WRITING being the solitary pursuit that it is, few readers have the chance to truly explore the steps through which their favourite books are born.
Challenging himself to lay bare his literary process does not intimidate Christoffer Petersen, however.
In recent years Petersen – a Brit whose chosen pen name is quintessentially Danish – has produced dozens of novels, novellas and short stories and at the same time established for this stable its own ‘Arctic noir’ niche.
Not only has Petersen created these stories, he has also doubled as the independent publisher of both hardcopy and electronic editions through Aarluuk Press. Most recently he has taken his involvement to the extreme by adding an e-book ordering portal to his website, enabling him to control the all-important sales and distribution.
Now, in a guide intended for “emerging authors, amateur writers and readers”, Petersen explores his chosen pathway in a step-by-step analysis of what has worked, and why, along his journey to becoming self-sufficient.
Characters such as David Maratse, Petra ‘Piitalaat’ Jensen, Fenna Brongaard, Freja Hansen and Jon Østergård are the human face of the battle against crime in Petersen’s Greenland and Denmark, occasionally venturing further afield to pursue a suspect in the US, Canada, the UK or Iceland. His own experiences in and understanding of these locations fuels descriptions with precisely the degree of detail that’s needed to engage the public and generate enticing backdrops to his action sequences.
Petersen’s ‘how to’ sections are grouped into two clear themes: ‘niche’ and ‘writing’ – the who, what, why, where, when and how of finding, defining, developing and populating a niche with original content that will sell, and of then sitting down at a desk to generate this. Presented in manageable, bite-sized chapters, his advice is both practical and motivational, delivering sound guidelines to drive planning and productivity.