Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Valhalla Awaits Me

BrightsideOur guest post today is from Mark Tullius author of Bright Side which is FREE on 10/23 – 10/25.
Valhalla Awaits Me
My name and ancestry always fascinated me, especially on my father’s side. The Tullius surname is fairly unique, and I haven’t come across one I wasn’t somehow related to. I never spent any time researching it, but my brother, Steve, did, and traced a family tree that went back to Germany around 1690. It wasn’t until I went to college that I considered how much further back it could go. My Roman History professor had a thing for Marcus Aurelius Tullius and for all he knew I might be a direct descendant. How could he give me less than an A? No argument from me.
I didn’t think much about it until I discovered Warrior Roots (which I discussed here.) Even after I turned in my DNA swabs , I was more excited about getting back the athletics test results, but the ancestral ones came first and opened them up. My Y-chromosome was tracked back more than five thousand years ago to Y-DNA Haplogroup I1a who earliest appeared in the Scandinavian portion of Northwest Europe. It is probable that my ancestors were Vikings.
I know I’m reading into this too much, but what if that was the reason why I’ve always been into the culture. Even as a kid, I loved Thor, Loki, and all things Norse. Whether it was video games, comic books, or movies, I would always pick the sword and shield over modern-day war or sports.
Even my music drifted that way and I listened to bands like Manowar and The Sword for their Norse lyrics. Even now at 40, I crank up bands like Amon Amarth whenever I’m alone in the car. You might too if you were flipping between Caspar Babypants and Katy Perry the rest of the day. Could be karma for all the years my parents had to put up with my metal shaking their walls.
I haven’t read much in Viking fiction and leave that sort of thing to my wife, but in the past two years, I’ve read both The Poetic Edda and The Prose Edda a few times. I don’t recommend this as a fun hobby. I do enjoy learning the mythology, but mostly it was research. I’m a book and a half into a five-novel modern day retelling of Ragnarök. It’s too early to go into details on that project but I can’t wait to jump back into that world. If I manage to pull off what I’m trying to do, I think you guys will dig it. I’m guessing the project will take at least five years of my life. If that’s not an indicator of more than simple interest in Norse mythology, I don’t know what would.

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