In the press
In Marie Claire Magazine, Czech Republic, March, 2017.
Interview with Hanna Lindberg for one of the biggest book blogs in Sweden
Your debut STHLM Confidential (Stockholm Confidential) was published by a small publisher, but since then you were picked up by an agent and the book have been sold to a number of countries for example Germany and Spain. How was the debut at a small publisher with limited resources? What did you do to break through in the heavy media noice?
Everything turned out very much not like I had imagined. I knew that my publisher had limited resources and I was prepared to do much by myself, but had I known how much effort I was going to have to put into this, I would rather have self published. Then I would have not only had to do all the work, but also I would have had the full control. At the same time, it meant a lot for me as a debutant to know that someone other than myself believed in my book and wanted to publish it.
Everything turned out very much not like I had imagined
So the book came out in 2014. Fairly quickly, I realized that everything depended on me. The publisher barely had any distribution, much less any marketing. But I was determined to succeed and prepared to work for it. It became super intense and tough. I contacted bloggers and critics, joined Facebook groups for writers, knocked at the doors to bookstores and told everyone who cared to listen about my book. And got very nice response. One thing led to another. After the first blog post at Read and Listen several other bloggers started to pay attention and suddenly the paper back publisher Pocketförlaget were prepared to publish STHLM Confidential.
Actually, it was then, when Pocketförlaget got onboard that everything became real. STHLM Confidential was launched at Gothenburg Book Fair last fall and I thought, “This is it, it’s now or never!”. I rolled up my sleeves and brought out my inner “car dealer” and it was the pedal to the metal at the signing table. The pile of books seemed huge, but I had decided to sell out of all the books – and at the second day of the fair, we were out of books. And people started to talk about me. “Who is this unknown writer selling hordes of books?”
After that I got a super professional agent and now STHLM Confidential is sold to nine countries.
It is clear that the world described in STHLM Confidential is a world you know well. Is your background as a journalist for the benefit or disadvantage when it comes to the book’s language?
A great asset. I’m used to write in limited space and highlight the important message. I think journalists have lesser tendency to become talkative and protracted, but on the other hand, I sometimes struggle to write more vivid and to avoid that the text gets too stripped down. It’s a balancing act. Most important is that the language carries the story and reflects the characters’ emotional states.
On another note, the media world, struggling with big changes and cut downs, is as made to be playground for a plot of a novel.
I am very curious about what happens next? The rumour says there will be two more books with the same protagonists … is this true? Can you hint something about the story and what’s the time table for the next book? And who is the publisher?
I have signed a contract with Norstedts, and they will publish the next two books in the series. It is a dream. I am working on the sequel, The Dark Table, right now. Solveig Berg examines the dirt behind the luxury restaurant elegant facades and is thrown into a world where no one is safe. The closer to the truth she gets, the more dangerous it becomes. In the vaults of Stockholm’s hottest restaurant, everything is put at stake and Solveig is forced to take her life’s toughest decision.
Which authors inspire you?
There are many exciting new Swedish crime- and thriller authors right now. I am thinking for example about Emelie Schepp, Jenny Rogneby, Anna Karolina, Rebecka Edgren Aldén. With a good story and little devils embrace it is possible to come really far. Both the books of the authors I mentioned and their way of thinking about their writing inspires me. The sky is the limit!
If for some reason, I would be in orbit in space for a few years and could take only one single book it would be Monika Fagerholm’s THE AMERICAN GIRL. I love her language and how she builds up the story. It has a melody and a rhythm that stuck with me.
By: Helen Lindholm