Katarina Bivald

Posted by Sue Leonard on Monday 24th August 2015

 Katarina cannot decide whether she prefers books or people. From the age of 14, until she was 25, she worked, part-time in a bookshop. Meanwhile, she was working for various NGO’s.

“I always wanted to write, but I kept procrastinating,” she says.

In order to, finally, do so, she began working part-time as a consultant, writing reports and compiling evaluations, writing in her spare time. There were many false starts. Then a few years ago, she came to Ireland for a month, and whilst she was travelling around; sitting in pubs and walking the beaches, she began to write, and got to know the characters who appear in her debut.

“By the time I went home I had written a very bad first draft,” she says.

There were many rejections, followed by rewrites, and more rejections.

“When I’d written it for a third time, quite a few publishers liked it.” 

Who is Katarina Bivald

Date of birth: 28th June 1983 in Stockholm.

Education: Secondary school near Stockholm. Stockholm University: Political Science and Psychology.

Home:  Alta; a suburb of Stockholm

Family: Parents, brother and a sister.

The Day Job: Fulltime  writer.

Interests:  “These change every six months. I’ve tried theatre, and motorcycling, and at the moment I’m learning how to fence.”

Favourite Writers: Fannie Flagg; Jane Austen; Elizabeth Bowen; Charlotte Bronte.

Second Novel:  “It’s called, Life Motorcycles and Other Impossible Projects, and it has recently been published in Sweden.”

Top Writing Tip:  “Don’t write about what you know. Write about what you don’t want others to know. Be brave enough to explore that.”

Web: www.katarinabivald.se Twitter: @katarinabivald

The Debut: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. Chatto and Windus: €16.99   Kindle: €12.81 

At 28, Sara has never left Sweden. A book addict, she corresponds with Amy, and is invited to stay. But when she arrives in dismal Brokenwheel, she discovers that the old lady has died. The eccentric townspeople insist that she stay, and when she opens a bookshop, this impacts on their lives in interesting ways.

“I decided to write about all the things I like; to invent quirky characters, to get to know them, and then make life as difficult as possible for them.”

The Verdict: A fabulous, escapist read for anyone who loves books.

Published in The Irish Examiner, 22nd August, 2015

© Sue Leonard. 2015


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