27 November 2009

Why the Interest in the Vikings?

I have had a lifelong infatuation with the Vikings of medieval Greenland. After reading everything available, one is left with a nagging question. What happened to them? It is difficult to study them because they wrote nothing down. Everything we know comes from archaeological research and the Norse sagas. The Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red's Saga both tell stories about them, although centuries after the fact, but we know nothing about the people themselves. I decided to tell their tale using fiction because I wanted to convey to my readers what a lifetime of research has led me to believe regarding the abandonment of the two known Norse settlements on Greenland and the disappearance from history of every single settler. Nobody ever saw them again and nobody knows to this day, what happened to them. In spinning my Axe of Iron series of tales, I give my characters personalities, to make them as we are. No other author has ever told their story as I do.

One of my book reviewers, Melissa Levine, IP Book Reviewers had this to say: 'It’s the details that grab the reader’s attention in J. A. Hunsinger’s historical novel, Axe of Iron: The Settlers. The book is the first installment in a planned series of stories about the migration of the Greenland Norse to North America. From the introduction, which provides background information, to the brutal ending, Hunsinger uses his extensive knowledge of the history and culture of Norsemen to craft a story that exposes the lives of an ancient people with an admirable sense of adventure and value for community.Hunsinger teaches with the details that he infuses into this story. The reader will learn what the Norsemen ate; how they set-up temporary camps and permanent residence; how they conducted themselves in battle; and the manner in which men and women fell into intimate relationships. The importance of respect and loyalty in the culture is represented by the relationship between Halfdan and Gudbj. Their bond that is stronger than that often seen between blood brothers. There is an intense trust between them that provides the level of security needed to lead their followers while exploring a new land, surviving severe storms at sea, and battling against natives. The love and admiration between the two men is so overwhelming it frequently makes Gudbj uncomfortable. But their feelings for each other do not diminish them as men. Halfdan and Gudbj are so secure in their masculinity that they are not intimidated by the strength of their women who work as hard and love as strongly as they do. Axe of Iron: The Settlers is a hearty, adventure-packed history lesson. I highly recommend it.'

I am pleased with her assessment of my tale. The saga continues with Axe of Iron: Confrontation. The second book of the continuing tale of the Greenland Norse people and their adventures in North America will be published in December 2009.

20 November 2009

The Medieval Greenland Viking Association with Pre-historical Indian Tribes of North America

Between 986 and 1425, the generally accepted longevity of the medieval Norse settlements on the island of Greenland, a gradual assimilation process began with the native peoples of the Arctic and present-day North America that culminated in the disappearance from history of all 4000 of the Norse settlers. What happened to them has been a source of contention ever since-nobody knows to this day. We know three aspects of their disappearance with fair certainty: they did not die out, they did not voyage back to Europe, and they did not simply disappear. A process of gradual assimilation had existed with the Thule people of Baffin and Ellesmere Islands, in the Canadian Arctic, since the early years of the Greenland settlements. It only made sense to join with the people who already knew how to survive in this harsh new land. This assimilation process no doubt continued with other native populations further south throughout the following centuries. Those who remained on Greenland to the end finally had no choice but to migrate or face slow starvation as the Mini-Ice Age descended on the North Country. Common sense would indicate they went to North America as it is the nearest land mass from the two Norse settlements on southwestern Greenland and they already had a familiarity developed through long association.

European explorers from the 16th through 19th centuries reported seeing blue-eyed blond and redheaded people living with the natives of the Canadian Arctic early in the period. Later in the period, four different expeditions found the same situation along the river systems of the central United States, stating in their journals that certain tribes appeared to be of mixed white and native origin. These explorers also reported practices among those tribes of mixed blood completely out of keeping with what they had noted among other tribes that did not appear to be of mixed blood. We have known of these mysteries for two to four centuries, but no investigation has undertaken to provide positive proof of where the white blood originated.

I am writing a five volume series that specifically speaks, in a character-driven, historical fiction sense, to some of the mysteries and legends surrounding the Indian people of southeastern Canada and the north central United States and the possibility of a deep-seated association with the Greenland Vikings. The first book of the series, Axe of Iron: The Settlers was published in August 2008. The next book, Axe of Iron: Confrontation is in the publication process at this writing. Both of these books take place in the Canadian province of Quebec more than 1000-years ago. My series present a plausible answer to many native customs and beliefs that could only have developed through a close association with the Norse Greenland settlers. Space herein precludes my going into the details of my contention in this regard, but my continuing series covers most, if not all, of what a lifetime of research on the subject has revealed to me. Contentions are opinions and mine are no different. I cannot prove any of it, but nobody can disprove it either and therein lie the bones of a good story.

I believe that you will find that I have offered plausible explanations to many of the questions left unanswered by conventional archaeology. My series is not a dry history of these events; rather it is an intensely engaging story of what may have happened on the North American continent during pre-historical time between the indigenous natives and a large, mixed group of Greenland Norse people whose goal was to survive during a most difficult time in history. The characters carry the story and you will see it through their eyes.

The Historical Perspective in the first book of the series, Axe of Iron – The Settlers provides historical data to support the basis of my contentions about what may have happened in southern Quebec and areas of the north central United States 1000-years ago. The last two paragraphs of the Historical Perspective probably sum it up best: more than 40 – generations have elapsed since they came to this continent. Now their very existence, everything they accomplished, has faded from the collective memory of all the peoples they contacted and lived among. I prefer to believe the 4000 live on however, their genetic makeup diluted by the intervening centuries of time. They are still here, smiling back at us from the faces of the Inuit Greenlanders, Cree, Ojibwa, and Iroquois with whom they joined so long ago.

J. A. Hunsinger, Vinland Publishing, http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/ ©2009 Jerry A. Hunsinger, All Rights Reserved

13 November 2009

Medievalists Review of Axe of Iron: The Settlers

The latest review of the historical fiction novel, Axe of Iron: The Settlers, may be seen on the Medievalists website.

Axe of Iron: The Settlers is the first book of the continuing Axe of Iron series of tales about a medieval people whose lives are surprisingly like ours. They have the same basic desires for happiness, love, food, and shelter that has dominated the thoughts of generations of cultures the world over. These character-driven, historical fiction books tell of the adventures of Greenland Vikings as they struggle to establish a settlement in North America in the face of hostile native opposition.

05 November 2009

My Article In Scandinavian Press

Eiriksfjord Greenland

Scandinavian Press, Spring 2009, featured my climate change article on Page -19.


The article pretty well puts to bed the crap being shovelled by Al Gore and all the other agenda and profit-driven proponents of human-caused global climate change.

While you are at it go to my website and glean some information on my Axe of Iron series of historical fiction novels about the medieval Greenland Vikings and how they dealt with climate change issues 1000-years ago on the North American continent.

03 November 2009

Timely & Meaningful Quote!

"As an American I am not so shocked that Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize without any accomplishments to his name, but that America gave him the White House based on the same credentials." Newt Gingrich

I'll drink to that!