Today I’m delighted to welcome Emelie Schepp to acrimereadersblog. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Emelie’s great new novel Marked for Life. This is the first in a trilogy set in Sweden featuring public prosecuter Jana Berzelius.
Thanks for joining me Emelie, I thought Marked for life was a great novel dealing with some very harrowing events. What was the inspiration behind Marked for Life?
Thinking of a good story it is not always about how a victim was murdered, it is the characters and the interaction between characters that readers remember. And in my debut novel MARKED FOR LIFE I wanted to write about a woman that was odd. But I did not know how odd she was about to be until I read an article about child soldiers. In 2012 there was a huge debate about child soldiers after the viral movie “Kony 2012”. The movie was about Joseph R. Kony who is the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) a guerilla group that formerly operated in Uganda. He has been accused by government entities of ordering the abduction of children to become child soldiers. Over 66 000 children became soldiers. As I read the article I remember starting to question myself: “What happens when a child is forced to be a solider? And what if that solider wants to be a child again? Is it even possible?” I also started to think about what would happen if there were child soldiers in Sweden. If I wanted to use the child soldiers in my novel, where in Sweden would I find these children? I know it sounds very strange, but I had to find children that no one would miss, nor search for. Abducting a child in a playground leads to a media storm and I did not needed the abduction to take place in secret, without anyone knowing.
One evening as I watched the news I saw a truck with a container that had overturned on a highway. And when the police arrived at the scene they found several refugees in the container. They had not been registered at the border. They were illegal. No one knew they were in Sweden. So, I went down to the port of Norrköping and looked around. When I saw all the thousand containers I realized that anything could be hiding in them, including children, that’s how I come up with the story about Jana Berzelius.
Do you have a ‘day job’? Or do you write full time?
I have now sold almost one million copies of my books in 29 countries around the world, so I am lucky to be a writer full time today!
Can you tell us what a typical working day looks like for you?
I usually get up at 06.15, making coffee before waking up my kids and getting them to school. Then I sit down in front of my computer and write. The time between 8 am and 12 am is my writing time. I usually never answer my phone or any e-mail, I just write. At 12 I have lunch with my husband and he usually walks me through my author schedule – travels, signing-tours, book-fairs, and such. I am very blessed to have my husband working full time with me. We are partners in crime, business, and love.
After lunch, I read the text through, and do some editing. Around 3 pm, me and my husband go for a walk or run, discussing the plot, a character, or a scene.
At 4 pm, our kids come home from school and then we help them with homework or drive them to their soccer, or tennis practice.
After dinner, or when our kids have fallen asleep, me and my husband work for a couple more hours. Then we always end the day watching a tv-series or a movie.
How would you spend a perfect afternoon away from work?
For me, the idea of an “extra” day is simply too good to let pass by. I have tried so many times but I am really bad at doing nothing. If it was a sunny, warm afternoon, I would definitely spend the afternoon with my husband and kids, preferably we would have a picnic on the beach.
A picnic on the beach sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon to me! Are you an avid reader yourself? If so, which authors do you find yourself returning to time and again?
Yes, I am an avid reader. My favourite authors and recommended reads are Jo Nesbø’s Phantom, Lars Kepler´s The Sandman and Roger Hobbs’ Ghostman.
I’m a big fan of Jo Nesbo too, I haven’t read any Roger Hobbs though so will look out for him. Finally, can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on next?
Right now, I am reading, editing and polishing the fourth book in the series about Jana Berzelius and it is called Daddy’s Boy. The book will be available in Sweden August 21, 2017. Hopefully it will be available in UK in a couple of years. I am really looking forward to having Marked for Revenge and Slowly We Die available in UK and I do hope that readers will enjoy the first in the series: MARKED FOR LIFE.
Thanks very much for joining me Emelie, I’m very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Emelie Schepp’s Marked for Life is out 6th July (HQ, £7.99)
Find out more at her website http://www.emelieschepp.com