'10 is a good number' | Culture | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Specialise to succeed
    June 29, 2013
    Despite its sudden closure in 2006, Lotus Books lives on in dog-eared snippets of memory among a certain section of Mumbai readers.
  • In here, it's always story time
    June 29, 2013
    Dayanita Singh launched an informal project on Facebook by asking her fellow photographers to document India's independent bookstores.
  • Want some spine? Drop right in
    June 29, 2013
    There is no method to the madness in the shelves that line Ram Advani's eponymous bookstore.
More in this Section
Profiles
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
Revival plans

'10 is a good number'

|



Swedish crime writer Hakan Nesser whose Van Veeteren series set in the imaginary European town of Mardaam says he has plans to revive his retired chief inspector. Nesser spoke to TOI-Crest

Crime writers seem to tire of their detectives faster than readers. How did you fare with Van Veeteren?


There are 10 books about Van Veeteren. The Hour of the Wolf, the seventh book that just released in India, was published in Sweden 15 years ago. The last VV novel was out in 2003, and then I stopped writing about him. So I dare say I have moved on. So far I have written 25 novels, 15 of them crime fiction, the other 10 mainstream or crossover. Trying to create something new with every book is absolutely essential to me. I don't want to bore myself and I get bored rather easily.

You first sent VV into semiand then final retirement. But he continued to be an important charcter in the series. Did you plan a career graph for him?


The idea was to have five books with VV as a police officer, five with him in a sort of retired position, leaving room for his colleagues, but not let go of him altogether. When you read all ten, you will find this structure is quite obvious. Not that I planned it carefully. Planning is many times not as crucial as you believe.

Is it a struggle to keep a character alive even if you have run out of things to do with him?


No. Had it been I would have dropped it.

Crime-writers with iconic detective characters do not seem to succeed as much with other characters/plots. Did this worry you when you moved away from VV?


It was not a problem. There is another series, just completed, with an Inspector Barbarotti. Readers seem to enjoy him more.

Do you sympathise at all with your readers' attachment to your grumpy but brilliant detective?


I'm not at all concerned with this kind of attachment. I have always only written books I would like to read myself and since the writer is always the first reader, this is never a problem. I wouldn't dream of trying to write something just to satisfy some sort of demand from imaginary readers. I trust the first one. Ten (in a series) is a good number, 25 is not a good number.

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com

Networking

itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Hotklix
Services
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service