Exclusive » Ekskluzivno | 35 storytelling tradition in our region. Not only great novels, but also poetry and fairy tales, music and art. We’re a people of storytellers, maybe because of the cold; maybe we just needed a lot of things to talk about while sitting inside all winter. You once said that you started writing with characters, not a story. So, who are the people that you are writing about? Who is Ove, such a unique person in such a unique situation? Did you combine different people from real life to tell his story? Yes, I suppose you could say that. Building a character is like making orange juice: it takes a lot of oranges for one glass of juice, and in the same way sometimes 20 different “real” people melt into one very good character in a novel. I was surprised by the humour that you achieved in Ove… Making people laugh is not so easy, but you managed it perfectly well, with such a good sense of humour. Do you think that we’ve lost a sense of humour in the world we live in today, and that your novels have become so popular because they revive a sense that is so rare? No, I don’t think people ever lose their sense of humour. Some of the best comedy in the world has been made under terrible circumstances, by people who’ve been through horrible experiences. I think humour is a natural defence mechanism for many human beings. And I never really try to write a “funny” book – that’s just the way I like telling a story. It comes naturally. You write coming of age stories about middle aged people, which is so rare. Being old is almost forbidden today… Does your novel state that there is nothing to be afraid of about being old? Was that the starting point for creating your characters? No, not really. I just don’t think people my own age are very interesting. I feel most often that people over the age of 55 or under the age of 10 are the best for storytellers. How do you write? What does your writing process look like? Do you have some precise time when you work, or do you do it without a plan? I read and write whenever I have the chance. It’s never a chore to me, as it’s what I enjoy doing the most in the world. But since I’mmarriedandhave childrennow, of course I’ve had to become a littlemore structured, so I writemostly when the kids are at school. I usually explain to people that I “do the writing during the day and the thinking during the night”. I share an office in Stockholm with Niklas Natt och Dag, who’s also a writer and who wrote the novel 1793, amongst other things. We’ve been sharing the office for nine years now and it works really well. It means a lot creatively to have company and to be able to talk about your writing and stories with someone other than yourself. at’s where most of my work gets done. Will you change course and try to write a crime novel in the future? Do you read that kind of literature, and what do you think of that phenomenon? Do you like some of the crime writers or their works? Or do you dislike them, and if so why? I have great respect for the crime genre and have a good many friends who are crimewriters. I just don’t write in that genre myself, because it’s not really my thing. I’mmore interested in relationship dramas. When it comes to reading, on the other hand, the novels I most enjoy are often the ones that are not ONE genre, but a mixture. Niklas Natt och Dag’s novels, for example, are sort of crime novels, but they’re also great historical fiction, set in Stockholm during the 18th century. at will always capture my interest. And in general I will read anything in which I feel strongly for the characters, and where I feel the writer felt strongly about them too. I like the quote from author Grant Morrison, who said: “If you cry when you read something it’s an extension of someone crying when they wrote it.” Speaking about quotes, in one paragraph of your book you wrote that “when the human brain switches off, plenty of time passes until the body finds that out”. You also stated that this is because “the human body has a tremendous work ethic” and also because “it’s a mathematical masterpiece, it’ll keep working until the very last light”. Question: is our brain an endless equation that has never been solved? Will humanity end when we discover the secrets of the brain? I find the brain to be a great mystery, yes. But I’m not smart enough to be able to answer this question. Švedska posebno ima veoma bogatu istoriju i nasleđe sjajnih pisaca i pripovedača, čije stope ja ponosno pratim / Sweden in particular has a very rich history and heritage of great writers and novelists in whose footstep I’m very proud to follow