Blog Tour – Guest Post
Good morning and welcome to my stop on the Big Sister Blog Tour hosted by Orenda Books. Thanks as always to Anne Carter for allowing me the opportunity to share a great guest post with you all today. Gunnar Staalesen has written a piece about his decision to name the novel Big Sister, how his writing and it’s meaning translates to other languages and his biggest influences in the genre. It is a great post and I hope you all enjoy it. Please make sure to visit all the other stops (there are loads!) on this tour and show your support. Information on the poster below.
20.06.2018 / Orenda Books / Crime-Thriller / Paperback / 276pp / 978-1912374199
About Big Sister
Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously.
Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal…
Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Big Sister reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.
Big Sister – Guest Post
Is Big Sister related to The Little Sister?Is Big Sister related to The Little Sister?It is often a challenge to settle on a title for a new novel. Sometimes the title arrives before you have written the first draft – it’s there waiting for you to come up with an idea that suits it. Other times, though, you have a title when you start to write, and during the process you suddenly come up with quite a different one. This can occur when the story has changed since you had the original idea, and the old title is longer appropriate. If it is a good title, though, you can put it aside and use it for another story.
I have experienced all these things. But there is another, for me quite different, aspect to finding a title. Some publishers, particularly in the UK and in France, find that the original Norwegian titles don’t translate well into their own languages. A recent example, Wolves in the Dark, had quite a different title in Norwegian: Ingen er så trygg i fare (‘Nobody is so safe in danger’), which is the opening of a very well-known hymn in Norway. The song continues, ‘as the little children of God’ (my translation). If you’ve read that novel, you’ll realise that the original title approaches the book’s theme from a different angle from the English one. However, as the hymn from which I took the Norwegian title is not well known in English-speaking countries, I quite understand why my publisher wanted to find another title. When I started to write crime fiction more than forty years ago, one of the writers in whom I found my greatest inspiration was Raymond Chandler, the Shakespeare of the genre. It is not difficult to regard Varg Veum as a Norwegian relative of Philip Marlowe. Even my writing style – with its metaphors, similes and one-liners – at first attempted to echo Chandler’s, or as good an echo as an ambitious young writer could manage.
The first Chandler novel that I read was The Little Sister and I still remember it being a very important reading experience. It won me from the very first chapter, and having finished it, I read every other Philip Marlowe book. (Unfortunately there are only seven in all, and the last one is little more than a kind of appendix.) When I had the idea that Varg Veum’s long-lost half-sister should be an important character in my new book, it was, therefore, no stretch at all to decide that Big Sister (in Norwegian: ‘Storesøster’) would be the title. And why not? There are sisters in the story, as readers will learn, but the title is without doubt a deferential nod to the best crime writer of them all: R.C.
About Gunnar Staalesen
Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. Where Roses Never Die won the 2017 Petrona Award.