Picspiration for FROST by Wendy Delsol

Hi there! Today we have a special treat from an author who’s story I just love. Wendy Delsol writes the Stork Trilogy, a series that explores a young girl’s connection to an ancient Nordic mythology, and just how that fits into her uber-contemporary lifestyle. Add in a hottie boyfriend with a cool, cool ancestor, and it’s a fun, captivating story.

Some of the places in the second book in the series, FROST, are described in such detail that I could picture them in my head. But I was curious… how did Wendy see them? Have you ever wondered if YOUR idea of a person/place was what the author was intending? What were THEY imagining when writing particular scenes?? So… I asked, lol…

My friend Jennifer asked me about inspiration for some of the scenes I created for Frost, the Icelandic Festival in particular.

It’s worth mentioning here that I have never been to Iceland. I am not of Icelandic origin. Moreover, my festival town of Hafmeyjafjordur is fictional, and an invented word at that. It translates to Mermaid Fjord, in case you’re interested.

Years ago, when first taking writing classes, I was witness to an exchange between two students. The first had submitted pages for critique and had taken creative liberties with an actual town and physical location. Another student had censured the writer for inaccuracies and even sloppy research. At this point, the instructor intervened, reminding the entire class that fiction is just that. Once published, a novel’s copyright page will state: “This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or, if real, are used fictionally.” That confrontation and it’s ensuing discussion was my creative aha moment.

Thus, in creating the Icelandic sea-themed festival, one I named The Dance of the Selkies, much is of my own invention. I do, of course, use the web (thank you Google) to pull up photos of real Icelandic festivals, costumes, and physical descriptions of the architecture and landscapes.

Below are some of theactual images or a few that remind me of images I studied while writing thebook:

These two shots show the upphlutur, a traditional Icelandic costume. The two girls even physically remind me of Katla. She, of course, wears a silver tassel, one that sets her apart from the other festival-goers and is highly symbolic.

The above two photos were taken at a real Viking Festival in Iceland.

And this one reminds me of the scene I described where Katla looks at the jewelry being sold by a gypsy-garbed Jinky and ends up having her runes read.

And, finally, here’s an image of the real Akureyri, a town Katla visits. I used images of this idyllic village to describe my Hafmeyjafjordur, my Mermaid Fjord.

Creative license is one of the favorite aspects of my job. I purposely ground much of my characters’ day-to-day activities in real-life and believable surroundings. When exotic locations and/or fantasy elements are introduced, they feel special and authentic. I hope so, anyway.  At any rate, I loved creating Katla’s festival scenes. And one of these days, I hope to get to the real Iceland. Until then, Katla gets to do my traveling for me.

**Thank you, so much, to Wendy for putting together such a nice presentaton of her inspirations. Check out the first book in this wonderful story, STORK… and the second in the trilogy, FROST. You can read my review of FROST here. I cannot… cannot… CANNOT (oh, but I’ll have to) WAIT for the last part of this fun, fascinating tale. AAAANNNNDDDDD… Wendy has confirmed the title for book 3!!!!!!! The Stork Trilogy will be… STORK… FROST… TIDE! I can only imagine (cause she won’t tell me) what’s in store for our Kat & Jack in a book called TIDE!!

Now… a challenge for YOU… I wanna see some of YOUR picspirations. Find a picture that shows a scene you love from a book. (please keep it PG13 & under) Post the pic (or a link to the pic) and the scene/book/author you’re referring to below. You can also ask Wendy questions about HER pics, she’ll be popping in today to reply to comments and questions about pics, or whatever else you’d like to know. One person who either posts a pic or asks a question will win an autographed copy of FROST!!! Please remember to leave your first name and email in the comments so I can notify you if you win. Contest ends tomorrow night (Sun, 11:59pm, Pacific). I’m so excited to see what you all come up with!!!


  1. Comment by Kathryn Anne Merkel:

    So cool to see pics that show what you were imagining when writing Katla’s story. I would imagine that it made it a lot easier to make your fictional location seem plausible.

    While I do agree with your teacher that fiction does not have to be overly perfect, I think some authors do make the mistake of using places that are too well known in their stories, then change them so much they don’t ring true to the reader. What’s the point of saying your story is located in New York CIty, if you are going to rearrange the boroughs or put a private residence in the middle of Central Park?

  2. Comment by Wendy Delsol:

    Hi, Kathryn! Thanks for the comment. I imagine it comes down to the tone of the book and possibly genre as to whether a story can get away with tinkering with an iconic locale, NYC, for instance. Absolutely, if the book is historic fiction or a thriller, then realistic settings and accurate details strengthen the story. Once humor, paranormal, or a fantasy element are established, I think the reader relaxes and suspends disbelief to a greater extent. I tend to invent fictional small towns. It’s a subtle tug on the reader’s subconscious to accept the unusual, farcical, etc. Cheers, Wendy

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