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Max Seeck tells students at SIBF 2023

Just write if you want to be a writer, bestselling crime fiction author Max Seeck tells students at SIBF 2023

King of Nordic Noir known for books like The Witch Hunter, The Ice Coven and The Last Grudge tells young attendees not to wait for the right time or the right story

Sharjah, November 08, 2023

It was an enriching morning for hundreds of students at the 42nd Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) as they got up close and personal with bestselling Finnish author celebrated for his gripping and intricately woven crime novels Max Seeck.

During a freewheeling chat, Seeck brought the pages of his books to life, giving the young attendees a rare opportunity to explore the mind behind the many superhit mysteries.

When asked if he followed a ‘creative process’, he said: “Everyday, I try to write for two to three hours despite [all distractions] and it hasn’t changed over the years”.

Seeck’s insights into the world of crime fiction and the art of crafting suspenseful plots captured the attention of students, who were keen to understand the inner workings of a best-selling author’s mind.

“I think the most important thing if you want to be a writer is to write. And I’m not trying to be funny. I get approached quite often by young people who want to be writers. And when asked, ‘have you started?’ They usually say no. And I ask them, ‘what are you waiting for?’,” he said, explaining how one shouldn’t really wait for the ‘right time’ or ‘right story’ to come. “I think if you want to be a writer, you just have to write”.

Seeck’s stories often incorporate elements of psychology, forensics, and the darker aspects of human nature. Responding to how he weaves these elements into his narratives, he spoke about the research involved in creating realistic and engaging crime stories.

“I do a lot of research and I have friends and associates who work with police, lawyers, doctors and forensics. So, I [use a lot of that insight] besides basing my writings on what I see on TV or what I hear or what I imagine it would look like”, said the 38-year-old hailing the likes of “Agatha Christie and all those who used to do their work before the internet because it used to be a lot of work”. “And now it’s just a whole lot easier. If I want to see how a gunshot wound looks, how it affects the body, I can just go online. So yes I do a lot of research, but it’s become so easier over the years.”

The highlight of the event was the spirited Q&A session, during which students had the opportunity to pose questions to Seeck. The inquiries ranged from his favorite character to his inspiration behind his books. “It’s really hard because I think it’s so many things that inspire me. I mean, if I walk here, after this event, I walk to the beach here in Sharjah. I can get really inspired by what I see, what I hear. I mean, this event, seeing you all is really inspiring. And I think this is the most inspiring moment the whole year,” he said to a loud cheer by the gathered crowd.

Seeck’s new book Ghost Island is due for release in 2024.


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