Hello and welcome to another crazy article on my blog. Today we have a very special guest for you (he surely thinks he is anyway), a fictional character from Svartalfeim who became one of the most beloved characters in my book - The Last King of Shambhala. His name... Eirik Lodbrok.
Me: Hello Eirik. Good of you to join us. How are you today?
Lodbrok: Pleasant evening, Mr. Daniel Grant Newton. Great to be here. One thing though, I go by Lodbrok... Lodbrok the Magnificent, if you will. Or Lodbrok the Great. Or Lodbrok the Amazing. Or any fitting descriptor, I am not that fussed, but Lodbrok, son, not Eirik. Only my mum ever used that name Eirik that slipped from your lips this fine day. And if I were naughty, and no doubt deserved a smack, she would call me Eirik Lodbrok.
Me: That's fine - I can call you whatever ... I did create you. Now, Lodbrok - if you prefer, some of the readers will be wondering who you are, could you describe...
Lodbrok: Mr. Daniel Grant Newton, how naive and wrong you are. Everybody who lives upon this fine green planet of yours would surely not only know me name, but revere it and consider calling their kid by the same name - if they didn't think the pressure to live up to my brilliance would ultimately crush their said child into a small crushed thing.
Remember, you are not talking to a small time celeb. A flash in the silver screen pan. A minor paparazzi favourite like Tom Cruise or Angelina Jolie or some-fing. You are talking to the greatest swordsman to ever pick up a sword. The best bandit to ever steal a gem. The Padival Village cheese rolling champion two years running. And of course, every young lady's heartthrob - who could resist a cheese roller, right?
My picture is no doubt the most recognised facial representation in your world, as is the case in my world. Swordsman keep my picture in their wallet for inspiration. Law enforcement officials post my picture around every town in hope of an impending arrest - although, let's face it, no amount of back-up is EVER enough. And then there is the ladies, again. They keep my photo by their bedside for sighing at, holding against their chest, and gazing wistfully at while reading a Jane Austin classic - or lustfully if they are instead reading 50 Shades of Grey.
Me: Yes, that sort of talk could land you in lots of trouble.
Lodbrok: Is the adage "trouble is my middle name" a common adage in your world too? If it isn't, perhaps just write that I said that with a cool expression on my face, and that you threw your head back in fits of laughter, appreciating my wit and agreeing with the spot-on sentiment.
Me: One thing that actually might be a surprise to you, Lodbrok, is that you are not known outside of the readers of my book.
Lodbrok: Are you meaning to tell me only you and your mum are blessed to know me in your world?
Me: Are you implying that only my mum and I have read my book?
Lodbrok: Look, it's a great book - I should know, I am the main character - but nobody reads all those words. The movie on the other hand shall be fantastic if someone were to buy the rights. It would make millions and be a good investment for sure (hint hint).
Naturally I could play myself, and perhaps you could write a romantic interest for me... Or two, I wouldn't dare restrict your creativity. I have seen two little known actresses who could play the part. Have you heard of Halle Berry and Jessica Alba? Perhaps you should look their numbers up in that phone book you people have and give them a holler.
Me: I hate to break you when you are just finding rhythm, but I assure you, only my readers and now blog readers know who you are.
Lodbrok: No I am pretty sure I am a big deal in Israel and Australia. And Russia, too. They love the Lodbrok in those countries. It is hard to walk down the road without being mobbed by incredibly attractive women, or men. And there's a billboard of my face on every corner.
Me: Yeah, I think you are living in some sort of imaginary world, because that is not the case.
Lodbrok: Oh, I am living in an imaginary world, am I? That is novel, excuse the pun because if you don't like it, there it still is. Not taking it back. I live in an imaginary world, do I? I don't think I am the one interviewing the imaginary friend. Now I am no shrink or nothing, but don't that sound just the little bit mad to you?
Me: I am NOT a shrink, but DOESN'T that sound a bit mad to you?
Lodbrok: You are fixing my grammar, which is your grammar.
Me: Hmmm... Maybe you are right. Maybe I am a little mad. But it is nice that you referred to yourself as my imaginary friend. It's nice you consider me a friend. Even if you did call me mad.
Lodbrok: Just telling it like it is. Anyway, enough of you. Let us enjoy much better a subject matter so your audience don't click to another page... like me and my book. Yes, bad grammar, I know. But do you realise how many of them typos you make on your blog?
Me: Yes, thanks for that. One thing I need to clarify with my casual readers - you are not actually the main character.
Lodbrok: If I didn't know you were joking, I would throw my head in some soft pillow like object and bawl man tears that would no doubt be collected by some entrepreneurial type, and sold at a rare collector's auction in Israel, Russia or Australia.
It would probably be bought or stolen by an Australian, because they love their beloved criminals, like Ned Kelly and Kylie Minogue.
I think it is because they were founded by convicts. Well, invaded by a kingdom that dropped convicts on the dreadful, endless, empty beaches to go back to the luxurious, cold and crowded Britain. Did you know that?
Me: I am Australian. I did know that. But of course there were people there before said drop-off. And Kylie isn't a criminal, by the way.
Lodbrok: Really?? Because some of those outfits are a crime. If I were her manager I would have the fashion police on speed dial.
Me: I can see Ebben has become a big influence on you. You are dropping cultural references like it's hot. Yet, not that funny. I hope people read my book and discover you are much more funny than this!
Lodbrok: You mean you really hope they read your book and discover YOU are much more funny than this!
Me: This whole switching reality thing is very Post Modern. And it also reminds me of one of those creepy puppets who reveals the dark inner thoughts of their weird puppeteer.
Lodbrok: ... And back to me! You do get easily distracted, Mr. Newton. I believe you came with a set of questions, as is the cultural expectation when one conducts an interview of a much admired personality. So far, however, you have asked me how I am and whether I think more than just your mum and you have read your book. Not a good start.
Me: Yes, I do have questions. Here I go. Question one. In your own words, can you describe what The Last King of Shambhala is about?
Me: That's not exactly it though, is it? You aren't even the main character. And it isn't your mission.
Lodbrok: It's all a matter of perspective, I guess.
Me: How so?
Lodbrok: Well, if Ebben - 'Universe Saver' - Alexandrov didn't meet me, who knows how long he would have lasted. Not long. Not long at all.
Me: Alright. Question two. What was the hardest thing you ever had to do?
Lodbrok: I once had to save a damsel who looked just like Halle Berry ... or Jessica Alba or Nicole Kidman ... from an army of Block Heads. For all those playing at home, Block Heads are these incredibly awesome, unbeatable and evil robots. I don't like to exaggerate, you know that, Daniel, but there were probably a million of them. And I was only armed with my sword, charisma and superior strategy skills.
Lodbrok: It is like we have the same brain. What is that saying in your world about great minds think alike? Ebben once said it to me.
Me: Yeah, I am not writing that scene though... Next question. What was your most embarrassing moment?
Lodbrok: Don't really have one. Well, there was this one time when a lover's ex punched me in a surprise attack while I was drunk and temporarily blinded by accidentally consuming unicorn poison. That was the first time anyone ever laid a punch on me, and I almost lost the fight. So embarrassing for a warrior like me. But in the end I ended up winning the duel, and the young lady, let's just call her Halle Berry - it wasn't her name but it might give you some ideas, and her father watched on with candid astonishment.
Me: One last question, before you plug The Last King of Shambhala. And surprisingly, it isn't why on Earth did I think it was a good idea to give you a whole article on my blog.
Lodbrok: I am not sure you are the right one to plug my book to... your book to. I have heard of this woman called Ellen that I should speak to regarding promoting The Last King of Shambhala. Have you heard of her? I think she might have a small chat show somewhere. Probably better to hold off on plugging anything until I talk to her, and promise her the exclusive.
Me: That might be a bit difficult as you are not real.
Lodbrok: Already thought of that, my dear friend. I am alive and well in your mind, yes? Why don't you take a holiday in the recesses of your subconscious, and give me the metaphorical wheel?
Me: Not going to happen. You have already embarrassed me... Last question. Who do you admire most in the book besides yourself and your reflection? Short answer as time is running out.
Lodbrok: Odin ... and his son, Thor (pictured above). And Ebben, of course.
Me: Alright. I think that is all we have time for. Thanks for your time, Lodbrok. And to my readers, please check out my blog and my book. It is available at Amazon and any good online book store.
Lodbrok: Is that it? I feel that was unsatisfyingly short.