Author Spotlight with Alice Aagaard
In this series, we interview published Novlr authors to learn about their work, routines, and how they use Novlr. Alice Aagaard is a Danish writer and horror author of the short story collections, ‘Galgeleg’ and ‘Gravsoen’. Alice lives in the country with her family, cats, and chickens.
Can you tell us a little about yourself as a writer?
I have been writing on and off since I was 16, but only became a published author in mid-life. Now I’m trying to make it a career.
I have published five books so far; two short story collections and three writing trackers to help authors keep a record of their words, read writing tips, and get general writing advice and motivation. A lot of well-known Danish authors have contributed to the calendars with excellent writing advice.
The genre I write in is “soft” horror — similar to old gothic horror.
What publishing route did you choose, and why?
I am so lucky to have had my books accepted by a recognized Danish publisher. My work has found a home with Byens Forlag (The City’s Publishing House), who also runs cosy cafés where you can buy coffee and cake, but most importantly sit and write!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer at 16 years old. But I didn’t make my publishing debut until I was middle-aged. If I can give any advice to young writers, it’s just keep going!
What is your writing routine?
I’m an afternoon writer. I write every afternoon and read every evening. The only thing I do in the mornings is drink coffee.
Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
I love using technical words in my writing. I often ingredients, like in the creams my characters use, the food they eat, or even in things they use, like paint. I even describe the correct name and model number of appliances like dishwashers. Sometimes it adds to the fun and contributes to the grotesque nature of the horror I write. Other times it’s just too much, but it’s definitely something that’s specific to me, as a writer.
How do you find your inspiration?
A lot of my inspiration comes from people I meet, people I hear about, and things I read about. I love anything weird, so the weirder the stories, the better!
How long have you used Novlr, and how does it fit into your writing routine?
I have been using Novlr for five years; I open the program almost every day. It is my main writing tool.
I love the organization that Novlr gives me. I love that I can organize chapters/scenes at the top and add notes at the bottom. It is also nice that the app is online. My husband and I are currently writing on a joint project, and with Novlr, he can log in and see what I’ve written without needing to use my PC.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in the process of writing?
That you never finish. I can keep correcting and changing an old manuscript that was written and published long ago. It lives on.
The story keeps changing, either on paper or in my mind. Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” For me, this rings true.
What do you think makes a good story?
In Denmark right now, autofiction is very popular. Lived life is almost seen as “finer” literature than pure imagination. But I have to admit, I love a good fantasy story.
Weird characters, suspense, surprises, plot twists, a bit of dark grotesque humour; that’s where my passion lies.
Where can people find your books?
My books have only been published in Danish so far, so they are only available in Danish webshops. But, I am very grateful that all my books have received good reviews so far. It’s nice knowing readers enjoy my work.
My two short story collections are Galgeleg (Hangman – Tales of Destiny) and Gravsoen (Graveyard Pig – Tales of Destiny 2). I write a lot about Scandinavian myth. A Graveyard pig, for instance, is a dead pig that roams cemeteries. If you see it, it means that someone you love will die – unless you dig up a murdered child and rebury it in consecrated ground. I have a book launch event for Gravsoen coming up, and I’ve ordered a large cake with a Graveyard pig on it, which I can’t wait to share with my readers!
You can follow me on Instagram to learn more about my life and publishing journey, or follow my publisher to see more from myself and other Danish authors. Right now, I’m writing a new novel with my husband about an old, abandoned slaughterhouse in the folk horror genre.
If you’re a Novlr writer who has published a book, we’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to tell us about your work and share your writing journey with us, please email [email protected].