You will love his characters – and fear for their lives
YA fiction, written together with Sara B. Elfgren
Rights sold and awards
Rights sold for adult fiction
Blood Cruise: Silvio Entertainments
The Home: [sic] film, Sweden
Rights sold for YA fiction
Rights sold for The Monster in the Night
The Faroe Islands
Rights sold for The Engelsfors Trilogy
The Czech Republic
The Faroe Islands
Film rights Engelsfors Trilogy
Fire – Book Jury Prize 2012
Fire – Great Reader’s Prize 2012
The Circle – Book Bloggers Literary Prize 2011
The Circle – Book Jury Prize 2011
The Circle – Great Reader’s Prize 2011
The Circle – Icelandic Book Sellers Award 2012
Half Lives – Book of the Year, QX 2009
Mats Strandberg has always loved horror. He preferred the Grimm fairytales over the Disney versions, and when he was ten years old he discovered Stephen King. He readily left the children’s books to explore vampires, evil clowns and rabid dogs. He devoured these terrifying stories with much gusto (while breaking out in stress-related hives).
He grew up in Fagersta, a small industrial town in Sweden. When he was 16, he moved by himself to Stockholm to become a journalist. He has since worked with newspapers, magazines, television and internet. In 2004, he recieved the prestigious award Columnist of the Year. In 2005-2013, he wrote weekly columns in Aftonbladet, Sweden’s largest newspaper.
The debut novel Hunting Season was published in 2006. It focused on relationships, and were met with glowing reviews. Mats Strandberg’s commercial breakthrough came in 2011, when the YA novel The Circle hit stores. The book, written together with Sara B. Elfgren, was the first part of the Engelsfors Trilogy. The epic story of teenage witches in a small industrial town, chosen to save the world from the apocalypse, was an instant success both critically and commercially. Today it has been translated to over 25 languages, and in 2015 the film version premiered, produced by the father-son team of Benny Andersson (of ABBA fame) and Ludvig Andersson.
In 2015, it all came to a full circle, so to speak. Mats Strandberg returns to the genre that made him fall in love with books in the first place. He has called the horror novel Blood Cruise ”Stephen King at sea”. Just as with the Engelsfors Trilogy, he mixes social realism with the supernatural. This time the setting is a large cruise ship that travels between Sweden and Finland. In the middle of the cold Baltic Sea, in the middle of the night, there is nowhere to run.
His second horror novel, The Home, secured his spot as the master of horror. The Home takes place in a nursing home for the elderly, and it is an eerie story with less gore. Mats has compared it to “a mix of The Exorcist and Cocoon”.
Regardless of genre, Mats Strandberg has been praised for his sharp eye for character and dialogue. His characters are created with a large portion of psychological insight. They are never purely ”good” or ”evil”, but always relatable and believable. His novels are carefully plotted, the stories weaved with precision and confidence in the universe he has created.
Bibliography adult fiction
Bibliography YA & children’s fiction
2018 – The End (Slutet), YA apocalypse
2017 – The Monster and the Humans (Monstret och människorna), children horror novel
2016 – The Monster at the Circus (Monstret på cirukusen), children horror novel
2016 – The Monster in the Night (Monstret i natten), children horror novel
The Engelsfors Trilogy, written together with Sara B. Elfgren
2013 – The Key (Nyckeln), YA fantasy novel
2013 – Tales From Engelsfors (Berättelser från Engelsfors), Sara B. Elfgren, Mats Strandberg and illustrators Kim W. Andersson, Karl Johnsson, Lina Neidestam, graphic novel
2012 – Fire (Eld), YA fantasy novel
2011 – The Circle (Cirkeln), YA fantasy novel
”The author is often compared with Stephen King in Scandinavia, but I actually think he is better with characters and plotting.”
“If you like Stephen King (and I do) then you will enjoy this book. Basically people in crisis but with nowhere to go. Very believable characters that come across as regular folk like us (most anyway) and that’s its charm. It’s scary, it’s blood and it’s hard to put down! Enjoy!”
“This is one heck of a big read.”
“This summer I have read Mats Strandberg’s Bood Cruise as a daily serial in Svenska Dagbladet. It has been the best serial I have read, more exciting and well written than those by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson and Liza Marklund.”