Dunmow author has Viking novel published

John Harrington

John Harrington - Credit: Archant

A 51-year-old from Dunmow has had his first novel published, a Viking saga called The King of the Norse.

John Harrington, who lives in Flitch Green, only started writing novels seriously about six years ago. He was on the verge of giving up after 20 rejections.

However, he heard about a relatively new publisher which specialises in historical fiction and submitted the manuscript to them. To John’s delight, Endeavour Press accepted his novel.

The book was published on May 1, initially as an e-book and now as a paperback on Amazon.

“It’s selling well,” said John, “and if it keeps going well, the next stage would be to distribute the paperback to bookshops.”


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The father-of-five has two daughters, Charlotte and Ella, with his wife Kerry, as well as three children from his previous marriage.

While he does receive a small royalty from each book he sells, John still has a day job as a technical manager in the mobile phone industry.

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The book, published under the name J M Harrington, is set in the dark ages in Denmark and Ireland. It follows the adventures of a Viking called Gunar who ends up in a slave ship bound for Dublin.

He is then caught up in the Battle of Dublin where he crosses the path of Olef, the future king of Iceland.

“It’s a pre-story of an Icelandic saga,” said John.

“A major character died and I worked back from there, imagining what had happened to him before that point.

“The book has had positive reviews on Amazon with people describing it as similar to Game of Thrones, but it’s based on fact.”

John is already working on the sequel based around the Battle of Maldon.

This was a famous clash in Essex between the Saxons and Vikings which took place during the reign of Aethelred the Unready.

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