Showing posts from February, 2022

Driving north: wind, fjords and twisted rock

  I had identified Snaefellsnes as a likely location for some mythic background for my second novel, so I needed to check it out. I jumped on a flight to Iceland, hired a car, and drove north. I passed by Reykjavík and turned on to the Ring Road. This is Iceland’s main road, and it is well maintained. It circumnavigates the island, a distance of about 1,300 kilometres. I haven’t yet driven the whole distance, but I am determined to do it one day. North from Reykjavík the road ducks through the tunnel under deep Hvalfjördur, then emerges and follows the fjord inland for a few kilometres, rounding a mountain on the inland side, and then emerging on one of the most windswept stretches of road in Iceland.  Borgarnes The road is raised and follows a curve with the sea and the flat islands of Borgarfjördur on one side and a high smooth-sloped fell on the other. Gusts of wind are so strong here that cars can be blown off the road. I kept both hands tight on the wheel, and although I could fe

Snaefellsnes: in search of myth and superstition

  I wrote my story about my demonstrators in the Parliament Square, and their plans to take justice into their own hands. I called it 66 Degrees North , which is the latitude upon which Iceland sits. It’s also the name of an Icelandic clothing company   I checked and they were quite happy to have their brand as the title of the book.  Unfortunately, my US publishers decided that Americans wouldn’t understand the concept of latitude, and so the book is called Far North in America. This is inconvenient for everyone: in an age of social media which transcends boundaries, I live in fear that some of my American readers will buy the same book twice. And, as far as I can tell, Americans do understand the concept of latitude. We need some myth I sent the book to Nic, my editor at Corvus. He liked the story. But he said it should include some of the myth and superstition that infused my first book, Where the Shadows Lie . Very occasionally editors try to make you do things that make no sense