Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Author Spotlight - Kris Tualla is on location - part two.

Arendal, Norway is the ancestral home of my fictional Hansen family and is pivotal in the plot of "A Discreet Gentleman of Discovery" (Book One) and "A Discreet Gentleman of Consequence" (Book Three, coming in December). My Hansens have lived there since Viking days, but were very nearly wiped out during the Black Death (1348-1354) ~ until Rydar Martin Petter-Edvard Hansen returned from his family's exile in Greenland. Along with his Scottish wife, Grier MacInnes, he reclaimed the family estate and busily set about reestablishing the family dynasty.

The first thing I noticed was the church in the center of the town, built in the 1700's. Norway's early churches (ca 800ad-1100ad) were of wooden stave construction. When Christianity reached Norway (ca 1100ad) some of them were repurposed. But unfortunately, most of those ancient buildings were torn down and rebuilt. I chose to say that when Rydar arrived in Arendal in 1354, there was a wooden stave church in the center of town.

I placed the heir-disputed Hansen Hall on a rocky bluff west of town, about a one-mile walk from the church. Today that bluff is crowded with homes. The shipping docks of Arendal, a summer vacation destination for many Norwegians, are now used mostly for pleasure boats, upscale shops and housing. But Arendal holds onto its history, with many restored and inhabited 1800s houses!

My trip to Norway was so much fun ~ and I had no problem imagining my Hansen heroes living there so long ago. In fact, I think I saw one of them out of the corner of my eye… ☺

My photos of these places and additional commentary are posted here:

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