Hey there, everyone! Today I’m so excited to share with you the beautiful cover for Bjørn Larssen’s upcoming Children, a Norse-inspired Literary Historical Fantasy (which we have determined is now generalized under the Blorg subgenre) novel. I had the pleasure of beta reading one of the earlier versions of this book, and all I can say is it’s beautiful and crushing in equal measure. I know some things have changed, but if I’ve learned anything about Larssen, especially after my read-through of Storytellers, I guarantee he’s only made this book baby of his more intense and emotionally shattering. Timy at RockStarlit BookAsylum will be sharing some exclusive content regarding the book today, so keep an eye out for that, as well.
A few months ago Bjørn came to me with a request to help him create a logo for this adventure he has embarked on, and I immediately agreed without any details. Once you feast your eyes on the stunning cover and have gotten your fill, keep scrolling to get a behind the scenes look into the process of creating the Ten Worlds mark.
Children will be available October 3rd, 2020!
Without further ado, may I present
Bjorn Larssen’s Children
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Sorry, couldn’t help myself. What do you think?!
Magni never wanted to be like his father, a murderous, absent, cheating alcoholic: Thor – the feared and beloved God of thunder. When Thor destroys everything and everyone his son knows and loves, Magni vows to stop the violence. His dream is to bring peace and prosperity to the Nine Worlds, then settle down with the man he loves. But is it possible to remain good in a place this bad? How do you escape cruelty in a universe built on it, or the shadow of your father when everyone calls you by his name?
Maya knows she’s a failure and a disappointment to her foster-parents. How could a child raised by Freya and Freyr – Goddess of love and God of sex – have no interest in the greatest of pleasures? Obviously, it couldn’t be the torture they subjected her to, or treating her as a tool that might someday be useful. Maya, her rage at their games more powerful than she knows, wants freedom to pursue her own destiny. But how do you forge your own life away from your God-parents when you’re nothing more than human?
A retelling of the Norse myths unlike any other, Children will answer all the questions you never knew you had about the heathen Nine Worlds… before leading you into the Tenth.
“A haunting, brutal, and emotional coming of age story, steeped in Norse mythology and written in spare but lyrical prose, Children is a book that demands to be felt rather than read. Its hard-hitting story and dark humor combine to make this a grim book with lots of heart, a book that will stick with me for a long time.” – Angela Boord, Author of Fortune’s Fool
“Faced with gods who are interested only in their own goals, happy to use their own children to further their ambition in the face of a foretold end, Children can be read as allegory or fantasy. Drawing on established Norse myths but adding a unique interpretation, Larssen’s tale made me wince with witnessed pain, and cry, and, once or twice, snort with laughter. His evocative prose will linger in my mind for a long time. Not a book easily forgotten.” – Marian L Thorpe, Author of Empire’s Legacy
Bjørn Larssen is a Norse heathen made in Poland, but mostly located in a Dutch suburb, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one, following this achievement several decades later with his first book containing multiple sentences and winning awards he didn’t design himself. His writing is described as ‘dark’ and ‘literary’, but he remains incapable of taking anything seriously for more than 60 seconds.
Bjørn has a degree in mathematics and has worked as a graphic designer, a model, a bartender, and a blacksmith (not all at the same time). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland. He owns one (1) husband and is owned by one (1) neighbourhood cat.
Behind the Scenes
While I’m a web developer by trade, I occasionally take on a few projects that fall outside my wheelhouse. When I was presented with the opportunity to help brand a series, I just couldn’t say no. I’d like to send a huge thank you to Bjørn Larssen for inviting me to take part in such a momentous step in the lifecycle of his Ten Worlds.
So, let’s talk about a little bit about how it was done. Here were the initial ideas and guidelines given to me:
- scales well
- something round-ish
- one colour
- not something that actually has the number “10” in it
The concept of Ten Worlds was immediately evocative of Norse cosmology, with vivid imagery of Yggdrasil, the sacred tree upon which rest the nine worlds. The tenth? The final branch to another place and time, a place for the imagination to run wild, a place that knows no bounds. What better way to portray this world, than to have it weaving throughout all the others. Best expressed by Albert Einstein, “Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Worlds in this case!
Initial research yielded the results I was expecting – depictions of the World Tree encapsulated within a perfect circle, which ticked three or four of the guideline checkboxes. However, it was necessary to elevate this concept and craft something that would look fresh, but also appealing at half an inch wide, as well as in larger format.
Transforming such an iconic image into an original and unique mark was something I was very much looking forward to, and I began collecting a treasure trove of reference materials to spark some inspiration. I knew I wanted a) a tree with a whimsical root structure, b) a clean circular element to accent the tree rather than encircle it, and c) dragons, because…well, dragons (thank you, Bjørn for keeping the dragons!). I’ve always had a fondness for mythology – particularly Norse mythology – and being able to infuse these fantastical elements really evoked that mystifying feeling I usually associate with these cultural stories into the past.
My folder of goodies is overflowing with knotwork, carvings, creatures, illustrations, and more. Here’s but a tiny peek into my amassed brain food.
After coming up with a rough approach, I enlisted the help of my husband, Brad Bergman, to help me transform my idea into something beautiful. After hours of tweaking and adjustments, font choices and elements considered for all sizes, Bjørn gave us his stamp of approval. It’s pretty great to know that he loved the crafted icon enough to feature it on the cover of his upcoming novel Children!
And so the Ten Worlds mark was born.
That’s all I got for ya. Be sure to add Children to your TBR, and be ready for its release on October 3rd!
[…] I teamed up with the awesome Justine at Whispers and Wonder, who created the logo used for the cover. Go and check out her post to learn about her process and […]