Writers of historical fiction need to become at least amateur historians in the areas that interest them. This means having to sift through the clothing, food, animals, houses and furniture, weapons, the charters and journals to try to make sense of who the characters were. Then there is the philosophy of the age, the religious beliefs, the gender situation, the environment and climate, the commerce, none of which are the same as today. The freedom to tell the story can only come once the writer has a strong grasp of the facts, has read every book and letter, visited every archive, and —when possible—walked in the footsteps of the characters. I will not pretend that this is achieved without doubts, suffering, mental blocks and false starts, reconstruction and various other minor torments that accompany creative historical fiction writing. Add to this the importance of choice in determining how difficult a story may be to structure. If you choose, as I did, a fragmented era that spread its events from Ireland and Iceland in the West to Baghdad in the East, you can expect to have a many-headed monster to slay! In my latest novel, Expulsion: A Tale of Two Vikings set in Dublin 902 AD, I deal with the Viking Diaspora, which presents an Irish reaction to the early medieval migrations of people, language and culture from mainland Scandinavia to new homes in the British Isles, the North Atlantic, the Baltic and the East as a form of diaspora. It discusses the ways in which migrants from Ireland were conscious of being connected not only to the people and traditions of their homelands, but also to other migrants of Scandinavian origin in many other locations. This novel concentrates on the movements of people and the shared heritage and culture that connected them. Although my novel follows the intertwined lives of two of the chieftains expelled from Dublin, I hope, without being pretentious, to also show that the on-going contact throughout half a millennium can be traced in the laws, literature, material culture and environment of the various regions of the Viking diaspora to this day.