Ragnar's Saga

The Story Behind the Story

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When the Machines Arrive

Posted by Christopher Hivner on August 21, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments ()

I love a good apocalyptic story. So many have been written and movies made though that it’s hard to come up with anything original. When I started writing “When the Machines Arrive” I didn’t know that was the direction I was going. I saw in my head people leaving their homes to listen to music borne on the wind, seeming to come from no one fixed place. Underneath the music were subliminal messages sent to control everyoneR...

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Fairground Attraction

Posted by Christopher Hivner on January 6, 2012 at 10:10 PM Comments comments ()

Sometimes its starts with a title.


In the mid-90s there was an alternative band named Fairground Attraction who had a minor hit with a song called “Perfect”. I really liked “Perfect” and bought the band’s CD. One day while listening to it I was reading the liner notes and studying the cover art when I focused on the name of the band. This is a very su...

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The Myth of the Serpent

Posted by Christopher Hivner on April 5, 2011 at 1:42 PM Comments comments ()

The construction of The Myth of the Serpent started one day at work when I had gone out for lunch. When I got back I pulled into a parking space and just sat there for a few minutes staring at the sky. I didn’t want to go back to work that day. What I was doing was boring me out of my mind and it was a beautiful spring day; the sky was that perfect blue that you get lost in when you stare at it and all your problems melt away. There were only a few strips of ...

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The Silence

Posted by Christopher Hivner on January 9, 2011 at 10:30 PM Comments comments ()

Getting a haircut is a pretty innocuous chore for most people but I’ve never enjoyed them so I would wait until my head was over-run like ivy climbing an oak tree. When I had squirrels nesting on my head, then I would get a haircut. I used to go to a place at the local mall. Sometimes they could take you right away, but if they were busy you had to sign in and wait. The last time I went I waited 45 minutes with no call of my name so I left to ...

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Lady Emily

Posted by Christopher Hivner on October 21, 2010 at 12:49 AM Comments comments ()

I got serious about my writing around 1992. The first year or two my horror stories were very plot driven. My characters didn’t have much depth, cardboard cut-outs with a dose of personality. Much like an AC/DC song which is all about the guitar riff, I was all about the idea. I was a plot junkie. My stories were short and sweet, 1500 words average; set up, twist, ending. Splash around some blood, throw entrails over the couch and some bones i...

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A Little Tongue

Posted by Christopher Hivner on July 25, 2010 at 11:18 PM Comments comments ()

Story ideas come from many different places: a conversation with a friend, a newspaper article, a song, a historical event. Other times the idea comes out of nowhere, like an invader, a Viking slashing his sword into my brain. Once I have the basic plot in my head, the process can still go different ways. Some stories have to be pieced together, each section baked in a kiln until it’s ready. A section may even have to be broken up and reformed. On rare occ...

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Of His Kind

Posted by Christopher Hivner on May 9, 2010 at 9:05 PM Comments comments ()

Sometimes after you’ve watched a disturbing movie, you need to watch a goofy comedy to cleanse your palate. It can work the same way with writing. After finishing a dark, hornet’s nest of a story, I need to write something lighter, even if it’s just a dirty limerick, to get the black thoughts out of my brain.


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The Sobriety Test

Posted by Christopher Hivner on April 15, 2010 at 1:45 PM Comments comments ()

The Sobriety Test is the old man of my stories, the first draft was written in 1984. I was only a year out of high school and my horror stories up to then were light on plot, nonexistent in character development and heavy on description scribed to be as disgusting and gut-wrenching as possible. This, as it turns out, is a pretty common starting point for the writer of horror. The Sobriety Test was one of the first stories I wrote where I ...

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Taking Jenny Seriously

Posted by Christopher Hivner on March 28, 2010 at 11:24 PM Comments comments ()

Let’s set the mood before we begin our story. Turn off the lamp and light some candles to bathe yourself in shadows. Your musical accompaniment should be something like Bach’s Toccata in D minor or some doom metal like Beyond Black Void. I’m going to tell you about the first story in my book.


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