To recap- a boy who lived across the road from my parents was helping me develop the main character for the book. This boy, Nick, seemed very much like the main character of Josh (Knut)- both are very inventive and creative boys, with vivid imaginations. For research purposes (and for fun), Nick, his dad Roy and I set about building a Viking longship out of a cardboard fridge box.
We laid the cardboard out flat and ruled a line straight down the middle- we’d be building two identical sides for our ship, so we would need to divide the cardboard in half.
We drew the outline of the boat onto one half of the cardboard, making one half of a ship.
While Norman was in the Shetlands researching, I was at home in Perth, doing some research for the pictures.
I made a few initial sketches of Viking things- costumes, houses, the bows of ships, rune stones, helmets… Norman has a huge collection of books on Vikings, so I wasn’t short of material. These sketches gave me lots of ideas for how the pictures and characters might look. (I haven’t shown all the sketches here, because don’t want to give away too much of the story).