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Book Tour Q&A: The Skald's Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short

Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for The Skald's Black Verse by Jordan Loyal Short! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.

About the book

The world is ending, and if the Norn don’t rise up… they’re dead.

The unwanted son of a conquering soldier, Brohr will soon discover that he is cursed, haunted, a berserker. When a strange murder sparks unrest in his tiny village, Brohr becomes the prime suspect.

Hunted by invaders from another world, only the forbidden blood magic of the Skalds can save him. To survive, Brohr must unravel dire omens, uncover family secrets, and lead a desperate revolt against an empire that spans the heavens.

But dark forces gather in the shadows, intent upon a rebellion of their own.

On to the interview...!

This is one of our standard podcast opening questions, so we’ll include it for written interviews as well! Tell us something great that’s happened recently! :)

I’ve been trying to help my Aunt who has dementia and other cognitive issues transition into assisted living. It’s been tough because she’s broke and our options have been pretty limited. But we just found a place for her to live that is beautiful, has a really kind and funny staff, and is close to where my wife and I live. Ha-ley-fucking-lujah!

What are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?

Right now I’m reading Titan Hoppers by Rob J. Hayes. It’s a great scifi/fantasy mashup with a fun poppy kind of vibe. I’m really enjoying it. I’ve read a few of his other books and they’ve all been great reads so I’d highly recommend him. Next up for me is probably The Martyr by Anthony Ryan. The Pariah was one of the most enthralling novels I’ve read in a long time so I’m hoping to get to the sequel soon. If not that then maybe the Fires of Vengeance by Evan Winter. Rage of Dragons has to have the best progression flavor of any fantasy series I’ve read in ages. I’m always starting too many series! There are so many good books. Gah!

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of reading/writing that you can talk to us about?

I love playing games. I’ve always been competitive so everything from poker to boardgames to bar games like darts and pool. I once ran a poker league and I used to work at a game store so I’m pretty into games of all kinds. Sadly, I’m old and feeble and was never any good at sports, so physical games are out. Unless there’s money involved…

Writing is a hard and lonely affair in the best of circumstances. How do you achieve a good work/life/writing balance?

Start lazy and work your way up. Honestly, I’m not the guy that is such a workaholic he looks back and realizes he’s missed his life. I’m the guy that looks back and realizes he spent too much time playing video games and drinking beer it’s a miracle I get anything done at all. My wife and I have very purposefully constructed a laidback lifestyle. We don’t have kids. We quit our stressful jobs and told our asshole boss to f*ck off. I always feel like I should do more, but I try not to beat myself up about it. I have a pretty good life and I don’t need to be Stephen King to be happy.

Who are your favorite current writers and who are your greatest influences?

My favorite author is John Irving. I’ve read basically everything he’s ever written. As far as fantasy goes, I’m a big fan of Joe Abercrombie, Michael R. Fletcher, Ed McDonald, and right now I’m about halfway through the Malazan Book of the Fallen and I both love and hate it.

What are your favorite types of stories? Of characters?

I love a ne’er do well. Any character that thumbs their nose at convention and lives by their own code. Give me a rogue who spits in the face of death and is in over their head because of gambling debts and I will give you a five star rating and a fist full of cash.

Can you give us an elevator pitch for your book?

Norse Fantasy meets grimdark sci-fi. The world is ending and still the characters can’t escape the old grudges and bitter legacy of conquest.

Describe your book in 3 adjectives.

Epic. Haunting. Gritty.

In your opinion, what kind of reader would like this book?

If you love a dark story full of nuanced characters and eerie supernatural elements come along for the ride, I think you’ll find that each book gets more intense, more epic, and more personal.

What would you like readers to take away from this book?

An insatiable need to read the next one.

How much do you plan when you write? What’s your writing process like?

I’ve gone all over the map over the course of this series. The Skald’s Black Verse was completely improvised, but I discovered that making all the pieces fit precisely required a massive re-write or six. So the next time around I worked off of a simple outline for The Weeping Sigil to much the same result. Travels in the Dark I planned a little more extensively and thus had to spend less time editing(Except for the ending, getting the ending of a trilogy to really shine is hard fucking work. But when it clicks holy hell is it a glorious feeling). My new project I outlined waaaaay tooooo muuuuuuch. I ended up with 15k word outline which I promptly threw out. I found that with every little detail planned it kind of sucked the joy out of writing, so I’m still finding the right balance.

Is this your first book? If so, what lessons have you learned from writing it? If not, what lessons did you learn from writing earlier books that you brought into this one?

I actually wrote a trunk novel about a trio of expats in Southern Sudan but in the end I don’t think it was good enough to publish it. That thing took me like six years to write and then I filed it away for never. My lesson: get your ass in gear. If you want to write, you better write all the time.

Do you usually write to background noise, music, etc. or do you prefer silence?

I find music with lyrics too distracting but sometimes I’ll play something instrumental. More often than that though I put on noise canceling headphones so I can tune everything out.

What do you think characterizes your writing style?

I like to think I write realistic, snappy dialogue that captures characters well. Most of my prose is straightforward and descriptive, peppered with a few strong similies. When things get more intense the prose get a touch of poetry. But, you know, just a touch.

How much of yourself do you write into your stories?

I’m not a character, if that’s what you mean. I would definitely end up stabbed in the guts, pants pissed, begging for my life, if I ventured into the world of The Dreadbound Ode.

They say to never judge a book by its cover and maybe that’s true in the philosophical sense, but it certainly happens with books. Can you tell us about the idea behind the cover of your book?

I worked with a company called Deranged Doctor Designs to get a moment from the book that was emblematic of the book as a whole. It’s tough to get a cover that hints at sci-fi and fantasy elements that is also true to the content of this story, but with a really detailed description of what I wanted, they nailed each of the covers for this series.

Is there anything you can tell us about any current projects you’re working on?

I’m just about to finish the first draft of my next novel. It’s basically Indiana Jones meets Lord of the Rings. A secret cult of Dragon supremacists is hellbent on unlocking the terrible power of their bloodline and only a trio consisting of a dying man, a court dandy, and a discredited scholar can stop them.

And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?

I have a website!

I’m also at on twitter @jordanloyalshor I know..they just couldn’t make room for that T at the end.

Anyway you can also find me on Facebook at

And Instagram at

Where to buy the book:

Universal Link:

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