The Last Viking Returns

A little gentle moulding by our editor at Fremantle Press.


A little gentle moulding by the editor.

In the first draft of the story I have the little hero, Josh, announce to his grandmother that he has decided to become a Viking. He is changing his name to Knut, a good stout Viking name, and he no longer wants to attend Sunday School, because he has decided, instead, to become a follower of the Norse Gods; Odin, Thor, Loki, Sigurd and the rest.

Cate Sutherland, our editor, didn’t have any trouble with the concept of pagan gods appearing in a children’s book, however, she was concerned that modern kids don’t attend Sunday school like they used to when we were growing up, when just about every kid in Australia trotted off on Sunday mornings with coins for the collection and a collection of religious stamps.  Firstly, she didn’t want a book set in modern times to sound old fashioned ( like the writer),  and neither did she want any young readers asking, ‘What’s Sunday School?’

It is a small dilemma. Do we leave the reference out because kids haven’t heard of it, or include it because children should know and this is a way for them to learn about such things?

In the end, well, as far as we are along at present, I went with Cate’s advice (I nearly always do, seeing as she has edited a host of award- winning  titles and obviously knows what she’s talking about), however, we are willing to consider others people’s opinions, before dismissing them out of hand as ludicrous.  Is the award-winning Cate Sutherland right, yet again?


Author: normanjorgensen

I'm an Australian writer of books for kids and teenagers. I like traveling and seeing the world, especially through the the lens of my camera. I'm addicted to old movies, red wine and books and decent music.

4 thoughts on “A little gentle moulding by our editor at Fremantle Press.

  1. I’m looking forward to reading how Knut’s grandmother responds to her young 21st century Viking.

  2. Hi Lynley,

    She nails him to the shed door until he repents his sinful ways!


  3. I’m with Cate. I think it would be distracting. Public schools still have RE, though – not sure how old your Knut is, but he could always become a conscientious objector to that, or church attendance in a more general sense. Nice pics by the way – are you somewhere in the bottom one, Normal?

  4. Hey Meg,
    I would love to explore that path, perhaps with Knut chaining himself to the church railings or having his gran having him rebaptised, the little sinner. However, unlike a McKinlay epistle, we have only 1500 words to play with, and I’ve already used up 1487 of them.

    No, it’s not me in the picture, though it very well could have been.

    Great to hear from you. xN

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