So today is my stop on the blog tour for Ragnar Jónasson’s latest book, Rupture. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to be on the tour because, I’m sure everyone knows this by now, I’M A HUGE FAN!!! I am thrilled to have a Q&A with Ragnar (If you know me, you can imagine my delight at this!!!!) so make sure to read on for his answers. First though, the important bookish info!
About the book:
1955. Two young couples move to the uninhabited, isolated fjord of Hedinsfjörður. Their stay ends abruptly when one of the women meets her death in mysterious circumstances. The case is never solved. Fifty years later an old photograph comes to light, and it becomes clear that the couples may not have been alone on the fjord after all…
In nearby Siglufjörður, young policeman Ari Thór tries to piece together what really happened that fateful night, in a town where no one wants to know, where secrets are a way of life. He’s assisted by Ísrún, a news reporter in Reykjavik, who is investigating an increasingly chilling case of her own. Things take a sinister turn when a child goes missing in broad daylight. With a stalker on the loose, and the town of Siglufjörður in quarantine, the past might just come back to haunt them.
Click HERE to order your copy!
About the author:
Ragnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series.
His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia.
Snowblind was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK.
Books in the Dark Iceland series have been published in the UK, Germany, Poland and Iceland, and rights have also been sold to the USA, France and Italy.
Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.
Ragnar is a member of the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and recently set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA, in Reykjavik.
He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.
From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.
Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.
He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.
Q & A with Ragnar Jónasson:
Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?
I live in Iceland where I work full time as a lawyer. I also teach law at Reykjavik University. In addition to this, I write crime fiction. I’ve had eight books published in Iceland, one book every year since 2009.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always been writing, from a very young age; short stories, poetry etc. Writing, or creating, is really something I feel I need to do. Before I wrote my first novel, I had been translating Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. I did that from the age of seventeen, and all through law school and into my career as a lawyer, but since I started writing, I have not done any translations.
Have you ever suffered from writers block?
The main issue so far is usually rather to find time to write, as my job is quite demanding, so it’s a bit of a challenge to try to find a quiet moment every day to sit down and write.
How did you come to the attention of your publisher, Orenda Books?
Incredibly, me and Karen from Orenda Books met at the football pitch. I had been asked to play for a team of English crime writers against Scottish ones at Bloody Scotland in Stirling, and so had Karen. We lost very convincingly, but after the match I found out she was a publisher, not a writer, and that she had actually had some sample chapters of my books sent to her. I think she made an offer for the book the following week, so it pays to play football.
Out of all the books you’ve written, which is your favourite and why?
That’s a very difficult question. Usually it’s my latest one, or the one I’m writing. But I can though honestly say that I have always been rather proud of Rupture, the latest one in the UK, so I’m very pleased to see it finally being translated into English.
How would you describe your books to someone who hasn’t picked them up yet?
I think I would say that they are set in the northernmost town in Iceland, surrounded by mountains, only accessible via tunnels, a place where nothing ever happens – except in the books of course – a place where the winters are very cold, with lots and lots of snow and darkness, and where the summers are warm and with bright, long nights. And somewhere in there, we have a few murders and hidden secrets.
In your latest book, Rupture, there are many different threads that weave together to form a wider story, do you plan these out in great detail before you start or do you write as it comes to you?
I actually do plan it all in quite a bit of detail. When I start writing, I need to know how the story will end and how the storylines will wind out.
You’ve translated Agatha Christie’s books since you were a teenager, what’s your favourite Christie book?
Another difficult question! I usually mention The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, for it’s sheer brilliance and unexpected twist. The Murder on the Links is another favorite of mine, and then I also have a soft spot for Evil Under the Sun, because it was the first one I read. But I’m constantly re-reading Christie, most of the books are absolute classics.
When not writing, who are your go-to authors to read?
I read a lot of different authors. P.D. James is one of my favorites, among other contemporary ones I can mention Peter May, Andrew Taylor, Ian McEwan, Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir, Olaf Olafsson, Joël Dicker, various Nordic authors, such as Jo Nesbo, Stieg Larsson, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Arnaldur Indridason, Johan Theorin and Vidar Sundstol, and a whole lot of golden age authors, including of course Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, S.S. Van Dine and Josephine Tey.
Have you ever had a crazy fan experience (I don’t count 😝)?
No, the people I’ve met who have read my books are all quite wonderful.
What’s your favourite thing about being an author?
Writing, I think I have to say. Writing is such an essential part of who I am. But writing has also given me an opportunity to visit various amazing places and festivals worldwide, and meet great people and make new friends.
What’s next for you?
In terms of writing, I’m now writing book no. 3 in my new series, about a female inspector in Reykjavik, called Hulda. In terms of publication, there are quite a few things coming up, my first book has just been published in Italy. In January, my first book will be published in the USA, in March my second book is out in France, and later in the year I think there are books out in Japan, Germany and Portugal, and of course, in the UK, Ari Thor book no. 5, which I believe will be called Whiteout, set at Christmas in an old, isolated house, where a woman returns decades after her mother and sister fell to their death at nearby cliffs. I’ll also be attending some events this year, the next few ones being a reading with Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Sara Blædel in New York in January, Left Coast Crime in the USA in March, Quais du Polar in Lyon in April and Crimefest in May, and a book event in June in London, which is being planned and should be great fun.
*** HUGE thanks to Ragnar for answering my questions today AND to the ever-wonderful Karen Sullivan from Orenda Books for making it happen***
I’ve read and reviewed Rupture, and you can find that review by clicking HERE.
Blog tour schedule: