Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Interview with Elizabeth Tammi for The Weight of a Soul

The Weight of a Soul

by Elizabeth Tammi
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: December 3rd 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
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When Lena's younger sister Fressa is found dead, their whole Viking clan mourns—but it is Lena alone who never recovers. Fressa is the sister that should've lived, and Lena cannot rest until she knows exactly what killed Fressa and why—and how to bring her back. She strikes a dark deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of death, and begins a new double life to save her sister.

But as Lena gets closer to bringing Fressa back, she dredges up dangerous discoveries about her own family, and finds herself in the middle of a devastating plan to spur Ragnarök –a deadly chain of events leading to total world destruction.

Still, with her sister's life in the balance, Lena is willing to risk it all. She's willing to kill. How far will she go before the darkness consumes her?

Can you briefly describe THE WEIGHT OF A SOUL and its characters? 

In short, THE WEIGHT OF A SOUL follows the story of Magdalena Freding, the 18-year-old daughter of a village chief. When her younger sister Fressa is found dead without a cause or explanation, Lena is the only one unwilling to accept that Fressa is gone; she strikes a dark deal with the Norse goddess of death, Hela, to bring her sister back and unwittingly stumbles into a plot that spans the nine worlds, threatening Ragnarok. This story follows Lena’s journey as she reckons with how far she is willing to go and how much she is willing to change about herself. Through it all, she must hide her double-life from her best friend (and Fressa’s fiancé) Amal, and her mother, who shoulders the burden of leading the village during her husband’s frequent raids. 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

I connected the most with Lena, of course, since the story is told from her perspective and I understood her motivations. But I’ll say my favourite character to write was definitely Amal. His kindness and resiliency are so admirable, especially in the face of all he goes through during this story.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere? 

It was the culmination of lots of story “threads” that I had. I’d been wanting to write a story about sisters, but also was intrigued by Norse mythology. The perfect catalyst came while studying Viking history at Oxford. These three elements came together, and the plot came to me very quickly—something that hadn’t happened before and likely never will again, haha! I drew inspiration from my own close relationship with my sister, as well as my fascination with Norse mythology and Scandinavia, where a lot of my family came to the United States from.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be? 

I think “If I Say” by Mumford & Sons is pretty fitting, but really anything by Danheim or Wardruna works too! 

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

Hmm…the closest I think we’d get in this time period would be to take this book to something like a pub. Get an ale or cider, and soak in the community atmosphere. It’s the closest we have to a “mead hall” these days, I think! 

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish THE WEIGHT OF A SOUL? 

Of course! I adored Adrienne Young’s Sky in the Deep, which is also Norse inspired. If you’re looking for something funny and heartfelt, try Rick Riordan’s trilogy Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard—that was my first extended introduction to this mythos. The Young Elites by Marie Lu is also a good example of a descent narrative. 

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book? 

It’s always revisions for me. Plotting is difficult but exciting, and I have zero qualms about writing a terrible first draft—there’s no pressure at that point. But once the story requires editing and revisions, it’s sometimes overwhelming to conceptualize and tackle.

What’s next for you? 

Right now, I’m focusing on finishing up my senior year of college. I graduate this May, so it’s going to be pretty hectic wrapping up my degree and figuring out what’s next for me! As far as writing goes, I can’t say a whole lot right now, but I am working on something new that I’m enjoying so far—it involves mythology, no surprise!

Elizabeth Tammi was born in California and grew up in Florida, but is currently double-majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism as an undergraduate at Mercer University in Georgia. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Elizabeth at work for her university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Her other interests include traveling, caffeinated beverages, and mythology. You can find Elizabeth online on Tumblr at (annabethisterrified), Twitter at (@ElizabethTammi), Instagram at (elizabeth_tammi), and at elizabethtammi.com.


  1. The mix of Viking legends and family tumult sound like they'd make a good read!

  2. This mystery intrigues me and I've never read a book with Vikings before.

  3. I love this. It intrigues me. My favourite genre is fantasy romance.

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