Author interview with Stefan Spjut
Stefan Spjut (b. 1973) has worked as a literary critic and culture editor. His debut novel Fiskarens garn (Fisherman's Yarn) was published in 2008. He lives in Stockholm and has two children, a girl and a boy. He holds a black belt in taekwondo and considers himself a reprobate MMA-junkie.
Hi Stefan, welcome over at The Book Plank and for taking your time to answer these few questions for us.
BP: First off, could you tell us a bit more about who Stefan Spjut is? What are you hobbies, likes and dislikes?
SS: Greetings, Book Plankers. I started out in journalism, as writers usually do, and evolved from there, compelled to construct lies. As a person I’m quite docile. I read and I write and watch movies and that’s what I do. Hang out with my kids. I like the outdoors, the wind in the firs, birds, and I like fighting, the beauty of a perfectly executed high elbow gulliotine. I dislike ignorance, the doom of mankind.
BP: Stallo is your second book, you first book was Fisherman’s Yarn. When and where did you decide that you wanted to write stories?
SS: I’ve been constructing stories all my life and the day I stop will be the day I depart, or turn into a grinning idiot.
BP: Stallo, which is published this June, is a supernatural thriller. What gave you the idea behind the story of Stallo?
SS: I’m a supernatural guy. I mean, I’ve always been into the paranormal. And somebody had to exploit our folklore.
BP: The supernatural requires some imagination what inspires you in general?
SS: The Good Lord’s creation. And watching people. They think they’re rational, but usually they’re not.
BP: Some other Scandinavian writies use supernatural beings like trolls in their stories. Do you think the myths have some truth to it?
SS: All myths have some truth in them. But maybe that’s a myth too? Do I believe in the forlorn existence of trolls and such? Sadly, no.
BP: If you would have to sell Stallo with a single sentence how would it go?
SS: I’m a poor salesman.
BP: Writing a book is difficult, had you learned valuable trick from writing Fisherman’s Yarn that you were able to apply in Stallo?
SS: Writing is choosing. You have to choose. In the words of Tony Soprano: A wrong decision is better than indecision.
BP: What has been the hardest or most trickiest bit when you were writing Stallo?
SS: Since I’m on the Soprano track here: Don’t stop believin!
BP: Besides the difficult parts of writing, which chapter, scene or character did you enjoy writing about the most?
SS: The boy.
BP: If you would be given the chance to pull every book back make one final change would you do it? If yes, which part and why?
SS: That’s a nefarious question of some popularity, I’ve seen it in a lot of interviews. I never engage in that kind of thinking. I’d end up in the loony bin.
BP: Now that Stallo is published, do you have any other projects that you wish to continue in the near future?
SS: I’m working on the sequel. And some other stuff. But you can’t really talk about things like that, unless you’re aiming to jinx it.
BP: Everyone enjoys supernatural fantasy in their own way, what do you like most about the genre?
SS: Well, obviously, the absence of limits. Your kitchen window might explode and a werewolf might stand in your lasagne. It actually might happen. The supernatural also have the strongest metaphorical potency. Monsters are great in that respect. Talking about monsters, how we relate to the concept, says a lot about the nature of human beings.
BP: If you would have to give your top 5 favorite books which would they be?
SS: If I was to list things that I dislike in modern journalism, listology would be up there. That being said: here are five great works of fiction: The Divine Comedy by Dante, The Wolfskin Trilogy by Kerstin Ekman; the Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy and last but not least The Iliad by Homer, the gravity of it gets me every time, it’s really larger than life. That’s not five books, that’s eight. I’m either a rebel or a polydactylist.
BP: Can you tell us a bit for what will be in store in Stallo? What awaits us.
SS: Creeping suspense, I’d say. And bursts of troll action.