Author of the 'Dragon in the Library' series and 'Otherland', discusses her influences and thinking behind her riotiously funny 'Loki: A Bad God's Guide to Being Good'.
My review of the book is here.
1) What inspired your idea to have Loki trapped in the body of an eleven-year-old boy, apart from your obvious genius?
Loki would like to say here… HOW DARE YOU! HER GENIUS? DON’T YOU MEAN MY GENIUS! THE CHEEK! THE OUTRAGE!
(So … nothing inspired it. I was just taking dictation.)
2) How much can we learn about Norse mythology in the book and what was the extent of your research? Which retellings of the myths did you turn to?
A lot of the Norse myths are very briefly retold as asides – “long story, tell you later” is a refrain Loki comes back to again and again. I think the book gives you lots of little crumbs and titbits of the myths, giving you a chance to go off and discover them for yourselves. But although it’s not a retelling of Norse myths, I think the character relationships it explores between gods gives you the beginnings of a picture of how Asgard fits together, and what those beings are like. One day I’d love to write all the Norse myths from Loki’s point of view. Though it would definitely need a commentary from Odin, as I imagine he might give himself a bit more credit than he deserves in most of the stories.
3) Obviously, Marvel has popularized Loki, but why do you think he is such an entertainingly bad god?
I think it’s because he ends up helping the gods almost in spite of himself. He causes trouble … but then gets the gods out of that trouble. He’s sometimes good in spite of himself, which is very appealing.
4) Will Tom Hiddleston be involved at some point?
Hahahahahaha no comment.
5) How did your brilliant The Dragon in the Library series and the hugely enjoyable Otherland influence Loki?
You know, I’ve never been asked that before. I went away to think before coming back to write this. I don’t think they directly influenced Loki, because each fictional universe is very different. But I think all stories I write and read are connected, because stories exist in dialogue with one another. Every story is a commentary on every story that’s come before. I suppose there are some consistent strains. I would like to see Loki and the Fairy Queen interact. I’m not sure two egos that size could actually co-exist on the same plane, mind you. And Loki and Rohan and Myra. Though I wouldn’t leave Myra and Loki alone for long because they’d probably set something on fire.
6) What do you think Odin makes of our current society?
I think he views all mortal society, past and present, with a level of ironic detachment. His main interest in mortals is waiting for the good fighters to die in battle so he can recruit them to the army he’s building in preparation for Ragnarok, aka the Norse end of the world.
7) What three other authors do you admire who have inspired you most?
Jan Mark influenced me a lot growing up. She taught me a lot about characters who break the rules, and about writing jokes. Sue Townsend was another maestro of comedy – Adrian Mole forever, but I also loved the book she did about the Royal Family being deposed and being forced to live on a council estate. Limiting this to three is HARD. I think I’ll have to go with Richmal Crompton, and her Just William stories.
8) Are your plans to make this a massively bestselling series to oust Wimpy Kid with some Norse clobber?
Yes. I want to bathe in money like Scrooge McDuck please. That’s why most people get into writing, isn’t it? For the vast, vast sums of money involved. Seriously though, I’d LOVE for Loki to become a long-running series. I have SO many ideas for future adventures. I can think of at least 12 already…
Thank you Louie/ Loki for your answers!