Malmö is a wonderful city. It's a very cultured city, and if you're looking for some culture, for some inspiration and for some foodstuff for the mind, you don't have to look far. There is always something going on in this city.
Just yesterday, I attended the book release of a Swedish anthology, called Trettio nyanser av saknad or, translated roughly into English, "Thirty shades of want". Published by Ordberoende Förlag (or Word addict publishing), this anthology contains thirty short stories that won the third annual #älskanoveller short story contest. This year's theme was "want". Want, as in regret of not having something, that feeling you have when some important part of your life is missing. This is the red thread that runs through all these stories.
Thirty short stories, by thirty authors. Thirty women from all over the country. Five of whom reside in the southernmost region of Sweden, also known as Skåne. Also known as "where I live". These are the women that I got to meet.
I was interested to come and attend this book release, partly because I've never been to a book release before. I was also excited because one of the authors is a friend of mine. We met through NaNoWriMo, when we were both trying to write epic fifty thousand words long novels in just thirty days.
I arrived at the book store that was hosting the event on a hot June afternoon, curious and a little nervous. As soon as I came in, I ran into one of the authors, Annika Melin, who was happy to answer some of my questions about her work.
After having quenched my thirst with a glass of non-alcoholic cider, I met with that NaNo friend of mine, Karin Brissman Wigren.
I also got a chance to talk to the other three authors - Cecilia Hultberg, Karolina Larsson and Annika McClintock, and to congratulate them on winning the contest.
Like I said, this was the first book release that I ever attended, and I was interested to hear what the authors were going to talk about and what answers they would give to questions like, Why do you write? , What are your inspirations? and Why did you write this particular story?
The answers they gave were very personal, but also very relatable and, I think, universal for most of the authors. They write because they want to express themselves, and because they feel that they have a lot to share. They're all women with day jobs, who find the time and inspiration in their daily lives to be creative. As for why they wrote these particular stories, what I took away from their answers, is that it comes down to personal experiences and the different people that you meet that affect you in different ways.
The theme was "want", and we can all easily find something in our own personal history that fits within this theme.
In between the Q&A:s, I bought a copy of the book and got it signed.
So this was my first experience of attending a book release. I had a lot of fun. I loved the atmosphere, and was very much inspired by these women.
On an unrelated topic, what do you think about my new blog design? I like it. It's clean and straightforward, and it helps me focus and relax my mind when I write. I'm also going to add a new page, which means that there will be additional changes to the menu. Nothing drastic, just a few small tweaks.