Camilla Läckberg is an economist who changed careers and became Europe’s Queen of Crime. She is now working on the ninth book in the Fjällbacka series, and this year also sees the publication of the fourth children’s book about Super-Charlie.
We begin our story in Fjällbacka, a small fishing community located on the west coast almost exactly halfway between Uddevalla and Strömstad. This is where Camilla was born in 1974, and even when she was a little girl it was clear that she had a talent for storytelling. She wrote her first book when she was just five years old; “Tomten” [The Santa Claus] was a thrilling and bloodthirsty tale, showing a fascination with the darker sides of humanity even at such an early age.
But in spite of her obvious talents in that direction, Camilla chose a more traditional career. After studying at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg she moved to Stockholm and worked as a product manager at both Telia and Fortum. However, she wasn’t happy as an economist, and found her escape through a writing course which was a joint present from her husband, her mother and her brother. “Writing Crime Fiction” was run by the publisher Ordfront, and during the course Camilla started writing the story that would become her debut novel, The Ice Princess.
The first crime novels
The week Camilla gave birth to her son Wille, The Ice Princess was accepted by a publisher, and was in bookshops in 2003. From her training at the School of Business, Economics and Law Camilla knew about marketing, and about the importance of meeting customers. During her early years as a writer she visited virtually every bookshop in the country to do signings and to talk about her books. Hard work and a well thought out strategy lie behind her successes.
Cookery books and film
During the early years Camilla wrote a new crime novel every year, and she also found time to produce two cookery books with her childhood friend, celebrity chef Christian Hellberg. By 2006 Camilla Läckberg was Sweden’s bestselling author, a throne from which she has yet to abdicate. The following year the first film adaptations of her novels were shown on SVT. In 2012 Fjällbacka once again became a favourite location for TV viewers with the advent of the major series “The Fjällbacka Murders”, which was shown at Christmas. The summer of 2013 saw the premiere of the cinema film The Hidden Child, based on the fifth novel in the Fjällbacka series.
An international bestseller
Alongside Camilla’s successes in Sweden, readers in an increasing number of countries around the world are discovering her novels. She is the sixth most read writer in Europe, and has many readers in Spain, France, Denmark, Norway, Poland and the UK. So far her books have been published in over 50 countries.
A few years ago a new character appeared in Camilla Läckberg’s world. Super-Charlie is a baby with extraordinary powers. Since then her debut children’s novel has been followed by Super-Charlie and the Cuddly Toy Thief, and Super-Charlie and the Grandma Mystery. The fourth book will be published in spring 2014.
Super-Charlie is a character who is not content to exist only in the world of books. He also exists in a game format, and has brought out two pop songs, “Super-Charlie” and “Fly With Me”. Camilla writes the lyrics, and the music is produced by Pelle Nylén.
In addition to her writing, Camilla is part-owner of the jewellery company Sahara Silver. Her collaboration with Pelle Nylén on the music for Super-Charlie has developed into a joint company, One Spoon Music, which produces music and jingles for record companies, music publishers, film and television companies, radio stations, the advertising industry, and artists.
Camilla Läckberg also has a strong commitment to charity. For many years she has worked to make children’s dreams come true through My Big Day [Min Stora Dag]. Since 2012 Camilla has been an ambassador for the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, where she is active in many fundraising campaigns.
In 2012 Camilla Läckberg danced her way into Swedish living rooms through her participation in Let’s Dance on TV4, where she came fourth. Since then dance has become a real passion in her life, and these days pro-am dance competitions are a welcome diversion from the long hours spent writing at Gamla Enskede Bageri.