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Grand News # Feb, 2009


News in short

  • Underverk Productions has signed an option agreement regarding the film rights for Catharina Ingelman-Sundbergs Stigmatized (Brännmärkt).
  • Grand Agency will attend the London Book Fair in april. Book an appointment via See you!


Meet the man who knows what he is talking about

Some Lines Break is Varg Gyllander’s debut as fiction author. But that does not mean he is an inexperienced newcomer to the Swedish crime scene. Varg Gyllander is the press secretary and spokes person for The National Criminal Police and has previously worked as a crime reporter and as an officer in the Swedish navy. Varg’s credibility is high – but where is the line between fact and fiction?


Varg Gyllander, tell us about the main charachters!

“We follow crime investigators Ulf Holtz and his colleague Pia Levin at the forensic department in Stockholm. They are anti heroes fighting criminality with forensic equipment and techniques as their main tool. But they know that the techniques aren’t much worth if you cannot understand the human nature. They struggle with malfunctioning equipment and complicated and time consuming processes, far from the TV-series’ unrealistic description of what is possible. Ulf Holtz is a middle aged man with the same phobias and fears as anyone else. He lives after the motto; if you just take it slow and methodical you will eventually see a result. There is no surprise he grows bonsai trees as a hobby. The somewhat younger colleague Pia Levin often takes her own path, but has still chosen to support her boss in all setbacks, even if she often wonders if that is really the best thing to do for her own career.”


Are criminals another kind of people than the rest of us?

“Most of the people, who in cold blood get onto the path of crime, usually think they have no choice. For many the triggering factor is a sense of not belonging anywhere and a need to find a group to be a part of. When it eventually strikes them that it is hard and dangerous to be criminal, it is too late. Then there is the large group of violent criminals who abuse and terrorize their families. A large number of women and children live tragically in fear for these male criminals; because criminals are what they are. And then there are the white collar criminals, the petty criminals and all the lunatics. So the answer is no. Criminals are the same kind of people as the rest of us, but life and circumstances has led them onto a path outside the rules and norms of society. “


Will it be a series?

“Yes it will. The second book Only Important People Die (Bara betydelsefulla dör) is already finished and number three, Small rocks sink too (Även små stenar sjunker), is in my head. Then we will see how long Ulf Holtz and Pia Levin keep interrupting me with their whims and ideas. But my every day environment continually gives med new ideas so it wouldn’t surprise me if I and the readers will live with my characters for a number of years ahead.”


Some Lines Break (Somliga linor brister) will launch in Sweden in March at Bra Böcker. Random House btb has recently bought the rights for the German market.


Words from the agent

The international interest for Swedish and Nordic literature is still growing. At Grand Agency we notice it by an increased number of queries from countries who traditionally is not our most obvious “cultural neighbors”.


The Swedish state contributes to the positive development. Between 2006 and 2008 the Swedish translation grant to foreign publishers of Swedish literature more than doubled. During 2008, 4.7 million SEK was paid to foreign publisher for a total of 184 titles. The Netherlands had most success with their applications. The Dutch publishers received grants for 17 titles. If you would like to know more about the grant  I recommend a visit to The Swedish Arts Council’s (Kulturrådet) website,


The Swedish book market is in a process of change. New formats take up more space and the patterns and routines for how people shop are changing as well. The magazine Svensk Bokhandel (Swedish Book Market) reports an increase of mp3-books with 56 percent during 2008. The download of bought, streamed audio books also increased remarkably.


Here at Grand Agency we are proud and happy to represent authors from an exciting region which interests more and more people all over the world. Continue to keep your eyes and ears open for us!


Best regards,

Maria Enberg


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