The New Novel featuring Lisbeth Salander
To celebrate the latest addition to Stieg Larsson's world-breaking trilogy, David Lagercrantz now brings us
The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye.
We put a few questions to David about taking on and continuing such a huge phenomenon.
1. How many times did you have to read the original trilogy before you felt able to write a fourth novel? What was the process behind getting started?
I first read each book twice. The first time as a normal reader when I read them in three days, day and night. Then as a writer, talking notes and thinking about the characters. It was thinking about the questions we still don’t know the answers to about Lisbeth. I then got pdfs of the books so I could print them out and make notes. By that time I knew them by heart! After that it was important to stop reading them and start writing. I couldn’t be Stieg and I couldn’t be scared, I had to just start writing. I had to allow myself to be a bit crazy and wild!
2. How much freedom did you have for writing book four? Were there any restraints or checklists on what should and shouldn't be included?
There were no rules exactly. The publishers and I all had the same goal which was to create the universe of Stieg Larsson. I couldn’t put Lisbeth in the suburbs with two kids! We discussed all the time to make sure we were staying truthful to his work but freedom was part of my assignment too; I had to be truthful but add to the universe. All iconic characters in fiction remain an enigma but I wanted to add a little something.
3. The original trilogy was extremely popular worldwide, what feedback have you received from fans?
First of all when it went official that I was writing the fans were upset. But after a while I was astonished by the love from readers. They really feel she’s back and they’d missed her!
4. How closely do you work with Stieg Larsson's estate when creating a new book?
We meet and discuss but they were very happy for me to take it my own way. They said ‘you are the writer so you must write what you want.’ Normally when you write a book you are the only one who knows the characters but in this situation everyone knows them. I had so much fun discussing what the characters would do. Lisbeth was the most difficult to write of course, at the beginning I put too much emotion in her so I had to go through and take that out.
The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye is out now.
David Lagercrantz photo c Cato Lein