Foto: Lilja Birgisdóttir
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 started off writing childrens books and did it because my son was not reading at all. Since I learned to read I have always been a very big reader and I was worried that my he would not become a good person if he did not read. The books available to him at the time were not likely to boost his enthusiasm since they wer rather depressing, this children’s book variation was in fashion at the time. So I wrote a book that was meant to be fun for kids as an entryway into the wonders of reading. I still believe that reading allows a person the opportunity to place themselves in others‘ shoes in a way that film, radio and computer games cannot. This serves to increase the reader’s empathy more than actual life experiences do because no matter what sort of life you lead, you will not be in as many circumstances as the characters in a novel. So in my mind readers tend to be better people than those that don’t read at all. I am happy to say that my son did in the end become a reader, and a good person.
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
No it wasn’t. I sent the manuscript to one publisher and they wanted to publish it immediately so there was no struggle in that respect. Finding a publisher in Iceland is probably easier than in larger countries so this is nothing remarkable.
Could you describe literature in three words?
Limitless, meaningful and entertaining.
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
The 120 days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade.
What’s your favorite book?
Oddly enough my favortie book of all time is Winnie the Poo by A.A. Milne. I am also a big fan of the Tin Drum by Gunter Grass and Crooked House by Agatha Christie.
Scarlett O’Hara in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind: Tomorrow is another day.
EBooks or paper print?
Paper print, always. I have only managed to read one book on a Kindle and I didn´t like the experience. Maybe if I gave it another chance I would get used to it but I am happy for now just reading books in print.
What inspires you? Awful things, injustice the most of all.
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be? Hallgerður Langbrók from Icelandic Saga Njála.
She is portrayed as a pretty unsympathetic character, revengeful and unforgiving. As the Sagas are supposed to be based on real people I would like to find out if she was as cunning and conniving as Njála paints her to be. I think she probably was a lot kinder. Retelling the story of historical people tends to be quite extreme and one sided.
What’s your worst nightmare?
The aftermath of an apocalypse when cigarettes have run out.
The best decision of your life was?
To study engineering, not medicine. If I had become a doctor I would probably not had time to do any writing.
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
I am about to start on the fifth Freyja and Huldar novel but having somewhat a hard time deciding if I should rather write a ghost story. I will have to decide this week at the latest.