If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that it is a bucket-list goal of mine to see the Northern Lights. As I was writing Thor's Wolf, I got to do a fair bit of research on the various myths and legends surrounding the Northern Lights, and what Vikings would have thought of them.
People in medieval Scotland, England, and other regions on the European mainland thought seeing the Northern Lights, which most often appeared to be red (the color of the lights when they are at their weakest), was a sign of upcoming war and bloodshed.
Beliefs about the lights were a bit more positive in many Scandinavian cultures. Some thought that the lights were reflections of schools of herring, meaning good fishing ahead, or that they indicated a good harvest or a particularly—ahem—fertile time to make love. Others believed they were the shimmer of the Valkyries’ shields, or a bridge or pathway for fallen warriors on their way to Valhalla.
I managed to work this research into a certain...intimate scene in Thor's Wolf. ;-) That scene ended up being the inspiration for the cover, which features the Northern Lights and a standing stone circle in the background!
It was such a treat to get to research and write about the Northern Lights--now I just have to see them for myself!