I Did Take Some Poetic Liberties

Mike Meier Author Interview

The Final Days of Doggerland follows the story of an ancient tribe living in a land now beneath the sea, who would do whatever it takes to survive in the harsh land. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

It was in early December 2020 that a scientific article about the first use of spices caught my attention. According to the article and others I found, garlic mustard was the first spice used in Northern Europe. Since I was born in Northern Europe, this piqued my curiosity.

It was probably because I’ve always felt a close connection with Northern Europe that the story flowed naturally from my fingers to my keyboard. My late father was born near one of the sites where evidence of early spice use was found (Viking territory, by the way). And I’ve been familiar with ancient Norse mythology since childhood. I based the Bollebargs’ beliefs on such Norse myths.

I completed the first draft of the screenplay that was the basis for this book by the end of that month. However, since a screenplay is usually limited to 120 pages, I had to simplify the ending. This book has the ending I originally intended.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

First and foremost, “survival”—people at the time did not enjoy modern amenities, such as heating, a supermarket where you could shop for whatever you needed, and a comfortable sofa with a TV in front. Instead, resources were scarce and even more so in Northern Europe—as a large landmass, Doggerland, was lost to the sea. So survival is the recurring theme: Viggo, the chief of the Bollebarg tribe, seeks to ensure the survival of his people by assaulting any migrants who pass through the forest and taking their lives, their belongings, and their livestock; the Taifali women seek to improve their farming practices to ensure there is enough food for the winter; and Nicu asks Oane and her grandmother to share a bedstead in winter to stay warm.

What kind of research did you do for this novel to ensure you captured the essence of the story’s theme?

As I stated earlier, it started out with the science article about the ancient use of garlic mustard. I cannot find the original article anymore that got me started, but it was something along the lines of this article: https://www.sci.news/archaeology/science-spices-01328.html

Then I read up about the period. Even though I grew up in Northern Europe, I was unaware that Doggerland once connected the British Isles with Northern Europe. I had heard about Dogger Bank, a large sandbank in a shallow part of the North Sea that is a major commercial fishing ground, but I did not know it was a remnant of Doggerland.

Then I found another article about the origin of blue eyes in humans. In brief, one interesting fact led to another. I did not have to invent much for the story. It came together naturally with the history I discovered, and it ended up based in large part on archeological facts. Yes, I did take some poetic liberties, such as with the language of the Taifali and the Bollebargs, and the set-up of the Bollebarg village, but the basic facts are true—Doggerland disappeared, blue-eyed people arrived in Northern Europe, and the people began spicing food.

With that, I’d found the ingredients—literally—of a story based on archeological facts.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

I am currently focused on writing screenplays and may turn one of them into a book. Most likely, it will be All That Glitters (see https://theallthatglittersstory.com/). It is inspired by true events: a German immigrant uncovers some harsh truths about the American Dream and the American justice system when he goes to work for two retired Las Vegas drag queens.

Author Links: Facebook | Website | Amazon

Did you know that until about 8,000 years ago, England was connected by land to Northern Europe? We now call that connecting land “Doggerland.”

“The Final Days of Doggerland” is a Stone Age story, written by Mike Meier, the award-winning author of “JoinWith.Me” and “The Love Hex or Nicest Flings in Mexico.” It is beautifully illustrated by the Uruguayan artist Guarazú, and contains 5 songs that the author wrote for the story. Many aspects of the story are based on archeological facts, such as the migration of the Yamnaya people, the disappearance of Doggerland, the use of garlic mustard to spice food, and the arrival of blue-eyed people in Northern Europe from the area of the Black Sea.
If such historical facts interest you, then this book is for you.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on August 29, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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