I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
I’ve always been absorbed by novels. My childhood dream was to write stories. But it took many years before I even tried to write a novel. It didn’t go so well. But I kept trying in my spare time when the children were asleep. One hour one day, thirty minutes the next, but eventually it added up to a lot of time. And text. The important thing was to do it every day, so I wouldn’t forget the storyline.
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
Yes. And no. I tried sending manuscripts to publishers before but they were always rejected.
This manuscript seemed to be rejected as well. Then, the whole family were on vacation in Barcelona, when my eldest daughter said she was so very proud of her mother. My wife writes children’s books and has published five of them. I said that I understood why she wasn’t so proud of me, having no success writing books at all. But the same evening when we got back to our hotel, I checked my e-mail. A publisher wrote and said that she really liked my book. And, after a meeting she said they wanted to publish my manuscript. That was huge.
Could you describe literature in three words?
Engaging, exciting, mind-expanding.
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
Not as a principle, no. But there’s still a lot of books I don’t read, mostly because I don’t like them. Or find them boring. Normally I read like a hundred pages – if I don’t like it by then, I quit.
What’s your favorite book?
That’s a hard one. It depends a lot on when.
I remember the mind-boggling experience reading Lord of the Rings when I was 16. And later on: One Hundred Years of Solitude. And still later on, the Swedish author P O Enquist Nedstörtad ängel (Fallen angel) …
During the last couple of years, I would pick one of Gillian Flynn’s books, maybe Dark Places. I’m truly impressed by her. She’s brilliant.
When it comes to quotes, that’s easy: The first line in One Hundred Years of Solitude: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” It’s the most brilliant first line of any book I’ve ever read. Love it!
EBooks or paper print?
Printed books. Absolutely. But I listen to a lot of books while doing other things, like walking my dog.
What inspires you?
Mostly things around me. It could be a trivial thing on my way home from work, like some reckless driver who annoys me. As was the case in Victims. I start thinking, what would happen if you started to take revenge …
I also use a lot of small details from my life, things I see or listen to, conversations I have.
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be?
I think it would be really interesting having a beer with …
… George Smiley (from John Le Carré, especially as he is portraited in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). He is so smart, yet so quiet. And British. Everything about him is beneath the surface. The quintessence of “more than meets the eye”.
What’s your worst nightmare?
That would be something supernatural. I was genuinely scared when reading for example The Shining.
The best decision of your life was?
I have to say, quitting my job as a journalist and start writing books full time.
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
I’m working on the final touch right now. The manuscript should be completely ready in November. In Sweden it’s to be published 14:th of February and it’s called Lekarna (The Games) You can see the Swedish cover here