The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg

The Hidden Child Inspired by True Events-2014

May 2014 — An Exclusive Authorlink Interview with Camilla Läckberg

By Columnist Doreen Akiyo Yomoah

The Hidden Child
by Camilla Läckberg

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Camilla Läckberg talks to us about her new novel The Hidden Child, dancing and her lifelong attraction to the macabre.

AUTHORLINK: Have you always been a writer, or is it something you had to learn how to do?

LACKBERG: Well I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and have always been doing it in one form or another, but didn’t become a ‘proper’ writer until I was 27, when I started a writing course. It was then that I started really pursuing this lifelong dream. The course was called “How to Write Crime”.

“. . . I started thinking it was possible for me to write professionally.”

The course taught me practical tools on how to write, and that was the first time I started thinking it was possible for me to write professionally. Before that, it was like a rock star dream. The course brought it to a practical level, and that’s when I started to think I could actually do this.

AUTHORLINK: Is The Hidden Child inspired by true events?

LACKBERG: I’m always to some extent inspired by true events. I base some of the stories on actual events. Then I use my own imagination to write the novels. I always include real historical elements in my books, but the rest is fiction.

AUTHORLINK: How do you find your characters? Are they based on people you know?

“In The Hidden Child, Erica is 50 percent me, and 50 percent her own person.”

LACKBERG: It’s kind of a mix. A lot of characters are based a lot of people I know. I sometimes mix several people together. A character could also come from someone I observe on the subway, or someone I’ve read about- they’re a blend of everything. In The Hidden Child, Erica is 50 percent me, and 50 percent her own person. I’m the only one who knows which parts are me and which are made up.

AUTHORLINK: The Swedish entertainment that I’m familiar with- The Millennium Trilogy, Let the Right One In, and your book- all have a dark feel. Is this something that is a cultural trait?

“I’m just thankful my parents didn’t drag me to a psychiatrist.”

LACKBERG: Yeah, we do have a morbid side. I don’t know if it’s the long cold winters, but we like telling scary stories. We have a culture of going towards the morbid. I’ve always been drawn to dark things- I started reading ghost stories and horror fiction very young. I was reading Stephen King when I was seven. I started writing books when I was four. I would draw, fold the paper in half, and make my father write the text. The first book was four pages long. On the first page, Santa Clause and Mrs. Clause are holding hands looking happy, and four pages later, Santa is lying on the floor with blood coming from his hat. I’m just thankful my parents didn’t drag me to a psychiatrist. AUTHORLINK: What do you have going on now?

I’m in Sweden now, and I’m currently working on my ninth novel. I’m also finished my fourth children’s’ book. I’m also going to the States in August to compete in a Latin dancing competition.

AUTHORLINK: Latin dancing?

LACKBERG: I was on Let’s Dance 2012 [a Swedish television series similar to Dancing with the Stars]. I got hooked, so this August I’m going to Vegas to compete!

About the Author:

Camilla Läckberg worked as an economist in Stockholm until a course in creative writing triggered a drastic career change. Her novels have all been #1 bestsellers in Sweden, and she is the most profitable native author in Swedish history. She was recently the #1 bestselling female author in Europe, and her novels have been sold in thirty-five countries. Her previous novels include The Stonecutter and The Stranger, which is available from Pegasus Books. Camilla lives in a suburb of Stockholm with her family.

About Doreen Akiyo Yomoah:

Doreen Akiyo Yomoah is a nomadic freelance writer, currently living in Dakar, Senegal.