Ask the Author: Birgitta Hjalmarson

“Ask me a question.” Birgitta Hjalmarson

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Birgitta Hjalmarson Writing is a solitary occupation, filled with victories and defeats. When readers thank you, it’s the best feeling in the world.
Birgitta Hjalmarson My next novel is also set in Sweden, but this time farther south, in the province of Skåne. It all plays out in one summer, and as with Fylgia, I build on research and memories both. I love the research. It's the writing that's hard. Long road ahead.
Birgitta Hjalmarson Not very well, I'm afraid. I push through. I insist. Sometimes it takes days, even weeks. Often it does no good whatsoever. That's when I go down to the ocean and wait.
Birgitta Hjalmarson Inspiration is a tricky thing. If it comes, we'd better be there. That's why I show up in my office every morning.
Birgitta Hjalmarson First, write the best you can. Then write it again. Go deeper.
Birgitta Hjalmarson It began with an image I couldn't forget. I had moved to the US but was visiting my mother in Sweden. She mentioned the burial almost as if in passing. She said it was shortly after WWI. Must have been, she said, for she herself was still a child. The family had crossed a snowy field to a country churchyard, hidden in the forest of Sweden. As Anna's brother lowered the small coffin into the frozen ground, Anna clenched her fists, her knuckles white from the cold. A man, dressed in black, watched from the pasture below, a wreath on his arm. Only after the family left, did he approach the grave.

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