Sep 14

A Day in the Life of Camilla Grebe – author of The Ice Beneath Her

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Frost is delighted Camilla has found the time to write A Day in the Life for our readers. Her books is excellent, and her advice to aspiring writers, is too. Read on.

a-day-in-the-life-of-camilla-grebe-author-of-the-ice-beneath-herI’m equally fascinated and amused by the misconceptions about life as a writer. You know, all the talk about creative anxiety, the booze and the glamorous lifestyle. To be honest, my life is nothing like that, although I consider myself extremely privileged to be able to work with what I love. And yes, I get to travel a lot and meet really cool people.

As a mother-of-two (and a dog owner), I wake up quite early to prepare breakfast and walk my nine-year-old Dalmatian, Ella. We live by the sea in downtown Stockholm – a beautiful location. As we walk pass the old ships we often stop for a coffee on one of the piers and watch people (me) and bark at dogs (Ella).

I mostly work from home, although I sometimes visit the Royal Library to write, surrounded by thousands of books – the library’s collection includes all works published in Sweden since 1661.

Before lunch I’ll go for a quick run or hit the gym – sitting in front of a computer all day can be really tough on your neck and back, so I need to work out. Also, I’ve discovered that the best way to solve a creative problem is to go for a run, as it really clears your thoughts.

I usually have lunch with a friend. Writing is solitary work, so I need to socialize during lunch or dinner, or else I fear I might turn into a hermit.

After lunch I spend another four to five hours working. Apart from the actual writing, I work on plots and do research into all kinds of strange subjects. For The Ice Beneath Her


I talked to a medical examiner about beheading (!), read articles on Inuit mythology and had a long e-mail correspondence with a man in Greenland to find out exactly how one would dig a grave when the ground is frozen solid. If someone should overhear me on the phone when I did research, chances are they’d think I’m a serial killer.

I have dinner with my family and always end up watching TV on the sofa afterwards. I’m a big fan of British and Scandinavian crime series and movies. If someone disturbs me in the middle of a movie, I’ll calmly explain that, hey, I’m working, not just relaxing in the sofa (since I need to watch TV in order to be a good writer!).

It is, at least partly, true.

Before I go to sleep I always read for an hour or two in bed. When it comes to books, I don’t exclusively focus on crime. I try to read different genres – everything from historical novels to horror and biographies. In fact, that would be my best advice to anyone who wants to become a writer: Read a lot. Read all kinds of books, good ones and bad. And learn to tell the difference.
The Ice Beneath Her is available now. Published  by Zaffre at £12.99  E-book available.