Top Social

Author Interview - Ingrid Paulson & Giveaway

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Today, I am delighted to be sharing my interview with the fabulous Ingrid Paulson, author of the standalone novel Valkyrie Rising, which I recently added to my favorites shelf! The book blew me away with the intense action, the sizzling-beneath-the-surface and ever-present chemistry between Ellie and Tuck, and the depth with which Ingrid explores the characters. Not the mention the gorgeous scenery of Norway.


Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.


Interview with Ingrid Paulson

Tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer.
I Iove this question since it means you think I’m a writer! It still feels incredibly surreal that my story is printed in an actual book—with pages and a cover and everything! I’ve always loved reading but never imagined I’d write a book. I’ve been a compulsive journaler since I was around 10. That includes short stories--and when I was younger some really abysmal fan faction and poetry. I do a lot of writing for my day job—but all science stuff. So, it was actually a surprise for me when I sat down and started writing a novel—and it took me a little while to figure out that’s what I was doing. I started by sort of tinkering with a scene that kept growing longer and longer. But once I admitted to myself I wanted to write a book, I couldn’t stop.

I am obsessed with Norse mythology and love how it plays a role in Valkyrie Rising. How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
I came up with the idea while traveling around Norway with my grandmother, aunt, and cousin. I love Norway. At the time of our trip, I was working on revising my first novel—the one I’m talking about in your previous question—but a instead new story grabbed of me. I wanted to write something set in Norway, and I wanted it to be about a girl who starts off meek, but comes into her own. And of course there had to be Valkyries! The book sort of grew from there.

I am so glad that you decided to follow through with this idea because I am in love with the Valkyries (as in I want to be sisters with them) and the gorgeous Norway setting. The Valkyries play a major role in this book, both in starting up the plot and in their roles as thinking, animate beings. What kind of research did you do in preparation for the novel?
I knew the basics of Norse mythology because my family is of Norwegian descent and has tons of Norway pride. But I did some additional research, but mostly googling and skimming through snippets of books at the library.

Ellie's grandmother lives in Norway, and your "about" mentions that your grandmother might be a valkyrie. Did you draw upon any of your own experiences for the story as well?
Definitely! My grandmother is one tough lady, and we’re very close. So I definitely thought about our relationship and how conscious my grandmother is of family legacy. She is always handing down stories from her past and dispensing her wisdom. I also drew on my travel experiences, combining my more recent trip to Norway with one I took at age seventeen (when I did things like sneak into the nightclub next to our hotel)…Grandma, you didn’t read that.

It's neat how you have teenage experiences to draw upon. It's something we can all relate to (doing things we don't want grandma knowing). Ellie goes through a lot what with her world changing around her, boys going missing, and an ancient power awakening within her. What were some of the challenges creating her character?
It’s not specific to Ellie—but I think the hardest part of creating any character is having them do things you wouldn’t do. While you’re yelling at your computer or rolling your eyes. But often those actions are what drive the character’s story and help them to grow. I struggle with this because I love my characters and I want to keep them safe and happy. But that would be a pretty boring book.

So true. As a fellow girl, I wanted Ellie to be safe and happy, but it is the challenges she goes through that makes her the character I admire. Being attracted to your brother's best friend can complicate a relationship. How did you go about forming the connection between Ellie and Tuck and the dynamics in their relationship?
Tucker was the character who formed first in my mind—I had too much fun writing his lines. And I wanted him to be the character who brings out the strong side of Ellie from the beginning. That was the kernal of my idea, but when I write those two interacting, they sort of take over…crazy as that sounds…

Their banter was one of my favorite parts of the book. I'm positive that I was giggling and smiling all sorts of silliness reading about them! What part of the novel did you enjoy writing about the most?
This is going to give you the total wrong impression of me—I’m a very nonviolent person—but I loved writing the fight scenes. Maybe it’s because I’m such a wimp. I also have a huge soft spot for Astrid, so I loved writing her scenes too. I kinda wanted to be her.

I like to think of myself as a non-violent person, but I really envied how naturally Ellie slipped into her role as a Valkyrie. Sometimes, a girl just wants to be as assured of herself like a Valkyrie. The boots were a nice touch there. What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on a ghost story about a boy who’s killed during a high school prank and comes back for revenge. I’m also working on an ecothriller.

Ingrid's Website | Facebook | Twitter
Ingrid Paulson lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter and enjoys long-distance running, eavesdropping, and watching science documentaries. She has always loved books and writing short stories, but was surprised one day to discover the story she was working on wasn't so short any more.


Giveaway
Ingrid has generously donated a signed copy of Valkyrie Rising.
She'll even personalize it for you!

Open internationally.
To enter, fill out the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
87 comments on "Author Interview - Ingrid Paulson & Giveaway"
  1. It's interesting to know how she got the idea for this book! I can't wait to read this one. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow, i like valkyrie too because they tough.
    and i want to know too about Ingrid's new stories

    ReplyDelete
  3. How cool is it that the author went to Norway and knows the culture personally - I'm sure that really brings authenticity to the story:)

    Thank you:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you so much for this Giveaway and the fabulous Interview!! I love Norway myself and I think it's one of the most beautiful countries ever. I'm glad Ingrid got this idea and decided to write about Valkyries! I cannot wait fot this book to come out! :))

    ReplyDelete
  5. This sounds like a wonderful book. I was very close to my grandma too. I love the setting too! It sounds like you really put a lot of thought into this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed the interview. I wanna read this book, sounds great and i never read the valkyrie stories. Will love to read this book :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'd not heard of this book until the interview. It sounds like an interesting read. I love that it has great dialog...that is something I think really makes (or breaks) a book. The characters sound like their well developed too, another key part to a good story. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The book sounds really interesting and Norse? Count me in. Not to mention Ellie who'll likely be one of my favorite heroines. Code word: mythological warriors and banter. Can't wait to read this! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Loved the interview. I love getting a look at the writing process and character development. I'm definitely adding this to my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The book sounds really good and the cover is beautiful! Thank you so much for the giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love banter. I'm so glad she enjoyed writing that. It really shows when an author enjoys a part of the book. Makes it shine!

    ReplyDelete
  12. nice interview and love the cover of this book :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I thoroughly enjoy reading books that transport me to another country and throw in some of the culture as well. This book sounds wonderful

    ReplyDelete
  14. This sounds like a really greay book, filled with new cultures and mythology to read about. I can't wait for its release

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love the Norse mythology behind the book and how she came up with the idea. Her next book sounds like something I'm going to love too!! Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would love to read this book. Sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Thanks for the giveaway. Tore923@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. i love the concept of norse mythology and the use of valkyrie being the main creature it's really something unique in a YA novel.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I so have to check out Norway one day! Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for the great interview, it's always great to know where ideas come from and how they're made to be more

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh my God, i love Norway soo much! Must see it. Norse mythology is amazing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. As I'm reading through the post I have THE RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES running through my head. This book sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Another book to add on my wish-list/TBR list and another kind of mythology to devour.

    -Riz Bulatao

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Norse mythology?? I can't remember a book about that subject. That makes me excited. And my favorite type of love interest is when they don't see eye to eye in the beginning. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I was a obsessive journal-er when I was younger also! Not so much anymoer but that's fun to know! Can't wait to read this book it sounds epic!

    ReplyDelete
  25. My favorite thing about the interview about Ingrid Paulson is how humble she is. She was happy you called her a writer, and never thought thT she would see the day when she got published. My second favorite thing about the interview was seeing how the author got to live through her characters. For example she said she's a non-violet person but loved writing the fight scences for her character, Astrid. Thank you for the amazing g giveaway! I hope I win the signed copy of Valkyrie :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I've never read a book set in Norway, and this sounds really fun and original. I haven't come across any Valkyrie books before! And I LOVE mythology of any sort. Ingrid Paulson makes a very good interviewee. She's funny and relatable and I can't wait to read her book!

    ReplyDelete
  27. This sounds like an interesting and different read, and I would love the chance. Plus, great cover!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I like that this is influenced by Norse mythology. We don't get enough of that I think in new books these days. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I don't read many books with mythology but the blurb intrigues me. I definitely curious about Valkyrie Rising. Oh, and I love banters too!
    So glad to know that there's some in this book :)
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    ReplyDelete
  30. A compulsive journaler! Who knew?! I used to be the exact same way ;) Maybe I'll become a writer too! haha

    So excited to check this book out <3

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for the great interview! I love reading about where authors get their ideas. I don't know much about about Norse mythology, so this will definitely be something different and interesting for me to read! Thanks for the giveaway : )

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for the interview! I loved hearing about how you got started and where your idea came from. It's interesting to hear you call yourself a compulsive journaler, because I can't keep a journal to save my life. Can't wait to read your book!

    ReplyDelete
  33. First of all, thank you for this awsome giveaway and the interview. The author seems really nice and passionnate about north mythology, we have that in common. I really, really want to read this book, and the interview has just make my mouth swater !

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think it's wonderful your grandmother told you stories that have been passed down. They make a great legacy and be story inspiring as was the case here.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Great interview! I love how she came up with the idea for the story. Norse mythology is so interesting! I can't wait to read it!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love that she drew upon personal experiences involving her grandmother.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Lovely interview, nice to know where Ingrid got her idea for the book.
    I'm excited for the book as it's releasing on my birthday.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Sounds like a very interesting book. Can't wait to read it :)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Wow. I love the interview. And I can't wait to read the book!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  40. fun interview! I really enjoyed it ^^

    ReplyDelete
  41. Tuckers sounds so cute! I love the sarcastic, funny boys! And her ghost story sounds really good. I can't wait to hear more about it!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love that you are using some Norse mythology - it seems to get overlooked a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I really can not wait to read this book it looks and sounds amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Great interview, love the Norse/Celtic mythology!

    ReplyDelete
  45. loving this mythology that goes into this book

    ReplyDelete
  46. I love mythology (from all over the world!) and I know I'm gonna like this book! xD
    I wanna visit Norway just as the author did... this will inspire me too, maybe?! :D

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love mythology!!! I also love Valkyries! I'd love to be one. Great interview =D

    x

    ReplyDelete
  48. I haven't read book about Mithology yet, but I have heard about Valkyries, i'm know curious! It's really amazing how a trip or places you visit can inspire you to create and write a book! Really amazing! Would love to read this one! :D

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks for the interview. I also like Norse mythology.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thanks for the itnerview! I love reading about the a story's genesis!

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm so excited to read Valkyrie Riding. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I can't WAIT to read this book! Thank you so much for giving away a copy and for interviewing the author! So much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  53. So excited for this book! I really want to go to Norway now!

    ReplyDelete
  54. It's so cool that this book is based on Norse mythology! I've always loved mythology based stories and while there is an abundance of Greek based ones out there, Norse ones are a rarity! Lot's of banter? Ohh yes please!

    I really hope I can get the chance to read Valkyrie Rising. :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. I'd totally love to read this after reading your review.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Its interesting that the fight scenes were her favorite scenes to write, I always think (as a non-writer) that those would be the hardest to write!

    ReplyDelete
  57. The idea for this book is very cook and the book seems really interesting.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Great interview, I have traveled with my grandparents too on family trips to learn about our heritage. In my case it led to trips to Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain and Portugal.My grandmother was hilarious on those trips, I cherish them now. The Valkyries sound amazing and Norse mythology is vastly over looked, I can't wait to read this book.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Every time I see this cover, I want it more and more! Great post! I'd love reading fight scenes, so I'm glad she likes writing them best! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Great interview! I'm super excited to read this book and learn more about Norse mythology! :))

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  61. It sounds awesome!!
    I love mythology and just as I read Valkyrie on the cover I was like "what?" and then reading the synopsis it just seems like an great book!

    ReplyDelete
  62. It's always interesting to hear what motives lead author to write a particular book, his/her writing process and passion that they invested in creating a world that we so much enjoy.
    I really love books that have some connection to mythology, so I can't wait to read this books, sound like an awesome one.
    Thanks for a chance to win it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  63. I'm really looking forward to this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  64. I can't wait to read this book. The cover art is beautiful and the synopsis sounds great. Thanks for the interview and giveaway :D!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Great interview! Looking forward to this book. :D

    ReplyDelete
  66. Awesome! I've heard great things! Can't wait to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  67. This is an awesome interview! I have been wanting to read Valkyrie Rising ever since I saw it on Goodreads. Ellie and Tuck sounds like amazing characters XD Looking forward to reading this book!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Great interview. I don't think I've ever read a YA book with Norse mythology so I really want to read this book.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Realy enjoyed the interview and cannot wait to read this book it sounds great .Thank you for sharing and for this chance to win.Have a fantastic weekend

    ReplyDelete
  70. I haven't seen a lot on Norse mythology and ever since I saw this one on Goodreads, I've been wanting to read it. Awesome interview! :) Thanks for sharing!

    -Amelia
    The Authoress

    ReplyDelete
  71. Yayyyy!!! Thanks so much for the giveaway. I so want toread this book:)

    ReplyDelete
  72. Great Interview!
    Norse Mythology is an original concept. This book is in my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
  73. What a lovely interview. I'm really looking forward to read this book. Norse mythology sounds like an awesome concept :) The author sounds nice and down to earth. I can imagine that fighting scenes are fun to write.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Great questions! I haven't read anything on Norse mythology, but I'm really interested in the book. And Ingrid sounds so cute! :D
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Great interview! I really want to read this, thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  76. LOL I love fight scenes!!! And banter! :D Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I love the interview! :) I love how she hasn't recover being called a "writer," seems to me she's so humble :)

    I love the plot as it, and with books being a trilogy or series, it's great that a new standalone books is again being made.

    So exciting, WHAT IF her Granny is really a Valkyrie? :) That would be awesome! :)

    Wicked interview, BTW :)

    ReplyDelete
  78. This is the first time I've heard of Norse mythology-sounds cool.Enjoyed the interview!Tuck sounds awesome-can't wait to read the book!
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  79. I love Norse mythology and books featuring characters from it. This book will be fun to read. Great interview.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Looks really really interesting! The setting, the plot, everything looks deliciously intriguing. Can't wait to get my hands on this one! :D Thanks for the giveaway and thumbs up for the interview.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I really like how Ingrid draws upon her own experiences to create her storyline!

    ReplyDelete
  82. Thank you for the interview! Reading author interviews like this, get me wanting to read their books even more!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Ingrid sounds totally AWESOME and I can't wait to read Valkyrie Rising :D Norse Mythology sounds beyond amazing. Thanks for the fabulous interview and giveaway!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  84. I love a good book that incorporates mythology. I can't wait to read Valkyrie Rising

    ReplyDelete
  85. Thank you so much for a wonderful interview. I think that it is fascinating to learn where the idea for her story came from and Norse Mythology.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I looooove this book! Love Norse myth!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting. We love hearing from readers! To receive notifications of replies to your comments, just click “Notify me” in the bottom right corner of the comment box to subscribe to the thread! :)