I am currently working on my second novel. The working Title is Signs of Life. It is set in Medieval Norway in 1349 at the time of the Plague. The story tracks the lives of two survivors; Astra, a 15-year old maiden who loses everyone she loves, and Kjell, a hunter from the north who has a troubled past and is seeking redemption. Both experience harrowing challenges that threaten their lives and even their will to live. What or who finally reaches through the darkness to give them hope?
I hope to have the manuscript completed in 2018, then seek a publisher. The most challenging part of writing a book set in the 1300's is the amount of research required and that many sources are written in Norwegian, which I do not speak. But I am finding many sources now being translated into English, and also wonderful historians who point me in the right direction. Right now I am waiting for the translation of King Magnus the Lawmender's laws from 1274 into English--the subject of a dissertation which is almost complete. It should be posted in English next month! Please watch for more to come!
The Away Place is my first novel. This book, published in 2009, is about John, an institutionalized adult with Down Syndrome who thrived by using his creativity and imagination to escape the bleakness of his cloistered world. When John is suddenly thrust into a community group home he faces the greatest challenges of his life. Sarah is a doctoral student whose crusade to rescue disabled adults from the monolithic asylum is motivated by her mother's startling deathbed confession. Starting the group home with John and four others, Sarah is confronted by the extreme demands of 24-hour care for five severely disabled men. Together she and John weather the deepest struggles and greatest joys of life in what John calls the world outside, “The Away Place.”
My 2nd novel, Signs of Life is the story of a young woman, Anna, whose
life in rural Norway is turned upside down by the bubonic plague of 1348; her
struggles to deal with the loss of her family, an unwanted pregnancy, and the aftermath
of the Great Pestilence lead her on an unexpected path of challenge and survival.