|C: Haakon Nordvik|
Thrillerlezers questioned the author
Who is Geir Tangen? Which five words will described you best and why?
I have answered this question a couple of times the last few days, and I`ll say the same thing here: I am 48 years old, a teacher and a writer. But who am I actually? I might say that I am a dreamer who never grew up. In my head I am still this crazy teenager who thinks that he can manage everything if I put my mind to it. I still think that I can be a pop star, an Olympic athlete or ... a famous crime author. There are no borders, and no strings that is holding me. But of course ... These dreams are only in my childish head when I am all alone in my car or have the apartment all by myself. In real life I am pretty boring, actually. A father and a grandfather, a husband and a friend. A teacher and a writer.
Five words: Kind. Playful. Seeking. Creative. Workoholic.
That is because I get anxious when I have to much spare-time. I have some creative genes that need to be stimulated, and I love to play with the characters, trying to stretch them as far as they can go. My books are cruel and you might as well say dark and bloody, but me as a person is all kind. Actually I am described as “stupid kind” by my friends and family. My mother and father raised me that way, and I always try to think twice how my actions will effect others around me. Maybe that’s why I am an evil bastard when I sit down writing 😉 Finally, I can be cruel without hurting anyone.
How did you come up with the plot of this first book
I started out writing “Maestro” (Het Meesterwerk) in 2010, but the story that I wrote until the summer of 2012 were rubbish, actually. I wrote without a plan, and suddenly I understood that I didnt even know how it all would come together in the end, and I didnt belive a word of the story myself, so I just deleted it. (!) Then ... The same day, I drove my kid Daniel to his mother, and I heard a Norwegian song on the radio called "Maestro". I listened to the lyrics for the first time, stopped the car, had a cigarette - and understood that the lyrics just gave me a fantastic crime fiction story that I wanted to write. So I did :) It took my 3,5 years from the first word on the screen until it was published in january 2016. I was stunned by the idea of making a thriller that at the same time was a tribute to the crime fiction genre, and this story had a lot of opportunities to do just that. Maestro is ment to be a chocking nerve-wracking thriller, but at the same time a joyful ride were the author playes with the reader.
|C: Haakon Nordvik|
Yes, sadly enough, Viljar is the one character that has most of my own thoughts and behaviour. His nicotine addiction, his oblique glance to the world and the people he meet, his childish mind and his leisurly way on solving boring rutine-jobs is all me. So I guess I have given him all my down-sides … 😉
Het meesterwerk (Maestro) is your first book and you published in 2016 the book first by yourself. How is the story to Gyldendaal?
The story is the same in the first version and in the Gyldendal-version. Nothing is changed, actually. They did a copyediting and some correction-job of course. But maybe you asked how the story ended up at Gyldendal after I published it myself in January 2016? The answer to that is that I got picked up by the Swedish literature-agent Astri von Arbin Ahlander, and she sold the rights to 15 countries, including Gyldendal in Norway. So, I am a norwegian author who is sold to a Norwegian publisher from Sweden 😊
The foreign rights of your book is sold to 15 countries. What is your feeling about that? How have you celebrate that?
Both my first two books are sold to 15 countries, and the third will come out in Holland as well as in Norway. It is overwhelming. I am extremely glad that my stories are reaching out to so many readers all around the world. It is a fairy tail and a dream come true. The first country that bought “Maestro” were Denmark, and that night when it happened my wife and I had a hilarious party all night long, but after that there hasn’t been that much celebrating. We have bought a new apartment by the seaside in Haugesund, and have travelled a lot.
What kind of books do you like to read yourself?
It is all crime fiction for me. Nothing else. I get inspiration from reading other crime fiction authors, and I get ideas. It has been this way for several years. I got a little tired of reading general fiction when I took my exams in literature, and I find it kind of boring. That doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize quality when I see it. I just don’t take time reading it any more.
Do you have a writing-routine or any writing rituals, and if so, what are they?
I need silence, and I have to check my mailbox and social medias before I write. A bad habbit, but I need to know what happens in the world before I write. I usually write in the morning before anyone is up, or at night when everyone has gone to bed.
Do you plot out your book from start to finish and then write it down or let you your characters lead the story and see where they take you?
I am a planner. I plan and write summary of all the scenes in the book before I start writing it. Every detail is planned up front, and the clues and misleads are cruelly placed where I need the story to take a twist or a turn.
What can distract you from writing?
Everything. My phone, my wife, the internet, TV, sports, media, the cat snoring, … I am easily distracted as you can see. Not because I don’t want to write, but because I am inside a bubble when writing, and everything else happening in the world keeps on making a sting in that bubble.
|C: Haakon Nordvik|
When did you discover you wanted to be a writer?
Early on. As a kid I loved being at the library just looking at the books, dreaming that my name would be placed on the back of one of them. 10 years old I wrote manuscripts that I read for my friends, and made them actors who could play out the scenes that I wrote. I have always loved writing, and have worked spare time as freelance journalist for nearly 20 years before I ended up as an author.
Scandinavian Thrillers are very popular here in the Netherlands, have you an explanation?
Yes, I think I have. First of all – the quality of Nordic crime fiction authors is extremely good. They know how to write! But then again I think that dutch people find a lot of similarities between their own society and the Scandinavian. Personally I am fund of stories that manage to mix the dark minds and the dark deeds with the Scandinavian way of living and thinking. No heroes with swelling muscles and catchy one-liners beating the crooks with their bare hands. No, instead we have these calm investigators with a real life who use their mind solving the mysteries. And then of course you have the angle of the murderer describing why crimes like this can happen. It makes the stories more interesting and exciting. I think that dutch readers can recognise these qualities in the Nordic noir-stories.
If you like to read traditionally detective stories with a social twist: Gunnar Staalesen
If you like the down to earth police-investigator with focus on solving the mystery: Jørn Lier Horst
If you like it dark, bloody and creepy: Ingar Johnsrud
If you like journalist-crime at high speed: Thomas Enger
If you like historic mysteries with hidden objects, codes and Dan Brown: Tom Egeland
If you like pure quality literature with suspense and nerve: Karin Fossum
Besides of a writer of books are you a famous crimeblogger: how will that started?
It all started out when my wife published her first novel, and I looked for places on the internet were they talked about books and literature. Suddenly I found this great society of books-bloggers. I thought that I could do the same, only focusing on crime fiction. It became a huge success, and by 2017 over 350.000 readers had visited the blog.
Some other questions:
*If you had to stay on a deserted island for a year, what 3 things would you take with you?
Fresh water for a year, my Kindle, and at last I would take one for the team and bring Donald Trump with me, so the rest of the world would get rid of him for a year.
*If you have someone over for the first time, what do you cook for them?
He he … My little secret 😉 I would make a delicious carrot cake.
*What makes you very happy?
Making other people happy. Seeing my kids managing the world. My wife smiling. My readers telling about their reading-experiences.
*Have you a quilty pleasure by music?
In the 80`s it was all hardrock for me. AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Accept, Dio. Then came the 90`s and I loved the grunge period. B52`s, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Nickelback. The last 20 years I have listened to Norwegian music, and my three books all have their titles from a Norwegian rock-band “Kaizers Orchestra”. Their lyrics of their three songs “Maestro”, “Hjerteknuser” and “Død manns tango” has been an inspiration to the the three books with the same title.
Here can you listen to maestro