Q+A: M. T. Edvardsson
Mattias Edvardsson, age 45, born and raised in the southernmost part of Sweden.
I worked as a teacher for 17 years but since 2019 I'm a full time writer.
I live in a small town in Sweden with my wife and two daughters.
1) The first volume in the series was the lauded "A Nearly Normal Family" which quickly won the hearts of the audience and established yourself as one of the most promising new voices in Swedish crime fiction. The original title of your latest writing feat, "The Woman Inside", is "En familjetragedi" which translates as "A Family Tragedy" in English. Does this persistence to never omit the angle of dysfunctional family relationships in your works emanate from a personal "obsession" with this particular theme or do you ust think that it makes for a potent narrative vehicle?
M.E.: My aim is to write about quite ordinary people who end up in extraordinary situations. It could be me – or you. I have two daughters aged 8 and 11, so for the last ten years a big part of my everyday life has focused on family and raising kids. Subconsciously I suppose I have been processing my inner fears while writing these domestic thrillers.
2) Both in "A Nearly Normal Family" and in "The Woman Inside", you chose to set your stories in the city of Lund, a relatively small and quiet place in southern Sweden with low criminality rates. Did you choose to feature this specific locale in your works, that you obviously know pretty well yourself as your detailed and vivid descriptions reveal, because you see something in it that deems the place a fitting terrain for a crime story to unfold?
M.E.: Lund is a typical university city with quite low crime rates. But since I am mostly interested in domestic crimes I find it important to show that this could take place anywhere. I live with my family just outside of Lund, so it is quite easy for me to do my research. There's been a lot crime fiction taking place in Stockholm, Malmö and the northern part of Sweden, but I am really proud of inviting my readers to the beautiful city of Lund. Later this year you can also watch the miniseries "A nearly normal family" on Netflix, which was filmed in Lund.
3) You seem to have a knack for employing the Multiple POV trope to relay your stories to the readers. Do you find this narrative technique to be more effective when it comes to works of crime and thriller fiction?
M.E.: It really is effective since you can tell the story from different point of views and maybe confuse or even trick the reader. It is also a very enjoyable way to write a novel. I write it in exactly the same order that you read it, from the first page to the last. By jumping from character to character I never get bored with them.
4) As I was reading "The Woman Inside", it struck me that you opt for a rather ambivalent way to outline your main characters and, in many occasions, the readers can't help but experience feelings of antipathy toward them. Is this a conscious choice or not?
M.E.: I want to write about ordinary people with deficencies, characters that are like the most of us. You won't find any heroes or evil villains in my books.
5) The police interrogation parts that intercept the flow of the narration are oozing authenticity and plausibility. Did you have to do any form of research on this police procedure or were the interactions a complete fabrication on your side?
M.E.: I didn't really need to do any specific research, since my special interest is police investigations. I use a lot of my spare time to read interrogation protocols and take part of investigations and trial recordnings. That's actually how I came up with the idea to use interrogation protocols in "The Woman Inside" to keep the story going.
6) Tell us about your future writing plans. Are you currently working on a new project or are you taking a break in order to recharge your batteries?
M.E.: In Sweden my latest novel, "A Vow Of Silence", was released just a few weeks ago, so at the moment I'm launching this new book in bookstores and libraries all over the country. Hopefully you will also get to read this book in English one day.
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