What is
The VIKINGS! Trilogy


     This is a hard blog to write. The VIKINGS! Trilogy is my first three novels published, so it has been with me, unpublished, for most of my life. It has grown as I have.

     The VIKINGS! Trilogy is more than what I intended when I wrote the first sentence on a friend's CPM computer in 1984. But I'm proud of what it is now.

     To be honest, The VIKINGS! Trilogy is the story about the importance of friendship and how even outcasts can be winners. Every one of my characters is an outcast, but by banding together as friends, these outcasts each became more than what they were.

     Undoubtedly, part of this was because of my own feelings as an outcast - a loser who wanted to be a winner, who was inspired by authors like Tolkien and Heinlien. My childhood on massive doses of Ritalin definitely made me an outcast, and back in the 1970s, anyone who went to medieval-recreation events and Star Trek conventions was an outcast.

     Karl was definitely outcast, and not happy about it. After being caught by a jealous and very angry neighbor, Karl could have fled to safety, but he ran away from home rather than face his father with the shame of what (who!) he had done. Penniless and starving, Karl was conscripted against his will, and was 'the new kid' at Castle Bristlen when Eric arrived.

     Roselyn was an outcast from her own noble estate. Born to a life of wealth and power, Roselyn should have enjoyed a life of exceptional ease. However, her father used her shapely body for his own profit, with no compassion for her, and she became a sexual pawn in his financial and political games. From that disgrace, Roselyn could never go back.

     Eloise was an outcast from her own family. Her father dead, her mother stolen from her, her stepfather hoping to get rid of her as fast as possible, and every nobleman in England willing to enslave her just to claim her barony, Eloise had to find a family of her own or she would have been an outcast completely alone.

     Rafe was an outcast unto himself. Rafe had grown old and suffered the natural lessening of his physical abilities from his youthful prime; a doom that awaits all of us, eventually, if we are lucky enough to survive our misspent youths. Sadly, I know this feeling; I can't do a lot of the things that I could in my prime, and hate that loss with a passion that no words can encompass.

     Seren was born an outcast, and she never let that bother her, but she was facing another form of outcast; Seren's advancing age was costing her the only profession that she had ever known. Her profession was all that she had to spare her from starvation, which was the only future that she could've expected until Rafe drunkenly threatened to pierce some reluctant patron with a pitchfork for her.

     The Seer was an outcast unlike the others; the Seer was cast out for being too good. The Seer's outcast was the most unjust; his rejection wasn't caused by bad luck or in the natural course of his life, and his resentment and bitterness equaled the injustice of his betrayal by his own people. I have been fired from more than one job where I was the best because it was politically-expedient for some ego-driven manager; I know the Seer's kind of hate.

     Eric was the worst; Eric outcast himself. Eric was the Royal Champion of King Svenson Two-Sword, and from my days winning SCA tournaments, I can tell you what a popular position that is; everybody wants to know the winners ... and those with political connections. Eric made himself an outcast for his religious beliefs, and while this may be admirable, I have no sympathy for him. While Eric will always be one of my favorite characters, I like him because he was capable, confident, and conniving, not because I feel sorry for him.

     The VIKINGS! Trilogy is about a bunch of outcasts who bond together, and about the success that rewards those who never give up on their friends. When I die, I would like to be remembered as a rich and successful writer, but I will only consider my life complete if I die with close, trustworthy, and loyal friends ... the kinds of companions I put into The VIKINGS! Trilogy.