An author is born
Camilla was 29 when she published her first novel, The Ice Princess, in 2003. Three years later, her prize-winning books were topping the Swedish bestseller lists. It might seem that everything’s gone smoothly for her. But Camilla actually began her professional life as an economist, the world of the novelist seeming light years away...
Camilla Läckberg was born in 1974, and grew up in Fjällbacka on the west coast of Sweden, just by the Norwegian bite. As a girl, she was always telling stories and drawing little tales that she’d put together into books. The first such book, called Tomten (The Goblin), which she wrote when she was only four or five years old, was a gory, hair-raising four-pager. Her fascination for murder mysteries has always been there – perhaps as a contrast to the idyllic tracts of her childhood home. But writing remained merely a dream for Camilla, who went on to study economics at the School of Economics and Commercial Law at Göteborg University. After graduating, she moved to Stockholm, where she spent a couple of years working as an economist. Unhappy years, that is, with her dream of being a novelist still holding her in its thrall. She was finally given a course for Christmas by her husband, mother and brother. It was a crime-writing course organised by writers’ association Ordfront, and as she studied, she began the story that came to be her debut novel: The Ice Princess. Her tutor advised her to set the plot in a place she knew well, and where better than her childhood home?
The Ice Princess was accepted in the same week as Camilla gave birth to her son, Wille, and was published in 2003. Her second book, The Preacher, was released in 2004, followed by The Stonecutter in 2005 and The Jynx in 2006. In April 2007 it was time for her fifth novel The German Child. May 2008 saw two new books reach the shelves, one of which was a complete departure from the crime genre. The first of these was The Mermaid, the sixth book in the series about Fjällbacka residents Patrik and Erika; the second was a cookery book, which she put together with celebrity chef and childhood friend Christian Hellberg. Smaker från Fjällbacka (The taste of Fjällbacka) is a culinary celebration of Fjällbacka and the food that Camilla and Christian associate with life on the west coast. The latest book to be published in Sweden is the seventh book about Patrik and Erika: The Lighthouse Keeper.
Camilla’s novels have enjoyed critical acclaim and her popularity has grown steadily. She is Sweden’s top-selling author, and to date she has sold over 5 million books. She won the Folket literary prize in 2006, and in the autumn of the following year found another of her dreams fulfilled when her first two books were dramatised and shown on national television.
Born: 30 August 1974
Family: Children Wille, Meja and Charlie and fiancé Martin
Dream: To be an author for the rest of my life
In another life I’d: Have been a chef.
Secret talent: I make the world’s most delicious risotto
Worst quality: I’m exceptionally good at procrastination!
Indulge in: A glass of red wine and a some dark chocolate.
Looking forward to: The new series of “America’s next top model”
Dance to: “I will survive”.
What makes me laugh: Romantic comedies and when the children say crazy things!
What makes me cry: Almost everything. I’m a real cry-baby!