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Sveinn Benónýsson Interview Published on: 14, Jun 2017

What is the meaning behind your name? Tell us a bit about your childhood. What are some things that you experienced growing up in an Icelandic family that seem normal to you but may seem odd to people of other cultures?

The word Sveinn is an old northern word, well known in Scandinavian and Germanic countries, written a differently for each language, but the word, means a boy. I had a very happy childhood, spending my winters in the city with my mother’s family, and friends, but my summers on a farm, in the company of animals, and friends.

What was your favorite Icelandic saga/legend growing up?

Grettissaga, the story of the famous outlaw, Grettir Ásmundsson. Then there were many others, like Egill Saga Skallagímssonar, and Brennunjálssaga.

What was the most challenging part about writing the "Invasion of the Ortaks" series?

Creating landscapes, characters, battle scenes, and the atmosphere.

Who was your best friend as a child? Do you two still keep in contact?

I have been blessed with good friends in life. Still keeping in touch with most of them my whole life, ever sins early childhood.

When you wrote the first book "The Knight" of the Invasion of the Ortaks series, were you planning on making it a series? How many more books do you think you'll add to this series or was the fifth one the last one?

No! Not at all. The story had been in the back of my mind for more than 25 years, before I finally sat down to write it. It wasn’t until I had finished the first book, that I realized I had barely started. It will take me 12 books to tell the whole story

If you could be anyone for a day- in the present or the past- who would you be and why?

I don’t think I would like to be someone else, I’m good.

What's the best and worst thing about being a writer? How many hours a day do you devote to writing or editing?

The best thing with being a writer is, that I have the opportunity and the freedom to create. It is a blessing to be able to do that. I have created my own world now, Esthopia, where I can go to and let my imagination run free. I try to make regular working hours about 8 hours each day. But then life kicks in; there are always some distractions.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I go to the gym, play my guitar, or take a walk.

What was the craziest and stupidest thing you did in high school?

That will never be on print. LOL

How did you pick the names for the characters in your books? Are these characters made purely from imagination or were the inspired by people you know?

Characters names are one of the hardest parts in writing, and I have many characters in this story. Mostly I keep them Germanic or Nordic, unless the elven names, those are made from my imagination. And for the second part of the question, they are both. Either created from my imagination, or from people, I’ve known in life.

Do you ever receive fan mail? What is one of your favourite letters/messages to date?

Can’t pick one out at the moment. Just like everyone else, I’m glad to receive compliments, and knowing that there are people that like what I create.

Would you rather be a secret government spy or a famous, decorated army general? Why?

A general! Leading my armies into victory!

What is something you do to clear your mind so that you can write without distractions?

To be able to concentrate on writing, I need to close all social media. To clear my mind, I find the best cure, is to take a walk. Fresh air and new scenery, always gives me inspirations.

If you were to travel back in time and leave your past self a short 100 word letter, what would you say?

Don’t start smoking.

What’s your views on social media for marketing? What do you think of AllAuthor's efforts in this aspect? Would you recommend this platform to other authors and friends?

The social media, is a hard place for marketing, unless you are an expert in it, or willing to learn how to become an expert. At the same time, social media is the cheapest and the biggest market there is. AllAuthor looks promising to me, and I’m looking forward you see where it will take me in promoting my books.

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