Becoming a Published Author – Part 3

This time it’s my uncle, Micke Evhammar, who is answering our questions. Micke’s first novel “Thick as a Brick” was published in 2009, and he also participated in the anthology “Skarpt läge” last fall.

Hello Uncle Micke and welcome to TheCrimeHouse!

How did you manage to get a publisher “on the hook?” Did it take many attempts?

When it comes to publishers it took a long time before I got one ”on the hook.” During the past fifteen years I have sent different manuscripts to at least ten publishers. Sometimes the refusal letters have been very formal, while others have been more positive and have included comments and opinions, which have been very helpful. At last, in 2007, Ordfront took me under their wings and we have developed a creative partnership. I simply sent the manuscript with a very short presentation of myself, pretty much my name and address.

Is “Thick as a Brick” the first novel you have written? Or have you written other novels that have not been published?

”Thick as a Brick” is a blend of earlier manuscripts, and the final manuscript is the fifth or sixth version. I have also had, and still have, several manuscripts lying around. Some are completely abandoned while others are alive and will probably turn into something in the future.

Do you have any specific tips to other aspiring authors who are struggling to find a publisher?

It is probably better to contact the publisher in person and show a better picture of yourself than I did. But other than that you just need to be stubborn and not give up. “Thick as a Brick” is an English expression meaning someone who is not very smart, and who does not want to accept that times are changing, which is also one of the themes of the book.

How long did it take from the day you sat down and wrote the first word of ”Thick as a Brick” until you had the book in your hand?

It is difficult to say when I started “Thick as a Brick.” All along I have worked as a construction smith and I have four children (who finally moved out), so time is something I’ve had to struggle to get, often with kids, friends and music in big a mess. Nowadays it’s a lot calmer. But I did the last revision in the summer of 2007, I received the go-ahead from Ordfront the same fall and the book was published in the spring of 2009.

Did you ever consider using a pen name instead of your real name?

I have always wanted to use my real name. In my writing, there is some sense of wanting revenge, especially on my teachers from elementary school. (I don’t have a high school diploma, I took some complementing courses in the nineties, and a few credits in literature from the university.)

Unfortunately “Thick as a Brick” is not a crime novel 😉 Is there any possibility that you will write one in the future?

My wife, Marie, and I have plans to write one together, but when, where and how is still an unanswered question.

Are you working on anything new right now?

I have one finished novel ready, “With God on Our Side,” which will be published in the fall of 2011, and it takes place in Afghanistan and Sweden in the present. The question posed is who really has God, the right, on their side? And who are the real terrorists? Right now I’m working on a novel with the working name “The Fall of Saigon,” which takes place in the present, mainly in the head of a middle-aged man.

Finally, do you have a favorite place where you write?

I write whenever I can. I mostly write by hand, so it can be in the car while I’m waiting, during a train ride, but mainly I like to write in our country house in Roslagen and at home in the city.

Thank you for answering our questions. We wish you the best of luck in the future!

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