The Last Viking Returns

Knut is Dead, Long Live Knut.


On Friday afternoon I received a call from Claire Miller, Head Publicity Pixie at Fremantle Press, asking if I’d like to come down to the Press for a beer after work, because, ‘guess what?’ I sort of guessed what what was. So, armed with Carlsberg Danish beer I arrived, and sure enough  on the board room table, there it was, a brand new, shiny, out-of-this worldly wonderful, advanced copy rushed over from the printers in China.

Unfortunately, James was away on business up in Bruce Rock, a small town out in the wheat belt, and didn’t get the message. So, after two years solid years work by him, he had to wait another 27 long hours to see his artistic masterpiece in all its bound, polished and designed glory.  And it certainly is all of that.

Claire brought a copy to the IBBY Hans Christian Andersen dinner last night at Villa Roma in Fremantle, and so James and I snuck outside for a while so he could get  a first look at his book in the light and not the dim lighting of the restaurant. He seemed pretty pleased. Nearly as pleased as me,  in fact.

He confessed to feeling a little manic, and I can see why. It is a crowning achievement by him. I didn’t feel manic, just deeply contented at seeing what a great job he has done. In fact, not only James, but also Cate Sutherland, our publisher, and everyone at the Fremantle Press have done, including the lovely, as she now calls herself? Tracey Gibbs was Head Designer at the Press and designed lots of heads, and all my previous book jackets, until she went freelance a few years ago.

I also thought it a little symbolic that James first saw his new book about Vikings on the birthday of Danish writer and King of Children’s books, Hans Christian Andersen. (Less symbolic, I hope, than poor little Knut, the cute polar bear, dropping dead in Berlin Zoo a week before.)

The official release date is June 24th and we’ll have a great big launch on the same day that all Vikings in the entire world (including you) will be invited to (see top right of the blog for more details). I had hoped to have a burning Viking Longship launched out to sea to celebrate the launching, but I’m getting distinct murmurings about water pollution, River Police, as well as Health and Safety, especially with my plan to fire burning arrows from the shore to set it alight. And it will be mid-winter and none of us is hardy enough, like real Vikings, to stand in the cold, pouring rain while me and my brothers fire lethal flaming missiles into the air. The last time we attempted anything like that, the Kalamunda Fire Brigade ended up having to be called.


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.

8 thoughts on “Knut is Dead, Long Live Knut.

  1. It looks just fabulous, from my brief ogle last night, and I can’t wait to spend more time with it. Hearty congratulations to the two of you. (And an electronic version just wouldn’t be the same, eh wot?!) See you Wednesday.

  2. Looks fabulous! Can’t wait to see it for myself.

  3. Congratulations you guys. A job well done. And I agree, a most fitting day for you both to hold it in your hand. Last night I was looking at a set of tiny books of HCA fairy tales that my grandmother sent me when I was a child. I found them quite by accident when I was looking for something else.

    I have some interesting Danish history books that you might like to look at Norman. I will bring them to the Festival.

  4. It really does look great! Looks like a book you can’t help picking up and peeking inside. Big congratulations – can’t wait for a double-signed copy 🙂

  5. Terrific stuff. Well done you both.

  6. So glad it has arrived safely 🙂 Sorry about the hehe its my attempt to get people to contact me to work on more fabulous books. I hope that it sells well- I cannot wait to see it! You having a launch?

  7. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the processes behind this great book. Well done to you both, I can’t wait to buy a copy for our school library. Cheers, Philippa

  8. I only saw the book in the dim lighting of the restaurant and it looked fabulous. Looking forward to owning a copy. 🙂

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