Author Q&A: Will Dean, Author of DARK PINES
I’m delighted to welcome author Will Dean to Crime by the Book today to chat about his debut thriller, DARK PINES! This atmospheric, stylish debut crime novel blends a Nordic atmosphere with an exploration of small-town life… and some truly chilling crimes. This book has garnered major buzz in the book blogging community, and it’s easy to see why: from its gorgeous cover to its ambitious female protagonist to its author’s fascinating backstory, this is a debut with huge appeal - and a read that delivers. In case you missed it, you can catch my full review of DARK PINES here! I was thrilled to have a chance to ask a few questions of Will - and was fascinated by what I learned about his book. Read on for more information on DARK PINES, and to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the book from the author himself!
Many thanks to Will for taking the time to answer my questions, and to his publisher for facilitating this Q&A!
CBTB REVIEW EXCERPT:
Before we dive into the Q&A, check out a brief excerpt from my review of DARK PINES! You can catch the full review here.
If I could move anywhere in the world, I would pack my bags and head to Scandinavia. When I learned of crime writer Will Dean, a former Londoner who did exactly that - moved to rural Sweden with his family - I knew this was an author whose debut novel I had to read. Dean’s forthcoming crime novel DARK PINES is a stylish blend of Nordic atmosphere, small-town life, and dark, chilling crimes - an excellent addition to your winter reading list. Readers of Crime by the Book will know that Nordic crime fiction is above and beyond my favorite, and I was fascinated to see if - and how - Dean’s style of crime fiction set in Scandinavia might differ from the work of the Scandinavian crime writers I know and love. DARK PINES certainly has a style and voice all its own, but Nordic Noir readers will nevertheless feel at home in the dark corners and chilling atmosphere of Dean’s thriller. DARK PINES is a compelling glimpse into small-town life, and a cleverly constructed maze of a thriller.
Author Q&A: Will Dean
Crime by the Book: First things first - thank you so much for joining me to chat about DARK PINES! In one or two sentences, can you tell us what DARK PINES is about?
WD: Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog!
SEE NO EVIL
Eyes missing, a body lies deep in the forest near an isolated Swedish town.
HEAR NO EVIL
Tuva Moodyson, a deaf reporter on a small-town local paper, is looking for the story that could make her career.
SPEAK NO EVIL
A web of secrets. And unsolved murders from twenty years ago. Can Tuva outwit the killer before she becomes the next victim? She must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the murderer. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.
CBTB: If you had to describe DARK PINES in three adjectives, which would you choose?
WD: Atmospheric, creepy, and tense.
CBTB: DARK PINES introduces readers to your main character Tuva - a young journalist who moves to a small town in Sweden to care for her ailing mother. If you were to describe Tuva to someone, what would you say about her?
WD: Tuva is a young, deaf journalist. She’s complicated, ambitious, fiercely loyal, funny, troubled, focussed. She likes gaming and she eats a LOT of wine gums.
(CBTB: American readers - I had to look up what "wine gums" are! If you need to do the same, no shame - you can see them here!)
CBTB: I’m fascinated by the parallel between your thriller and your own life. Like your story’s main character, you actually moved from the UK to a small town in Sweden! What has that experience been like?
WD: Yes! I moved to a clearing in a huge Swedish forest in 2012. We built a wooden house and we have no municipal water or close neighbours (except for moose). Our mailbox is over a mile from the house. We LOVE it. The seasons are very distinct and the nature is spectacular. It’s a great place to read and write, although it did take us months (years) to get used to the lack of takeaways. The main difference between our forest and the Utgard forest of Dark Pines is that our neighbours are all very friendly.
CBTB: My personal favorite element of DARK PINES is the stunning backdrop this story has. Your book is infused with gorgeous descriptions of Sweden, especially its natural beauty. How closely is the landscape of DARK PINES based on or inspired by your own home?
WD: Thank you so much! The landscape is heavily inspired by my own surroundings. But I’ve set the book a few hours further north which means the forests are darker, the towns are spread further apart, and the wildlife is more dangerous. There are bears and wolves up there and the hunting culture is very important to many of the locals. I took my own forest, and my own forest track, and made it far, far darker.
CBTB: When you’re not reading crime fiction, do you also read crime fiction? If so, could you share a few recent crime novels you’ve read and enjoyed?
WD: I read across all genres but I do enjoy plenty of crime fiction. Here are a few that I’ve loved in the past year:
You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood
All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whittaker
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid
This Is How It Ends by Eva Dolan
He Said She Said by Erin Kelly
Sirens by Joseph Knox
Little Deaths by Emma Flint
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee
CBTB: Have you always wanted to write crime fiction? If not, what inspired you to try your hand at it?
WD: I didn’t really know I was writing crime fiction (if that makes sense). My favourite authors, I would say, write atmospheric, creepy stories. Authors like Shirley Jackson and Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King and Gillian Flynn and Sarah Waters. I knew I wanted to write something unnerving, and something where the reader will be immersed in the story. I wrote Dark Pines because it’s the kind of book I love to read.
CBTB: What are you working on next? When will readers be able to look forward to a sequel to DARK PINES?
WD: I’m working on the sequel to Dark Pines. Tuva Moodyson will return in RED SNOW (out next winter!)
Many thanks to Will Dean for taking the time to answer my questions! If you’re on Twitter, you can find Will at @willrdean - be sure to follow along for more news about the next in his Tuva Moodyson series, RED SNOW!
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Publisher: Oneworld Publications (January 4, 2018)
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