Nordic Noir Panel: Crime at the Borders of the Arctic
Moderator: Quentin Bates
KH's The Hummingbird is set in a northern, unnamed, Finnish town which doesn't exist. It has sea, mosquitoes, cold in winter.
GS: Bergen is a noir place - rains 250 days a year! Weather is very important to Norwegians - in their genes from being fisherman, peasants.
CC: Wrote from memory, Orkney Twilight is set in 1984 summer when the sun doesn't go down. Going back soon with daughters, daughters are the age she was when she was there. Orkney is a mysterious place full of secrets. She started writing it when she was in the US, longing for home and cool.
CR: Had no intention of writing in Nordic tradition – original plot had a body washed up and it was a girl from Tallyn – but Peter Robinson beat him too it. So had to find another place. Faroe has 300 days of rain. In an day research trip, stopped raining twice ...to snow. Wind can prevent driving – lift up car if on high points.
GS: Dark winter, light summer so plot during dark winters, write it in summer, publish in autumn. KH agreed.
West Norway has north sea climate like part of UK.
Varg Veum actor speaks with Eastern dialect though book Varg Veum has a western dialect – GS says it is very hard to act naturally with such a different dialect. Varg Veum can keep going past 70.
CC: Next book is set in southern England. Might go back to Orkney. Originally intended to be a one off but publisher wanted a sequel.
CR: Next book is in lower nordic region…Glasgow.
No muder in Faroes for 26 years until half way through writing The Last Refuge when there was a murder. No body has ever been found – Serbian husband convicted of killing his wife on evidence of a frying pan with her blood on it.
KH: Fekete means black in Hungarian. Next book The Defenceless is set in spring and is about drugs and immigrant gangs.
CC: Wove Norse mythology though the story.
GS: Crime just a way of writing about our times in a popular way. Bergen is very safe. The new book about a wind farm. The latest four Varg Veum books are translated in order and all by Don Bartlett.
KH: The village where she lives – she doesn't lock doors, car doors or lock up bike.
KH: Finland is a very racist country. She is the only crime writer writing about immigration. Policy: don't let immigrants come, don't give them houses, jobs etc.