 885 AD, and the last book in the series will take place during the reign of the Emperor Constantine.

What's your background with writing?

I have been writing stories since I was a young boy. I have always loved the idea of bringing a story to life on paper. I wrote stories through middle and high school and then went on to take writing courses in college to increase my knowledge and skill.

I currently have multiple journals lying around that I use to keep my writing skills sharp. The pages are filled with quotations, free writing exercises, short stories and story ideas.

I wrote the first book to fulfill a personal life goal. But as soon as I started I realized that the story should become part of a series. I love writing and have more ideas than time at this point, so I see no time when I won’t be creating something new.

Who are your inspirations/influences?

I am a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell and tried to emulate him by creating battles that you can see and hear as if you were really there as you read the book.

I grew up reading JRR Tolkien and Terry Brooks and have absolutely loved the amazing worlds they each created.

With "Iron Song" in particular, I drew great inspiration from the pages of Beowulf.

What was it like working with Create Space?

I was very happy with the ease of using Create Space and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Both platforms were very user friendly and I would recommend them to others who choose to go the non-traditional route of publishing their work. I had full creative control as well as the ability to make updates and changes quickly and easily.

Who was responsible for the cover/book design?

I designed the covers for "Iron Song" and "Yare’ Darkness Bound."  As both an author and artist I really believe in the whole book being a part of my own vision and creativity.

What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?

Much of my publicity has been done online, using my website, Facebook and You Tube. I have also reached out to some of the local book stores in the area as well as talking to people that I know and those that I meet to spread the word.

What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?

My website is: The Land of the Norseman.

My website has information about my books, concept artwork that I have created, reviews of my work and my biography.

I also have a Facebook page: A Drop Of Ink.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

I have put together the outline and am currently conducting research and building character profiles for the final book in the Nephilim Chronicles.

I am also playing around with the idea of a novella based on some of the local monster lore here in Wisconsin.

Is there anything else about you we should know?

I am a veteran of U.S. Air Force Intelligence and had the opportunity to live and work with people across the U.S. and in several countries around the world.

I recently had my first sales overseas (in the UK) and hope to see my books travel around the world as I once did.

Thanks Travis!  Folks, here are the links for Yare' Darkness Bound and Iron Song!

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