By Kelly Meding
One of the great things about attending conventions is creating friendships with other authors. I enjoy seeing familiar faces year after year and talking about our current projects. This past year at Shore Leave, Bob Greenberger was kind enough to trade books with me: one of my superhero novels for a copy of ReDeus: Divine Tales. Considering the authors packing those pages (and that I know a lot of them), I was eager to dive in and read, and I enjoyed my trip into this unique universe.
I was asked to contribute to Divine Tales, but was unable due to other commitments. So I was eager to jump on board when two more anthologies were announced. I love the idea of Beyond Borders. It’s an opportunity to explore how other countries and cultures outside the United States were dealing with the return of the gods.
My story, “Evidence of Things Not Seen,” centers around a Mennonite woman named Robin. She was a small child when the gods returned, and her entire town were forced to return to Germany to worship Odin and his Norse pantheon. Forced by way of homes being burned down and people killed as “examples.” One of those examples was Robin’s older brother, and she’s grown up with her faith in the One True God intact and thoughts of vengeance keeping her warm at night. She gets a chance to undermine Odin’s rule in the form of a mysterious man named Kit, who comes to her with an offer she cannot turn down.
In fleshing out this story, I knew I wanted to set the story in Germany, since a good chunk of my genetic background is German. This meant I could work with Norse mythology and play a little bit with Odin and his iron-rule over his “subjects.” He was one of the gods who demanded those of German and Scandinavian descent to return to Europe, and he didn’t care how they got there. This influx of immigrants into European countries presented me with another problem to explore in the story: where did governments put those extra people? And how did native residents feel about all of these new, foreign faces using up their resources?
I’m also an urban fantasy writer, so I couldn’t write Robin without infusing a little bit of magic into her life. I won’t spoil it too much, but I did a lot of research into the Norn for this story…
ReDeus: Beyond Borders will be available in print and digital formats in late May.