Let me tell you about myself. I know you want to read this. How could you not want to?
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth: Faribault, Minnesota
Home Town: Kenyon, Minnesota
Marital Status: Tragically single
Day Job: Librarian/Bookstore Manager for the Free Lutheran Schools in Plymouth, Minnesota.
Publishers: Baen Books, Nordskog Publishing
Novels published to date: Erling's Word (1997), Wolf Time(1999), The Year Of the Warrior (2000), Blood and Judgment (2003), West Oversea (2009), Troll Valley (2012), Hailstone Mountain (2013), Death's Doors (2014), The Elder King (2019)
Q: Why do you write at all?
A: Thank you for asking. Let me give you a somewhat long answer to that. (Photo above comes courtesy of a great photographer, Stephan Faerber.)
Q: Your Erling books concern an Irishman living in Norway. You have an Irish last name, so I assume your heritage is Irish-Norwegian. Right?
A: Wrong. One of my Norwegian great-grandfathers took the name Walker more or less at random after arriving in America (which was rather courageous of him, considering he couldnt even pronounce the letter W). I confess to being a quarter Dane though.
Q: How are we supposed to believe anything you say when you tell us youre Norwegian but have brown hair and brown eyes?
A: Lots of Norwegians have brown hair and brown eyes, especially those who (as I probably do) have some Sami (Lapp) blood. Also some Jewish blood if family tradition is to be trusted. And I wouldnt be surprised if theres Troll blood in there too, from what I hear about great-grandpa John Johnson. Anyway, my eyes are actually piebald an oil-and-water mixture of brown and gray. And Im making steady progress toward having white hair. (The great photo on the left is by my friend, Philip Patton.)
Q: How many words do you write in a day?
A: I try to write 1,000 words a day when Im doing a first draft. After that its revision, and I try to cover ten pages a day. Except for Sundays. I dont write for money on Sundays.
Q: Where do you get your ideas?
A: I bid for them on Ebay.
Q: I have a great idea for a book. Want to write it for me?
Q: How many Erling books do you plan to write?
A: I have no idea. The Erling books are a series, not a serial. Each book stands alone, so you dont have to hold your breath waiting to see how it ends. Im bringing the books out roughly on the thousand-year anniversaries of the events described (i.e., THE YEAR OF THE WARRIOR ends in 1000 A.D., and it came out in 2000 A.D.). Erling lived until 1028, so I figure to keep writing the books at least till 2028, which means I have to live to nearly 80, something of an accomplishment in my family. In the photo, you see me in Stavanger, Norway, with Erling Skjalgsson's memorial cross in the Stavanger Museum. I'm the one in the suspenders.
Q: How many Epsom books do you plan to write?
A: I have even less idea about that. I intended WOLF TIME as a one-off, but then BLOOD AND JUDGMENT (a prequel) came along, and now Im working on DEATHS DOORS, a sequel to WT in which Carl Martell makes a brief appearance. I keep thinking Im done with that cycle, but I keep getting surprised.
Q: How come youre still single?
A: That question can best be answered by the women whove rejected me. Personally Im not sure I want to know the answer.
Q: You dont really believe this Christianity stuff, do you?
A: Yes I do.
Q: If Gods a loving God, how come theres so much suffering in the world?
A: If the God who made yous not a loving God, why would you care?
Q: Can God make a rock so heavy He cant lift it?
A: Yes and no. God made M.C. Escher, and Escher could have drawn it.
Q: If Christianity is true, how come youre such a jerk?
A: You should see what Id have been like without Christianity.
In the photo, I am playing Viking at the opening of the Smithsonian Institution's traveling Viking exhibit at the Science Museum in St. Paul, Minnesota, in November, 2002. I was there with the Viking Age Club of the Sons of Norway.
Q: Do cats go to Heaven?
A: Sure. The dogs have to have something to chase.
Q: Arent your books an obstacle to human progress?
A: I certainly hope so.
Q: You remind me of somebody who used to act with the Indian River Players in Melbourne, Florida. Was that you?
A: Yes. Acting is even more fun than writing, and I wish I still had time for it.
Q: How can you say you have a social phobia and be able to act on stage?
A: Read some actors biographies. Shyness is a common affliction among actors.
Q: If you can act, do you speak in public?
A: Glad to, if it fits my schedule. Contact me through this site. Just pay my expenses, or promise to let me sell some books (or sell them yourself) so I can take the deduction. Honoraria will not be refused.
Q: I have some money in an African bank I need to send to America, and Ill give you 10% if you let me run it through your bank account. OK?
A: Your money is cursed. Give it all to me and let me put it in this handkerchief. Ill remove the curse and give it back to you.