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When I’m out on school author-visits, I often get asked why I became a writer. “Because that’s what I can do,” I usually say. Ever since I was a toddler, starting out in life, I’ve had a finely-tuned sense of how other people are feeling and of how humans communicate with one another. I have no idea why that is but I’m grateful for the gift. A thousand situations, dialogues, movements and scenes dance in my imagination, there to be grabbed and written down. So far there have been 30 books, and there are more on the way!
I write for children and young people because I think that’s the most fun. I’ve written books for adults too – a lot of short stories that were published by cultural magazines, and I’ve contributed to an anthology, as well as come up with over 100 TV scripts. But writing for children is a challenge that’s good for my imagination and feeds a personal need too – the ‘Alva’ books, for example. I was aching to find good chapter books on the subject of divorce from a child’s perspective, but I couldn’t find any. So then I wrote Alva rymmer! (Alva runs away!), and since then there have been a whole host of books about the strong-willed little girl, Alva.
A similar thing happened when I had my youngest daughter, Lova. I was looking for books for very young readers which were about fathers and daughters in everyday situations – but where were they? And where were all the great books for small kids about our senses, that didn’t necessarily have to make a noise when you press them? That spawned the idea for the picture book Det låter bra! (Sounds good!) (2010), beautifully illustrated by Sara Gimbergsson. Det låter bra! is the first book of four about our senses; the others in the series are: Det känns fint! (Feels lovely!) and Det luktar bus! (Smells like mischief). Det smakar kalas! (Tastes like fun) is due for release in the Autumn of 2013.
I can’t say my books for young people, Klass 7b (Class 7b) were born out of a shortage of literature about the early teens and their reality. The idea came to me more as a challenge. I wanted to experiment with writing a series of books in which several threads run parallel with each other, and with fast-paced, realistic dialogue. Living a teenage life and thoughts, switching from one voice to the next and captivating the reader was an amazing experience for me.
Sometimes my readers ask me what I will do if the stories stop coming. I wouldn’t get asked that question if they could see what’s going on inside my head! There’s an ocean of stories to scoop up and the ocean is much bigger than me. My biggest concern is having enough time for it!
What else? I live in Stockholm with my family. I often visit schools and meet my readers, and I love to dance!