Today I'd like to welcome Dina von Lowenkraft, the author of Dragon Fire, who's visiting my blog courtesy of a 30-day book tour with Book Tours. Today her guest post is on the setting for Dragon Fire – Northern Norway; a world away from Australia.
About Dragon Fire’s setting in Northern Norway
Tromso, known as the Paris of the North, is located in Northern Norway 350 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. It has a population of 70,000 people and has been inhabited since the end of the ice age. The city, which sprawls over the island of Tromsoya and over to the mainland, is a mix of wooden houses and modern structures such as the iconic Arctic Cathedral that juts up like slabs of a glacier. Tromso is home to the northernmost university in the world, and there are approximately 9,000 students working towards undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Tromso enjoys a relatively moderate climate due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream and has a very lively cultural life. The city hosts an impressive number of festivals all year round and even when there isn’t a festival going on, there are dozens of bars and cafés that have live music, poetry readings or other events. The problem in Tromso is not finding something to do, but rather figuring out what to do.
The midnight sun is present from the middle May to the end of July, but even when the sun does dip below the horizon, Tromso’s high latitude means there is an exceptionally long twilight, creating what I call the Arctic blue light that is so magical. Although the sun isn’t visible from the end of November to the middle January, there are still stretches of blue twilight when the sun hangs just below the horizon. Tromso’s latitude, and the resulting angle of light, often turns the snow a brilliant array of colors.
During the winter months, the Tromso area is a great place to see the undulating Northern Lights – the most common being bright green, but on a clear night (the lights are more often visible between 6 PM and midnight) you might also see purple and occasionally a bit of yellow or blue. The lights are captivating, and even if it’s well below freezing you stay there, stuck in place, watching.
I fell in love with Tromso as a a teenager and can’t imagine my story about the clash between humans, shapeshifting Draak and angel-like Elythia in any other setting. The land, the mountains, the northern lights and the love of life that makes Tromso vibrate year round all contributed to making my fictional world what it is.
About Dina von Lowenkraft
Born in the US, Dina has lived on 4 continents, worked as a graphic artist for television and as a consultant in the fashion industry. Somewhere between New York and Paris she picked up an MBA and a black belt – and still thinks the two are connected. Dina is currently the Regional Advisor for SCBWI Belgium, where she lives with her husband, two children, three horses and a cat.
Dina loves to create intricate worlds filled with conflict and passion. She builds her own myths while exploring issues of belonging, racism and the search for truth… after all, how can you find true love if you don’t know who you are and what you believe in? Dina’s key to developing characters is to figure out what they would be willing to die for. And then pushing them to that limit.
When seventeen-year-old Anna first meets Rakan in her hometown north of the Arctic Circle, she is attracted to the pulsing energy that surrounds him. Unaware that he is a shapeshifting dragon, Anna is drawn into a murderous cycle of revenge that pits Rakan and his clan against her best friend June.
Torn between his forbidden relationship with Anna, that could cost them both their lives, and restoring his family’s honor by killing June, Rakan must decide what is right. And what is worth living – or dying – for.