Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Q&A with Max Seeck


Photo by Marek Sabogal



Max Seeck is the author of the new novel Ghost Island, the fourth book in his Ghosts of the Past series. The book was translated into English from Finnish by Kristian London. Seeck lives near Helsinki, Finland.


Q: What inspired the plot of Ghost Island, the latest in your series featuring Detective Jessica Niemi?


A: I began writing the story months before February 2022 when the war started in Europe, but the tragic events reminded me of 1939 when the Soviet Union attacked Finland. I remembered listening to the stories told by my grandmother: how tens of thousands of small children had to be evacuated to Sweden and other countries. This was my inspiration for Ghost Island.   


Q: What do you see as the role of mental health in the novel?


A: I think mental health plays a huge part in all Jessica Niemi novels; however, in Ghost Island we can sense a substantial change in how Jessica sees her own mind, how she interacts with her own demons and how she sees her future.


My aim during the entire series has been to normalize the discussion about mental health, to show that it can take so many different forms and that someone living with mental illness can be brilliant and highly capable.

Q: The novel is set on a remote island--how important is setting to you in your writing?


A: It is very important. Since the three previous Jessica Niemi novels took place in an urban environment, it was logical that the final installment should have a different setting.


The isolated island is also a metaphor for her isolated mind. Jessica needs the solitude to discover what she really needs and what next steps she must take.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: How unnecessary war is and how greedy people destroy the lives of countless families and innocent children. Also that it is important to come to terms with and love oneself since Jessica experiences that journey of self-acceptance in this book.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m currently working on a new novel with a brand new main protagonist. It’s set to be released in Finland in September 2024. 


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Greetings from Thailand. I’m spending two weeks in Krabi with my family. It’s a very beautiful destination and I can recommend it to everyone.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Max Seeck. 

No comments:

Post a Comment