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Leena Lehtolainen

Question: Why crime mystery?

L. Lehtolainen: I first got interested of crime stories as a literary critic and scientist, and I realised how many possibilities a writer has when writing crime novels. They are also a good way of tell about many different aspects of society

Q: Do you know German crime fiction? If so, what do German crime mysteries mean to you?

L. Lehtolainen: I have read for example books by Doris Gerke, Ingrid Noll and Petra Hammesfahr.

Q: If so, what do German crime mysteries mean to you?

L. Lehtolainen: Well, a good book is always a good book, the nationality of the book is not that important

Q: Do you think, German crime fiction can compete with international crime fiction?

L. Lehtolainen: Hah, for me the German crime fiction is international crime fiction! Why could it not?

Q: Which author is overrated?

L. Lehtolainen: I am not especially fond of violence a la Patricia Cornwell, but I would not say that she is overrated.

Q: Which author is underrated?

L. Lehtolainen: There are lots of good writers in non-English-speaking countries, that do not get translated. Of course, only the time will tell the real value of the books.

Q: Is crime fiction literature to you?

L. Lehtolainen: Good crime literature is, of course. There is also lots of rubbish. Crime literature is not a simple entity, it is very many-sided.

Q: How did you get into crime fiction?

L. Lehtolainen: Well, like I said in the beginning, I first got interested in theoretically, when I started my licentiate thesis about Finnish female crime writers. I wanted to try to write myself, and it was funny and demanding.

Q: What is your favourite murder weapon?

L. Lehtolainen: I don't have any. I don't know very much about guns, but luckily, I have a friend who knows. The traditional Finnish knife, puukko, is very handy.

Q: Murder – it necessary in a crime story?

L. Lehtolainen: No, it is not. The suspense can come from other things than blood and violence.

Q: Why do you write?

Jeremiah Healy: Because, when I write, I lose track of the passage of time, so I am not watching the sands of my own mortal life on earth running through the hourglass.

Q: Are your crime stories set in the present?

L. Lehtolainen: Yes, they are, at least now.

Q: Where would you choose the setting?

L. Lehtolainen: I like to write about milieus I know, so most of my books happen here in the Helsinki and Espoo region. I have also used my old hometown Outokumpu in a couple of novels and short stories.

Q: What do food and drink mean to you?

L. Lehtolainen: In my private life, I like them very much! As a writer, when I tell what somebody eats or drinks, it always has some meaning in the story. People's choices can tell a lot about their personalities

Q: Sex in crime fiction: how do you view it/use it?

L. Lehtolainen: I write about people's sexuality and sexual experiences when it is needed in the story. It is much harder to write well about sex than about violence.

Q: If you do use it, why?

L. Lehtolainen: Sexual issues and women's right to decide what happens to their bodies is often an important theme in my books, so of course I have to write about sex.

Q:Is there such a thing as "women's" crime fiction?

L. Lehtolainen: Ten years ago I would have said yes, but now, I don't know. Why don't you have the same question about men's crime fiction?

Q: For whom do you write?

L. Lehtolainen: I have no special audience. I write the kind of books I want to write and try to be honest to myself. It seems that other people like the stories, too.

Q: Plot development – your first thoughts?

L. Lehtolainen: My books start usually more from people and not from the plot. I try to get a good rhythm in the plot, so I plan quite a lot before the real writing work

Q: Do you make any notes and where do you get your ideas from?

L. Lehtolainen: Yes, I make lots of notes, because the planning usually takes more time than the writing itself. I plan and make notes for 2-3 years. I carry a diary with me everywhere.
I can't say where the ideas come. Some theme or question just starts to bother me, and then I have to write about it.

Q: Where do you write?

L. Lehtolainen: I work – and have always worked at home. It has its good and bad sides. The good is that you can always do some housework, if the writing goes badly, that bad that you can't lock work away.

Q: Does the PC get in the way of your writing?

L. Lehtolainen: Only if it does not work for some reason. For me the PC suits finely.

Q: Your favourite book as a child?

L. Lehtolainen: Oh, there were so many! I read very very much as a child and youngster.

Q: Your favourite book today?

L. Lehtolainen: Completely impossible to name only a one book! My all time favourite writers are f.ex. Jane Austen, Lucy M. Montgomery, Graham Greene, Evelyn Vaughn, and the Finns Aleksis Kivi and Henry Parland

Q: Your favourite male/female crime writer?

L. Lehtolainen: Sara Paretsky has affected to my work quite a lot. For a male I would say Håkan Nesser, because he is also a friend.

Q: Your favourite movie?

L. Lehtolainen: "Casablanca", I guess. For many different reasons.

Q: Your favourite drink?

L. Lehtolainen: I like pastis and single malts. But, when working or driving, only water

Q: Do you cook?

L. Lehtolainen: Yes, every day when I am home. I like to have guests and serve them the best food I can make.

Q: Do you go out to eat, if so where?

L. Lehtolainen: In Helsinki, I like ethnic restaurants, when travelling, the local food.

Q: What is your favourite item of clothing?

L. Lehtolainen: High-heeled shoes. I feel very feminine in them.

Q: Soccer – is this a topic for you?

L. Lehtolainen: Yes, I follow the big championships and go to see when the Finnish team plays, but it is not my favourite sport, which is Figure Skating. I am a passionate fan of it.

Q: Women/men – is the relationship between the sexes important to you?

L. Lehtolainen: Yes, it is the main theme in all my production. I am also a mother of two sons, so I think a lot of male and female roles in our society.

Q: What is your favourite city in your country?

L. Lehtolainen: I prefer countryside to towns. Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Kuopio are beautiful in their own ways.

Q: Your favourite country?

L. Lehtolainen: I have none

Q: What do you love?

L. Lehtolainen: Clean nature, cats, my family and friends. Finnish summer nights and pure white snow.

Q: What do you detest?

L. Lehtolainen: Wars, violence, pollution

Q: What was your best subject at school?

L. Lehtolainen: Finnish, music, history

What was your worst subject – and why?

L. Lehtolainen: Mathematics in the gymnasium. I had no motivation, which was really stupid.

Q: Your dream job?

L. Lehtolainen: I am doing it.

Q: Do you have any idea why you answered this list of questions?

L. Lehtolainen: Because Thomas is nice and we had good time in Paris.

Leena Lehtolainen
Geboren am 11.3.1964 in Vesanto / Finnland. Leena Lehtolainen studierte Finnische Literatur und Theaterwissenschaften an der Universität von Helsinki, mit Abschluß in Philosophie (1995). Nach ihrem Studium verdiente Leena Lehtolainen ihr Geld in den unterschiedlichsten verschiedendsten Berufen: Putzfrau; Kassiererin im Restaurant der Finnischen National Oper; Buchhändlerin; Fernseh-, Theater- und Literaturkritikerin; Mangerin des Tapiola Chors; Dozentin an der Universität von Helskinki. Leena Lehtolainen arbeitet jetzt ausschließlich als Autorin.

Mit ihrem Mann Mikko Lensu und den beiden Söhnen Konsta und Otso lebt sie in Degerby, ca. 50 km westlich von Helsinki. Als Hobbies nennt die Autoren: Jogging, Yoga, Segeln, Ski-Langlauf, Lesen, Musik (hören, singen und spielen – von Oper bis Punk Rock).

Homepage: (deutsch) (finnisch)

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Die Kriminalromane:
1999, Kupferglanz. Ariadne 1118
2002, Alle singen im Chor. ro 23090
2002, Zeit zu sterben. ro 23100
2003, Auf die feine Art. ro 23089
2003, Weiß wie die Unschuld. ro 23439
2004, Alle singen im Chor. ro 23735
2004, Auf die feine Art. Wunderlich 26497
2004, Die Todesspirale. ro 23496
2004, Der Wind über den Klippen. ro 23495
2004, Zeit zu sterben. Wunderlich 26470
2005, Die Todesspirale. ro 23915
2005, Die Todesspirale. Wunderlich 26563
2005, Wie man sie zum Schweigen bringt. Kindler
2005, Der Wind über den Klippen. ro 24056
2006, Im schwarzen See. Kindler

Stand: Juli 2005

© Gisela Lehmer-Kerkloh & Thomas Przybilka

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Die Befragenden:

Gisela Lehmer-Kerkloh rezensiert Kriminalliteratur. Sie ist Mitglied bei den Sisters in Crime, bei der GVM (Genootschap van Vlaamse Misdaadauteurs), sowie Amiga im Syndikat.
Bei den Alligatorpapieren veröffentlicht sie regelmäßig ihren "Krimi-Kurier" Letzte Buchveröffentlichung:
Siggi Baumeister oder: Eine Verfolgung quer durch die Eifel. Die Eifelkrimis des Jacques Berndorf.
84 S., 2001; EUR 10,50
NordPark Verlag

Thomas Przybilka verdient seinen Lebensunterhalt als Buchhändler. Er ist langjähriges Mitglied der "Autorengruppe Deutschsprachige Kriminalliteratur Das Syndikat". 1989 baute er das international bekannte "Bonner Krimi Archiv (Sekundärliteratur)" [BOKAS] auf. Bei den Alligatorpapieren veröffentlicht er regelmäßig seine "Krimi-Tipps zur Sekundärliteratur zum Krimi." Zahlreiche Publikationen zur Kriminalliteratur in Fachanthologien und -magazinen im In- und Ausland. Kriminalgeschichten in Deutschland, Bulgarien und Spanien. Letzte Buchveröffentlichung:
Siggi Baumeister oder: Eine Verfolgung quer durch die Eifel. Die Eifelkrimis des Jacques Berndorf.
84 S., 2001; EUR 10,50
NordPark Verlag

Die Befragungen von Gisela Lehmer-Kerkloh und Thomas Przybilka
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