Five Things You Didn’t Know About Father Aillil from West Oversea by Lars Walker
Author’s note: The hero of my novel, West Oversea is Erling Skjalgsson, a historical character who was the most powerful man in Norway for many years around the year 1000 AD. But the most popular character is probably Father Aillil, the Irish priest who narrates the story.
1. Father Aillil is of average height, but strongly built. He has black hair and blue eyes. I’ve never given a full description of him, because he’s the narrator, and he’s not the kind of man who talks much about his appearance. One character in the previous novel, The Year Of the Warrior, does describe him as a “bull-calf.” I’ve always imagined him as looking a little like Bruce Willis, but Bruce is too old to play him now, should a movie ever be made.
2. Father Aillil worked in the scriptorium, copying manuscripts, while he was in the monastery. His bishop was never happy with his work, but he actually enjoyed it, despite his shaky Latin. Some day he’s going to write a book of his own.
3. Father Aillil learned the use of the war axe from his father, when he was a boy. It remains his favorite weapon, when he’s forced to join in a fight.
4. Father Aillil sometimes sleeps badly, which isn’t surprising in a man who’s seen as many ghosts and monsters as he has.
5. Father Aillil will become a missionary to the Lapps (the Sami), in the far north, at the end of his life.
Lars (pronounced Larce) Walker is a native of Kenyon, Minnesota, and lives in Minneapolis. He has worked as a crabmeat packer in Alaska, a radio announcer, a church secretary and an administrative assistant, and is presently librarian and bookstore manager for the schools of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations in Plymouth, Minnesota.
He is the author of four previously published novels, and is the editor of the journal of the Georg Sverdrup Society. Walker says, “I never believed that God gave me whatever gifts I have in order to entertain fellow Christians. I want to confront the world with the claims of Jesus Christ.” His latest release is West Oversea: A Norse Saga of Mystery, Adventure and Faith.