Eventhor Media is proud to present ASGARD PARK

The Novel
The Novel
The Reviews
The Reviews
The Author
The Author
Do you know that God walks among us? He resides in upstate New York where he runs the Asgard Park Asylum for the Criminally Insane. He is a working God. He is here for a reason.

Michelle Lovric, novelist (Carnevale, The Remedy, The Floating Book) and a judge for the British Writers' Awards had this to say:

This novel is truly original. It delivers a good, gripping read to a readership that wants the kind of page-turning excitement generated by Dan Brown's books, but demands more than Dan Brown's wooden characters and facile plots.
Ronald Simonar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1945. With his birth, the second World War ended. This may have been a coincidence. After a life as a practising artist, and another life devoted to physics, this is his second novel in his third life. Simonar lives with his wife and family in southern Sweden. This too may be a coincidence.

Buy the novel online in hardcover, paperback, Kindle or ePub

Our book publicist Kelley & Hall in the United States had this to say:

This interview was taken by Eventhor Media to coincide with the worldwide launch of Asgard Park in January 2012.
It can be reproduced wholly or partly without further permission from the copyright holder.

How would you describe your novel Asgard Park to a prospective reader who has never heard of it?

I'd tell him or her how Dr Wallenberg arrives at an old asylum in upstate New York to discover that his appointment as its new Director of Research is bait. There is a God in residence at Asgard Park, the one who settles social order among humans. This is not an omnipotent God but a deity held in trust by a living person during a human lifespan. The time has come for changing of the guard. With his sanity sorely tested across two continents, Wallenberg uncovers the oldest story on Earth and the best kept secret of all times.

You tell the story of this changing of the guard through three main characters. Doesn't that demand a lot of the reader?

Not really, if a reader takes on the story, he will bring the threads together for an exciting ride. So many thrillers today are put together like cars where the exchangeable parts are mounted on a tested platform. They all give you a safe ride but how memorable is a commuter's trip in a run of the mill car. A world famous novelist, I won't give a name, has declared Asgard Park to be truly original and that it delivers a good, gripping read to people who want the page-turning excitement of Dan Brown's books but demand more than wooden characters and facile plots. That's good enough for me.

Why the name Birger Wallenberg for your lead character?

The story does not involve Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved so many Jews from the holocaust; that much I can say. An American NSA officer investigating a missing file on STASI collaborators brings up the name in a conversation with a German Baron and so I picked the name for an important intrigue. The mother of our young neurologist is a wealthy entrepreneur living in the seaside village of Falsterbo in Sweden and has no connection to the Wallenberg dynasty. Swedes are hard working reasonable people and I wanted that kind of core skepticism in my lead character.

Parts of the story play out in Albania after the death of its communist dictator Horxha while the xenophobic government falls apart. The setting has a vivid sense of place, were you ever there?

Yes, I visited the country at the time. Visas were impossible to get so I flew in to see the situation. Their Minister for Sport was to meet me to cover my lack of documents but the man had no sense of time. Soldiers with worn machine guns guarded me out on the tarmac until the minister arrived hours later, my only time as an enemy of State. I traveled across Albania and saw some of the misery for myself. It was a twilight experience and a fine backdrop for Asgard Park. I recall being shown a black car in a dilapidated studio for propaganda films, the Zil limousine that Stalin gave Horxha. My minders tried to sell it to me for a million dollars. They had no sense of value. When I left the country, I had the passport of the Minister for Sport and of all his family in my pocket. This high official, a former wrestler was hoping to emigrate but was so terrified that he broke down and vomited at the airport while seeing me off. That more than anything brought home to me how much people feared the State. A few months earlier, his passport betrayal would have cost his family a lifetime in the camps.

The scene from a Tirana basement morgue where naked and stacked up corpses glistened with condensation every time the electricity was down, is that something you have seen?

Not quite, I'll leave it at that. I suppose being a painter helps me grasp what I'm looking at. The 380 pages of Asgard Park were culled from 900 pages of original characters and descriptions of place and I seem to miss all of them. My editors insist that too much ambiance slows the narrative.

You say that the Asgard Park story does not clash with science or reality. Should a writer have such reservations?

No but after a lifetime of theoretical physics, I have a nagging suspicion that I take myself too seriously, especially when I have an original thought instead of the usual cut and paste variety. The subject of this story is God as part of Humanity, not a God from somewhere else. The God of Humanity bows to the laws of nature and my only wriggle room is our lack of insight into where its quantum laws come from. Was there ever on a prior level some quantum ability similar to an Internet search engine? Think about it, the greatest power of organized religion has always been God's acclaimed ability to Google human minds and to expose our unclean thoughts.

So there is a living God who walks amongst us?

Humanity is not just a bunch of individuals. It is also an independent entity. A small part of us serves that greater master. But how does a collective humanity think as an individual? How does it monitor the system? When we see new inventions crop up, do we ask if Humanity came by them in accidental mutations or by Intelligent Design? The question is absurd and yet we are blind to the parallel question of design in our species. It is a hidden thread. The God at Asgard Park protects the chosen children, the new models, but who of us would not protect a child in danger? So yes, a living God walks amongst us, take a look in the mirror.

How do you think Christians will react to Asgard Park?

What I consider true faith is when an individual stands up for Humanity. As a child, I collected picture cards of Jesus and his disciples in Sunday school. As a young man I wrote The Ashes, a short story of a Jesus coming back. He fared no better than the first time. That is the whole point. I don't want to alienate readers but it seems to me that the schism between the Darwinism of scientists and the Intelligent Design of Christians is born of confusion in both camps, which of course leaves me open to attack from both sides.

There is some raw language and content in the novel that may offend the faint hearted, is that necessary?

There are harsh crime scenes but nothing out of context and nothing flaunted. An American agent in mortal danger claims that 'Life is like a hard-on. If you got nowhere to put it, you take matters into your own hands'. How can you object to that as sexually explicit? I have removed amusing sexually explicit scenes that scared one editor and excited another but I am more concerned about the wonderful people of the Balkans when told that the only way to get civilization into their heads is to ram it in with a rifle butt. Surely that is just one biased character airing his opinion.

Will there be other stories based on the reign of Birger Wallenberg?

Will I be using the tested base plate for another model if this one is successful? It is hard to imagine a more perfect framework for a franchise than a living God with unbelievable insights trying to settle disputes among humans. But I cannot see myself doing that. Maybe I can outsource to the factory. Right now, I am working on a different novel.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

I was born in Iceland, a country of Vikings. They trusted in Gods who dwelled at Asgard, among them Heimdallr; the forefather of all humans who settled social order among the greater and lesser of our kinsmen.

Buy the novel online in hardcover, paperback, Kindle or ePub