At the age of seven I wrote my first two “books.” The thing that strikes me about The Baker and his Wife is how I, at such an early age, knew that laughter was too frivolous for our little world. When the baker gets a large order for sweet rolls he breaks into a happy song but the patrolling police officer steps into the store to tell him to shut up because it’s “disturbing.”
The other book, The Troll in the Woods is all about that sweet mythical being who didn’t know how to perform magic like the rest of the trolls. My father helped me illustrate the cardboard covers that held the frayed pages of both books together. On the back I penciled “written by the world-famous authoress,” – perhaps not an uncommon goal of a young girl who was already a voracious reader.
In 1988 I shared that little tidbit with James Michener (yes, he of worldwide fame) when I interviewed him for the Swedish-language daily in Finland. When our visit ended he walked me to the door of his home, where his otherwise somber face broke into a mischievous grin. “This is the first time my threshold has been crossed by a world-famous authoress,” he said.
Although I grew up in a culture where compliments were few and far between, my sr. high school writing teacher was an exception. His praise – that my pen was a divine gift (“gudabenådad” for those who’re interested in the original language) – kept me going throughout the years, in spite of the usual snickers by my classmates echoing in the background.
Maturity has since given me a more balanced grip on reality, but I’ve never stopped writing. While I no longer seek fame and fortune I believe stories will always continue to be our legacy as human beings. Using different names for different genres I’ve published human interest stories, which I’ve grouped in two broad categories:
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder of a Loved One), and MUSINGS IN OTHER AREAS. Use the pull-down menu on top to go to your topic of choice.