Bill Sullivan

presenting 4:50pm - 5:40pm
signing 5:40pm - 6:10pm

Were the Vikings barbarians? Historical novelist William L. Sullivan discusses recent archeological evidence that reveals a very different interpretation of the Viking Age in Denmark and England. While researching his latest book, “The Ship in the Sand,” Sullivan undertook more than a dozen trips to Northern Europe examining Vikingburial ships, rune stones, and treasure troves. Join him for an illustrated tour of the history and archeology of the Vikings.A historical novel set in Denmark and England, "The Ship in the Sand" follows on the success of Sullivan's first Viking-age novel, "The Ship in the Hill," set in Norway.

Harald Bluetooth, the first king of a united Denmark, was a Viking with a conscience. When an English king slaughtered his daughter in a genocidal attach, the Danes took over the English throne. A thousand years later, the English returned the favor by freeing Denmark from the tyranny of the German Nazis.

The book alternates chapters between the two eras, following the Danish archeologist Mette Anderson as she struggles to help her Jewish fiance in World War I. Meanwhile in the Viking age, a sorceress spies for three kings but also serves a mysterious deeper purpose at the behest of the Norse gods. Who is right, and who will win? Only the gods and the archeologists seem to know.

About Bill: Bill Sullivan is the author of six novels and 15 nonfiction books. His first Viking novel, “The Ship in Hill,” examined the beginnings of the Viking Age in Norway, alternating chapters between Queen Asa of Agthir and the excavation of her burial ship in Norway in 1904. “The Ship in the Sand” deals with the next era of the Viking Age, when Harald Bluetooth united Denmark, setting the stage for the conquest of England. Alternating chapters in this book are set in World War II, when Danish archeologists set out to undermine the Nazi occupation of Denmark.

With a bit of Danish ancestry himself, Sullivan speaks Danish and reads in nine languages. His book “Listening for Coyote” was chosen by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission as one of Oregon’s “100 Books,” the most significant books in the state’s history. He lives in Eugene but does most of his writing at a log cabin, far from roads or electricity, on a river in Oregon’s Coast Range.