Saturday, June 02, 2012

CrimeFest - Death in a Cold Climate

Barry Forshaw chairs the Death in a Cold Climate - Scandinavians panel at Crimefest 2012.
Guests: Asa Larsson (Swe), Thomas Enger (Nor), Ragnar Jonasson (Ice) and Gunnar Staalesen (Nor)

Here are my notes:

Stieg Larsson has opened the doors for other Scandinavian authors - light a candle for him - but he is from the north though he writes about Stockholm.

AL is often asked how can such a short person write such horrible things? She kills dogs and priest in her books but only gets letters about the dogs. (NB. No dogs (or priests) are harmed in Until Thy Wrath Be Past). Enjoyed writing her first book the most. Says to know an author, read their first book.

TE: Burned is the first of six books (originally was looking at eight or even twelve) about Henning Juul (sounds like yule), Pierced is out shortly in UK and he is working on Scarred. All six books about Juul finding out why his son died. HJ has "really pissed someone off". There is more information about the fire in Pierced and there is a teaser at the end, as there was at the end of Burned.

GS adapted one of books for theatre so the statue (of Varg Veum in Bergen) is a mixture of that actor and tv actor (though the tv actor is from East Norway and has the wrong accent)

RJ: Crime fiction in Iceland - until Arnaldur Indridason (1997) - was looked down on. There are two murders or less a year in Iceland.

AL comes from town 200km north of polar circle, 100 years old. Asked - why so much mutilations - is it typical for women?

Sjowall and Wahloo are the King and Queen, Henning Mankell is the crown prince, writing in same style.

GS showed Prince Charles and Camilla around Bergen for 27 minutes.

RJ: The plot and setting is the reason for popularity not the social issues, and strong chars (adds AL), especially in a series. And nature (GS) (ie open space, wildlife). If not having to speak in English the four authors could converse in slowly spoken Norwegian.

TE: [Translator] Charlotte Barslund nailed Henning Juul character and GS praising Don Bartlett's translations.

RJ: Started reading Agatha Christie when 12/13 and four years later approached the publisher about translating them.

GS: Writes 5 days a week, loves his job.

AL wrote 'Wrath' between 4-7am, goes to bed early and this is the quiet time when there are no demands from family or telephone. AL was a tax lawyer.

TE: Henning Juul is a real character, these online journalist do exist.

GS: Ambassador for the dark side of Bergen.

AL: No taboos on what to write. TE wouldn't write about paedophilia. RJ: As you write more your boundaries move. GS: not extreme violence, more about psychology.

TE: First draft of Burned was much more humorous but editors stick to conventions and took it out. TE wanted to give H Juul a weapon to deal with his situation.

GS borrows from Raymond Chandler.

Check out the bibliographies and reviews at the Euro Crime website:

Death in a Cold Climate by Barry Forshaw
Asa Larsson
Thomas Enger
Ragnar Jonasson - not yet translated into English
Gunnar Staalesen

1 comment:

Maxine Clarke said...

Thanks for these insights, Karen, I am looking forward to Pierced. I don't think I've read any Jonasson, must look into that. I am very much looking forward to the next Staalesen book in English, if it is ever published ;-(