That’s a great question, a favourite of mine, and one here applied to the topic of the Vikings and their journeys west across the Atlantic over a thousand years ago.
The thought came to me many years ago, something I’ve toyed with on and off. But while on holiday in the United States in 2008 it again settled before me, brought into focus by my location and circumstance – and I’ve been thinking about it ever since:
What if the Vikings had settled and stayed in North America?
I was reading Jared Diamond’s fascinating social science title, Collapse, which investigates the fates of various societies including that of the Viking colonies (such as The Faroes, Iceland, Greenland and Vinland) the book setting me to spend quite a bit of time thinking about the question above. I did this on holiday, while eating and drinking too much and staring out into the Atlantic from Florida’s beaches and piers.
What if the Vikings had managed to better establish themselves and move south into more hospitable climes from their Greenland bases not long after 1000AD?
In 1492 would Christopher Columbus have sailed into the Caribbean on the Santa Maria to the south of an eastern seaboard that was already hosting peoples of European descent dedicated to Odin and Thor? Could he have run into longships?
Would the Spanish still have captured and built their New World empire?
What of later historical turning points?
Would the slave trade still have happened on the scale it did?
What of the US Civil War?
What of both World Wars?
And how would such a United States in a Norse America have impacted Europe?
Alternate history is a fascinating area to work in, and all those questions and many more will be tackled in what I provisionally titled Project V, until I officially let the cat out of the bag a few months ago when I publicly named the project The United States of Vinland.
So, how am I going to tackle it?
Each book will follow several family dynasties as we progress through this alternate history. Some eras will be dealt with in trilogies, others in stand alones. All the books will be written as brief, punchy, action adventures, and not the slower, layered tale format of my Ossard books. I have already done the broad research and mapped out the sweep of the timelines.
A Dedicated Team:
I’m working closely with Harry Dewulf of Densewords, a very talented editor who is helping me with structural issues and the nuts and bolts of the stories themselves. I am also working alongside Laurie Skemp of Authors Editing Assistant who is an excellent copy editor.
A Busy Schedule:
I’ll be bringing out multiple releases each year to progress the timeline. The first book, The United States of Vinland: The Landing will be launched at Supanova Melbourne and Supanova Gold Coast in April, although the ebook is already out. The second book will be out well before the end of 2013.
With that all said, I am inviting you to get on board early for the beginning of what will be a fun and intriguing ride with lots of twists and turns.
Welcome to Norse America!
United States of Vinland: The Landing
On Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BRC8ENK/?ta
On Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-uni
US paperbacks will be available within two weeks.
Australian paperbacks will be available in bookstores by late April.