Daughter of a Thousand Years by Amalia Carosella
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 442 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Medieval Romance
WTF Are You Reading would like to thank Amelia for stopping by for a chat about her wonderful
Daughter Of A Thousand Years
1. What inspired
you to write Daughter Of A Thousand Years?
It was kind of a constellation of events, honestly. I had
one more book to go on my contract, and my editor suggested I step outside of
my Bronze Age comfort zone to mix it up a little bit. I spent a couple of weeks
reading about women from various time periods, thinking, before I finally hit
on Freydis – I was already a little bit more familiar and more comfortable with
the Viking Age than I was with any other period barring Bronze Age Greece, and
I knew that generally speaking, I for sure wanted to give voice to people (in a
serious and respectful way) who we, in the west, have been quicker to dismiss
-- to acknowledge that perhaps these other, older cultures and people DID have
their own meaningful experiences with the numinous or some greater spiritual power.
Freydis seemed like a perfect match on that score, and then it was a very
natural step to weave that same thread into the contemporary setting with Emma,
because for me, that dismissal of other experiences as meaningful is not just
something that lives in the
2. Is it harder writing present-day or past characters and settings?
DEFINITELY present-day is harder for me. I don’t know
about anyone else, but all the details from the kind of car a person drives to
cultural background of their family to the kind of food they eat for lunch or
the job/career they pursue – they all have that much more meaning and symbolism
in the modern day. We have so much STUFF to keep track of, and so many subtle
status symbols embedded within all that stuff, and you have to negotiate all of
that a lot more carefully in a contemporary setting where your readers
DEFINITELY know EXACTLY what’s up. As an example of what I’m talking about:
I’ll never forget that time in a writing workshop in college when I got heat
and criticism because my character said she was Italian-American but had an
English last name. Another comment on that (contemporary/present-day) story was
that it was too unrealistic that my character was in college but had never been
kissed. Oofda! On top of all that, there’s always the temptation in the back of
my mind to kind of gloss over the world building, because I can see everything
so perfectly as I’m writing, and we all know what a diner generally looks and
feels like, right? Who needs detailed description! (Of course the answer is:
the BOOK still needs that detailed description stop trying to cheat, Amalia!
what’s the matter with you?!) [Author me is already leans more toward
description-lite generally sooo.]
This isn’t at all to say that these kinds of details
don’t matter in the past – of course we have to negotiate what it meant to be a
princess or a noblewoman or a peasant in those periods too, and what symbols
and things might need to be accounted for, but to me, it’s a lot easier to
navigate. Also nobody is texting or calling anyone, either. Which. Guh.
TL:DR Contemporary settings are the wooooorst! Why do I
do this to myself?!
3. Do you write
at home, a cafe, bookstore, your car...etc?
I write at home! Firstly because I am incredibly distractable
– I don’t even like having other people in the house when I’m working, if I’m
being honest, and distractions when I am deep into drafting make me SO
FRUSTRATED. And secondly because I suck as a driver. Not that I’m a bad driver,
just that I have weird driving anxiety and I suspect some kind of directional
dyslexia (my brain is incapable of KNOWING right from left, and forget compass
directions, nope nope nope), so it stresses me out a lot – not a great way to
start a writing session!
4. When writing your
characters' attitudes, mannerisms, likes and dislikes. Do you draw from
yourself, people you know?
Of course! I think most of us do, to some extent or
another. Sometimes I do it purposefully, and other times it sneaks in behind my
back and I don’t realize what I’ve done until it’s too late to do anything
about it, or I only figure it out with a reread three years down the line.
For example, in DAUGHTER, Emma hates raisins in dessert
foods (particularly her apple pie) – which is a long-standing point of
contention between a minority few of us (myself included!) and certain branches
of my family. My cousin was one of my beta readers for the manuscript, and when
he read that line, he definitely gave me some grief for including it (but he
likes to rehydrate old desiccated raisins in his tea so clearly his arguments
are invalid.) I also share Emma’s love of Star Wars, and definitely would have
been giving any guy I dated a serious side-eye had he fallen asleep in the
theater on opening night. EVEN for the prequels.
And in the book I’m drafting now (also contemporary
because I hate myself I guess?), my character’s love for The Lord of the Rings
is inspired by my cousins – Lord of the Rings is basically their Star Wars. A friend of mine once involved me in his search
for the perfect pea-coat that I feel like DESERVES to be a part of a book
someday, and another friend told me about his ongoing saga in battling an
impertinent Opossum that I gifted to a secondary character recently. These are
all small examples but I think they illustrate pretty well how the purposeful
inclusion generally happens :) When it’s accidental – well, those are usually
elements I don’t necessarily want to point out to the world, because they speak
to something more personal that I didn’t realize I was trying to work out. But
that’s kind of an inherent danger for any kind of artist who is sharing their
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really, I don’t think. I generally quickly (sometimes
less quickly) check my email and Facebook before I settle in to write for an
extended period, but I don’t want to call it a ritual because it feels more
like a bad habit. Most of the time, the less I do before I start writing for
the day, the more productive I am overall and the faster I get in the zone.
Daughter Of A Thousand Years is the story of two woman. One the daughter of the legendary Erik The Red. Sister to the equally formidable and Lief Eriksson, and a woman determined to live life by her own rules...at any cost. At a time when daring to do so could cost her life.
The other, her modern day counterpart Emma. A woman also struggling to live her life on her own terms. Though in her case, said terms could cost her father his career.
Both woman have essentially the same problem.
Religion, or more specifically, their choice to worship Norse gods in the face of Christianity.
Strangely enough however, here also lies a problem for the reader as well. At least in the case of the modern story-line
Said problem arises simply because while Freydis' issues with religious persecution are understandable. Given that she is a women daring to practice "the old ways" in an increasingly more Christian Greenland; in the year 1000 A.D.
Emma is a professor in New England. A citizen of the U.S., and living in the year 2016. Her religion, or lack thereof, should be little more than a shake of the head at best, to even the most pious members of her community.
Not the explosive elephant in the room that ticks ever louder as the pages turn, and has a grown woman cowering in fear and lying to herself and everyone else for the majority of this book.
While Freydis deals with her problem head-on. Going so far as to abandon her husband for her warrior lover, and sail away for freer shores. Poor Emma chooses a far more passive and more "damsel in distress" method of not dealing with her "problem".
Bless her heart...
Grab the Tylenol people!
You're gonna need it!
To throw at Emma!
Which is a thing to love about this book. It proves that there are all kinds of hero. Even those that you have to look at more than twice to figure out just how they got to be one in the first place.
In the case of Emma...
She had a whole lot of help!
Freydis...not so much!
What that means for the reader is a juxtaposition of the fierce and the fearful, the meek and the magical, the indomitable and the docile. The two journeys merging on one path. Two souls fighting an age old battle in the pursuit of the same destiny. Freedom!
About the Authorwww.amaliacarosella.com. She also writes myth-steeped fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Amalia Dillin.
Learn more about her other works at www.amaliadillin.com.
Sign up for her newsletter, The Amaliad, for news and updates.
Blog Tour ScheduleThursday, February 16 Review at Let Them Read Books
Friday, February 17 Review at Just One More Chapter
Sunday, February 19 Review at Carole's Ramblings
Monday, February 20 Review at 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, February 21 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, February 22 Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, February 23 Interview at Yelena Casale's Blog
Monday, February 27 Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, February 28 Review at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, March 1 Review at The Maiden's Court
Thursday, March 2 Spotlight at Laura's Interests
Friday, March 3 Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Monday, March 6 Review at Luxury Reading
Tuesday, March 7 Interview at Books, Dreams, Life
Thursday, March 9 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Friday, March 10 Review at CelticLady's Reviews Review & Interview at WTF Are You Reading?