I figured out some issues that were slowing me down.
Valkyrie happens in a parallel world to our own where the gods live and time moves very differently there. So like “we” in the “modern world” have moved on from the “viking age” but the stories from the lore are still actually IN progress, “right now”. BUT because these stories do NOT happen in “our world” it’s not “in the past” or “back in time”.
These people have indoor plumbing and some level of modernity because I want this story to feel very IMMEDIATE and “now”. I don’t think for these stories to feel relevant that they need to happen in “the past” in “The viking age”.
What people forget is, these viking age stories were being told about the gods in CONTEMPORARY settings to the people telling the stories. They weren’t stuck in the past from a thousand years prior. That’s why I have my prologue set up like I do… it’s told third person omniscient and Odin is visiting the modern human world. It helps to set the tone of “where we’re going to be” Hint: Not in the “past”.
The rest of the book is told in first person present tense very immediate alternating POV between Odin and Freyja. (more like my normal writing style and voice.)
The prologue is short, and just a little mood setter. Here it is:
(Also, warning Odin is a SHAPESHIFTER, he is NOT an “old man”, that’s just one form he takes. So if you think this is going to be some kind of granddaddy porn, ewww no. Relax, he will be HOT. HOT.)
Excerpt from Valkyrie (c) Kitty Thomas 2022. All rights reserved.
It’s hard to know if the thing that announced the old man’s presence was the drag in his step, or if it was the bell that jingled over the door at his entrance. It was his ninth and final stop. He’d traveled the world, going to just the right tattoo shops in just the right locations—shops which would attract the right men. Worthy men.
“Hey Pops, you coming in to get a tattoo? I don’t do ink on Wednesdays, but I can get you on the schedule for early next week.”
The old man smiled. “That’s quite all right, son. I’m not looking to get ink. I thought perhaps I could interest you in something else.”
The man was dressed in scuffed-up cowboy boots, dark jeans that had seen better days, a black shirt, and a hat that drooped down almost covering the fact that he had a patch over one eye—almost. He definitely wasn’t the biker gang type, not that many who came to this shop were.
He hefted a black artist’s notebook onto the table and opened it up to reveal a beautiful drawing in black ink. Two ravens encircled an eye. There was tribal tattoo knotwork with runes woven in and out of the design.
“It’s beautiful work,” the shop owner said. “But I do my own designs. I don’t really buy outside art.”
A weathered finger pointed to the eye. “That’s my eye. Lost it down a well. Terrible tragedy you see.”
The shop owner chuckled. “So you’re Odin, huh?”
The old man returned with a chuckle of his own and a wink from his single eye. Maybe it was just a blink, but it seemed like more.
“Good to know I’m not forgotten around here. I’ll tell you what. I’ll give you the art. You don’t owe me a penny. Just do this old man the honor of letting the work be seen. I’m far too old to be starting any new careers. Put it in the book with the other designs, but just do me one courtesy?”
“What’s that?” the shop owner asked, intrigued.
“Only give it to worthy men.”
“And how do I know who’s worthy?”
“You’ll know. Warrior types. You’ll feel it when you meet them. Think about the kinds of men I need, and pick those. I’ve got that big fight coming up, you know.”
The shop owner just shook his head and chuckled. “All right old man. I’ll do you a solid. Only the worthy ones.”
The shop owner slid the design into his book. He looked up to ask another question, but the old man was gone. He hadn’t even heard the bell jingle.