Monday, January 28, 2013

Steen Langstrup Interview and Giveaway

Introducing Steen Langstrup. The Danish author is known for Metro, The Informer and In the Shadow of a Sadd. You can find him at:

Amazon Author Page


A Crime Noir Short Story with a horror twist. 

A hellish ride on the Metro train one night in Copenhagen... 

Written as a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe, with obvious links to his tale William Wilson, this short story leads you into a cold nightmare of rape and mixed identities. 

The Informer
A World War II Crime Noir novel. 

There is an informer inside the Sabotage Group BB. Death is waiting around every corner. It is time to ask yourself this one question: Who can be trusted?

German-occupied Copenhagen, fall 1944. It has been four and a half years since the Nazi tanks crossed the border. Last year, the Danish Government's policy of cooperation with the Third Reich failed. 

The Danish police force was rounded up a few months ago and deported to concentration camps in Germany; now criminals rule the city streets. There is shortage of almost everything and easy money to be made. 

The Informer is a rapid and raw crime noir tale about one of the darkest times in the history of Denmark.

In the Shadow of Sadd
The Scandinavian crime novel meets Grand Theft Auto in this dark and humorous gangster tale.

Co-written by four of the best Danish crime writers in the business, In the Shadow of Sadd takes you on a bumpy ride through the grimy side streets of a gloomy city somewhere in Europe.

The city could be anywhere in Europe. Sadd could be any mob boss. There is a lot of shady business going on around him, and he has a hand in most of it. This scam, however, he must never know of. 

This is the story about a dead body in the back of an old Chevy van, oceans of dirty money, the mentally unstable wife of a rich attorney, and a lot of striped aquarium fish. 

In the Shadow of Sadd is co-written by Sara Blaedel, Gretelise Holm, Lars Kjaedegaard and Steen Langstrup. Plot, idea and characters are by Steen Langstrup.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

The strange thing is that I never said to myself, I want to be a writer. I
always had this vivid imagination, I always had stories to tell or something
to say. I wasn’t very good at Danish in school, so I wanted to be a comic
book artist. I wanted to tell my stories by drawing them; only years later,
after having had comics published in a number of magazines I realized I
needed to write the stories, not draw them.

How long did it take you to write your book?

Some books take years to write, some a few weeks. I have had ideas for
books playing around in my mind for more than a decade before I actually
felt it was time to sit down and write them. I am not a believer of the
common thought that writers should write every day no matter what. You
shouldn’t rush it. A story needs time to develop inside the writer. It is like
baking a bread. You can add more yeast and rush the process, but you will
sacrifice the quality of the bread in doing so.

What genre is your book? What made you choose to write in that

I work in a lot of different genres, and I like to break the rules, mix things
up and do it my way. I don’t see genres as a form you’ll have to fill in and
stay true to. I think as an artist you have to challenge the rules and forms.

However, the books I have published in English (so far) are all some sort
of crime noirs. The Informer is set in Copenhagen in 1944, during the
German occupation in World War 2. A period in time almost perfect for a
crime novel as the whole country was without police and crime flourished.
One of the clichés of the crime genre and the whodunnit subgenre in
particular is that the plot is centered around a murderer. In The Informer
I had the opportunity to pass by this cliché and spin the plot around an Nazi
informer instead.

At the time I wrote The Informer Denmark had troops involved in actual
war for the first time since World War 2. We did have troops or ships around
in past conflicts, but not in combat, and not as part of an occupying force.
With my book I wanted to remind the reader that there is no romance in
war, there are no heroes. It is not about good fighting bad. War is about
surviving. War leaves marks on the souls of those who fight it. War brings
out the worst in people, and tend to attract some of the worst kind of
people as well. AND what we really needed to remember was that the more
brute force the occupying forces use (that be torture, random killings,
dissappeances, you name it!) the more fierce the resistance will become.

What was your work schedule like when you were writing?

Some sort of chaos.

At the moment, I try to write in the morning, staying off the internet while
doing so. Actually, I write most of my stuff by hand these days in an effort
to keep away from the computer and all the disturbances it tend to bring

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My books are well written, I’m talented in creating suspense and plotting.
At least in Danish I’ve got a precise and minimalistic pen which I hope
translates into English. I can do scary stuff as well as be rather funny, but
none of that really is my quirk. I think my quirk might be that I am the sort
of writer that can’t be trusted. That is because I am an honest writer; I
write the books I feel a need to write. I do not try to figure out what might
sell well, I am not trying to please most people or really anybody. I am old
fashioned in that way. I try to do something special, even if I know I might
fail. My fuel is an urge to write, not an aim to satisfy a known market.

I believe that IF the new wave of indie writers is going to last and not just
be a short fase in publishing, we need to take some of the chances the old
establishment don’t dare to take. We need to remind the readers that books
are not mercandise, and quality is not mesured in sales. Reading should be a
mind opening experience.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Most everywhere. It depends.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Fourteen novels in my own name. One collection of short stories. Two comic
books. Two novels plotted, planned and directed by me, but co-written with
other writers or solely by other writers. Two non-fiction books. A lot of short

So far, two novels and one short story have been published in English.

I do not favorite any of them. They are like my children.

Where can your books be found? Please list Your author page
from amazon and links to your books anywhere else they can be
purchased. thank you

Are you currently working on another book? If so, is it part of a
series or something different?

I have a non-fiction book about a haunted Danish museum to be published
in Danish in 2013.

In English the second book in the Sabotage Group BB series will be
published during 2013 followed by some of my other works.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Sleep, cook, play with my two kids, talk to my wife, travel, read, act silly.

What does your family think of your writing?

My wife is very supportive. She’s my first and last reader and she was the
one who convinced me to have some of my books translated into English. As
for my two boys, they seem to think it is kind of cool to have a dad who is
said to be one of the most scary writers in the country.

Besides them, I do not have that much family.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned about
yourself in creating your books?

Actually, it was that I was able to write something others would care to read.
When I started to write what would later become my first published novel,
I couldn’t even spell my own address. And then suddenly, I was not just a
published writer, but someone the critics in the major newspapers would
claim was the most talented Danish writer of thrillers in recent years. The
book went on to be translated into Norwiegian, adapted for a radio play and
even made into a motion picture. This might well be the biggest surprise in
all my life.

Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?
If so, what are they?

Trust your heart. Trust your instincts. Don’t waste too much time trying to
learn how to write. Just do it. If you got talent it will show. If you haven’t
got any talent, all the ‘How to become a great writer’ books in the world will
not do any difference.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they

I am so very lucky that I can say, I do recieve a lot of feed back from my
readers. Most often, they want to discuss different thoughts in my books or
simply tell me, I have to do another book just like the one they just finished
reading. I don’t really do that. But I do enjoy the feed back. I think, C. S.
Lewis once said that we read to know we are not alone. To a writer this
means that you have to have the courage to write your story not knowing if
you might be alone, and it is the feed back from a reader who really got the
point of your work that tells you that it was worth the effort.

What do you think makes a good story?

First of all, to me a good story is a story I haven’t been told before. I get
easily bored and I don’t enjoy wasting my time reading the same book
twice. I like to be challenged, I like to be surprised, I like to be taken places
I haven’t been before.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to become an artist. I wanted to do comic books, I wanted to draw
and paint and photograph.

Are you self published or do you have a publisher? If self published,
what made you decide to go that route?

I am both. My first nine books was published by established publishers,
among them the most prestigious publishing house in Denmark, Gyldendal.
However, back in 2002 I went indie, starting my own publishing house,
2 Feet Entertainment. The aim was to gain a greater amount of artistic
freedom. I was constantly battling the old and very conservative publishing
houses with strange ideas that seemed to scare them. The logic of
publishing is of course that if no one has sold a million books doing a book
like this before then nobody will want to read it. I didn’t aim to please, I
aimed to challenge.

My short story Metro is free almost everywhere.

‘Metro’ is a short story. I write horror as well as crime, and ‘Metro’ is a mix
of the two. It was written as a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. It leads you into a
cold nightmare of rape and mixed identities.

You can find it here:

AMAZON.COM: Metro << This is free


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