Monster Paperback

This has taken an age, but The Greenland Trilogy is finally in paperback with a whopping 632 pages. #loveit

There are several polar bear sequences in the story, and it makes sense – for me – to link to another Nanook song about the polar bear, and a shaman taking on polar bear form. Greenland is rich with shamanic culture and tradition, so, naturally, book three my trilogy is called The Shaman’s House.

The Greenland Trilogy is available in paperback and ebook from Amazon USA, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find out more about Nanook on their Facebook page.

Don’t blink!

There are moments when something that you know is short-lived and not necessarily completely reliable never fail to please. So, when Piteraq popped into the number one spot of the New Releases in World Literature Short Stories on Amazon US, well… it was fun. Now, it’s not the most competitive category, it looked good.

It’s gone now.

All over.

But for one moment at least, Oversergent Mikael Gregersen’s short story about his first year with the Danish Sirius Sledge Patrol in Greenland topped the charts. One of the typical comments about The Ice Star is – semi-spoiler alert – how little Gregersen featured in the story. I mean, the man is a – fictive – Sirius legend! I had always planned to follow up on what happened to Mikael during his first year as a fup in Greenland. This is that story, and it’s available for pre-order on

Amazon USA, UK, Canada, and Australia

Here’s a bigger photo of the cover…

And one more, even bigger, ‘cos it’s an epic kinda story!

The cover photo – spoiler alert – is from Qaanaaq, and not the Northeast coast of Greenland.

Gotta love Greenland!

Just received an email from a reader, traveller, photographer who has just finished reading The Greenland Trilogy. It never fails to have an impact when I hear from readers who have enjoyed my books. Of course, when they are also mad about Greenland, and have been there… well, it just gets better and better.

Be sure to check out Lisa Germany’s website for her amazing photos from Greenland and other exciting places around the world.

Fun and no pixels

I played the original Tomb Raider game a lot back in the late 90s, and when I couldn’t finish a level, my wife Jane would finish it for me. I think I have known Lara Croft as long as I have known Jane. I haven’t played the reboot of the game yet, but Jane and I did just see the new movie with Alicia Vikander. Gone are the pixelated pointy bosoms, replaced, instead, with a solid gut and gutting it out with the bad guys.

Yeah, it works, we enjoyed it.

The ice axe helps.

So, if we play the “if ever” game, and if The Ice Star was ever made into a film, Alicia Vikander would have to play Fenna. I’m just saying. That whole vulnerability, taking on the men in what they perceive as their world, and kicking ass, well, hell yeah! I definitely buy into that, mostly because I wrote that – well, not Tomb Raider, The Ice Star. I’m getting all confused here.

Anyway, there’s an ice axe. Now, I must admit, I don’t remember ever seeing anything remotely frosty to warrant having an ice axe in the film, not even a cold breath, but hey, it was very cool. And I guess that was all the justification the filmmakers needed, that and continuity with the video game reboot.

Will you enjoy the film? Sure you will, if you’re looking to be entertained for a few hours.

Is it Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-good? Hell no. It’s Tomb Raider.

See it.

But be sure to buy an ice cream for the movie – you know, to justify the axe. 😉

Cold Research

I write about a lot of things in my stories about which I have thankfully no experience, but there are some things I have done, and when I write about them I have a wealth of memories to inspire me. I had a team of dogs in Greenland, and, while it may have taken us a few years, we finally found our sledging mojo and made some tracks on the sea ice. We had plenty of misadventures too, but always got home safely, even in the dark.

The dogs were built for the Arctic, but I wasn’t. Every day was a learning curve. But I do miss it, and I miss my dogs. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a team again. Until then, I’ll keep writing.

January Updates

I have finished updating the webpage – for today at least. I will add content and generally fiddle with the pages through the course of the year. The main changes reflect a focus on writing and being an author. They include:

An EVENTS page with a calendar of dates when I will be speaking, reading, or just generally hanging out in person.

I have added a READS page, and I intend to mention some of the key polar books that have inspired me as a reader, writer, and adventurer (of sorts).

I have also tried to distinguish between works of FICTION and NONFICTION.

That’s it for now. I’ll leave you with a photo of Uummannaq in January. The yellow building in the centre is the hospital, and figures heavily in The Ice Star.

A Bloody New Year

It’s been a bloody year. I have lost count of the bodies I have buried in the mountains, pushed beneath the ice, incinerated in tents, impaled, drowned, and executed. Yeah, I’ve been busy.

2017 was a veritable writing roller-coaster, starting with the launch of The Ice Star, the story featuring Konstabel Fenna Brongaard of the Danish Sirius Sledge Patrol. There was a time, back in 2015, when it was unlikely she was ever going to be published. I was quite happy for her story never to be told.

Ever.

But after two months on the Yukon River, paddling from Canada into Alaska, I took a chance on Fenna, tidied up the mess of chapters while on a ferry cruising past glaciers in Prince William Sound, drafted yet another draft, edited her story for the umpteenth time, and finally decided to just be done with her in January last year.

It was the best thing I ever did.

Twelve months later, and Fenna’s story has spawned two more books in The Greenland Trilogy, with plans for another two follow-on series, the first of which should be released this April. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that Fenna will return in Blood Spoor, the first book in The Canadian Quartet.

Fenna’s story gave me other characters to work with and develop. Constable David Maratse turned up in two short stories: Katabatic and Container, and will soon return in a third called Tupilaq, before launching his own series with Seven Graves, One Winter. Whereas Fenna takes a Jason Bourne-like approach to solving conspiracies, Maratse will focus on solving crimes with a more methodical and sombre approach. His story picks up where Fenna’s ended in The Shaman’s House.

The Ice Star introduced another character in the form of RCMP Inspector Nicklas Fischer. He also gets his own series in 2018. The first book returns to a time when he was a sergeant, before he started his shadowy career that set him on a collision course with Fenna. It should come out in time for the summer.

I hope then that readers might find something of interest within the course of 2018. The likelihood of more blood and bullets is high, and, so long as the body count makes sense to the story, I’ll be sure to let Fenna pull the trigger. As for Nicklas and Maratse’s approach to solving crimes and exposing cover-ups, you’ll just have to wait and see.

Here’s wishing all of you the best for 2018, and thanks for making 2017 a great year for Fenna and me.

Chris

Sneak Preview

I am useless at keeping secrets, so here’s a sneak preview of the cover of Piteraq.

It’s “in development”, which means exactly that. If, like me, you were sad when a certain Sirius Sledge Patrol member was killed in The Ice Star, then you’re in luck – Oversergent Mikael Gregersen returns in Piteraq, a stand-alone novel set in Greenland’s High Arctic.

He won’t be the only character to get his own series after The Ice Star. Greenlandic policeman David Maratse returns with his own purely crime series in 2018. But, if you’re curious, you can find out more about his early career before he met Fenna in two short stories set in Greenland: Katabatic and Container – available later this year.

I know, I’m teasing, but if you like the north, the Arctic, stories about snow, storms, and survival, you’ll like Piteraq.

Adventurous Spines: Slaven’s Roadhouse

Stayed two nights at Slaven’s Roadhouse. Received an incredibly warm welcome from Randy, Cindy, and Shaelyn. Amazing service in an amazing place. We started in Whitehorse and we’re on our way to Emmonak, as long as it’s safe and fun, we’ll keep paddling! We have two children in our party: Tiuri (9) and Liva (7), and the Rangers made them feel right at home. Keep up the excellent work – we appreciate it so much!
Best regards: Lars, Suzi, Tiuri, Liva, Jane and Chris
www.lifeisgoodfollowus.com

Slaven’s Roadhouse is a halfway house, a little patch of heaven in the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve. It was also our home for a couple of days and nights, time to recharge before pushing on deeper into Alaska. The Rangers were supercharged with humour, compassion and hospitality. They received us, our gear, and our kids with open arms. They were our heroes.

A little too dramatic for you?

Try a month on the Yukon River, through lightning, forest fires, heatwaves, rainstorms, and mud… lots of mud. Sure, we were having a great time, but a little home comfort was no small thing, and we found heaps of it at Slaven’s.

Slaven’s was also, for me, the culmination of a teenage dream. I had devoured all of Jack London’s books and stories about the Yukon, Klondike, and all things Canada and Alaska, when I should have been studying for my exams – all of them, over several years of school, high school, and university. When I put London to one side, it was only to pick up books about dogsled racing on the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest. Dreams of the North took me to Alta, Norway, where I worked as a sled dog kennel helper for the very first time, but it was at Slaven’s, as an emerging writer, that I sat in one of the places I had read about, without realising it. There, on the wall, was a Yukon Quest poster signed by the dog drivers, and I realised I had arrived, and that dreams, once again, can come true, albeit not quite how one imagined them.

The kids had fun too. Tiuri and Liva explored the cabin, the outhouses, the woods, the dredge. They panned for gold, got nailed by mosquitoes the size of small aircraft, and we talked about bears – good eatin’, apparently. Or was it the skins that were good? It didn’t matter. We were on an adventure, staying at a roadhouse built for the purpose.

Suzi and Lars chilled out too, although the sting of a Yellowjacket almost ended Suzi’s Yukon adventure. We had talked about bee stings back in Denmark, before the trip. We had not talked about wasps. Suzi was stung earlier in the trip, with no reaction, but these Yellowjackets – about twice the size of a “normal” wasp – well, it took her out of the game for a while. Once again, the Rangers were on the case. She couldn’t have been stung at a better location.

Jane and I enjoyed Slaven’s too, although Lars’ boots introduced a percussive element to the experience that we had not prepared for – damn big boots, mate! But the Roadhouse was a chance to spread out and dry out. We hung our gear on the same lines with the same pegs used by dog drivers. We sat at the same table, slept in the same beds, and lived the Alaskan life I had talked about on trips in Scotland, in our home in Greenland. This was everything Greenland was supposed to have been – that is, an Arctic environment, with trees!

Adventurous spines drive one to find adventure in far-out, remote, and exciting places. I sent a copy of The Ice Star to the Rangers in Eagle, Alaska, and hope they can wedge it alongside their gear to leave it on the bookshelf at Slaven’s. I found adventure there, in the wilds. The thought of a dog driver dipping into my book during a layover… well, that’s another dream come true.