September 2-4, 2015, a popular Danish author Michael Katz Krefeld visited Prague to present his new book, “Missing” (Tonutí in Czech). “Missing” is the second book of Krefeld’s series about the private detective Thomas “Ravn” Ravnsholdt.
Inspiration from movies
This was not the first time Krefeld was in Prague, though. The last time he was here was in 1992; but not to present any book. He visited the Prague Film School because he wanted to study there. At the same time he was accepted to a manuscript writing studies in Denmark and started studying there instead. Anyway, Krefeld is still very fascinated by Prague and he admits one of his future stories might take place here.
Krefeld says he gets a lot of inspiration from movies, especially from the thriller genre. He explores it and reformulates it into novels. A few years back, he used to write manuscripts for TV movies. According to him, being a TV series’ writer was good experience for his job as an author. “When you write manuscripts for TV-series, you simply need to produce something very fast and it is a good way to learn how to communicate. When it comes to books, it is something different – the control is only in your own hands”.
Krefeld is also aware of the responsibility that lies on his shoulders. Since it is only him who is in control, it is also only him who is responsible for getting people to like what he writes and get them to buy his book. Sometimes, it can be an intense pressure to be alone with all the responsibility, especially since crime fiction, particularly in Denmark, is a very popular genre.
“Crime fiction is a very popular genre and it is necessary to be a very good writer and stand out from the other crime fiction authors. The rivalry on the crime fiction market was, however, much stronger a couple of years ago. It seems the huge army of crime fiction writers is in retreat, for now.”
People want to shudder!
Krefeld is one of the bestselling writers in Denmark. His books have been published in 20 countries and a new book is now being published every year.
Many are wondering where Krefeld gets the inspiration from, to be able to write such brutal and bloody crimes. “When I was younger I used to drive around the neighbourhood just to imagine that something would happen and I always have had a vivid imagination. I also have a funny story related to this. When I was at a Book Fair in Copenhagen, an older woman came up to me and said that she really liked my books, but she found them very bloody and brutal. I told her that I was sorry about it, and that I would try to make them less bloody and brutal in the future. To that she responded: “No, no, you should keep doing it that way.”
Krefeld also admits that there is a danger connected to writing about so much brutality and bloody murders. He always contemplates the exact amount of brutality and whether people like it so, at all. For Krefeld it is important to remember that writers are subject to their audience. Fortunately, he knows something crucial about readers of crime fiction; they read it because they actually want to shudder! However, Krefeld is not unscrupulous. He does not like cases that have just been in the public debate or which have just happened in reality – “I don’t want to make fun of others’ tragedies”.
Main character with mistakes
One of the reasons why Jakub Sedláček, an editor of Paseka publishing house, wanted to publish his books, is that the main character, Thomas “Ravn” Ravnsholdt, is so unique and described in detail. To Krefeld, the personality of the main character is also very important. He loves main characters with mistakes and with their own baggage. This is exactly what makes “Ravn” a character with whom you just never know. It means that he may explode in a fit of rage and then even Krefeld does not know what to expect from him. Another reason is that the stories of the books are mutually independent. It is possible and even fairly easy to read the books separately while at the same time they create a coherent story.
Krefeld is now working on a new book called “Sekten”. It is the third book of the series about “Ravn”. “Sekten” tells a story of a businessman who hasn’t been in contact with his son for 10 years because his son was a member of a religious sect. He hires the private detective “Ravn” to help him find his son.
“Sekten” will be published in Denmark in autumn 2015.
Read more about Michael Katz Krefeld at his official website: http://www.michaelkatzkrefeld.dk/
Text and photos: Julia Naldal