10Qs with author Brian James
Q: What is something unique/quirky about you?
A: I’m a political libertarian who doesn’t smoke or do drugs. I will only drink alcohol if it comes with a little umbrella in the glass. Also, I am looking forward to the day when I am old enough to scream at kids to get off my lawn with the sort of curmudgeon credibility that only comes with an AARP card.
Q: What are you working on next?
A: My next project is Romans Vs. Zombies. Most people don’t know that the ancient Romans once invaded Denmark. This was back in the days before the Roman Senate used Ginsu products to express their displeasure with Caesar.
My next book builds on the factual events of the Roman incursion into Scandinavia and introduces the ancient world’s finest military force to draugrs, mythology’s first zombies.
Q: If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
A: Screwing around with models. Not the kind with silicone in their chests, but the type that require[s] glue and meticulous airbrushing. Of course, that could be the other kind as well, but not in this case. I have a backlog of models I haven’t had time to build yet. If I knew I was going to die, I would have to finish one or two, if for no other reason to satisfy my OCD leanings.
Q: Who is your hero and why?
A: I’m not sure I have a hero. Whoever performs Hafthor Bjornsson’s prostate exam would probably have to make the list. This is based on nothing more than his heroic lack of self-preservation instincts. But I can’t think of one person who stands out as a hero.
There is more of a particular trait in some people that I find extremely heroic. I hate to quote a cartoon, but in Megamind there is the line
“The Megamind I know would never run from a fight even if he knew he had no chance of winning! It was your best quality.”
It’s a rather silly example (especially considering that Megamind is voiced by Will Ferrell) but the Spartans of Thermopylae, the British at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, Stephen in front of the Sanhedrin, and The Scottish under Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn. They all exhibited this quality. I find it to be admirable.
Q: What book do you think everyone should read?
A: This is obviously a subjective question and I’m sure depending upon who is asked the answers will range from books about Traveling Pants and Horse Whisperers to novels about sad old fishermen.
Personally, I think The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is a book everyone should read. Its smart, funny, and has characters that you get immediately attached to. In fact, the entire series qualifies as a “must read”. With the exception of the very last book.
After Douglas Adams passed away, his publisher tried to squeeze one last nickel out of the franchise. The last book was written by someone who was “almost, but not quite, entirely unlike” Mr. Adams. Those of us who read that last book (I think there were three of us) will only be able to get the memory of that novel out of our heads with a shotgun.
A: What kind of world ruler would you be?
Q: A terrible one. I would fall into the category of Frisky Despot. I’m not quite sure if the blood of the martyrs would be running through the streets, but I would have a chariot pulled by several hundred of those creepy hairless cats. I would also replace President’s Day with a Stan Lee Day and have David Hasselhoff declared Burgermeister Meisterburger of the Western Hemisphere.
A: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Q: I build models, play board games, and find plot holes in popular movies. I also have a decade’s long search for the most epically horrible Hawaiian shirts that could be burped up from the seventh circle of hell.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Mjolnir?
A: The characters in Mjolnir are all gods from Norse myths. Just about anyone who has ever picked up a comic book will recognize them. Unlike their comic book doppelgangers, the versions in Mjolnir stay true to their mythological roots. For example, I have written Freya as a stripper and a high-class escort. I didn’t do this because she the Norse pantheon’s the goddess of love. I did this because in the myths she attained her most prized possession, the Necklace of the Brisings, by trading sex for jewelry with three dwarves. This trait would translate to the modern world as well. All the characters are still their mythological selves, applying those personality traits to contemporary times.
Q: Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
A: Great White Buffalo (Really White)
Q: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
A: A wise man once said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I think his name was Larry. Anyway, I approach research and writing with the same enthusiasm that kids run to a bouncy or singles download Tinder. I enjoy the whole thing. If I had to choose a single aspect that was my favorite it would be creating little-unexpected twists that change the direction of the story.
Q: Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
A: Let’s start with Thor. He is a worship junkie. Being adored is his crack. He’s also now an atheist thanks to the death of his wife, Sif. He reasoned that if a goddess can die, is she really a god? He still demands worship though, so he now plays professional football.
Odin lives his life looking down the barrel of a gun called the Ragnarok prophecy. According to this foretelling he will die in the final war of Ragnarok. His entire existence revolves around avoiding this fate.
Freya is just trying to get by in life as comfortably as possible without having to associate with other gods at all.
Loki, like Odin, has an eye towards Ragnarok. He engages in moves and countermoves in an attempt to be one up on his former blood brother, Odin. Survival is not his motivation though. He is looking for complete victory over the Odin and the other gods.
Title: Mjolnir by Brian James
Genre: Urban Fantasy
The Viking gods have been banished from Asgard by Odin. Today they make the best of life on Earth. Thor is a professional athlete, Freya a prostitute, and Loki sells cheap products on QVC. Lurking in the background of their lives is a prophecy; one that declares that their time is at an end. Ragnarok is about to throw the gods into a state of civil war and the one who controls the hammer of Thor may be able to change the arc of destiny.
Click to add to your Goodreads shelf.
About Brian James
Brian makes his home in Michigan safely out of bullet range of Detroit. His work has appeared in the Detroit Free Press, World Poker Tour magazine, Classic Rock magazine, and too many websites to list without petitioning the good people at Amazon to expand the biography word count limits.
Brian often brings his love of mythology into his writing. He enjoys the act of taking characters created during the “Bring out your dead”, plague-ridden days of the dark ages and placing them in our modern world.