Sarah Ward – Author

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 29th July 2015
  • Iceland1

    We’ve been speaking with fellow Nordophile Sarah Ward – author, Scandinavian crime literature judge and crime fiction blogger. Sarah Ward is very much at the heart of Nordic Noir in the UK through her blog, which has reviewed some of the most well-known and successful Nordic Noir literary offerings, as one of the judges alongside […]




    We’ve been speaking with fellow Nordophile Sarah Ward – author, Scandinavian crime literature judge and crime fiction blogger.

    Sarah Ward is very much at the heart of Nordic Noir in the UK through her blog, which has reviewed some of the most well-known and successful Nordic Noir literary offerings, as one of the judges alongside Barry Forshaw and Kat Hall for The Petrona Award for ‘Best Scandinavian Crime Novel‘ and she has recently found the time to sit down and pen her own novel, which although set in the UK most certainly has a noir aspect to it.

     

    Iceland1

     

    Do you consider yourself a Nordophile and completely embrace the whole culture or are you more specific to Nordic literature? 

    I’ve visited all the Nordic countries with the exception of Norway so I do consider myself a Nordophile. I’ve been to Iceland twice and am going later this year and again in 2016 so that’s the country I know the best. However, my main interest is reading in general and crime and thrillers, in particular, Therefore I’m particularly fascinated by the crime fiction that these countries produce.

     

    Out of all the Nordic countries where do you prefer to visit and learn about?

    The first country that I visited was Sweden, then Denmark and Finland and most recently Iceland. I’m always fascinated by the unknown and therefore I’d say that I want to go to Norway the most at the moment. In particular I’d like to visit the arctic circle. There’s something fascinating about the frozen landscape. I’d also like to visit the Sami region of Scandinavia.

     

    How did you first become interested in Scandinavian crime fiction?

    Henning Mankell was the first Scandinavian writer that I read and loved. It was in the late nineties and I devoured all his books. After that, I tried to find as many Scandinavian crime novels as I could. Early favourites were Arnaldur Indridason and Hakan Nesser.

     

    Your successful blog crimepieces.com reviews crime fiction books, particularly Scandinavian crime, how have you seen this genre grow over the last few years?

    In the 2000s, the genre exploded in the UK. I’ve never paid that much attention to the ‘hype’ in Scandinavian crime fiction. I enjoyed the Steig Larsson trilogy but I that think there are better books out there too. Reading for me, first and foremost, is a pleasurable activity. If a book grips me and I can’t put it down, I can forgive the writer most things. I read for entertainment, pleasure and for escapism. Of course, I also read with a critical eye. But I am first and foremost a reader not a critic. 

     

    TeamP

     

    Another role which you have taken on is as one of the judges at the ‘The Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel’. How did Petrona come about and what part do you think the award plays within the Nordic Noir genre?

    The Petrona Award was set up in memory of one of the early bloggers, Maxine Clarke. She was a great reader of Scandinavian crime fiction and supported many of us bloggers when we first started. The award was the brainchild of Karen Meek from Eurocrime and she approached me along with Barry Forshaw and Kat Hall to judge the award. in the three years that it’s been running, we’ve seen the award go from strength to strength and it’s mentioned on the covers of a lot of the shortlisted books. We hope it celebrates the excellence of Scandinavian crime fiction, I think last year there were over forty eligible books. The shortlist was particularly strong and any of those novels could have won.

     

    This has been an extremely busy time for you this past month as you have just published your first crime novel ‘In Bitter Chill’ although it is not set in the Nordics, the ambiance seems to be quite Nordic, was this your intention?

    It wasn’t particularly my intention although the cold landscape has a strong role in my book. I certainly didn’t set out to copy Scandinavian crime fiction. But I think I’m influenced by everything I’ve ever read from Agatha Christie to Jo Nesbo.

     

    In Bitter Chill Royal HB 2Ec 2 small copy

     

    ‘In Bitter Chill’ has been well received, does this mean you have a second novel coming?

    I’ve just finished my second book which is also set in the Derbyshire landscape but this time in spring. It has the same police characters but a new central protagonist. I’m hoping to write a quartet set in the region. So, fingers crossed!

    www.petronaaward.co.uk

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    NORLA, Norwegian Literature Abroad

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 25th June 2015
  • translated-days

    Nordophile wanted to look closer at how Nordic literature is translated. We came across NORLA, a Norwegian institute, who do just that. With demand for Nordic books – as the Nordic Noir and diverse genre Nordic literary obsession sweeps around the world – it is up to a few very helpful people to make this possible for countries […]




    Nordophile wanted to look closer at how Nordic literature is translated. We came across NORLA, a Norwegian institute, who do just that.

    With demand for Nordic books – as the Nordic Noir and diverse genre Nordic literary obsession sweeps around the world – it is up to a few very helpful people to make this possible for countries whose first language isn’t one of the Scandinavians, but still would like to immerse themselves in Nordic literature.

    Norway is very proactive when it comes to translating and promoting its authors and their works around the world.

     

    NORLA

     

    NORLA, the Centre for Norwegian literature abroad, promotes Norwegian literature export through active promotion of work and support for translation. The organization spreads knowledge of Norwegian books and authors abroad, and operation is funded by the Ministry of Culture. NORLAwas created in 1978 and has so far supported translations of Norwegian books to 63 languages. NORLA offers a variety of support schemes all aim to promote translations Norwegian books.

     

    norla

     

    Norwegian books in translation published so far this year

    As of 15 June 2015, NORLA has received 204 Norwegian books that have been published in a total of 41 languages through NORLA’s
    (and in the Nordic region: The Nordic Council of Ministers’) translation subsidies.
    There are 165 fiction publications and 39 non-fiction publications. And of these a total of 41 are titles for children and young people.

    Translator of the month

    Our new series of translator interviews (in Norwegian) has been well received. We are now happy to introduce the translator for June:
    Gabriele Haefs from Germany. She has translated an impressive number of Norwegian authors and in 2011 received the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for her oeuvre.

     

    translated-days

     

    Causerie competition for translators of Norwegian literature

    NORLA is repeating the success from the translation festival (Oversatte Dager) of 2013 and once again invites
    translators of Norwegian literature to take part in our causerie competition.
    Please note that the competition is open only for those who translate directly from Norwegian.

    Photo from Norla.no

    Oversattedager.no

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    Interview – Ragnar Jonasson

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 12th June 2015
  • iceland

    Nordophile spoke with one of the most talked about Nordic Noir authors right now, Ragnar Jonasson. His book Snowblind is released in the UK June 15th and before we read it, we wanted to understand how it all began.   Interview Snowblind is released in the UK this month. Tell us what we can expect from […]




    Nordophile spoke with one of the most talked about Nordic Noir authors right now, Ragnar Jonasson. His book Snowblind is released in the UK June 15th and before we read it, we wanted to understand how it all began.

     

    ragnar jonasson

    Interview

    Snowblind is released in the UK this month. Tell us what we can expect from the book?

    Snowblind is a crime novel set in the northernmost town in Iceland, Siglufjordur. A young policeman, Ari Thor, moves north for his first job, in the dead of winter when the sun cannot even be seen at all due to the high mountains and it snows more or less every day, sometimes so much that the only road into town is closed off. Siglufjordur is a very real place, where my father grew up, and it is a picture perfect village, but it does get very dark and cold in the winter. In the story, Ari Thor needs to adjust to the claustrophobic surroundings and the darkness while trying to investigate a death which he believes may be murder while his boss has a different view. It’s hard to say exactly what more to expect, but I am a big fan of the Golden Age of crime, as well as of modern Nordic Noir, so hopefully you might be able to spot a bit of each genre there.

     

    iceland

     

    Nordic Noir is a genre which is continually snowballing. What is it do you think that intrigues us so much about crime in the Nordic countries? 

    I think it has very much to do with the setting. The Nordic authors very often focus on the Nordic landscape and setting in their books, and are hopefully able to transport the reader to a new place, different and often slightly colder! Also, the Nordic countries have a reputation for being peaceful places, for example, we have very little crime in Iceland, and therefore the contrast is perhaps interesting.

     

    Ari Thor is the protagonist, did you build the story around him or did the character evolve with the story?

    I had written a short novel about Ari Thor before, where he was not a policeman at all, but just a young guy, a theology student, looking for his father. When I decided to write a crime series, starting with Snowblind, I wanted to use this character and build on the background I had created. The fact that he was young, a few years younger than me, also enabled me to be more comfortable writing about him.

    iceland

     

    What events have you got coming up?

    My next event is the Edinburgh International Book Festival where I will join Scottish writer Malcolm Mackay to talk about the international language of murder on August 19th.

    In September, I will be at Bloody Scotland in Stirling, joining Gunnar Staalesen and Johan Theorin to discuss Nordic Noir, on September 12th. Earlier that same day I will also take part in a conversation with Dr Kathryn Harkup to talk about the works of Agatha Christie.

    And in November, I’m taking part in Shetland Noir, which takes place in Shetland on November 13-15.

    Very much looking forward to all those events!

     

    iceland

    Contact; ragnar-jonasson.squarespace.com

    Photo credits; SigurdurAegisson & Sigurjon Sigurjonsson.

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    Camilla Läckberg

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 11th June 2015
  • fjallbacka

    Last year I wrote about Nordic Noir author Camilla Läckberg and Fjällbacka in Sweden, where her books are set. Looking ahead to the summer, why not be inspired by this author, who writes so passionately about her characters and Fjällbacka. You can find more information below about the Fjällbacka tours.   Camilla Läckberg Camilla Läckberg […]




    Last year I wrote about Nordic Noir author Camilla Läckberg and Fjällbacka in Sweden, where her books are set.

    Looking ahead to the summer, why not be inspired by this author, who writes so passionately about her characters and Fjällbacka.

    You can find more information below about the Fjällbacka tours.

     

    Camilla Läckberg

    Camilla Läckberg is emerging as a woman to be reckoned with. In an until recently male dominated world of Nordic Noir writing, she is dominating the charts and award’s list.

    But what got her to this position of becoming a talented writer, a business woman and let’s face it, a glamorous powerhouse all at the same time? Designers are bending over backwards for her to be seen in their designs without any detriment to her integrity in the writing world. She is beautiful, successful and talented. Someone many of us aspire to emulate, in any one of her talents.

    Camilla Läckberg’s full name is Jean Edith Camilla Läckberg Eriksson and she hails from Fjällbacka, which is in the Västra Götaland County, Sweden.

    When we start at the beginning we realise that Camilla comes from a comfortable upbringing, in the sense of stable and safe. Growing up in a small village on the West coast of Sweden in a town which depicts the Swedish way of life.
    Not a lot happens in this fishing village to lead families into the abyss of scandal, danger or oddities. But in little Camilla’s mind at just 4 years old, the safety net of her habitat and family gave her the security and intrigue to play with a darker side into our everyday beliefs. At this tender age she wrote a story about Father Christmas, but with a twist of darkness and apparent violence. This story was short but it became clear that Camilla Läckberg’s mind worked anti clockwise when writing, enabling her to make the ordinary seem eerie, and the eerie seem ordinary.

     

    camilla-lackberg

    She had a natural gift, but this would take a further 20 plus years before someone else saw that in her.
    When her first husband and her parents bought her a place on a creative writing course she allowed herself to try something that she enjoyed doing, and which would allow her to move away from her economics career.

    Camilla graduated in Economics from Gothenberg University and followed this route of working within the field successfully, eventually moving to Stockholm to pursue her career.

    This was a far cry from her home village of Fjällbacka, and the ironic twist is that escaping this sleepy small village to move forward with her life and form a somewhat exciting career, would actually create a longing for Fjällbacka. These memories of Fjällbacka would give her the starting point for her stories, and become the backdrop of her novels. In turn this little known place would give her the exciting career she so deserved within the writing industry.

    Books

    Camilla Läckberg’s Nordic Noir crime books are building up pace with each release. From her debut book back in 2003 which was called The Ice Princess, to 2014’s release of Buried Angels. Camilla’s books and herself have grown in notoriety and respect, and the name Camilla Läckberg is slipping more easily off the tongue within conversations about Swedish writing greats around the world.

    Camilla’s books are very cleverly written as they give us the impression that Camilla’s mind must work in two separate halves along side each other whilst in sync, as most of the books have a juxtaposition story to tell with parallel stories intertwining, without confusion or elaborate ideals as not to seem far fetched. The books don’t have an underlining moral or social message they are as good a escapism crime read as you can get. They give the reader a great backdrop to the characters in the story, and keep us going with different perspectives of the characters way of thinking. This allows the reader to wander down the path of one conclusion only to find that is a dead end, which makes us turn on our heels and back track without frustration.

    The Ice Princess first introduces us to the main characters who will grow in terms of relationship and strength throughout this series.

    The normal crime fighting duo of detective young and old is altered from the start, this brings in a different dynamic of how cases can be solved, as we have a detective called Patrick Hedström crossing paths with a writer called Erica Falck.

    Erica Falck has returned to her home town of Fjällbacka as her parents have sadly passed away, and Erica has to sort things out. Whilst she is back in her home town she uses this time to finish writing the biography of Selma Lagerlöf, the first female Noble prize author of children’s novels.

    Whilst back home Erica is approached by the parents of her old childhood friend Alex. Alex has died from an apparent suicide but they are not convinced, and would like Erica to look into it.

    At the same time detective Patrick Hedström is investigating the death of Alex whose body was discovered in the bath, in frozen water.

    Erica working along side Detective Hedström brings the reader a different perspective of a crime being solved by a member of the public with no jurisdiction to investigate, but a personal reason to turn over stones, dig deep into people’s pasts and ask the questions that need answering. Erica is on a mission, but this small fishing town is holding on to its secrets.

    The Preacher follows on in the series, with the second book again starting from the point of a body being found. This time by a 6 year old boy who has wandered off. In the first few pages the scene is set and the intrigue mounts immediately as the readers feel as though they are looking down on this crime scene.

    The relationships between detectives is outlined for us, with inner thoughts narrated and methodical research has clearly been done so the reader understands the various sections needed at a crime scene, without feeling you are being bombarded with a lesson in forensics.

    Within pages we are rewound back to the summer of 1979 without any confusion, and these parallels continue to run alongside each other in the story.

    The relationship between Patrick and Erica has grown, in every sense of the word as a baby is on the way, and this gives another personal side to Patrick and how he views his cases and his motivations to right the wrongs in the small town of Fjällbacka.

    Setting

    We are spoilt with the descriptive narratives in the books. We are given a vision of a bustling fishing in the sense of people working hard to sustain this way of life and embrace a quieter normality.

    Of rocky shorelines looking out to the fjords, to white houses peaked with red roofs, and greenery sprouting up in between and beyond. Tranquility and at one with nature is how we greet this village which sits just 90 minutes North of Gothenburg. Fjällbacka is now because of Camilla Läckberg on the tourist map when people are looking for destinations in Sweden.

     

    fjallbacka

    You can of course follow in the footsteps of the crimes from the books with tours offered, and retrace with book in hand the places which come up in the books time and time again. But this is not the only thing that will keep you exploring Fjällbacka, you can experience the daily work of the fishermen going out in their trawlers, heading into amazing scenery to catch their fresh lobster, which are brought back to shore and prepared at one of the many restaurants offering this fresh delight.

    Kayaking through the archipelago is one of the many sports on offer which are only possible due to the landscape which holds this village. Walking on and off the beaten track gives you a sense of being away from it all but without being lost or isolated.

    The pure air, blue waters and green surroundings on offer are a good a reason as any for Camilla to set her books here. Usually once a place is put on the map via a successful author the serenity can be diluted, but somehow Fjällbacka has managed to keep its charm whilst opening itself up as a magnificent backdrop to the award winning mysteries.

    Awards

    Camilla Läckberg must have a feature cabinet in her house so grand that it must be a focal point of her surroundings. She has had nominations and awards spanning over 10 years from every literary circle, writers guild and fashion magazine that you can think of, and then the rest.

    Here are just a few…..

    • 2005 Camilla was awarded the crime Novel of the year for The Stonecutter.
    • 2005 The SKTF awarded Camilla a prize for author of the Year.
    • 2006 she won the People’s Literature award.
    • 2010 & 2011 Europe’s best selling author.
    • 2012 Best woman from Expressen.
    • 2012 Best dressed from Elle.
    • 2013 Nominated for Petronapriset, Crime festival in Bristol.

    And with her 2014 book ‘The Lion Tamer’ set to be published in September we can predict that many more awards are heading the way of this multi-tasking successful crime writer.

    More than a Crime writer

    So is this where Camilla Läckberg begins and ends? In the fascinating world of Nordic Noir?

    Spending her nights at her desk with crime scenes, police procedures and inter winding case studies feverishly going around in her head.
    Taking a simple Swedish fishing village where she grew up and has happy memories from, and making it into an eerie place below the surface.
    Where the ordinary is not as it seems.

    A genre dominated by male writers which has so far headed many awards lists, has had the pleasure of watching Camilla grow and emerge as a force to be reckoned within Nordic Noir.

    But no this is not where she ends, as Camilla Läckberg is a respected business woman who realised that her talent for writing could cross genres to the very opposite of crime, children’s books.

    The character Super Charlie was a concept born whilst Camilla was pregnant with her third child. When the younger siblings started asking questions about what was inside mummy’s tummy, Camilla’s writer imagination kicked in and Super Charlie a baby with special powers was born. Closely followed by her son Charlie Mellin.

    How can we add to this talented women’s list? Simple a couple of cook books.

    Camilla teamed up with an old school friend from Fjällbacka, Christian Hellber. Christian was one of Sweden’s top chefs and Camilla one of Sweden’s top authors. This powerhouse of a duo from a small village called Fjällbacka created the idea of a cookbook with recipes from their home town which produces some of the finest and fresh produce in the region.

    TV adaptations of Camilla’s books became a reality in 2007 and followed in 2012 with episodes made especially for television called ‘The Fjällbacka Murders’. Patrick Hedström played by Richard Ulfsäter and Erica Falck played by Claudia Galli Concha.

     

    Richard_Ulfsäter

    June 28th 2013 we welcomed the cinema premiere of ‘The Hidden Child’ based on Camilla’s books.

    Camilla is also joint owner of the silver company ‘Sahara Silver’ which she also fits around running her music company ‘One Spoon Music’ with music producer and song writer Pelle Nylén.

    Camilla Läckberg also spends precious time as the ambassador for the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, having three children of her own she puts her responsibilities of being a mum above everything and is passionate about this cause.

    The most amazing thing to recognise about Camilla Läckberg is not just the many business ventures that she spends her time working on, it is the fact that not one of them is compromised by time, effort or success because of another.

    Each venture is done to Camilla Läckberg’s best ability with 100% being given. She truly knows how to multi-task with her talents, creating an empire which is both respected and honoured.

     

    Photo credits: Camilla Läckberg, Fjällbacka von oben, Richard Ulfsäter

    www.camillalackberg.com

    http://fjallbackainfo.com/camilla-lackberg-murder-mystery-tour/

    www.nordicstylemag.com

     

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    Arne Dahl – Series 2

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 5th June 2015
  • arnedahl

    With all the excitement surrounding the Nordicana event this weekend, Nordic Noir fans are looking ahead to all the new series coming our way this year, from some of our most loved Nordic dramas. One such drama which is on everyone’s lips is ‘Arne Dahl ‘ and the much-anticipated season 2.   We’ve been lucky enough […]




    With all the excitement surrounding the Nordicana event this weekend, Nordic Noir fans are looking ahead to all the new series coming our way this year, from some of our most loved Nordic dramas.

    One such drama which is on everyone’s lips is ‘Arne Dahl ‘ and the much-anticipated season 2.

     

    arne-dahl

    We’ve been lucky enough to have some pictures sent over from the man himself, for a sneak peek at what the characters get up to in the next series.

    The second season of the TV series Arne Dahl has already been successful in Sweden with around 1.5 million viewers per episode.

     

    arne dahl

    When I asked him at the end of last year, what fans could expect from the second series, he said “As of yet, I haven’t heard exactly when it will be on the BBC, but it will be broadcast in Sweden in February, so it’s pretty soon. You can expect the same intensity and complexity in ten more episodes, covering the last five books in the Arne Dahl Intercrime series. Kerstin Holm is now the boss of the team, and they get involved in some really heavy crimes. I haven’t seen more than a few fragments yet, but it does look promising.”

    arnedahl

    Arne dahl is the pen name for Jan Arnald, who has just come back from his stay in the States as guest professor of Swedish studies at Bethany College. He gave a speech on Swedish crime writing and subsequently held a workshop.

     

    arne dahl

    But Arne Dahl is now back on Swedish soil, for now! As he heads off to two major crime literary events in Scotland. BloodyScotland and ShetlandNoir

    Photo credit; Johan Paulin

     

     

     

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    CloseUp PR chosen by VisitSweden

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 2nd June 2015
  • oresundbridge

    CloseUp PR have been chosen by VisitSweden to engage ‘Nordic Noir‘ fans to visit southern Sweden. In recent years Swedish and Scandinavian thrillers and dramas have become hugely popular in the UK, via TV series such as Denmark’s ‘The Killing’, Sweden’s Stieg Larsson’s books and film adaptations of ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’, Henning Mankell’s […]




    CloseUp PR have been chosen by VisitSweden to engage ‘Nordic Noir‘ fans to visit southern Sweden.

    In recent years Swedish and Scandinavian thrillers and dramas have become hugely popular in the UK, via TV series such as Denmark’s ‘The Killing’, Sweden’s Stieg Larsson’s books and film adaptations of ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’, Henning Mankell’s books and TV films featuring detective ‘Wallander’, and more recently the Swedish/Danish series ‘The Bridge’ and the Danish series ‘1864’, which is currently showing on BBC4.

    oresundbridge

    VisitSweden, which is Sweden’s official travel and tourist agency tasked with promoting Sweden abroad, is running a campaign entitled ‘The Bridge Experience’, alongside  Tourism in Skåne  and Malmö Tourism, to entice fans of the Nordic Noir genre to visit southern Sweden, the home of popular thriller dramas ‘Wallander’ and ‘The Bridge’.

    CloseUp PR and sister company CloseUp Productions have been chosen to work on the campaign project as PR and Marketing Consultants and content producers. The work includes producing content for tourist guides, content and social media marketing, event organising and arranging cross promotions such as the current competition ‘Win a trip for two to Sweden‘ with Nordic Noir and sponsoring the upcoming Nordicana festival, which takes place in London 6-7 June at The Troxy. CloseUp will also work on a number of press and PR events planned in Sweden and in the UK later this year in the lead up to the BBC premiere of the third series of “The Bridge”.

    “We’ve chosen to work with CloseUp on this project because they have a unique knowledge of working across different platforms with film, TV, print, PR and event marketing on Sweden/UK related projects”, says Gabriel Dorch, Project Manager at VisitSweden.

    “The Bridge Experience campaign suits us perfectly as we have long-standing experience in the film business as well as connecting British and Swedish food and entertainment culture,” says Monika Agorelius, Managing Director of CloseUp PR and CloseUp Productions.

    monikaAgorelius

    Monika Agorelius is Swedish born and has lived and worked in the UK since 1988. “In recent years I’ve seen is an increasing interest in the UK for Swedish lifestyle and culture. Swedish food is popular in the UK, and Swedish restaurants and stores are popping up all over the place. There is a strong curiosity for Brits to travel to Sweden and experience the Swedish lifestyle first hand. I believe that’s partly down to the popularity of Scandinavian TV series, films and novels in the UK, and I enjoy being a part of introducing British people to Sweden.”

    Southern Sweden is considered a perfect tourist destination for Brits. It’s easy to fly from the UK directly to Copenhagen, catch the train across the Öresund bridge – the focus of TV’s ‘The Bridge’ – stay in Malmö to experience a picturesque yet vibrant city life, with beautiful beaches, Michelin star restaurants and much more. A short train ride away is the city of Ystad, where ‘Wallander’ is set.

    “An event like Nordicana is the perfect proof of how hugely popular Sweden and the Nordic countries are to the Brits. At the two previous Nordicana events, in 2013 and 2014, Brits turned up in their thousands to celebrate Nordic films, food and culture and since this year’s festival coincides with Sweden’s National Day on the 6th of June the festival will be a celebration of all things Swedish, including a market place where another CloseUp client, TotallySwedish, will be represented”, says Monika Agorelius.

    Nordicana_2015

    Nordicana is the UK’s only festival of Scandinavian drama and fiction. This year’s event (6-7 June at the Troxy), plays host to stars such as Sofia Helin (‘The Bridge’), Sofie Gråbøl (‘The Killing’, ‘Fortitude’) as well as the leading actors from popular series such as ‘The Legacy’, ‘Borgen’ and ‘1864’. Full programme here. Tickets are available now.

    ‘Win a trip for two to Sweden’

    The Öresund bridge. Photo ©Janus Longhorn/imagebank.sweden.se

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    Hakan Nesser to attend Shetland Noir

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 1st June 2015
  • hakan-nesser

    Hakan Nesser Hakan Nesser has been announced as one of the Nordic Noir authors to attend the Shetland Noir festival, which is being held in association with Iceland Noir. The event will take place from the 13th-15th of Novemeber on the Island. Hakan Nesser was born in 1950 on the 21st of February in Kumla, […]




    Hakan Nesser

    Hakan Nesser has been announced as one of the Nordic Noir authors to attend the Shetland Noir festival, which is being held in association with Iceland Noir. The event will take place from the 13th-15th of Novemeber on the Island.

    Hakan Nesser was born in 1950 on the 21st of February in Kumla, Sweden. Hakan was born to mother Mary, a clerk and father Sven August, a farmer. Hakan had no siblings and enjoyed his education attending the local schools, first in Hagaskolan, and then secondary in Kumla. Hakan is married to psychiatrist Elke Nesser. In 2006 they moved to Greenwich village in New York before venturing to London, where they currently reside. Hakan was living the comfortable Swedish life with a career and family, but something inside him was starting to surface.

    1988 was the year that Hakan decided to start writing alongside his day job as a secondary school teacher, so he sat down and penned his first novel, Koreografen.

    Hakan Nesser would not know how successful his novels, and eventually his series and character Inspector Van Veeteren would become, but his early success gave him the opportunity to give up his day job in 1998 and concentrate on his increasingly triumphant career as a Nordic crime writer.

    hakan-nesser

    Van Veeteren

    Inspector Van Veeteren features in 10 novels, which have been adapted into a TV-series. He is around 60 years old, with retirement looming over him. In the first five novels he is employed by the local police force but with a clever twist in the 6th novel Van Veeteren retires and becomes the owner of an antiquarian bookshop, developing a different dimension to how he views cases, how the cases are brought to him and his mentoring of younger detectives.
    Hakan is very clever in how he allows the reader to conjure up the setting of the books in their own minds. With the backdrop never being revealed, the reader has to draw their own conclusions as to whether the novels are set in Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands or another Nordic land. This gives the reader something to identify with as Van Veeteren could very easily be crime solving in their home town, wherever that may be.
    Inspector Van Veeteren is a character that people can identify with as someone they may know; he is an unassuming, slightly grumpy man who we would walk past in the street, but his dedication to solving crimes and bringing perpetrators to justice is second to none. He is a father to two children Jess and Erich, and can often be found taking time out playing chess or perusing book shops.

    Van Veeteren is a stark contrast to the incredible actor who plays him, Sven Wolter, who is an accomplished actor and artist born on 11th January 1934. He has appeared in many films including ‘The Man on the roof’ and ‘Jerusalum’. Sven portrays Van Veeteren in 9 stories on our TV screens from 10 of the novels and brought international recognition to the ever loyal, crime fighting detective.

    A new man in town

    In 2006 Hakan Nesser brought forth a new detective, with the new series firmly placed in his homeland of Sweden, and the detective Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti being Swedish of Italian descent.

    ‘Man without Dog’ was the first novel to feature Gunnar Barbarotti. Set in the fictitious town of Kymlinge, we follow this new detective from a new perspective. He is more upbeat, which in turn allows him to look at cases from a different view. But Hakan’s talent of crime writing has not faltered, as this new series is set to be a Nordic Noir success internationally.

    ‘Man without Dog’ instantly gives us a humorous feel to the story, a family reunion that we can all relate to. Slightly quirky family members that haven’t been seen for some time, hidden family issues unsaid and a hierarchy order being expressed. But it is soon realised that the crime writing genius we have become so familiar with from the Van Veeteren series is still in top form, as twists and turns come in to play alongside the crimes being committed and solved.

    Four more novels are available in the quintet series of Inspector Gunnar Barbarotti, including ‘A completely different story’ and ‘The tale of Mr Roos’. Hakan Nesser has penned other books in different genres alongside his crime novels and each one has brought its own success.

    uppsala

    Uppsala

    So just what brought Hakan Nesser back to setting his latest series in his home country? Where does his inspiration hail from?

    Hakan Nesser spent most of his adult life in Uppsala, which is the fourth largest city in Sweden.
    Uppsala is only 40 minutes away from Stockholm but does not stand in it’s shadow when it comes to culture, the arts and inspiration for many an authors whom use this bustling city as their backdrop.
    This is the city where Hakan Nesser would spend many a days walking around, taking inspiration from the contrasting city. With it’s street cafes and restaurants welcoming people to sit down and take a break from their busy lifestyles (which is encouraged and made so easy with all that is on offer), to the natural surroundings that bring in a harmony to the progressive city.

    Uppsala is a welcoming city proud of its arts and culture and the artists that it has nurtured. This city has been mentioned in numerous novels recently and is a place that has been put on the map for Nordic Noir fans to visit and follow in the footsteps of their literary heroes.

    Uppsala was awarded in 2013 the title ‘National Earth Hour Capital in Earth Hour City Challenge’. But awards are not unknown to all that links to Hakan Nesser.

    Hakan Nesser’s awards

    • Hakan Nesser was awarded the ‘Swedish Crime Academy Award for Best Swedish Crime Novel’ (Borkmanns point in 1994, Woman with Birthmark 1996)
    • Swedish Radio Short Story Prize in 2006 for the short story “The ordinance” (included in “From Dr. Klimkes horizon”)
    • SNCF’s award for ‘Best French crime novel 2007′ – The Commissioner and the silence.
    • ‘The Ripper Award’ Germany. “Europe’s biggest prize for outstanding crime fiction.” 2010

    These are to name but a few. Hakan has been celebrated all around the world, and with ease manages to keep on producing high quality books with poise, sophistication and intrigue that would welcome any virgin Nordic Noir reader to join the fastest growing literary circle that is Scandinavian crime thrillers.
    Photo credits: Alexander Cahlenstein, TUUKKA ERVASTI.

     

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    Yrsa Sigurðardóttir wins Best Scandicrime novel 2015

  • Sarah Surgey
  • Tagged , , , , Leave a comment
  • 23rd May 2015
  • yrsa-sigurdardottir-sitting-at-a-table

    Back in November 2014 I interviewed Yrsa Sigurðardóttir for Nordic Style Mag. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is a successful Nordic Noir author from Iceland, who a nordophile should definitely make space for on their bookshelf. I found this Nordic crime writer had a brilliant sense of humour, which was the complete opposite to her award winning dark […]




    Back in November 2014 I interviewed Yrsa Sigurðardóttir for Nordic Style Mag. Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is a successful Nordic Noir author from Iceland, who a nordophile should definitely make space for on their bookshelf.

    I found this Nordic crime writer had a brilliant sense of humour, which was the complete opposite to her award winning dark Icelandic crime novels.

    yrsa-sigurdardottir-sitting-at-a-table

    My hunch on how her success was going to grow into 2015 was right, as she has just been awarded the very prestigious Petrona Award 2015 for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. This was presented to her at the Bristol CrimeFest ceremony.

    The award was for her crime novel Brakið (Silence of the Sea) and was presented to her by legend Nordic crime writer Maj Sjöwall.

    See my interview below with Nordicstylemag which is a magazine any Nordophile should check out. It incorporates all the Nordic countries and showcases their fashion designers, street style and culture…..and a few book reviews.

     

    http://www.nordicstylemag.com/2014/11/yrsa-sigurdardottir-icelands-literary-queen/

    photo; Salomonssonagency

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