While growing up in Norway, Lise Lunge-Larsen loved listening to her parents read folktales. Her passion for children’s literature grew when she moved to the United States. Today, she’s written eight books, including her latest “Seven Ways to Trick a Troll.” Check out her interview in the May issue of Viking magazine, and see more below.
What inspired you to become a children’s book author?
I studied folklore at the University of Oslo. When I moved to the United States, my world became very intertwined with children’s literature. Folktales in the United States are often thought as children’s literature, even though technically folktales are for all ages. I have always connected with children, and it felt natural to tell stories to them. I just really love children’s literature in general, and folktales in particular.
What is your writing process?
I just tell stories. Through the years, I would write down stories that I would constantly find myself wanting to tell. The stories in my book “The Adventures of Thor: The Thunder God,” were ones I told to a group of fourth graders. I had my tape recorder with me, and then I went home and transcribed the stories I told that day. I am an oral processor, and I find the words as I’m speaking, as opposed to when I’m sitting at my computer. In some ways, I don’t think of myself as a writer. I’m a storyteller who writes down her stories.
What parts of Norwegian culture did you bring into your home and share with your children?
Everything. I feel as Norwegian as any Norwegian in Norway. We make waffles, lefse and meatballs. Our Christmas is straight out of what my Christmas was growing up in Norway. We celebrate the 17th of May with other Norwegian-American families with a big parade and lots of Norwegian food.