I and Catherine:
Catherine Chisnall, what is behind the title of your book, why did you name it Ragnar the Murderer, did you think of another title before this came up, or it was the story that led you to this title, tell us something about your book?
Catherine Chisnall I will answer this in bits. Originally it was called Riven by Blood, symbolising Ragnar and Aelfwyn being kept apart by their different cultures. I developed that title courtesy of input fromSamantha Towle and Reggie Jables Jones. But Tim Roux thought the title was too grim and implied it would be a bloody and gruesome story, whereas it isn't, its more romance. So he renamed it Ragnar the Murderer, because that is actually a tongue in cheek title. I didn't like that title at first but was persuaded.
Catherine Chisnall Its the story of the Danes living in England in the 10th century. They aren't Vikings: they are normal Danish families who have followed the initial Viking invasion. They all live in East Anglia near the native English, and each group views the other with suspicion, not wanting members of one group to mix with the other. But of course if you tell people not to do something, they want to do it more.
And here's the parallel with today's society, and as it has always been. Two English girls meet a pair of (to them) glamorous Danish boys, they sneak off to meet them many times and end up going to a riotous feast/party with them and getting into trouble. Their parents are not happy, especially as the heroine, Aelfwyn, is betrothed to an Englishman.
Another thing I wanted to point out was that in 21st century, thin women are seen as desirable, but in 10th century they weren't- well grown and fertile looking women were instead. Aelfwyn, our heroine, is thin and small. Ironic, huh?
Gerry McCullough A gripping and romantic book with great characters.
Catherine Chisnall Oh thanks Gerry! Not everyone likes it.
Gerry McCullough That's just their execrable taste, Catherine.
Barbara Morton How could anyone not like Ragnar! Love, Revenge and a wealth of historical research gently woven in. I loved it!
Robert Craven agreed - & a fair amount of 'tingly bits'!!!