Showing posts from January, 2022

One man and two women men walk into a bar: a banker, a priest and a detective

  I was still on the hunt for real-live Icelanders with which I could people my second Magnus novel. The banker I met Birna, a middle executive in one of the banks, who had lost all of her savings in the bank’s money-market fund, and then her job. In London I met Kristján, an Icelandic graduate student. Pétur told me about Icelandic writers. I was getting to know my characters. Now we come back to the thorny issue of stereotypes. In the first draft of my very first financial thriller, I included a character who was the ‘muscle’ working for an American businessman. I called him Luigi, gave him thick dark hair and an overcoat. As one of my friends said, he was a cliché. So it’s all very well figuring out what a typical Icelandic fisherman, or student, or banker is like, but sometimes you need to make them different from the typical. The priest An example is Hákon, a rural priest in Where the Shadows Lie . I found myself an Icelandic priest, a woman named Sara, and she gave me a portrait