I obviously know all about you and most of Scandinavia will too, but can you allow my English speaking readers to know a bit about you?
Some facts about me: I'm a writer with Czech/Russian origin, born in Prague 1964. We came to Sweden in 1974 due to the russian occupation of Czechoslovakia. My family is a "writing" one, my grandmother Jekaterina Koncevaja was a publisher and wrote children's books, my grandfather Arnost Kolman - was a philosopher and a writer, my father Frantisek Janouch - is a writer and a professor and my mother is an aspiring novelist, I also have another relative, an uncle, Frantisek Langer who was a very famous writer.
I wrote my first novel in 1992, and it was published in April 1993 by Wahlström & Widstrand here in Stockholm.
As the writer that you are, it will be probably be obvious that you love books! So as a writer, why should people read more, like you and I do?
Of course I love books, I think they are a great source of joy and comfort in a crazy difficult world. New research also shows that reading a book helps the brain to recreate itself, especially if it is exposed to lot of stress. Book reading is interesting and entertaining and helps you to develop your imagination. It is a cheap way to travel to new worlds, even those that doesn't exist... And it helps you become a better writer, if you have such ambitions.
What is your favourite book and/or author?
I have a lot of favourite books, but recently I have started to re-read Hemingway (my favourite) and "To have and To Have Not" is really a great one.
Are you reading anything at the moment, and is it any good?
Right now I am reading the Swedish author Christine Falkenland, a novel about a woman who is not so comfortable ageing... I have not yet decided if I like or dislike this novel.
Of the books that you have written, which is you favourite?
It is " Connected" - or "Next to him" - it can have different names... about my life with an alcoholic- and drug addict. It is my biggest success so far, with over 200.000 copies sold.
What will the next 12 months be like for you, what have you got lined up?
I'm currently working on my new novel, the 8th part in my midwife-crime-series about the famous Cecilia Lund and her huge family. My latest novel, part 7, has sold 11.000 copies in 3 weeks, and I feel very proud! So it is easy to write when people appreciate the work I do ;) - I have the Gothenburg book-fair in September and some road-trips and lectures around Sweden. I also work with Swedish television as a relationship advisor.
How did you actually get your first book deal, was it quite difficult?
No! It was quite easy and I got spoiled, it was far more difficult with my second book...
I met a really sympathetic editor and got lucky with my first novel, it is a road movie-like book about a crazy mother and her daughter who hates sex and wants to start a movement called NFG - No F$$king Generation. I listened a lot to Guns' n Roses when I wrote it, I was a single mom to a small son then and I left him with my mother, and went home and wrote for a lot of nights... I was so determined.
And lastly, “if you could be an animal, what would it be, and why?”
I would definitely be a dolphin, they live in the sea, which I love, the are attractive, smart and funny, just about everything I appreciate in life.
Thanks Katerina, it has been a pleasure talking to you.
Thank you Carl, and to all of your readers I say, take care and have a great summer!
It is the best time to read, lay down in the shadow with a good book - all the best.
Interview by Carl Marsh - July 2014