Carina Steinbakk – Unveiling the Magic

Exploring the Intersection of Magic and Science Crafting Heroes in the Battle Between Light and Darkness

Carina Steinbakk discusses her inspiration from merging magic and science, influences from her Norwegian upbringing, and themes of resilience in Flames of Eader.

Carina Steinbakk, a Norwegian author renowned for her debut novel Flames of Eader, beckons readers into a realm where magic intertwines with science and where heroes navigate the intricate dance between light and darkness. In this urban fantasy, Steinbakk masterfully constructs a narrative brimming with energy imbalances resonant with our contemporary world. Her prose is a tapestry woven with vibrant descriptions, compelling characters, and plots that quicken the pulse.

As an author deeply rooted in both the mystical and the pragmatic, Steinbakk’s inspiration for Flames of Eader springs from the convergence of these seemingly disparate realms. For her, magic and science are not mutually exclusive but rather threads in the same cosmic fabric, waiting to be unraveled. Through characters like Grey, the protagonist, she explores the nuanced layers of humanity, where bravery coexists with doubt, and where kindness holds as much power as any spell.

Steinbakk’s nomadic upbringing, traversing landscapes from the fjords of Norway to the moors of Scotland, infuses her world-building with a rich tapestry of Norse mythology and Scottish legends. These experiences, coupled with her background in renewable energy development and tech entrepreneurship, imbue her storytelling with authenticity and depth. Readers will find echoes of her own voice in Grey’s wit, sarcasm, and indomitable spirit—a spirit shaped by real-world challenges and triumphs.

Within the pages of Flames of Eader, Steinbakk delves into themes of trust, resilience, and unexpected alliances. Through Grey’s journey, readers are invited to ponder the intricacies of forging new bonds, confronting past traumas, and finding strength in the face of adversity. As the battle between light and darkness unfolds, Steinbakk’s narrative serves as a beacon, illuminating the path toward balance and resilience in a world fraught with chaos.

Ultimately, Steinbakk’s hope is that readers will not only be entertained by the tale of Flames of Eader but also find a renewed sense of wonder in the magic that surrounds them. Through her storytelling, she invites us to discover the magic within ourselves, to embrace the energy that flows through our lives, and to craft our own destinies amidst the tumult of existence.

What inspired you to merge elements of magic, science, and strong heroes in your fantasy novel, Flames of Eader?

As my background is founded in both believing in the magic in the world as well as the pragmatism that comes with our scientific foundations, Flames of Eader evolved as an intersection of these two beliefs. Someone once said that magic is simply science that we do not yet understand, and this is reflected in the story of Grey and Eader. From the hidden world of Eader, where there are natural powers, magical creatures and ancient energies protecting, and threatening Earth, to the simple magic of a library, it all finds a place in Flames of Eader. When it comes to the character development, it was important to me that they as complicated, yet simple as we all are. In my mind, being honest and kind is as much a superpower as being able to shoot lasers from your eyes, and having doubts while being brave is a normal balance with even the strongest hero. Grey, our protagonist, is a nerd, a geek and a lover of all things fantasy when he gets dragged into the world of Eader, and learns about his own strengths and weaknesses. We get to learn about his past and how he handles the challenges thrown at him, all with the sarcasm, wit and brains you can expect from a millennial.

Can you share how your Norwegian upbringing and experiences living in Scotland influenced the world-building and mythology in your book?

I grew up as a bit of a nomad, and therefore I had the opportunity to experience new places and I relished getting lost in my new neighbourhoods in Norway, as well as envisioning where I might bump into a mountain troll or a holder, discovering the quiet nooks of Glasgow, the gloomy alleys of Aberdeen, and the moors of the Scottish highland —all of which became wellsprings of inspiration for my writing with the Norse mythology, and intriguing legends of Scotland.

As someone with a background in renewable energy development and tech entrepreneurship, how do these real-world interests intersect with your storytelling in Flames of Eader?

Anyone who knows me will recognise my ‘voice’ in my writing. Even in the way Grey talks and behaves, in how he sees a challenge as a way to find a positive outcome, or to explain the science in our every day lives. He might be little bit of a sarcastic know-it-all, but hey, where is the fun in life without a little sarcasm?

Could you delve into Grey O’Shearan’s character arc and what makes him a compelling protagonist in the battle between light and darkness?

Grey has had a rough start in life, which has shaped his view on life and other people, making him a bit of a hermit. As he gets more insights into his former life, where he came from and his own abilities, he grows as both a man, friend and hero. He never lost his sense of humour, though we do get to experience how it goes from being a survival technique to more of a crutch in dealing with battles and new relationships. His insights into technology, fantasy books and engineering experience gives him specific tools to support his abilities, and to trust in the way forward. 

In Flames of Eader, you explore themes of trust and unexpected alliances. How do these themes play out in Grey’s journey and his interactions with the inhabitants of Eader?

As Grey has had a poor experience with people in general throughout his young life, it takes him some time to warm up to and understand his new reality. This especially shows when dealing with Callen, his former best friend and sparring partner, as well as Darby, a fellow Fior and the one who could have shone some light on his past much earlier. We see Grey struggle with adapting to his new role, especially when he realises the people of Eader has special ties to him and his past. Forging new bonds from old memories and learning who you can trust becomes a centrepiece in the story.

What do you hope readers will take away from the message or themes of balance and resilience presented in your novel?

In my heart I fiercely believe that magic is around us everywhere, and all we need to do is to learn to look for it. This is what I hope readers will take from the story. Especially in the types of energies we surround us with, that we can choose to do with the energy available to us as we wish and with this, we can create our own magic.

Flames of Eader”weaves a mesmerising tapestry of magic, adventure, and the eternal battle between light and darkness. Carina Steinbakk masterfully crafts a world where the ordinary collides with the extraordinary, inviting readers on a journey of self-discovery, courage, and the power of belief. Prepare to be spellbound.

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Editor’s Choice, Award of Literary Excellence  is presented to Carina Steinbakk and a select group of exceptional authors by Reader’s House magazine.
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