May 072013

Today I have an interview with ST Bende, whose first novel Elsker was released last month.

Thanks so much for letting me visit today, Sarah. As a debut author, it’s been such a treat to be embraced by such a lovely group of bloggers. Y’all have been so thoughtful!

ELSKER, Book One in THE ELSKER SAGA, follows twenty-year-old Kristia Tostenson as she leaves her small town to find adventure at Cardiff University in Wales. Kristia gets a lot more than she bargained for when she falls in love with Ull Myhr. He’s not just a graduate student — he’s an Asgardian Assassin, and the Norse God of Winter. Kristia’s orderly life is about to get seriously complicated.

What’s the hardest part about writing a book?
I have to confess that I wrote ELSKER quite by accident. It started as a little story I wrote in my journal, just for me, and just kept growing. By the time I realized it was book-length, I was beyond in love with Kristia, Ull and their friends. But I’d never written a book before, and I certainly didn’t write this thinking anyone else would see it. Ever. So the hardest thing about writing ELSKER was (a) telling anyone I’d written a book, and (b) realizing the entire world would be able to read my journal.

What is your favorite part about writing this book?
The research! I’m an enormous fan of Scandinavian mythology, and when I decided to write a little story about a Norse God falling for a small town girl, I figured it was as good an excuse as any to read some textbooks. I must have read every book we had in our little library, including the kid’s books. (Those had some scary illustrations — I’m still having nightmares about trolls.) By the time I’d settled on the God of Winter as my hero, I’d learned more than I ever thought possible about Odin, Frigga, Bragi and the gang. I had a blast.

Do you read reviews written about your book?
Oh dear. There are going to be reviews. *cringes* Reviews of my journal…

Do you write reviews for books you read?
If I love a book, I write a review. Now that I know the amount of love and work an author puts into her story, I figure the least I can do is let her know how much I enjoyed it. The fun part is getting a Tweet from an author thanking me for the review. It’s great to connect with other writers on Twitter — I’ve made some fantastic new friends that way.

Did you base any of the characters on real people?
You betcha. Professor Carnicke is based on my college Shakespeare professor. She was a game-changer for me — I walked into her classroom expecting the most boring semester of my life, and within a week I was head over heels for the Bard. Her passion, enthusiasm, and overall coolness made a huge impression, and I’m so thankful I met her. We got to reconnect when I e-mailed to ask permission to use her name. And of course, she’s every bit as awesome as she always was.

Ull’s grandmother, Olaug, is based on my beloved Norwegian teacher. She is kind, and thoughtful, and fierce, and sassy, and generous with her time, her heart, and her recipes. She is everything I hope to be as a woman.

Which of your characters is your favorite?
That’s tricky, because I love each of them differently. Inga is particularly close to my heart. She’s driven, focused and strong. She’s every bit as sassy as Olaug, and she’s the only goddess who’s ever challenged Ull. She’s practically perfect at everything she does, from her baking to her decorating, but she’s so kind that you can’t be jealous of her. Plus she loves car racing, and we IndyCar fans have to stick together. 😉

Is there any specific message you hope readers take away from your story?
Nothing is impossible. It truly is up to you to carve out your destiny.

Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you so much for hosting me today. It’s such a privilege to get to connect with fellow readers and writers, and I’m so grateful for your hospitality!

TUR, the prequel, can be downloaded for free at Smashwords, care of Entranced Publishing.

And be sure to stop by the tour page between April 11th and May 20th to enter to win fabulous prizes in the ELSKER Release Month of Giveaways!

About S.T. Bende

Before finding domestic bliss in suburbia, ST Bende lived in Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of Peet’s Coffee) and Europe… where she became overly fond of the musical Cats. Her love of Scandinavian culture and a very patient Norwegian teacher inspired the ELSKER series. She hopes her characters make you smile and that one day pastries will be considered a health food.

Interview: S.T. BendeElsker (Elsker Saga #1) by S.T. Bende
Published by Entranced Publishing on Apr 22, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads

You don’t win the heart of an immortal assassin without making a few enemies along the way.

Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs, but when she transfers from her one-stoplight town to Cardiff University in Wales she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. He’s an honest to goodness Norse God – an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. Kristia’s crazy visions are the only thing that can save their realms. Her orderly life just got very messy.

With the fate of the cosmos in Kristia’s inexperienced hands, she’s submerged in a world she never knew existed. Kristia has to learn to control an onslaught of prophetic premonitions, convince Ull’s thunderous stepdad Thor to make her a god, and stop Ull from giving up his immortality in a misguided attempt to save her. In choosing Ull Kristia risks losing everything, including her love… and her life.

  One Response to “Interview: S.T. Bende”

  1. Thanks for letting the Elsker crew visit Sarah. Your site is so gorgeous!

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