There are two main points of inspiration that first triggered me to write Embers back in 2017, during an Arvon writing retreat in Devon, England. The first is the true crime that took place not far from the mining town where my brother and I stayed in northern Sweden during our interrailing holiday the same year. Two teenaged girls discovered a circle…
‘Just a bit further, please!’
Ellen wanted to yank her brother off his bike. They’d been cycling around Svartjokk all day, criss-crossing through the town centre, darting along the river and through the park. Now, on Simon’s insistence, they were rushing along the country road out of the town, the dense pine forest surrounding them on both sides.
I was super excited to read this novel as I had seen Josephine writing about it on Facebook for a while, so as soon as I was able, I bought a copy from Amazon and dived straight in. When I read the blurb of the book I thought why would anyone want to kill a reindeer. I have read many books where people get killed – and in particularly unpleasant ways too – but it is so shocking and intriguing to read of animals killed merely for killing’s sake…
Have you ever wondered how an author comes up with the setting and characters in their books? Join, Josephine Greenland as she talks about that very subject!
The main setting of Embers, the mining town of Svartjokk, is based on a real town in northern Sweden called Gällivare.
Author Q&A with Janet Emson
1. Tell us a little about Embers.
Embers is a YA Mystery and crime novel set in the fictional mining town of Svartjokk in northern Sweden. It can be described as a Scandi Noir version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.
I knew nothing about reindeer herding until I read this part fact, part fiction book. I was totally surprised at the tradition, and the hate crime/victimisation the herders receive by people in positions of power or by capitalists. For these topics alone, this book is an important read.
You win £1 million, but you must give half of it to charity. Which charity do you chose, and what do you do with the rest of the money?
Charity – Rainforest Alliance. Rainforests are the lungs of our planet and essential if we are to have any remote chance of battling climate change.
The rest of the money, I would use to fund the PhD in creative writing I’m hoping to do next year (though where is yet to be decided) and pay off my study loans. If there’s any left over after that I’ll use it for travel.
Tell us about your latest book
Embers is a YA Mystery and crime novel set in the fictional mining town of Svartjokk in northern Sweden. It can be described as a Scandi Noir version of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It tells the story of 17-year-old Ellen Blind, who travels to Svartjokk with her brother Simon, a 14-year-old with Aspergers. They’re on a holiday arranged by their parents, who claim that the siblings should bond, visit the birthplace of their late grandfather, Lars-Erik, and discover their Sami roots. Ellen, though, knows that her parents also want them out of the way so they can sort out their marital problems….