Stephan Grundy June 28, 1967 – Sept 29, 2021 From his humble beginnings, Stephan Grundy/Kveldulf Gundarsson would make his mark on the world by writing
How the Valkyrie cover imagery and typography was chosen.
First, let me say that I absolutely love this book. The plot is fantastic and it’s a gender bending story line that my fellow LGBTQ+ community will absolutely go bonkers for. Helgi is a fantastic character, relatable as they come. His struggles in the story feel very real to the reader as Stephan delves into the finer details of Helgi’s life.
That being said, I wanted to create a cover that reflected not only Helgi as a rock star character but depicted the strength and chaotic nature of the character as well as the divinity of the Valkyrie mythology from Norse paganism.
To do that, I first had to decide on the background images. What depicts Valkyrie more than a Valkyrie herself? A simple shadow effect with grunge elements created the mysteriousness that Valkyrie have always given me a sense of being. With hints of both traditional male and female color schemes that cross the “boarder” of genders and blend together I wanted to create a sense of gender fluidity to the cover. Along with the guitar in behind the back cover title piece and the typography taking on a very grunge feel we have the cover you see here.
All my covers take on the life of the story found within as closely as I can get them to. A good cover creates the atmosphere for the reader to immerse themselves into the writer’s story. It’s the hook as the industry calls it. I would say, even more so than the back cover synopsis might be because the first thing a reader sees is the cover.
Written as a wandering narrative that flips between past and present, Valkyrie is a seamless story that captures the reader from page one.
The author included an interesting personal appearance in the novel at a popular heathen event inside Valkyrie.
Facts on Valkyries
Valkyries are part of an extensive mythology that includes everything from battle worn maidens who ride along with Odin as his right hand women to swan maidens that appeared as women in the moonlight, living among humans until such time as they had to return home. These swan maidens are the possible inspiration for the story The Swan Princess and are part of a greater mythology of animal to human shapeshifting.
Valkyries are also connected to the goddess Freya, who owns a legion of them. These seem to serve along side her in collecting the dead and dying from the battle field.
Often Valkyries are depicted as having winged helmets or wings on their back, and have often been drawn as beautiful somewhat scantily clad women.
Valkyries are linked to the idea of a noble afterlife of ‘glorious’ battle but in recent discussions on them, these women were likely part of an older tradition of women caring for the wounded and the dying and seen as similar to the way many interpret figures like Florence Nightingale. These women may have been actual visitors to the front lines and were likely the closest thing to a field nurse.
It has been suggested in some papers that Valkyries are merely the invention of Christian influence, because they appear almost like angels and likely are the inspiration for many iconographic representations.
However they are recorded or represented, the clear link between the Valkyries and fate are long seen as relevant and meaningful too many who read the myths. They are seen to represent a force that is in direct contact with and working with the gods themselves.
Author: Stephan Grundy
Publisher: The Three Little Sisters
Weight: 2.458 lb
Trim Size: 6×9 inches