Please tell us, who is Liselotte Roll?
I am a former archaeologist who found contemporary stories of today more intriguing, so I became a journalist so that I would be able to write about anything and everything. I have worked both with radio and as a news reporter before I decided to become an author. Beside from writing I have just become a vegan and I live with my family just outside Stockholm.
You write thrillers. Is this a conscious choice?
Yes, thrillers gives me a great opportunity to write drama, since there is a lot of that going on when it comes to life and death. It is also the kind of books I prefer to read myself.
How would you describe your method of writing?
Now, working with the huge publisher Harper Collins, I write from a synopsis, it makes the story clearer and it doesn´t have to be edited afterwards in the same annoying way, but the first two books in the Kalo series wasn´t written this way, but on pure enthusiasm. I get most of my ideas in the tub.
Did you always wanted to become an author and if so, at what age did you came to that conclusion?
I wrote a story about two ghost when I was twelve, and I probably knew then that I would write something, someday. When my son got sick in 2012, he was susceptible to infection, I had to be at home with him and I wrote my first book then (“Bittere Zonde”) with great support from my husband.
You have an idea for a new book. How do you get started and do you have a fixed writing ritual?
I usually make a map with the characters and their relations to each other, The story and the characters are equally important to me.
How exciting is it for you when a new book is published?
It is exiting and also purifying. I usually put all old drafts in the fireplace. Then there is a small time, a week or two before I get restless and have to write something new.
For those who aren’t acquainted with your books, please describe your writing style and give us a reason to read them.
The books in the Kalo series have a fast exiting pace and are pretty dark. The married couple in the lead has a lot to lose and are in serious trouble with a vicious killer. The female lead Linn, who is a therapist and more intelligent than her husband, has applied to many readers.
How important is the contact between you and your readers? And how do you experience that?
Since I write in my home, the contact with the readers is very important. The press and the publishers are professional contacts, but to meet readers is something joyful on a more personal level. For example a Dutch fan posted a picture of himself reading my book ‘Bittere Zonde’ in front of his fireplace. I think it was a really nice gesture.
Do you read a lot and what do you read?
Between my own books I try to read, both so called finer literature and the opposite, the only thing I don´t read (at least since adolescence) is romance.
What was the latest book you read?
I often have several books going on. On my shelf right now is John Steinbeck Grapes of Wrath (inspiring language), Henri Papillon, Charrière Papillon (a very male book) and Stephen Kings Misery (my good she is scary…)
Do you want to pass on a certain message to your readers with your books?
Mostly I just want the readers to relax from reality for a while, I often have a strike of childhood darkness in my books but it´s no lecture to be taught unless you make up your own.
How important do you think social media is such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, ..........?
I tried to keep away from it at first, but hey, I live in the world and it is changing regardless if I want it or not, so now I´ve joined Facebook to my publishers delight, and it has been quite nice so far. Just happy people everywhere.
Do you find it important what people think of you?
Luckily I´m 42 now and have been through some ordeals in my life so I am not as sensitive as I was when I was younger. But of course I would find it unpleasant if somebody went berserk and hated me on the net, but wouldn´t anybody?
If you don’t write, what do you do in your spare time? Do you have hobbies and what are they?
Oddly, I am a vegan with Chickens in my backyard, haven´t decided what to do with the eggs yet, at the moment they don´t lay any. They give me a lot of pleasure. I also like gardening and to illustrate. I even illustrated a children’s book once.
What is your ultimate (writers) dream?
At the moment I am working at a new crime series called Brothers that will be launched in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland next year. It´s a story of two brothers who´s bipolar mother gets killed and it poses an interesting question. Would you love your brother even if he wasn´t? It is a family drama as well as a thriller which I like. But I would like to continue with the Kalo-series simultaneously.
What do you think is your best book so far?
Not considering ”Brothers” that are yet to come it might be the second or third book in the Kalo-series, but my debut ”Bitter Zonde” has sold in seven countries so it can’t be all too bad either.
You studied archaeology. Was that a conscious choice and did you do something with it after you graduated?
I went to Argentina and worked in the Pree-Andes. excavating a campsite of a pre-Inca people. I also worked as a guide in different Swedish museums.
During your period in Argentina you were confronted with the reign of terror of the Junta. How did it change you and how do you reflect on that?
I was there fifteen years ago, but I stayed in the house of an Argentinian family and the scars they had and their stories affected me a lot. They took me to cemeteries and I met a lot of people who had lost their loved ones. I used some of those influences in “Bittere Zonde”.
I’ve read your first book and I really liked it. I also liked the fact that Magnus his wife plays a role in this book. Will she be involved again in your other books?
Linn is just as important as Magnus, if not more. She is the one who reflects in a more subtle, intelligent way and he is nothing without her. Their happiness as a couple makes the killers threat even scarier.
You said there are already 2 books published in Sweden. When will the second and third book be published in The Netherlands? Have you any idea?
The third book has not yet been published here but will be. I don´t know when the sequels are to be published in the Netherlands yet, but I will keep you updated on this.
Are we going to have a chance to meet you one day when your second or third book will be published? Have you considered doing a tour in different countries?
I was actually in Amsterdam last year and met De Geus but I hope to be able to visit again. I´ll let you know when a trip gets planned.
I’m a big fan of Scandinavian authors like Läckberg, and certainly Cilla & Rolf Börjlind. Which are your favourite authors?
I actually like foreign authors better, for example the British crime writer Val McDermid.
Who reads your books the most? Men or women?
Do you choose the covers yourself or has the publisher any contribution in that?
I have very little influence when it comes to the covers abroad, but the publisher in Sweden generally listens to my suggestions, although I try not to say too much, the designers generally do great work.
Would you like to see your books as a TV-series?
Of course and my agent is working on it.
How do you like the books world so far?
It has mostly ups, the writing is of course great, but you have to work harder than you can imagine on other parts and keep calm.
Have other authors read your book(s) and if so do they tell you if they like it or not?
I actually don´t know if any other authors have read my books. But I have had some contact with other authors regarding other matters.
Thanks to Liselotte for this interview! Much appreciated.
Uitgeverij De Geus – Linda Bertens - bedankt voor deze mogelijkheid!!
Lees hier de recensie van ‘Bittere Zonde’