Yes, I know that in the realm of fiction the V word is vampire. Glittery ones, seriously evil ones, mentally anguished ones. Sexy, skanky or just downright scary, vampires have been the stable of spec fiction writers for many years, and of course have exploded into the paranormal romance world as well.
But what about the other V word, valkyrie. As in the mythical winged battlemaidens of Norse mythology. A great archetype, the original empowered females who rescue the souls of fallen male warriors yet still look hot serving beer in the skulls of the vanquished in Valhalla. Skål!
My path to writing about valkyries oddly enough started with a strong female warrior type who I had originally cast as a vampire. But when the tidal wave of Stephenie Meyer inspired vampire fiction hit the shores, I started looking for a different archetype that was not so… cliché. So my Edwina wannabee transformed into Shale, aka Skeggjöld, one of thirteen modern-day semi-mythical but still bad___ valkyries.
Valkyries do occupy a small corner of modern fiction. The prolific Jim Butcher has a recurring valkyrie character and the paranormal romance writer Kresley Cole also periodically sprinkles in valkyries with her vampires. The best known recent work is probably Greg van Eekhout’s classic Norse Code (see my mythica book review) which is unapologetically a work of valkyrie fiction. The other V word.
Me, I’ve written three valkyrie short stories and have a WIP novel, Ragnarök Willie, all featuring my take on what the thirteen valkyries might look like in the modern era. Myth based urban fantasy , aka mythica, to be clear, not romance (ok there is romance, and valkyrie-einherja procreation can also be …. interesting). More about Ragnarök Willie coming soon in my The Next Big Thing blog next week.