My ALLi author visitor this week is Bjørn Larssen, who was born in Poland, resides in the Netherlands, however has his heart at the same time in Iceland and with the ancient Norse Gods, which he writes about in his books. And, if that isnt enough, there is much more to Bjorns story and his journey from communist-era Poland to his discovery of flexibility as an indie author. Bjorn, himself, tells it finest. Listen to the whole thing, since there will be surprises.
Inspiring Indie Authors Podcast: Bjørn Larssen Interview
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I believe the Vikings TV series is among the reasons why the Norse gods, kind of, taken pleasure in as a resurgence, because individuals enjoyed Vikings and they resembled, oh, this is truly cool, and they get to like wave axes in the air and shout Valhalla, and so on, and so on.
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And then I started reading about the autism spectrum. I discovered out that its much larger than I believed, since I had an extremely stereotypical photo of autism and, I started doing all those tests and there were numerous, lots of, numerous tests.
Bjørn Larssen: So, I began working, and at first, I made actually little things, since I didnt actually know what I was doing, I was just taking pleasure in the practicing. And then I began making art, and it started actually offering, and I was actually shocked because I simply loved it so much.
Bjørn Larssen: Hi, Im Bjørn Larssen, I write historical dream and historic fiction.
Bjørn Larssen: I taught myself to read when I was 4. I had a few books that I actually liked, and I kept simply plaguing my mama to read me the exact same books over and over once again. And lastly, she said, Im not reading this anymore, you know those books by heart, and she was right. So, I took those books and I taught myself to check out, simply because I knew them by heart and I type of found out which word looks like what, and then I started going through my moms and dads library. I had no principle of grownup books and kidss books, so I just kind of grabbed whatever, I would read it through and put it back and get the next book.
Bjørn Larssen: So, I worked as a graphic designer for 11 years, and then I had a burnout. I can just do whatever I want, and thats how I became a blacksmith.
And I secured a book about the history of Iceland at the start of the 20th century, and I swear it seemed like Iceland was made particularly for my needs. Thats how Storytellers came to be.
Howard Lovy has been a reporter for more than 30 years, and has spent the last eight years magnifying the voices of independent publishers and authors. He works with authors as a book editor to prepare their work to be published.
Inspirational Indie Authors Podcast: About the Host Howard Lovy.
Thats where it came from, and Im going to take my understanding of the myths and the faith, and just kind of expand it into stories and further books in the series.
Inspiring Indie Author Podcast: Interview Transcript: Bjørn Larssen.
Howard Lovy: Yes, you heard that correctly, Bjørn ended up being a blacksmith and yes, they do still exist.
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. On Inspirational Indie Authors, @howard_lovy interviews @bjornlarssen: artist, blacksmith, #LGBTQ, on the #autism spectrum, and the Norse Gods Biggest Fan. Click To Tweet.
Howard Lovy: Aside from being a blacksmith, Bjørn has a degree in mathematics and worked as a programmer. With all this life experience behind him, Bjørn was prepared at last to compose. And for that, he relied on Norse folklore and a dream he had.
One of them was needing to redraw a figure, first simply looking at it and copying it, and after that they took the drawing away and I needed to draw it once again, and I got it incorrect and I was truly upset. And then later on I kept in mind, I did precisely the same test when I was a kid. I think I was maybe six or seven, and I also didnt do it properly, and I was also disturbed. I question if they really figured it out back in the early eighties and, you know, in communist Poland, there truly wasnt much aid you might get, it would be simply another method in which I would be unusual, I always stood out anyway. So, this year when I got identified, I began checking out a lot about what the autism spectrum is and isnt.
Bjørn Larssen: About 5 years before Storytellers came out, I would say about 2013, I had this dream about three brothers completing for one female. One of the bros was a priest and one was an angler. And I normally dont remember my dreams, however this one simply stayed in my head for five years, and I composed that initial draft. And then I was believing, okay, this should take place someplace where you can have fishing, and I required this, kind of, tight knit community that would also be deserted in a manner, in a location which is far from everything. Unexpectedly, I had this thought, maybe Iceland, why not?
As for the future, Bjørn found his specific niche in composing about Norse folklore. Thats fine, Bjørn said, hell write it himself.
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And if that isnt enough, theres far more to Bjørns story, and his journey from communist-era Poland, to his discovery of freedom as an indie author.
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Howard Lovy: To begin with, something you ought to know about Bjorn is that he is on the autism spectrum.
There is a Bible belt here, where I most likely would not dare to simply be open and talk about my other half as my hubby. The very first book doesnt really have any LGBTQ topics at all, but in the second book, the kid of Thor is gay, and the child of Freya, the goddess of love, is asexual and aromantic. I did not know how the readers would respond.
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Bjørn himself tells it best. And listen to the whole thing given that there will be surprises.
Howard Lovy: Im Howard Lovy, and youre listening to Inspirational Indie Authors.
Bjørn Larssen: The Netherlands has this reputation of being a really, really open country, and parts of it are, however individuals tend to puzzle Amsterdam with the entire country.
Bjørn Larssen is a Norse heathen made in Poland, but primarily located in a Dutch suburban area, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his very first graphic book at the age of 7 in a minimal edition of one, following this accomplishment several decades later with his very first book including numerous sentences and winning awards he didnt design himself. His writing is explained as dark and literary, but he stays incapable of taking anything seriously for more than 60 seconds. You can discover him on his site and on Twitter @bjornlarssen.
Bjørn Larssen: And then I kept wishing to write a book. I was 39 and I was still wanting to compose a book.
I had this dream a couple of years earlier that later on ended up being Storytellers, and thats when I found, I didnt understand it was that, but I found the autistic focus, due to the fact that I would sit for 14 hours doing research study or writing. I composed the entire very first draft in 2 weeks, I had no idea that was unusual.
I believe most of the interest is on this shallow level, but there are individuals who got more interested. In November, somebody on Twitter came up with concept of Norsevember, and at the start I thought it would all be those books about waving axes and shouting Valhalla, however then it actually started growing and becoming extremely fascinating, and I added to Norsevember, and I found it really, actually cool that this interest is really going even more. Its not just really about those t-shirts with skulls, however there are individuals who are in fact interested adequate to discuss it, to check out it, even if its, you know, not exactly academic level, it actually is growing that interest, and it made me really, extremely happy.
Bjørn Larssen: I have a buddy, and this sort of sounds offensive in a way, however hes really simply remedy. He works with talented children, and he stated that he can see in their eyes that they might be on the spectrum, and he tells the moms and dads that they might want their kids evaluated. And hes got a success rate of 80%.
Each week, I feature a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors to discover what inspires them and how they are a motivation to other authors.
Howard Lovy: But prior to his fixation with composing took hold, he did a number of other things, consisting of a graphic designer.
Bjørn Larssen: Im laughing due to the fact that the Marvel versions of the gods are not extremely right, and one of the factors I started working on the topic of the Norse gods, as a writer, was in fact Neil Gaiman, and I hope hes not listening, because hes done a truly bad task with his book. I had huge expectations because he is the Neil Gaiman, and those are wonderful stories, and I thought, what can Neil Gaiman do with them? And he just quite much wrote them down in a way thats not even especially funny.
So, I just wound up mainly spending time on my own, checking out books and listening to music, and I was truthfully extremely delighted with that.
He did not get a formal medical diagnosis until this year, he understood from an early age that he believed a little differently from everybody else.
I was simply sitting there writing, composing, writing, being sort of irritated because I had to take a break for a meal. And then just composing, composing, composing, and just researching. I hardly did anything else.
I currently understood, I would like to write something which is, I believe its kind of strange, since its actually fanfic on my own gods, and thats how the second book came to be, Children, which is a retelling of different Norse myths, but from the point of view of children of the gods, because I was reading the mythology and, for instance, Thor himself, its like 20 minutes for himself, but his son is only mentioned as soon as, when he conserves his dads life, and then at the end, after Ragnarök, when he carries the hammer back to Asgard, and I believed, how would it feel if your daddy was the God that everybody understands, that everyone likes, that everybody talks about, and you understand, youre the kid of? And how do you develop your own life when everybody sees you as a less intriguing extension of your father, and your daddy is not a politician, not a pop star, but hes a real god.
He was so excellent at it, that was Bjørns ticket out of Poland. He was worked with by a business in Amsterdam.
It was truly like, now when Im reading about it, it sounds so typical that back then I just didnt know. It was like, theres a book of guidelines, only I didnt get it.
Howard Lovy: The method Bjørns autism manifested itself in early childhood was his fascination with reading.
Bjørn Larssen: Im chuckling due to the fact that the Marvel versions of the gods are not incredibly appropriate, and one of the factors I started working on the subject of the Norse gods, as a writer, was really Neil Gaiman, and I hope hes not listening, since hes done an actually bad task with his book. As for the future, Bjørn discovered his niche in composing about Norse mythology. Thats alright, Bjørn said, hell compose it himself.
Howard Lovy: What Bjørn called his creative focus, continued into the adult years, but this time it wasnt only about reading, however likewise composing.
My guest this week is Bjørn Larson, who was born in Poland, resides in the Netherlands, but has his heart simultaneously in Iceland and with the ancient Norse gods, which he discusses in his books.
Thor, in the misconception that my book, Children, opens with, he puts on a wedding event gown, and its quite a sophisticated wedding event dress, honestly, and a lot of jewelry. And I think in a lot of religions, Gods do not do that.
Im totally consumed with Iceland. First time I went was just for a couple of days to do some research, and I came back, and I recognized I left my heart there. I went once again for a month and I havent discovered it.
If youre a released indie author who would like to be spoken with by Howard for the Inspirational Indie Authors podcast, you need to be a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors.
Contact Howard, including your subscription number, explaining why youre an inspirational indie author and what motivates you.
If you havent already, we welcome you to join our company.
And its very eye-opening.
My ALLi author guest this week is Bjørn Larssen, who was born in Poland, lives in the Netherlands, but has his heart all at once in Iceland and with the ancient Norse Gods, which he writes about in his books. I had no concept of grownup books and kidss books, so I simply kind of grabbed whatever, I would read it through and put it back and get the next book.
And it took a while up until they found out that I was really reading them, and not simply sitting there pretending to be very smart, because I believe I really asked about sex in a book, like, why would somebody do this, its revolting? And then I started getting age-appropriate books.
Howard Lovy: And Bjørns stories are making readers happy, selling well and winning awards. One other thing you ought to understand about Bjorn is that he is an LGBTQ author, themes that he includes into his work.
Inspiring Indie Authors Podcast: About the Author Bjørn Larssen.
I was really born in Warsaw, Poland. I grew up there, and when I was in my twenties, I started taking a trip abroad and I discovered out that I actually liked quite much whatever more than I did Poland, and that Im moving to Amsterdam because a lot of individuals here spoke English.
Howard Lovy: To Bjørn, the stories of the Norse gods are more than simply home entertainment. So, dont mention the Marvel superheroes, or that other author who writes about the Norse gods.