Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 20th April.
Beginner’s Pluck Alexander Söderberg.
Alexander has always written; but he never thought that he’d be a fiction writer. Previously, he worked for Swedish TV.
“I worked with TV scripts, first as a reader, then as a script writer, then as a story editor. The novel started out as a synopsis for a TV play. But I realised, while I was doing it, that I wanted it to be more alive. So I started to write a book.”
At the time, he was working on a TV series, so he put the manuscript away, taking it up and finishing it, six months later. He sold it as the first part of a trilogy. And he left his job on TV.
Who is Alexander Söderberg?
Date of birth: 1970 in Stockholm.
Education: In Stockholm, and College in Stockholm too.
Home: Southern part of Sweden.
Family: Wife and three daughters, aged 16, 13, and 9. Three horses and one Labrador dog.
The Day Job: Full Time novel writer.
Interests: Horse riding. “I bought my first horse this year. I love riding out every day.”
Favourite Writers: “I don’t have a favourite. I read very little when I’m writing. I’m influenced by film and TV as much as by books.”
Second Novel: “I have it mapped out. It’s the second part of a trilogy. Sophie is still there, and other characters from book one who are still alive. And there are new characters as well.”
Top Writing Tip: “Just write. Forget your audience. Have fun. That’s when it works.”
Web: Twitter: Neither.
The Debut: The Andalucían Friend. Harvill Secker: €18.75. Kindle:€9.73.
A widow and single mother, Sophie is a nurse in Stockholm. Life is uneventful, until she becomes entangled with a patient. Hector Guzman’s dodgy business practises brings him, and Sophie into gang warfare.
Who though, are the good guys? By the end, we have many doubts - even about Sophie.
“I want readers to enjoy it, then forget it. It’s escapism.”
The Verdict: An exciting, assured debut, with a high body count.
© Sue Leonard. 2013