Detective Louise Rick at your service…
A world of missing persons, murders, and dangerous secrets come to play in Sara Blaedel’s novels with Detective Louise Rick at the centre of it all.
Sara Blaedel is well known for her famous #1 international best selling detective series, featuring the character Louise Rick – originally a rookie homicide detective in Copenhagen, who quickly becomes enthralled with strange cases of all kinds. Blaedel’s novels are what most would categorize as nordic noir – a genre of books set in the Icelandic countries. Before writing her most famous novels, Blaedel wanted the genre of nordic noir to expand in popularity, and thus launching her own publishing company Sara B, to give those novels a chance to be seen and read.
Blaedel’s success and talent does not go unnoticed – winning Denmark’s most popular novelist for the fourth time. She is also a recipient of the Golden Laurel, Denmark’s most prestigious literary award.
The genre of nordic noir always intrigued me – was it the icy, snowy setting? The intense dialogue between detectives, police, and suspects? The talented writing from Icelandic authors? Or could it be my favourite type of stories set in a world that I have not seen or discovered for myself?
I was so excited and honoured that Blaedel was able to come on RWS and answer a few questions! Check it out below:
Who’s your favourite author?
I am such an impassioned reader and book lover. I’ve been reading for nearly as long as I can remember and have devoured works of all genres. I hold so many authors in the highest esteem, and while I couldn’t possibly point to one single writer, I do have many favorites. To name a few, Michael Connelly, Karin Slaughter, and the Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdsdottier are brilliant storytellers whose imaginations captivate and rivet. I’m always waiting excitedly for their new releases.
Favourite book or genre to read?
The answer to that question very much depends on my mood. Some days, a deliciously humorous story is just what I crave; other times, I’ll hungrily dig into non-fiction. Most often, though, I’ll have an engrossing and provocative work of crime fiction in my hands. I have always been a devoted and obsessive fan of suspense.
When was the moment you realized that you loved literature, more specifically, crime fiction?
That moment goes all the way back to my childhood. I fell madly in love with “The Famous Five,” by the incomparable Enid Blyton. Mysteries for children- how ingenious. I found it exciting and positively thrilling to get involved; to work to solve the cases. I’ve been hooked ever since. It was truly love at first sight.
What inspired you to open your publishing company, “Sara B”?
It was long before we experienced a crime fiction wave in Scandinavia, so the now explosively hot genre was not particualrly popular. But I was already a devotee- I wanted more, more, more availability and fabulous new titles. So, my idea was to publish the novels in paperback and get them out everywhere. At that time, it was more common to publish all new books expensively, in hardcover. But I wanted to give people compelling and entertaining stories, reasonably. Before that, only trashy novels were so affordable.
After opening your publishing company, what drew you to write your own novel that was published in 2004?
Actually, I no longer had my publishing house by the time I started write myself – stupid me! That surely would have been a better business model. I ran my press for 5 years, but also worked as a journalist, It wasn’t until years later that the first story concept came alive in my head. And I think it all ultimately worked out perfectly. It’s been far better for me to have amazing teams to work with than it would have been to write and publish my own books.
What gave you the inspiration for the character, Louise Rick?
Louise emerged and came to life in my head. I did not plan it – or her. When she first spoke to me, I thought she was a journalist like I was, but then I realized that no; she had a different path. She blossomed into a homicide police detective in Copenhagen. To be perfectly honest, for a long time I was really just telling myself a story; I had no idea that it would end up in a book. It started on a ”what if” note, but at some point I grew really curious and started to do some research. And then it hit me- I knew that I was working on my first book.
Did your writing process change at all when you began writing your second book?
It didn’t. I was still working as a journalist when I started writing the second as I’d done all throughout the first, but after the publication, I was able to quit my job and become a full- time writer. Which meant I didn’t have to ”work” in the evenings and all weekend anymore. I felt (and still do) so incredibly lucky and filled with gratitude that readers discoverd and took a chance on me so quickly. What an honor!
Would you ever write a novel in a different genre?
No, I don’t think so. But, as they say: never say never. Because so much of the process is born from the stories that appears in my head, I can’t really predict. Early on, I wrote biographies. But crime fiction, suspense, and mysteries- well, those are the genres which inspire and motivate me now. And quite likely always will.
Can we expect any more books from you coming up?
Ohhhh yes! For now I have nine Louise Rick novels and a trilogy about Ilka Jensen who inherits a funeral home in Racine, Wisconsin. I have just finished the third and last book in that series, and I’m so excited- can’t wait to share them all with my readers. And the next book coming up will be a new Louise Rick novel. I so look forward to spending some time with her again.
Do you have any advice for young writers out there?
For me, the most important step is getting to know my characters before I start writing in earnest. I create them intensively and with depth. I create background stories and full personalities, so I really feel that I know them; that they are true beings who exist and breathe air. I must hear and get their distinct voices so that they can talk roots and inhabit me. I cannot write them if I don’t believe they are alive and kicking.
I love when my characters take over – and then, I can also get annoyed when they take too much over. The whole process is complicated and wonderful! When I write, it feels like a movie playing out in my head, for my eyes only. I am the person with her fingers on the keyboard, making decisions that feel organic and authentic (that is what I endeavor to do). I tell myself the stories first, and then grow and build them to share with my amazing readers.
Without a doubt, Blaedel is one of the most interesting, and talented suspense thriller authors out there. With her dedicated passion for nordic noir novels, I am sure that genre will continue to flourish in popularity more than it is now!
Thank you Sara Blaedel for coming on RWS to chat with me!
Blaedel’s newest novel The Daughter, will be available in store AUGUST 28th 2018 at Chapters/Indigo, Kobo, Amazon, Google Books, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.