Best known for her captivating Inspector Sejer series, Karin Fossum is one of Norway’s bestselling crime writers. Her books are translated into 30 languages, and Fossum has won numerous awards, including the Glass Key Award for the best Nordic crime novel and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In the July 2015 issue of Viking, we spoke with Fossum about her career and what inspires her novels. Check it out on page 38 and read more from the interview here.
Q: What kinds of books do you like to read?
A: I like books that have lots of drama and some kind of despair. I like when it’s about life and death. I don’t like small talk. I don’t like large novels with 500 pages about nothing. I want it to be short, precise and intense.
Q: Why do you think Norwegian crime novels have been so popular?
A: Jo Nesbø opened a lot of doors for many writers. We do not have the British tradition of crime stories from high society. Norwegian crime authors write more about ordinary people. There’s maybe not much action, but there’s a lot of psychology.
Q: Do you think Norway is an especially successful setting for crime thrillers?
A: Maybe. It’s rather cold, dark and windy. We don’t have much sun during the year—especially in the northern Norway where weather can be pretty bad. We have to struggle a lot more to survive. We have to stay indoors with candles and a fireplace; it’s the right climate for horror stories, in a way.
Q: Where do you like to write?
A: I have a tiny house on the countryside outside of Oslo. My neighbors are horses, cows and sheep. I work in my living room. I don’t have a special room or special house that I go to. I don’t need that. I need my computer and a window and a landscape outside.
On August 25, Fossum will release her latest novel in the Inspector Sejer series, “The Drowned Boy.”