Interview with Author C.J. Adrien + Giveaway {Blog Tour}

Good morning, dear readers! Today I have a great interview with C.J. Adrien, author of Viking historical novels, The Line of His People and The Oath of the Father, and a chance for you to win a copy!

Hello C.J. and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about your Viking Historical novels, The Line of His People and The Oath of the Father!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your Viking series?

My books take place mostly on the island of Noirmoutier — known as L’isle D’Herr in the medieval period, and Herius in Latin — which was the site of the first Viking attack on the Frankish empire in 799 A.D. It also happens to be where I grew up.

Noirmoutier was a key strategic location for the Vikings who launched raids into the Loire Valley and down the coast of France to Spain. Historical sources mention that “men of Vestfold” used the island as their base during the summer. It is from this historical narrative that I constructed the stories for my books.

As for me, I am someone who has always been fascinated by the past. I attended school to study history, and after my studies, I went on to be a history teacher. As a teacher, I specifically wrote my books with school-age children in mind, to inspire young people to access, enjoy, and further pursue history.

Have you always been fascinated with Vikings?

No. Although the lore about the Vikings was everywhere on the island of Noirmoutier when I was growing up, it remained little more than an odd curiosity in my mind. I wanted to be a Chevalier, a knight, and I was far more impressed with castles and armor and trebuchets than I ever was with the Vikings. When I studied history, I began with the High Middle Ages, working my way from the Norman conquest of England to Joan of Arc. At the same time, I studied Medieval Japan, which shares many parallels with Medieval Europe, particularly in regards to the warrior culture.

My focus on the Vikings developed later when I began a two-year exploration of early Medieval Russia. It began with the Rus, a tribe of Swedes who were the embodiment of what it was to be a Viking. Through the Rus, I became aware of how far the Vikings had spread out around the world, and the more I learned the more I fell in love. Further studies brought me back to the island of my childhood where, as it turns out, the Vikings did a lot more than simply plunder.
What type of research did you do for the books?

The research I used for the first book was actually conducted for a doctoral program in history I applied to in 2009. Unfortunately, that year was a big year for budget cuts in the U.S. university system, and at my university, the professor I had hoped would serve as my program advisor was let go. Thus, I withdrew my application, and I joined a different program to pursue teaching. The research, however, was still there.

I furthered my research over the years through my own endeavors. Between 2006 and 2014, my grandfather served as president of the historical association of the island of Noirmoutier, called Les Amis de Noirmoutier. Through him, I was given open access to everything they had to offer, which filled in the gaps of what I had done in school. I interviewed noted historians on the subject, including Louis Delhommeau, and had the privilege of reading ancient documents written on lambskin! For any researcher, the key to success is obtaining access. From there, it’s all passion.

What was the hardest scene to write?

The Battle of the Haralds: two of my major characters, both a protagonist and an antagonist, and both named Harald, face off in an epic sea battle. Keeping them straight was a definite challenge.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The opening sequence was, I think, the most fun because I had played the scene in my mind many times over many years before committing it to paper. Once I got it onto the page, it felt like the start of a new chapter in my life, both literally and figuratively.

What would you like readers to take away from reading your novels?

My goal has always been to inspire others to learn more about history.

What was the first historical novel you read?

Ken Follett’s Pillar of the Earth.

What is the last historical novel you read?

I just finished Justin Hill’s Shield Wall, and am moving on to his Viking Fire novel this week.

If there was a soundtrack for your novel, what songs might we find on it?

I listen to soundtracks when I write; they help me get into the flow of the story. For my first book, I listened to the Skyrim soundtrack by Jeremy Soule, and the song I would consider my main character’s theme song is called Unbroken Road.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

I find the challenge of world-building to be particularly appealing. In recreating the world as it may have been, I must immerse myself in research and imagination to create a compelling blend for my readers. It is an endeavor that, at times, is all-consuming.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

I enjoy exercising both indoors and outdoors, and I particularly enjoy attending local discussion groups on a variety of subjects, including history, arts, science, tech, and entrepreneurship.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

My next book will be a first-person exploration of the Viking exploits in the Brittany region of France through the eyes of a well-documented historical figure known as Hastein. He is thought to have been present at the sack of Nantes, and subsequently the sack of Paris; he ended his career with the reputation as the scourge of the Somme and Loire.

Oh wow, that sounds fascinating! Thanks so much for spending time with us today, C.J.!

The Line of His People by C.J. Adrien

Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, AudioBook

Series: Kindred of the Sea, Book #1
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Vikings

France, 799 A.D. The Northmen sacked the monastery at dawn, before anyone had awakened. They burned the village and slaughtered all who stood in their path. The relics of Saint Philbert were lost, and the island was abandoned by those who once dwelled there.

Years later, the monk Abriel - survivor of the same attack as a young boy - is sent to recover the relics to help restore the reputation and legitimacy of Saint Philbert. What he discovers on his journey changes his life forever.

Northmen had colonized the island in the absence of the monks. They hold the key to finding the relics, but they have greater plans for Abriel, plans that will take him to the North to find his destiny.

"Adrien's novel is a well thought out, deeply researched narrative that marries history with young adult fiction. In a time where females are popular among the young adult sector, this male focused novel is a welcome reprieve and appeals to a need for an action packed novel." - Portland Book Review

"A well-written tale with vividly imagined characters." - Trevor Schmidt, author of The Corsair Uprising series.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

The Oath of the Father by C.J. Adrien

Publication Date: March 1, 2015
eBook & Paperback

Series: Kindred of the Sea, Book #2
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Vikings

Coast of Brittany, 822 A.D.

King Abriel Haraldsson is a man on the run.

Injured in combat, his warriors take him to a nearby monastery to find a healer. The monks accept to care for him, but fake his death and steal him away to a distant island to be reconverted to their faith.

Believing the king of Herius to be dead, suitors from the north descend upon the island kingdom with the intent to marry Queen Kenna to usurp her husband's lands and wealth. Most terrifying among them is the fierce warlord Turgeis -- known for his prowess in battle and lust for blood -- who sets his sights upon the queen.

When a messenger from afar returns with news that Abriel survived his injuries, Turgeis sets sail to ensure the king will never return.

Thus began the hunt.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About the Author

C.J. Adrien is a French-American author of Viking historical fiction with a passion for Viking history. His Kindred of the Sea series was inspired by research conducted in preparation for a doctoral program in early medieval history as well as his admiration for historical fiction writers such as Bernard Cornwell and Ken Follett.

C.J. Adrien’s novels and expertise have earned him invitations to speak at several international events, including the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds.

For more information, please visit C.J. Adrien's website and blog. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 29
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Thursday, February 1
Review at Donna's Book Blog (The Line of His People)

Monday, February 5
Review at Pursuing Stacie (The Line of His People)

Wednesday, February 7
Feature at A Bookaholic Swede

Monday, February 12
Review at The Writing Desk (The Line of His People)

Tuesday, February 13
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Thursday, February 15
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Friday, February 16
Feature at Broken Teepee

Monday, February 19
Review at Laura's Interests (The Line of His People)

Tuesday, February 20
Review at Donna's Book Blog (The Oath of the Father)
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Friday, February 23
Review at Cup of Sensibility

Monday, February 26
Review at Pursuing Stacie (The Oath of the Father)

Thursday, March 1
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books (The Line of His People)

Monday, March 5
Review at Laura's Interests (The Oath of the Father)

Tuesday, March 6
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook (The Line of His People)

Tuesday, March 13
Tour Wrap Up at Passages to the Past


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a set of The Line of His People & The Oath of the Father! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 13th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

C.J. Adrien Blog Tour

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