not small things.


what a wonderful 90 minutes

spent (online) with one of my all-time favorite authors

*fredrik backman.

 public libraries in 37 states hosted this live chat with fredrik

as he continued on a worldwide book tour

for his latest work,  ‘the winners.’

 he spoke openly about his struggles with anxiety

being on the autism spectrum

 the pressures of a success which he never expected

 his wife as his partner and support in all things

her important roles

organizing his promotional side of being an author

helping him to stay grounded

 encouraging him taking as many breaks as needed.

i first became acquainted with his writing with the arrival of his book (and later, film),

‘a man called ove’

and there was no going back.

when he was asked about his writing process in today’s chat,

i found that we have a somewhat similar process.

his reply:

“my process is just chaos. all of these ideas are just in my head, like horses in a burning barn, trying to get out. my brain is always working, hearing a bit of conversation, crossing paths with a stranger, a place i happen into, anything is fair game, and i think, i would love to include those words or that person in my writing. i am always observing, listening, taking it all in, my brain never stops. i have to write an idea down on whatever i can find, an envelope, a scrap of paper, a receipt….then 3 weeks later i’ll make my family insane by asking, “where is that envelope i wrote my idea on a few weeks ago?” i have to scour our whole apartment looking for it and make everyone crazy. i suppose that is my process.”


“words are not small things.”

-fredrik backman, beartown

*Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called OveMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s SorryBritt-Marie Was HereBeartownUs Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand or on Instagram @BackmanSK.



66 responses »

  1. I understand the chaos, writing ideas on anything, and those infernal searches for scraps of paper I wrote on last week … but there is no one around to drive “crazy”, except for my doggie Frankie, who often looks at me in bewilderment !!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hearing the details of his process, I feel a little better about my own. I always thought the chaos and constant motion were a drawback. Now I see it as just a part of the process and can find a bit more comfort in my own disorganization. I look forward to reading his works!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Man Called Ove was my first foray into this author, after reading a good number of reviews from a book group I belong to. They were right and I was not disappointed in any way. His name is on my horizon so that I can explore his other writings.

    It must have been wonderful to have personal, real-time contact with this author. He sounds as human as Ove, with his own set of quirks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Those little scraps of paper can drive you crazy. I found one the other day. Obviously a corner torn off of something. Just a 4-digit number, obviously in my handwriting. Been trying ever since to figure out what it is and why I bothered to write it down.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for sharing the quote about his writing process. I wish some teachers could better understand how to support kids/teens as writers. I am sure some are doing an amazing job but it would benefit us all if we could value the many ways the writing process can happen.
    I love his books too. What a gift he has given.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. he’s a great guy. bought Ove in German while I had to wait for HH and thought: Why not, as usually I only buy books in the language they were written in. But since my Swedish is reduced to about 3 sentences, that was fine.
    amazing book, later bought Grandmother, excellent…. Passed book already on to two ppl – i pave the way for ppl to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

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