Monday, February 2, 2015

9mm interview with Arild Stavrum

Crime fiction is the world's most popular form of storytelling; football (soccer) is the world's most popular form of sporting activity. For all the different settings that crime fiction has regularly delved into, and all the different characters, it's perhaps surprising there haven't been more books set in the the world of sport, and football in particular. I mean, FIFA sure seems like a fairly villainous organisation at times, and there is corruption aplenty in sport across the globe.

And who better to write a crime novel set in the world of football than a former footballer? At the Bloody Scotland festival last September, I met Norwegian striker turned writer Arild Stavrum, who's done just that with his intriguing tale EXPOSED AT THE BACK. Stavrum played professional football at a top level in Norway, Sweden, Scotland, and Turkey throughout a goal-filled playing career, including being part of a dangerous strikeforce with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (who went on to star for Manchester United) at Molde, and being a crowd favourite and top scorer for Aberdeen. He also made two appearances for the Norwegian national team.

Following his playing career, Stavrum became a football coach in Norway, and wrote articles for newspapers in Norway and Scotland, before making his fiction debut in 2008.

But for now, Arild Stavrum joins the ranks of those who've stared down the barrel of 9mm.

9MM: An interview with Arild Stavrum

1. Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective?
I really am not able to pick one, but I do [wonder] where Lisbeth Salander would have gone had Stieg Larsson lived on.

2. What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?
Strangely enough it is the story about Helen Keller. Just reading about how she discovered language when no one thought she would.

3. Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles? 
I had published a literary fiction book, a shirt story and many articles and essays. My first short story was written on an air plane. I was together with my team in football, travelling to an away game. In the inflight magazine was a crime story that was, to put it mildly, not great. So I said to my teammate sitting beside me, I could do better. He was like, yeah yeah. I wrote a story on a paper bag, used to womit in on the planes. Sent it in an got published. I guess that made me see I had some kind of talent.

4. Outside of writing, and touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?
Scoring goals! As an old professional footballer it all comes back to that, scoring goals. Holding a new book and scoring goals, thats the greatest feelings, apart from what I probably should say (children, marriage...)

5. What is one thing that visitors to your hometown should do, that isn't in the tourist brochures, or perhaps they wouldn’t initially consider? 
There are no tourist brochures from my town! Or, well some, but it is a very small town, by the sea. West coast of Norway. What you should do, is stand by the sea when a storm is coming. You will feel small.

6. If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you? 
Clare Danes. I just think she is great and would be a surprise choice playing me.

7. Of your writings, published and unpublished, which is your favourite, and why?
I love crime fiction and i would go for this one, Exposed at the Back.

8. What was your initial reaction, and how did you celebrate, when you were first accepted for publication? Or when you first saw your debut story in book form on a online or physical bookseller’s shelf? 
I celebrated by taking my wife and my friend, a fellow author, out to dinner in Oslo. Starting up at St. Halvards, a pub in Old Oslo.

9. What is the strangest or most unusual experience you have had at a book signing, author event, or literary festival? 
Being invited! I hope that feeling will soon go away.

Thank you Arild. We appreciate you taking the time to chat to Crime Watch


You can read more about Arild Stavrum and his crime writing here: 


What do you think of setting crime fiction in the world of sport? Does the idea of a football-centric murder mystery appeal to you as a crime reader? Comments welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment