"Gisa Klönne creates stiflingly authentic characters. Captivating reading."

Hamburger Abendblatt

Interviews

I WRITE ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS ...

Gisa Klönne’s novel UNDER THE ICE was published in Sweden in 2009. Below is a slightly edited extract from an interview with the Swedish internet magazine HANGMATTAN, for which Iwan Morelius asked the questions. For more interviews with Gisa Klönne in German, please click here.

Hangmattan: Your second novel, UNDER THE ICE, has now appeared in Sweden. Do you think your novels should be read in sequence or can one read them separately?

Gisa Klönne: You can read each of my books on its own, no problem. Although I sometimes refer to events that happened in a novel before, I never give away who was the murderer in a former book ... It depends on the reader though. A lot of them think it’s more fun to get to know my detectives from the beginning and see how they change from novel to novel (which is what I as the creator force them to do) - and these readers like to start with SILENT IS THE FOREST and read the other books chronologically.

Hangmattan: In UNDER THE ICE, your second novel about the police detectives Judith Krieger and Manfred Korzilius, you let them solve two problems. One dealing with a woman who has disappeared somewhere in Canada and the other dealing with a missing boy and his dog. What those two persons have in common is loneliness. The boy is bullied and so is the woman. Is bullying a big problem in Germany?

Gisa Klönne: I don’t think bullying is a typical German problem. I think bullying occurs, wherever and whenever people are forced to be together (in school, at work, at home ...) - especially when times get rough.

As a crime writer I’m very much interested in the reasons that lead to violence and even murder. I write my novels from a psychological point of view. I look at what people do to each other and in writing about this I try to understand why they do it. Suppression, hate, fear, longing, jealousy, envy, sexism, racism, bullying and so on are all motives for people to commit a crime. You could say I write about relationships and about what people hope to gain or fear to lose.

Teenagers aren’t very secure of themselves yet, they’re still trying to find out who they are and who they want to be. They try to establish their own rules – as a consequence in this period of life bullying occurs quite often in schools. It’s all about survival and the fear of being kicked out. Groups are cruel and individuals can be cruel. Usually people who are perceived as being different are bullied first. Most of them are not killed though. But of course as a crime writer I like to think further ...

Hangmattan: Have you been to Canada? You must have – as you described the nature so well in UNDER THE ICE.

Gisa Klönne: Yes, I’ve been to Canada a couple of times. I like the Canadian nature, especially in northern Ontario and I’ve been there to watch the loons, of course. I’ve done quite some research on those birds when I was writing UNDER THE ICE, but I could never have described their haunting call and behaviour if I hadn’t watched them for real.

Hangmattan: Do you have any favourite authors in the mystery and thriller genre?

Gisa Klönne: There are quite a few colleagues I love to read and some of them live in Sweden. Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Liza Marklund. Ake Edwardson. Asa Larsson. From other countries there are Anne Holt, Elizabeth George, Sara Paretsky and many more.

Hangmattan: What are your future plans. Will you go on with your two main characters even after the third novel, NIGHT WITHOUT SHADOWS? Or do you have any other plans?

Gisa Klönne: Right now I just finished the fourth novel with my detectives Judith and Manfred: SHADES OF GUILT is published in Germany in August 2009. My publisher and fans also demand a fifth and maybe I’ll go on even further. But I’m also determined to write other novels as well. In fact I have some quite tempting ideas already.