Interview with Deborah Davitt

deborah-davittWay back in Episode 57 (Read the Fine Print), Tom gave a shoutout to a story on  It was a Mass Effect fanfiction that Tom became a huge fan of, as well as the author, Deborah Davitt.  Now, some years later, this very talented writer has a brand new novel that truly deserves your time.  It is called The Valkyrie, the first book in the Edda Earth series.  Set in an alternate history setting, Rome never fell and magic and the Gods are real.  In this segment, Tom interviews Ms. Davitt, to get the lowdown on this unique story, the first in a series of books.

Story Wiki Site:
Book Artist’s Site:
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  1. Serious question: Why is the world about an alternative history Rome named after a peace of our world literature and the literature in question has nothing to do with Rome but is about vikings and written in Iceland?

    This perplexed me enough to ask. The story sounds fun by the way. I might just give it a look next time I’m in need of something to read.

  2. All the gods are real, which means that the Norse gods are quite alive and kicking. Quite a few provinces of the Empire are Gallic and Gothic, that means that some of the main characters come from different portions of the Empire–Carthage, Germania, Gaul, and, across the Sea of Atlas (Atlantic Ocean), Novo Gaul and Nova Germania as well.

    The title of the book, *The Valkyrie,* is a reference to one of those characters, Sigrun Caetia, who is descended from Tyr. Other characters include a Pictish summoner and ley-mage, a Carthaginian technomancer, a Judean special-forces operative, and a sorceress from Hokkaido. And they’re looking into why it is that some of the gods seem to believe that Ragnarok is coming.

    Roman religion didn’t really have the apocalyptic mindset of the Norse faith. They didn’t have “The End is Nigh!” mentality. And while Rome produced many epics, this epic is not Virgilian or Ovidian. It’s got a tragic bent to it. Best described as an Edda, in that case.

    For more information, please check out my website at,

    Thank you for your interest!

  3. Thank you for the reply. I appreciate you taking the time.
    I’m Icelandic, so it stuck with me.

  4. I think you’d enjoy the read. You’ll see Niðhoggr as a major character in books 2 and 3, and quite a lot of the Norse gods come into play. *she said vaguely, trying to avoid spoilers*

    I studied Anglo-Saxon so that I could read Beowulf in the original back in college, but my school didn’t offer Old Norse, though my instructor studied it, himself. I really wish it had been an option. 🙂

  5. I’ll give it a try. But I have to warn you I have a problem with reading Viking fiction. My suspension of disbelieve is far to easily broken when it comes to my own cultural background. You can have you samurai fight Zulu warriors along with King Arthur without it bothering me, but if you conjugate an Icelandic name wrong and you lost me. 🙂 But I’m willing to give it a try.

  6. I don’t have them speaking in Icelandic. That wouldn’t make sense. Their languages have gone through a very different evolution, because their history is entirely different. There is, for example, no such language as English, because the Saxons never invaded Britannia. There are various dialects of Gallic, such as Pictish and Cymric and whatever, spoken throughout Britannia, but no *English.* Likewise, the various dialects of Gothic are widely spread over the globe. When the Gothic colonists were sent over the sea to “North America,” they took their languages with them, adopted some native words from various indigenous languages, and their dialects developed in isolation from each other without mass media and printing presses to fix spelling and pronunciation.

    While I use various Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon nouns and sprinkle them into everyday speech, I don’t construct a whole new language here, or expect the reader to follow along in it. Rather, I ask you to imagine that Sigrun’s language, when she uses it, probably *sounds* like Anglo-Saxon, or a Germanic language that retains continental vowel pronunciations (As there was no English, there would also not have been the Great Vowel Shift.)

    And now that I’ve been entirely too linguistically technical, I will simply say “Go forth and read, and I hope that you are intrigued.”

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