Icelendic crime writer gives a rare interview and talks to Jake Kerridge about his new novel, Strange Shores and explains that he likes to surprise himself:
“I’ve been a film buff ever since I can remember. From my very early years I was always in the cinema. Saw everything. I think that’s a very good upbringing for a writer, just go to the movies,” he laughs. He worked as a film critic for many years. “I saw a lot of movies, ninety per cent of them bad ones, but even from the bad ones you learn how to construct a story, or how not to do it. I think I learned a lot from films about how you present a character, how you move a story on.” He cites Hitchcock as a major influence on his work.
Any more tips for aspiring crime writers? “My method is not to know what’s taken place. The themes of my story I will know, but not who the characters are. The greatest fun when I’m working on the story is to look at what I’m writing and say ‘What? What? Is this what happens?’ And then the reader will enjoy it too. This is my advice: surprise yourself!”