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An eye surgeon who writes detective stories in a Västerbotten . environment

An eye surgeon who writes detective stories in a Västerbotten . environment

Mikael Anderson, a retinal and vitreous surgeon, recently came out with his second detective story. It was easier to find the time to write when he resigned as business director, but the pace was still high. He says, “I often write in the morning, I have two teenage sons and a wife who likes to sleep in the morning, so on Saturdays and Sundays between seven and eleven I have my own time!” Photo: Lena Lee/Press Photo

There are supposed to be four books in the detective series “The Murders in Västerbotten”. Michael Anderson, an eye surgeon at Norland University Hospital, has now released the second book.

Tell us about the books!

They are detective stories, but they are not classic in style: police work is not the central thing, it is about different people and how their lives are woven together. The plot is mostly set in Västerbotten, where I used already existing physical places, places I know. In the first book where there was a school shooting, I even named the school – I was a little hesitant about that, but it’s big enough that the teachers I spoke to thought it didn’t matter that much.

– It is good to include current events – the content becomes more useful if there is material with a background from real life, and not just composition.

The main character Anna is a 15-year-old girl who is a bit of a hero, how did that happen?

– She “came to me” and I don’t really know why, it’s funny how creative processes work. She is also in a wheelchair, but why it turns out I can’t answer, it wasn’t that I thought it was a group to be highlighted, it just happened that way. But it’s my kids’ age anyway.

And her father, the policeman, does he have a role model?

– Yes, I’ve been thinking of Håkan Serner, who plays the cop in “The Man on the Roof”: tired, a little northern and arrogant but somewhat normal.

There is an element of humor in the books, too. Was it important?

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– Yes, it is unusual in detective stories, and I have been praised for that. It can easily get gloomy in the detective genre, but I think with humor you can relax more as a reader, and then not get dark all the time.

Otherwise, how did you receive the books?

– On a personal level, she was only positive, as well as from colleagues. Many appreciated the local connection, among other things I sold very well in Vindeln – a shop there that didn’t sell books had to ask for more! The hospital flower shop, which usually doesn’t sell books, also sold well.

Have you always been a writer?

– I think when I was growing up, I even started working. As chief medical officer and COO with a full work week, I didn’t really have the time, but when I quit my job as operations manager and “just” became chief medical officer, I was already at high speed and thought “now I should write a book”.

You’re an eye surgeon by day, how did you get into that?

– Initially I wanted to be a general surgeon, but when I worked on the chest before AT, I saw the amount of back contact and the many nights the surgeons worked – there was not much life left. A friend who was a vitreoretinal surgeon suggested him instead. Eye back surgery is also a lot of surgery, but we don’t have much work at night.

Do you have any authors who provided inspiration?

In addition to non-fiction books, I’ve read a lot by Torgny Lindgren, John le Carré, and Leif GW Persson, as well as Knausgård and Jonathan Franzen, an American author. I’m very interested in how others do it, but I haven’t bought the pattern or tried to copy anyone. It is important that you find your own accent, and I think I found my own voice.

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Speaking of audio: Are the books uploaded?

– Yes, Lo Kauppi has read in books. I made sure to follow up on all the characters and called a few times asking things like “Does he look angry?” or “How do you pronounce the name of this place?” I am very happy to read!

Medical Journal 46-47 / 2022