Saturday, May 23, 2015

Thorkin Nailsson, Author of The Kuk of Valhalla

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Today we are interviewing Thorkin Nailsson, author of the satire/parody book "The Kuk of Valhalla | The Autobiographical Sagas of Norway’s Legendary Porn Star, Thorkin Nailsson."

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thorkin Nailsson is the pen name of Craig H. Hellekson. I write under both names depending on the subject matter. When I’m not writing, I’m reading & as of late, combing through my cat’s plush fur for ticks.

Describe the plot of "The Kuk of Valhalla" in a few sentences.
An absolutely fictional account of young Thorkin Nailsson’s youth in the small – and criminally bizarre – Norwegian Village of Gørpeland. During this time in young Thorkin’s life, he struggled with uncommon feelings for his Mor (mother), who worked primarily as the village prostitute. He also struggled with addictions to pornographic magazines and psychedelic mushrooms.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

Readers who enjoy the absurd and don’t take offense too easily…I can’t stress that last part enough. IF that’s you…I’m certain that you’ll be entertained by this relatively short tale.

What inspired you to write a spoof of classic Icelandic/Scandinavian historical sagas?
My idea was to create a pen name to write more racy material. Out of this, I thought it might be fun to create a whole, fully-realized Thorkin Nailsson persona of an old washed up Norwegian Porn Star. In the classic sagas, there are tales of bravery, love, war, and struggle…I wanted to incorporate those themes and style into something absolutely twisted.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Thorkin Nailsson.

Young Thorkin discovers very early that he is an enthusiastic, budding sex-addict, a moron, and a visionary of questionable morality. Without a real father figure around and mother who is selfish, generally drunk, and the village whore, he is left to raise himself. This leads to a huge amount of internal conflict resulting in a conclusion that most typical readers will find a bit revolting and hilarious…it’s those readers that I’m after.

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Author Thorkin Nailsson
Humor is obviously a major part of this book. Has humor always been important to you or is it something that you’ve only recently started exploring?
No matter my intention at the outset of a story, my writing always seems to drift toward humor and the absurd. I believe most writers will tell you that the genre chooses you, you don’t chose it. You naturally end up writing what you’re good at. My personal goal is not to recycle the same themes over and over…to be fresh and original…that’s my biggest challenge.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?

In my opinion, no single writer creates a character better than Stephen King, he’s a true master. Making people you care about – that you’re invested in – and that you will follow, no matter what sick thing they may do…to me, that makes for the most compelling read. I don’t write like he does (nobody does), but that’s the lesson I try to remember when I’m creating people in the page…make them real…make your readers care. The one writer I try to ape as much as possible is Douglas Adams. I am failing at it. I love every word he wrote.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?

I like choices…be it food, music, cars, I like a selection… With the growth of ebooks, I now have many more reading options, not just a selection of what the publishers are willing to distribute, but what the many talented writers who don’t have publishing deal are creating…and let me say, that I’ve read some outstanding books from part-time authors. With that, I think we all have a duty to ensure the best product goes forth and not malign the shaky reputation that self-published writers already face.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Proofreading. I used to edit my own stuff – huge mistake - I now hire a pro to help me get it right.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?

Of course. I think anyone who writes frequently (daily for me) gets blocked up occasionally. For me, the better rested (i.e., not hung over) I am, the more creative I am…it’s bonkers if I try to write still shedding the bad decisions of the previous night…best to just pack it in. If the creativity isn’t there…there’s always editing to do…social media to water…and book promotion endeavors to attend to. I keep busy.

Do you write with a computer, typewriter, or pen and paper? Why do you use this tool?
Nothing quaint or romantic…just my trusty laptop, which is always with me.

Do you plan to write more books featuring Thorkin Nailsson?
My goal was to write 4 or so fictional autobiographical sagas on his life leading from Gørpeland to his eventual exile from Norway and into obscurity. Hopefully, "The Kuk of Valhalla" will be well-received and will spur my desire to become Thorkin sooner rather than later. Thus far, the feedback has been encouraging. As for the Thorkin Nailsson pen name…absolutely! Already working a new one!

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Sure, to you readers with a twisted sense of humor who enjoy a journey into the strange, I encourage you to check out "The Kuk of Valhalla." If not for anything, just to say that you’ve read the first “MockUSaga,” or “SagaSploitation,” book ever written…a genre that “Thorkin” & I created.

An excerpt from "The Kuk of Valhalla": 
"The story of one’s life usually begins in earnest with a tale of fallow fields, closely followed by starvation, misery and a pathetic mud-streaked baby clinging to life grappling for milk from a dry teat. Mine will start essentially the same, with a squirting red, mewling, shitting, and puking little bundle of Thorkin-joy. An infant that in another time would have been drowned or scarified at the Temple of Uppsala and served on a bed of lettuce – or some leafy vegetable other than Kale – to Odin. To my Mor, I write these opening words for you. Your bastard son, who you left hanging naked at the end of a rope on the weakest limb of the Yggdrasil tree. Equally as repressed as the strange fruit hanging from Billy Holiday’s woeful tree. How I managed to fall and rot into the ground as a Hellek’smyth only to rise and make quality Adult Entertainment is a saga worth telling."
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