Swedish crime fiction author A.C. Efverman was born in Stockholm, year 1972. She lived and worked in many countries before she finally settled in Australia in 1996. During her time of travel she saw and experienced a lot – in one horrific moment she had a gun pointed at her head. She writes from her experience of being a victim of crime, as well as drawing from her extensive imagination, plus many hours’ research of real life murderers, police procedures and forensic data. Her novels contain the same main characters and the stories are set in her adopted home town Sydney. A.C. Efverman is also an artist – she is a graduate of Stockholm School of Arts – and she utilizes her artistic view of the world in her writing. Her books are available world wide in both English and Swedish.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I have always written stories since I was a child; I started out by writing novellas and poetry. I then started reading books by Agatha Christie when I was about eight years old and I also read real life crime stories in my grandmother’s lifestyle magazines at about the same age – and looking back at it, I think that this sparked my interest in crime fiction. I started writing many novels when I was in my late teens, but at that time I had started travelling the world, so I left many unfinished manuscripts in my wake… and it wasn’t until I had settled in Australia that I finished writing a crime fiction novel – a book that was published in Sweden year 2002.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
When I have a deadline I keep a strict schedule of when I write and do my research – when I don’t have a deadline; the time spent writing is more scattered…
What genre are your books?
Crime fiction / Mystery / Thriller.
I understand you are a Swedish author. Is the Swedish market any different than the English?
Yes the Swedish market differs from the English speaking market in my opinion. Swedish readers grow up with Scandinavian Noir (like I did) and they are more open to the cold and realistic way us Swedes tell a story.
Is it difficult to translate your own books?
No it’s not difficult, as I know my stories inside out – but it’s very time consuming.
What inspired you to settle down in Australia?
I travelled the world by myself for six years and worked and lived in many countries – Australia was my favourite country of them all and I when came back to Sydney in 1996 I met my husband. You can work out the rest…
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I start with an idea of a plot – and from there the story grows constantly in the back of my mind.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
For me it was natural to write a book series – I have created characters that need to live on. I do have an idea for another story that wouldn’t involve my main characters, but that book will have to written further down the line as I’m completely immersed in this series for now.
Can you tell me about the time you were held up at gunpoint?
I came to Australia for the first time in 1994 – and I landed in Perth. A few days after I had arrived, I went to the beach – it was a windy mid-week day and there was no one else on the beach. In fact, it was so windy I had to take shelter among the sand dunes; and I had been sitting there for a while reading, when I looked up and saw that a young man was running down a sand dune towards me. I remember thinking that he was good looking and that it was odd that he was running straight towards me but he wasn’t looking at me. When he reached me he still didn’t look at me, but he took a gun from his shorts pocket and held it to my head. I just froze in sheer terror and fright. But then the guy turned his head slightly and stared at something behind me and I turned my head and saw that a middle aged man was jogging towards us on the beach. The guy then put the gun back in his shorts pocket, turned his back on me and ran up the sand dune. I sat there and watched his back until he was gone and then I ran down on the beach, but the middle aged man was gone; there was no one there – so I kept running on the beach until I reached a kiosk; where I asked the man who was working there if I could use his phone to call the police. The police came and they took me in their car, cruising the area to look for the man – but he was nowhere to be seen, so they took me to the police station where I gave descriptions of both the young man and the middle aged man. The police then told me that both of these men were suspects in a string of rapes that had been committed under gun threat in the local area! I suppose that the middle aged man had jogged on the beach towards us to warn his partner that someone else was coming – but I can’t be sure of this, or why the men didn’t carry out their attack on me; and I never will know.
I left Perth a few days later, feeling lucky to have escaped unharmed. A few years later I heard on the news that young women had started going missing in that same area in Perth and it was later revealed that they were victims of a serial killer – a killer that still hasn’t been caught… With all the research I do on serial killers, I know that most of them start out as serial rapists and I have a disturbing thought that I could have ended up in a shallow grave in Perth if the timing had been different…
I will say this though: this experience – and other experiences I have had the misfortune of experiencing whilst travelling – have taught me what it feels like to be a victim – and I recall these feelings when I write about the victims in my books.
Ever thought about branching out into other genres?
No, I write crime fiction only. It’s a genre that I love: both reading and writing.
What are your ambitions for the future of your writing career?
I plan to write more books in my series ‘DS Morgan Callaghan’ – and I can’t wait to see what else happens to my characters! And, as I mentioned earlier; I have an idea for a different kind of book – but it’s still crime fiction.
Favorite movie adaptation of a book?
Perfume: the Story of a Murderer – both the book and the movie were outstanding!
If you like what you have heard, and why wouldn’t you, you can check out A.C. Efverman and pick up her new book here…