Alina Popescu, Writer

Blog Tour – The Ragnarok Chronicles by Nicki J. Markus #Interview and #giveaway

Blog Tour – The Ragnarok Chronicles by Nicki J. Markus #Interview and #giveaway
March 24
10:09 2015

Title: The Ragnarok Chronicles
Author: Nicki J. Markus
Length: novel (678 pages)
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Suitable: 16 years and above

Synopsis

For Ragnarok will be completed….

Nothing marks Cassandra out—except her visions. She’s only ever seen small, insignificant things. That is until the strange frost arrives.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

With her normal life turned upside down, Cassandra is plunged into an extraordinary and terrifying world of Norse gods and rampaging giants, ancient feuds and broken prophecies.

A handsome stranger offers aid. But can Cassandra really trust him? More importantly, can she trust her own judgment when his slightest touch sets her heart and her body aflame?

Book trailer

Buy Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon AU |Barnes & NobleKobo

Paperback

Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository 

Giveaway

Prizes: 3 x eCopy of The Ragnarok Chronicles and Swag signed by Nicki J. Markus

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Interview with Nicki J. Markus

1. How did the love story between you and books come to be?

I loved books from a very young age. When we were children, my mother would ask me and my sister what we wanted to do with her for the afternoon. Invariably, my sister would want to play with dolls and I would ask to read a book. So, you can see books and reading have been a lifelong habit, and even back then I dreamed of writing a book myself one day.
What I love about books and reading is the way a story can transport you into another world and they way they speak to something deep inside us. No one person is the same as another, and so everyone takes something different away from each book.

2. What inspired The Ragnarok Chronicles and why was it Norse mythology that caught your eye?

I decided to write The Ragnarök Chronicles when I was rereading the Norse myths. I’d previously studied the myths—And loved them!—when I was writing my BA (hons) dissertation on Tolkien at university and I wanted to revisit the stories.

I’d previously had this plot idea of a young woman who sees an approaching frost in a vision, but it hadn’t fit within any of my works-in-progress at the time, so I’d scribbled it down and set it aside. It was as I was reading about frost giants, the idea suddenly came back to me and began to develop into a plot.

What began as a simple story idea quickly became a labour of love and this book has more personal meaning to me than anything else I’ve written so far, not least because I had something of a religious epiphany whilst writing it and became Lokean.

I wanted to write Loki as I see him, with a strong basis in the original myths. He’s not perfect—he’s something of an anti-hero—but what I’ve always loved about the Norse gods is how human and recognisable they are. They are none of them perfect, they all have flaws. And that makes them wonderful characters to write.

I wanted to create a story around the Norse gods that could be read and enjoyed by someone with no knowledge of the original myths, but which would also hold many references and special moments for those who do know the stories. I hope I have succeeded!

3. How much research was needed for The Ragnarok Chronicles? Did you enjoy that part of the writing process?

Well, I was rereading the stories at the time I began to pen The Ragnarök Chronicles so most of my research was already in progress. I wanted to weave as many references and links to the original tales into the story as I could, so I did often refer back to check details in the poems. Naturally I also checked on kennings and Old Norse phrases to ensure I was getting those correct, adding them to the glossary which I created as I went along.

I didn’t need to do too much additional research for this book (unlike my current w-i-p which is set in Regency England), but I actually don’t find the research a chore—it’s usually an interesting part of the process and often helps to spark additional ideas for the story. For example, when I started Book One of The Ragnarök Chronicles, Loki’s dagger was just a dagger. It was only as I reread some of the poems, I saw the opportunity to turn it into a sword from the myths, and it then became a fairly important artefact for the remainder of the novel.

4. You write across genres, do you have a favourite one to write in?

Yes, I do tend to get around a bit! 🙂 So far I’ve written paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, and historical works, but I do always return to paranormal and fantasy in the end, so I would say they are my favourites. I’ve always loved reading those works too, and they offer so many possibilities to let my imagination fly! Vampires, demons, angels, gods… what’s not to love about that?

5. Is it difficult to adapt styles when you switch between MF and MM?

No, I don’t think so; although, anyone who’s read my works in both ‘camps’ will know I’m a great deal more sexually explicit in my M/M writings. That wasn’t a conscious choice, it’s just the way it happened. I guess in my M/F writing, I was always trying to keep mainstream and not fall too far into the branding of erotica. I was just starting out as a writer then too, and I was still trying to decide how to present myself to readers. By the time I branched out into M/M last year, I was more confident as a writer and I wanted to explore areas I hadn’t really looked into before.

As to adapting between the two, I don’t approach them as different per se. In both cases, I’m telling a story. In M/M I let my sexual imagination fly on a looser leash, but other than that, I concentrate on story and characters for both and I’m not constantly reminding myself it’s M/F or M/M. With both, I just love to see where the characters will take me.

Lately, I tend to have one of each on the go at the same time. I’m enjoying that as if I feel a bit stuck on my M/F story, I can swap to the M/M for a bit, and then back again. It’s a great combatant against writer’s block!

The only major difference for me is pen name: Nicki J Markus for M/F and Asta Idonea for M/M. I did that so readers will know what to expect from my works since some people who enjoy my M/F writing may be offending my the explicit nature of my M/M works.

6. You’re also an editor. Do you find it harder to edit your own stories? Does your editor’s eye make it harder for you to draft a new story?

Yes and no. I don’t mind editing my own work, but I do sometimes have to remember to take off my editor’s hat when I am working on first drafts of new manuscripts. The urge is always there to linger over sentences when I should just be getting the story out and coming back to tweak and rework it afterwards. I have to force myself to write without reread at times—otherwise it would take me forever to finish a new story! Generally, I try to be good for the first draft and not worry about wording or commas, but then I go back and do two or three rounds of edits, followed by a final proofread, once the whole thing is written.

7. You’ve mixed self-publishing and working with a publisher. Any insight you’d like to share?

It is a very different experience. I was professionally published from 2011 until 2014. It’s only this year I’ve branched into self-publishing, mainly due to The Ragnarök Chronicles. Its length and style made it hard to find a good fit with the publishers to whom I considered submitting the work, plus it is so much my baby, I confess I did also relish the idea of retaining complete creative control. Having decided to try my hand at self-publishing, I also decided to re-release two of my older novellas where rights had reverted to me after Silver Publishing’s closure.

I like the control over the work you get with self-publishing; however, there is a significant outlay of cash, and you are alone when it comes to marketing and promotion. I may self-publish other works in the future, but when suitable I would look at finding a publisher first as you have the bonus of no upfront costs, professional assistance, and an established ‘brand’ and reader-pool.

8. What future releases should we expect from you?

Well, I have a few releases on the horizon. In June, my M/M story ‘A Twenty-First Century Demon’ will release as part of Wayward Ink Publishing’s Of Heaven and Hell anthology, so I am very much looking forward to that. I have written a novella-length sequel to this story which is currently under consideration at Wayward Ink. If accepted, it would hopefully release later this year.
In M/F, my fantasy/paranormal novella Time Keepers is already available, and my other novella, Day-Walker, a vampire PNR will release in eBook and print formats on 1 May.
I have just submitted two M/M shorts for consideration for anthologies releasing in December, and I am now working on a new M/F novel—a gothic/paranormal tale.

Author Pic 2015About the author

Nicki J Markus was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist.

Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her works.

Nicki also writes M/M fiction under the alternate pen name of Asta Idonea and has had several short stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing.

Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader and in her spare time enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.

Social media links

Blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolamarkus
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus

About Author

Alina Popescu

Alina Popescu

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