Wordy Wednesday with Margrét Helgadóttir

Hello Wordy Wednesday fans. Today I have great pleasure in introducing you to another new (to me) writer. Today it is the turn of Margrét Helgadóttir.

And so, sitting Margrét under the spotlight of interrogation in the comfy chair, let us ask her to tell us about herself:

I'm a Norwegian-Icelandic author and editor living in Copenhagen (Denmark). I love to write dark, weird and quirky stories, often set in the future, mostly within the speculative genres but not only. It’s more important to me to tell a good story than to restrict myself to one genre. I'm often influenced by Nordic culture, climate and folklore but being born in East Africa to both Norwegian and Icelandic parents, I’ve also written several blog posts about growing up crosscultural and several of my stories take place in Africa.
My stories have so far appeared in a number of both magazines and print anthologies such as In flight literary magazine, Gone Lawn, Luna Station Quarterly, Tales of Fox and Fae and Girl at the End of the World. My debut book "The Stars Seem So Far Away" was published by award-winning Fox Spirit Books in 2015. I am also co-editor for the anthologies European Monsters (2014) and African Monsters (2015) and editor for Asian Monsters (Dec 2016) and Winter Tales (February 2016).
Wow! Fascinating heritage and some awesome sounding books, I'm ver into reading futuristic sci-fi at the moment, and love folklore of other cultures too.

Do you have another job Margrét, or are you a full time author?
I currently have a job in Copenhagen in an international organization--which is busy but I like it--so writing is sadly only something that happens when I have time left. I'm on leave from my job in Oslo (Norway) so I'll return there at some point in the coming years.

When did you start writing?
I have written poems and stories since I learned to write as a little girl but it was only about three years ago that I felt confident enough to begin submitting fiction pieces for publication. In hindsight I think this renewed self confidence was closely connected to my turning 40 years old. I also decided to write in English, my second language.That's pretty awesome, I don't speak enough of any other language to even do much more than order beer, writing in another languge is impressive.

What 3 things are guaranteed to make you smile?
Cats, cats, cats

I couldn't resist this gratuitous cat picture after that comment! Copyright: tsekhmister / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you have any pets?
No, sadly not :( I lived in a house together with a cat a few years ago and I believe he helped me with my writing just by being there snoring or demanding attention. It made me calm enough to concentrate on the writing.

Who is your favourite author? Do they influence your writing or are they a total break from the sort of thing you write?
Such a difficult question. I don't have one, but several: Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, Franz Kafka, Amy Tan, Haruki Murakami, and Nordic authors like Tove Jansson, Thore Hansen and Astrid Lindgren. I'm also drawn to the complex but beautiful writings of Victor Pelevin and China Mieville and the British classics like Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. I believe all of these influence me in some way in my writing--I strongly feel that all authors should read lots to be inspired by other authors' language and choice of words--but reading is also my favourite comfort thing to do. It’s more about what mood particular books/stories put me in, rather than who wrote them. I’m the same with movies. Fantasy and science fiction are always good choices when needing to escape real world and seek comfort.

Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I am reading several: the latest short story collection by Haruki Murakami (sadly not available in English yet), The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall and Whispered Echoes by Anne Michaud.

Where do you do most of your writing?
At my kitchen table.

Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
That would have to be Nora in The Stars Seem So Far Away, a girl who sails the tall northern sea plundering other ships, tough on the outside, softie on the inside.

What is your favourite biscuit?
This is a British thing isn't it? :) are you telling me there are no Nordic biscuits? I shall have to send you some chocolate digestives...

Tea or Coffee?

In the film of your life who would play you?
Ehm. Heh. Maybe Audrey Tautou from Amélie (and many other lovely films) - someone once said that Amélie reminded them of me. Go figure. Anyways it's one of my favourite films--I adore French films--and she's a talented actor.

If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of a frog pea, fairy tale style, but very small and very green...
Ha ha, I love that. Maybe a broccoli and a kangaroo. Something about a jumping green small tree make me laugh.

Find out more on Margrét's blog: Margrét Helgadóttir 
Her Facebook page: Margrét Helgadóttir 
Her Twitter: Margrét Helgadóttir (@MaHelgad) | Twitter 
and find her debutbook on Amazon: The Stars Seem So Far Away

Don't forget to like my Facebook page too, to keep up to date and comment on any of the posts you read here. Thanks for reading, until next week "Vi ses!"

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