When I asked what I should write this first post on AntoniusM.se about, I had several more-or-less useful answers. I will, in fact, hold onto the “Ode to beverages” until later, and while it might be interesting to put in some thoughts on where this will be in a year, I’ll leave soothsaying to those less cynical than I am.
Instead, there were three questions that were suggested:
- Why do I write?
- What do I write?
- Why do I write what I write?
Why do I write?
Because I don’t know how to not-write. Even while I have spent many years not writing down my stories, the ideas have been there all along. Some where channeled into other art forms, and some just bided their time.
What do I write?
Depends on how you mean, to be honest. If you’re asking what genre, I can’t give you a straight answer. At most, I can tell you that it’s speculative fiction. Lately mostly contemporary and historical fantasy (veering close to realism), but at other times pure fantasy or even steampunk.
If you’re asking about themes, however, a few do return often. I write about being an outsider, about mental health and dealing with trauma, and about how it is to feel like a stranger wherever you go.
Since I deal with as heavy a subjects as those, I also weave in hope, because without hope we can’t learn, and we can’t move on. Never a complete victory, and certainly never "all good, I just needed love!", but the chance for a better future than the now.
Why do I write what I write?
Two big reasons: the myth about ‘write what you know’, and to give faces and voices to experiences that are often dumbed down, or ignored.
The more supernatural elements are inspired by my upbringing in Sweden and fascination with the nordic folklore. I loved fairy tales when I was a child, and in particular the ones not told by the Grimm brothers. I read about the forest nymph known as a "skogsrå", about trolls and goblins and brownies.
I also often have more than one point of view, because it allows me to show more of what’s going on, and to give perspective on the characters from the outside, not just the inside. I fully believe that every point of view is an unreliable narrator, because they see things coloured by their experiences, their wants, and their goals.
And, of course, I write to entertain. While I want to make people think and reflect and grow, I also write to thrill, and entertain.
I want to write the kind of stuff that draws people in, chews them up–in a good way–and spits them out again.