Wednesday, November 8, 2017

In the Writer's Den with GARTH PETTERSEN

Today we’re going back to an old favorite: In the Writer’s Den. And we’ve got Tirgearr Publishing debut author, Garth Pettersen, in the proverbial hot seat. His upcoming release, The Swan’s Road, is historical fiction set in the 11th century. I think they tortured people back then. Right?

In the eleventh century, Cnute, the Viking king of Engla-lond and Scandinavia, sails with his son, Harald, and his shield brothers to Rome. Thrown off course by a storm, they follow the route up the Rhine.

When Harald hangs back to assist Selia, a beautiful Frisian woman, his path turns perilous. Newfound enemies, retainers of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy, pursue them. Harald, Selia, and their companions fail to rendezvous with King Cnute, and are forced to travel cross-country on horseback. If Duke Robert's plan to assassinate Cnute succeeds, an invasion of Engla-lond will follow.

Can Harald and Selia reach Rome in time to warn the King?

Now that we’ve got that squared away, the rack is ready and the flat iron heated, on to the inquisition:

What is your favorite word?

Llewellyn. It's a Welsh name. The initial Ll is difficult, like a back of the throat roll. I love both the sound and the look of the word––all the ells and the y as a vowel.

What is your least favorite word?

I hate when people use the word "puke". Swearing doesn't faze me, but this word does. It conveys unpleasant sights, sounds, taste, and smell––kind of hits all the senses. Touch too, on clean-up. Sorry, you asked the question.

What turns you on?

I take it you mean non-sexually (I hope you mean non-sexually). A fit horse running free. A child in innocent wonder. A beautiful woman who doesn't realize she's beautiful.

No worries, Garth, we save those blush-inducing questions for the erotica authors. What turns you off?

Bullying and real-life violence. Donald Trump. Did I mention bullying?

What sound or noise do you love?

Wind rattling the leaves of aspens or cottonwoods. Storm waves crashing on headlands. A violin concerto.

What sound or noise do you hate?

The noise of a multitude of uncontrolled, undisciplined children in a school gymnasium where you're obligated to remain.

What is your favorite curse word?

Holy shit!

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I think it would be awesome to be a bush pilot with a float plane.

What profession would you not like to do?
I've done so many different jobs in my life, everything from acting to topping trees. The worst job I've ever done (much worse than my time working in a lead smelter) was substitute teaching. I would also hate being a school principal or a politician.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

"You were right much of the time, and I forgive you for all the rest of that shit."

Anybody who thinks God greets them at the doors to heaven and immediately swears is my kind-a guy. Garth Pettersen is a Canadian writer whose stories have appeared in journals and magazines such as The Spadina Literary Review and The Opening Line Literary 'Zine, and in a number of anthologies. He recently received an honorable mention in The Short Story America 2017 Competition and was one of two runners-up in the Wundor Editions (UK) Short Fiction Prize. The Swan's Road is his first novel. You can follow Garth Pettersen at   and at

The Swan's Road is available for pre-order on Amazon and other sites:

Party on Garth!

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