Interview – Jussi Adler-Olsen – The Hanging Girl

interview litteraireAn inteview with Jussi Adler-Olsen about the book : The Hanging Girl

My review (in French)

The Hanging Girl UK - Jussi Adler-olsen The Hanging Girl US - Jussi Adler-olsen Jussi Adler-Olsen - Promesse

        English cover                      American cover                       French cover

« The Hanging Girl » is the sixth book in the series, and again and again you succesfully renew yourself in the themes you are touching. Is it every time a new challenge for you?

Oh yes. This time I needed to write a classic police procedural novel. It takes one step at a time, and this is very much on purpose. For example in «The hanging Girl» we had a a classic car chase and if you read the Department Q series each novel is written in its own style. It is very much part of my project, to explore various kinds of styles within the same series.

Here for the first time in the Q-series we follow the actual investigation step-by-step including dead ends. I am proud to say that policeinvestigators have told me that it is not just a good read, but actually true to the way things are done. The pace is more calm than in some of my other novels, but it is still a crime thriller.

We are far from the subjects of the two previous novels. This time, the investigation begin following an incident that seems very banal (and which reserves many surprises yet) …

Isn’t it often the very banal that is the key to other things? I think so.

Much of my inspiration comes from everyday events. For example, Wanda Phinn. I was in London going to a meeting and I noticed a lovely black lady having the kind of job that I gave to Wanda Phinn and then I gave this unknown lady a story. It was a banal encounter, but it became extraordinary to me.

What is your secret to keep the reader in suspense on 650 pages by starting from such a subject ?

First of all, I like to think that I have a good plot. Without that and a good story nothing can work no matter how well you write.

Having said that, every page in your book has to capture the reader. Every page is a test. Never underestimate your readers. They have often read more than you have yourself. At any rate more than you think they have.

Often, they are also cleverer than you think. And they see right through you if you don’t write something that is credible. The reader is your only raison d’être if you want to get published, and you have to pamper them.

It’s ungenerous if you don’t give the reader the best you’ve got as a writer.

It’s pretty amazing how much you get to play with the reader, once again, about your main characters. We learn as much about Carl, as about Assad or Rose (and still it raises more questions at the end of the reading)… 😉

I love that question!

It is just what I hoped to hear. As you know, I am not just writing any series, in fact from the very beginning my project was to write an outstandingly long novel with a plot covering the individual secrets of the main characters.

What I have written so far are six “chapters” which can also work as stand-alone novels. But once all the novels in the series are completed you will end up with the overall story that I set out to write. I have a complete synopsis of the plot of the entire „Q-novel“.

I have developed the background of each of the main characters in the long story.

What is Rose’s real story, where does Assad come from and why – and not least – what truth is behind the troubled soul of Carl? In fact the novel I am writing at the novel is revealing all (well almost all) about Rose.

All will be revealed by the end of the entire series.

Jussi Adler-Olsen photo

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