When you‘re an Icelander writing a novel set in Norway, it is extremely important to be familiar with the feel the story‘s surroundings. I‘m fortunate enough to be living in the country and could therefore both observe to learn more about the culture and ask people if I wasn‘t sure. I remember the first version of the novel, published in Icelandic, getting a comment from my editor about people always entering the busses in the front and not in the middle as I had written. That is true for Iceland, but not when it comes to Norway. You don‘t realize how many small things like these there are until you try to create a world around a culture that is not your own.
I‘ve now been living in this lovely country for three and a half years and still find it intriguing. Despite the fact that my people, the Icelandic, supposedly originate from here we are surprisingly different. The Norwegians like to keep to themselves and can get a bit cross if you make too much noise on the bus or on the train. I hadn‘t lived here for long before buying a headset for my mobile in order to not disturb the other passengers while I was having one of my many phone calls to friends or family in Iceland. Despite their seeming standoffishness, when you get to know a Norwegian they quickly become your friend. They are welcoming and lovely people that open up their hears to others in the blink of an eye.
By writing Loner I wanted not only to capture the essence of Norway but I also wanted to change the direction in which Nordic Noir is going. I wanted extreme suspense, terrifying killers but also humor. I find humor to be such a wonderful tool in my everyday life and therefore felt it was important to introduce it to my novels as well. I sometimes go as far as saying a joke in the middle of a high pressure situation just to lighten the mood and try to get all parties closer towards a common ground.
Loner is about a team of detectives that tries to solve the murder of a young Icelander. Before they know it, they are faced with an even tougher case as decapitated women start appearing in the middle of the woods, their bodies containing strange messages. Julia is one of my main characters and she has been a detective for almost ten years. She is the lead homicide detective in the Oslo police force and tries her best to control the lively Hercules and the brute, Eric. Before she knows it, a fourth party is added to her team and she now also has a quirky forensic psychiatrist on her hands that seems to always do the exact opposite of what she wants. Despite her apprehension of his profession, she can't help admitting that underneath all his shenanigans lies a sharp mind with an immense amount of experience.
It’s wonderful being able to write books and allow the reader to peek into your head. If you’ve got a story in your belly, I recommend that you consider writing it and whether it ends up being published or not, you’ll go through an extremely invigorating process of getting to know yourself, your ideas and releasing a bit of the writer within.