Norse mythology in Manitoba

In his books Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues, Chadwick Ginther brings Scandinavian folklore to the prairies

Local writer Chadwick Ginther is en route to becoming a literary giant in the sci-fi and fantasy community. 

Since the release of his debut novel Thunder Road, Ginther has travelled to numerous conferences, reached bestseller lists and been a nominee and winner of various awards for his work. But Ginther’s love of fantasy and adventure started well before any of that - it’s been embedded in his reading DNA since a very early age.

“When I was growing up my great-great-uncle lived with my family and I had a great-great-great-uncle who lived in a log cabin all year round until after his 100th birthday,” Ginther says over drinks at Café 22. 

“They would tell me stories of their youth, which were almost like adventures stories, and they’d make up original Lone Ranger and Tarzan stories when they babysat me. That was my call to adventure.”

Set in Manitoba, Thunder Road follows blue collar Ted Callan as he embarks on a road trip with “trickster Loki and beguiling Tilda” to seek out the men who have wronged him, only to discover that the creatures of Norse mythology walk among us.

Ginther says that setting the book in his home province was influenced by one of his literary heroes, one who he says inspired him to pursue writing.

“Guy Gavriel Kay was the first writer that I not only knew to be Canadian, but that I knew to be from Manitoba and that was huge for me,” says Ginther. “Not only was he Canadian, his characters were Canadian too. That’s when I knew writing was a possibility for me. Authors always came from bigger cities. They did not come from Manitoba or Winnipeg and they sure didn’t come from Morden.” 

Originally, Ginther says Thunder Road was meant to be a stand alone book and not a trilogy.

“The decision to make it a trilogy came after I sold the first book,” Ginther says.  “In my mind I knew what the first three books would be but I also thought that the best stories have endings.  I wanted there to be closure to Ted’s story and leave the world open for more stories.”

Thankfully for fans of Ginther, he decided to write those next two books and this September sees the release of Thunder Road’s sequel, Tombstone Blues

“The second book is much darker,” Ginther alludes.  “It starts off two months into Ted and Tilda’s cohabitation, just enough time for them to start getting on each other’s nerves. It asks the question, ‘What’s it like to live with your destined mate after knowing each other only a few weeks?’”

Ginther is busy at work on book three, but we’ll be seeing more of his writing before then.

“I have a steampunk werewolf short story coming out in an anthology called Gears and Growls by the end of the year and I have my first Thunder Road tie-in story coming out in On Spec,” he confirms. “There’s a new protagonist. Ted isn’t in it but Loki is. It takes place in the two months between Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues.

“It’s a good year.”

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Published in Volume 68, Number 1 of The Uniter (September 4, 2013)

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