Authors, Books, Children's Fiction, Illustrator, Reading, The Writing Process, Tuesday Book Blog

Meet the Author and Illustrator Team behind Siri the Viking #comicbooks @demervall @patric_nystrom

I have great pleasure in sharing two interviews today. The first is with Patric Nyström, author of Siri the Viking, and the second is with Per Demervall, illustrator of Siri the Viking.

You can read my book review of their gorgeous comic book series here: https://shelleywilsonauthor.com/2020/11/24/bookreview-siri-the-viking-patric_nystrom-and-demervall-tuesdaybookblog-childrensbook-vikings/

Let’s meet Patric…

Patric Nyström (born 1968) debuted in 1991 and has since written for a long line of comic book series, including the Swedish Moomin comics and the comic adaptation of Frans G. Bengtsson’s epic The Long Ships (Red Orm), the first part of which was published in 1999.

Siri the Viking, in which real historical events, places and people serve as the backdrop for the title character’s adventures, is his first major solo project.

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)

I began as a writer in 1991 and wrote stories in some Swedish comic magazines. I was one of the head authors for the Swedish edition of the Moomin magazine.

In my spare time I like to hang out with my wife and kids.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I have written seven books, the first was published in 1999. I have also written a lot of stories for comic magazines.

What genre is it, and what is it about?

It’s a children’s book about the Viking girl Siri. In the first book, she sneaks aboard on her father’s ship and sails to what is now called Istanbul, and the Vikings called Miklagard.

What or who inspired you to write this book?

I have always been interested in history and Vikings so it was easy to choose the subject. The first book I wrote was an comic adaptation of the adventure novel “The Long Ships” by the Swedish writer Frans G. Bengtsson.

I wanted to write about a girl because I thought there were few books about adventurous girls in Sweden.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Write a lot and read a lot. I try to read a couple of books a week and write every day.

What do you enjoy most about writing and why?

The most fun is to put the stories together and figure out what will happen next. It’s like putting together a puzzle with hundreds of pieces that must fit together perfectly.

List three interesting facts about yourself

I collect fountain pens

I am both right – and left-handed

I’m good at shooting with a bow

What is your least favourite part of the publishing/writing process?

The last proofreading. When you have read your script hundreds of times, you are usually quite tired of what you have written. But at the same time, you are happy that you are done.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

They can tell their friends about the books.

What is your next project?

I have started working on the fourth book about Siri and this time she goes back to Miklagard with her friend Zack.

Let’s meet Per…

Per Demervall (born 1955) is one of Sweden´s most experienced comic book artists, with a wide range of publications. He made his debut in 1979 with Ulltryfflarna (The Wool Truffles), a fantasy comic for children. His breakthrough came in 1986 with the comic book adaption of August Strindberg´s The Red Room.

In December 2018 he was awarded the Swedish Academy of Comic Art´s prestigious Adamson statuette for “a versatile and long-standing comic book career”. Demervall’s recent work on the series Siri the Viking has been highly praised.

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)

I have since I was a child loved to draw and tell stories, especially in comic book style. For me, it was only natural that I would become an illustrator and writer. When I’m not working, I like reading books, watching movies, and being out in nature, preferably on a nice jog.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written/illustrated prior (if any?)

No. This is far from my first book. I made my debut in 1979 with a comic for children. After that, I have made several books and comics with scripts by me. I have edited and illustrated several adaptations of well-known authors, everything from the Swedish author August Strindberg, to the British author H.G. Wells. Wells books are the latest I made adaptations of.

What genre is it, and what is it about?

The books you present in your blog are Siri the Viking, which are the latest comic books I have illustrated. These are comic adventures for children, but even adults can find joy in them. They have been compared to comics like Asterix. The books are not only entertaining, but they are also filled with facts about the Vikings. “Factasy” is a fitting word for them.

What or who inspired you to illustrate this book?

This is the first time I’m drawing a comic based on an author’s script. Patric Nyström came up with the idea of making a comic book for children that would be about Vikings and have a girl in the lead role. Patric writes the stories and I illustrate them. Since I am interested in history, it suited me very well.

What advice do you have for other aspiring illustrators?

The advice I want to give to anyone who wants to become an illustrator / comic book artist is, of course, to draw as much as possible. If you have a favourite artist/illustrator, try to draw in the same way as them. You learn a lot that way. There are also a lot of clips on youtube that provide guidance.

What do you enjoy most about illustrating and why?

Oh. There is a lot that I like best about being an illustrator. But it is above all to be able to feel the freedom to work at home and after your own time. But it is important to have the discipline to get up in the morning and work all day, and also often on the weekends.

List three interesting facts about yourself

1. I’ve been happily married for 40 years, with the same woman.

2. I’m a big fan of old monster movies, Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.

3. As a member of a boys ‘choir, I sang for East German border guards to prove that we were actually a boys’ choir on tour and not some who cleverly tried to escape to the west side. This happened in 1967.

What is your least favourite part of the illustrating process?

Here I should answer “Deadline”. But it is also a challenge that I like to overcome.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

It is always good with constructive criticism. I like to listen to readers’ opinions. It makes me develop as an illustrator.

What is your next project?

The next book about Siri, which we are working on full time right now. It will be published in June 2021 and takes place in Paris.

Find out how to get in touch with Patric and Per online:

Patric Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patric.nystrom.1

Patric Twitter: @patric_nystrom

Siri’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nystromdemervall

Siri on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/demervall_nystrom_siri/?hl=sv

Website: www.demervall.se

Per Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/demervallper

Per Twitter: @demervall 

BUY Siri the Viking: The Emperor’s Treasure from Amazon UK or Amazon US

BUY Siri the Viking: Mimir’s Well from Amazon UK or Amazon US

**PERFECT STOCKING FILLER FOR CHRISTMAS**

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