FLUX by Ellie Carstens Pre-Order!
FLUX, by Ellie Carstens, goes on pre-order today in both digital and paperback formats. If you purchase a digital pre-order, you can download the prologue and first chapter immediately! FLUX will be available at all online retailers on June 10, 2014.
In honor of the pre-order, we’re syndicating a post from Ellie’s personal blog, explaining why FLUX is set in Norway. To read the original post, click here.
By Ellie Carstens
You might be asking yourself why I chose Norway, of all the great places in the world, for the setting of my first YA novel Flux. There are several reasons, the first and foremost being how much I love the names, language, and customs, not to mention how fantastically beautiful the country is, and they have some of the nicest people in the world living there.
So, when I started writing Flux and was thinking of a place for Alaina to move to, Norway popped into my head. Vardø is the northernmost part of the country (aside of course, for Svalbard, which is an archipelago), has only one tree (yup, it’s true!), and it’s an island. I’ve always wanted to live on one (other than the UK, of course!). Some interesting facts about Vardø:
“Vardø is the easternmost town in Norway and the Nordic countries, located at 31°E, which is east of Saint Petersburg, Kiev and Istanbul. The eastern part of Finnmark is in the same time zone as the rest of the country, even if it is more than an hour at odds with daylight hours. The town itself is on the island of Vardø, but the municipality includes significant area on the mainland.
The port of Vardø, on the Barents Sea, remains ice-free all year round thanks to the effect of the warm North Atlantic drift. Vardø has a Continental Subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc) which comes close to being classified as a Subpolar Oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfc). The January average is just cold enough for this at −4.5 °C (24 °F). In July, the 24-hr average temperature is 10.5 °C (51 °F), which prevents the climate from being polar.”
(The above excerpt was taken from Wikepedia, and can be found in its entirety here.)
Another reason I chose Norway is because I wanted to incorporate Norse Mythology into the story, and when they travel back in time, there would be Vikings! I’ve been fascinated with these ancient Norse people for as long as I can recall. Movies featuring Vikings are among the most played on my list. It only made sense to include them in Flux.
For these reasons – and many more – I chose Norway. Let me give you a little example of the kinds of things I talk about in the novel:
Russ – From the end of April to the 17th of May, graduating students take part in russfeiring (russ celebrations). Check out more here.
Bunad – This is a traditional Norwegian costume. Click here to see the different variations. I think these costumes are just beautiful, and if I could afford one, I’d have gotten myself one! They’re quite pricy though.
Syttende Mai – May 17th is Norway’s National Day. This is a big day for bunad wearing, spending time with the family, and eating some pretty tasty and traditional things. In my own Syttende Mai experience, I ate each of the foods listed in chapter eight of Flux. Click here to read more.
For much of the historical information that I didn’t already know about, I credit the following links:
Hurstwic: This website gave me in-depth insight to how people might have used their weapons and how they might have fought. If I never located this website, I might not have gotten those battle scenes done! They’ve cleverly included almost everything a person could want to know about Vikings/Ancient Norsemen.
Viking.no: Another big help. This tells you all about Vikings, their everyday life, food, games, etc.
And of course, the legends, the sagas themselves. I’ve got a copy of (translated to English, if course) Poetic Edda and Prose Edda. Click the words to find out more about them, if that kind of thing interests you!
For language and translations, I’ve been using a friend I made over there, who wishes to remain anonymous, for professional reasons.
I suppose you might say that I’ve got a kind of love affair going on with Norway. My time there was too short for everything they pack into that long, skinny country, and the furthest from the capital I got was just to Bergen. Someday I’ll be back! But for now, I’ll keep on paying homage to this great country. For those who live there, hei sann! And you’re darned lucky!
Ha det bra! Vi sees snart! Bye for now! See you soon!
And here are some lovely pictures of Vardø, Norway Ellie has shared: