Showing posts from December, 2021

Characters: it's all about the people

  What if a group of ordinary Icelanders, angry Icelanders, met at one of these protests in the Parliament Square? What if they decided that those responsible for the crash deserved to be punished? Directly. By them. That was my idea for Magnus II . My character invention technique I decided my ordinary Icelanders would be a fisherman, a middle-ranking bank executive, a writer, a student and a junior chef. Now I needed to find something out about these people. I have developed a useful technique for exploring my characters. First I locate someone similar to the character in question, usually the contact of a contact, and arrange to meet them. I don’t know why, but in my experience almost everyone wants to meet an author writing a book about people like them. I don’t ask extremely personal, direct questions. I tell them about my character, what he or she is like, their parents, their fears, their ambitions, where they live, what car they drive. I then ask them what’s wrong with my descr

Justice: Lock'em up! But only for a bit.

  Throughout the world, people wanted to lock up those bankers who were responsible for the 2008 crash. Iceland is one of the few countries that actually managed to do it. It started with a public discussion on the TV show Silfur Egils, the name of which refers to our thuggish poet friend Egil from the sagas and his lost silver, but is presented by the journalist Egill Helgason. One of his guests, Eva Joly, was a Norwegian-French judge who had some bracing suggestions for bringing the perps to justice. She was persuaded to spend several months in Iceland advising the government. There was a strong suspicion among many that the Outvaders, the bankers, the politicians and indeed the lawyers of Reykjavík all knew each other too well, so the government searched for a prosecutor from outside the capital to go after the culprits. Ólafur the salmon catcher They found one in the small town of Akranes, Ólafur Hauksson. This all seemed a bit of a joke at first. Ólafur had no experience of fin