SEPTEMBER 2015 ;e Costco Connection 83
arts & entertainment
David Lagercrantz weaves
a new The Girl … tale
By Stephanie E. Ponder
TEN YEARS AGO readers met Lisbeth
Salander and Mikael Blomkvist in Stieg
Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Published a year after Larsson’s untimely
death, the novel was followed by two more
posthumous books, and to date the trilogy has
sold more than 80 million copies worldwide.
In the five years since the last book in the
series was published, fans may have given up
hope that Salander’s and Blomkvist’s adventures would continue. Those worries can be
laid to rest. Larsson’s publisher, Norstedts,
selected Swedish writer and journalist David
Lagercrantz to continue the series. In his new
book, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Salander
and Blomkvist again face danger.
The Connection recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lagercrantz, a former
crime reporter, novelist and author of a best-selling biography of Swedish soccer player
Zlatan Ibrahimovi;. He spoke about the challenge of taking over such a popular series,
what he did to feel comfortable with the characters and more.
Costco Connection: How did you
prepare yourself for writing The Girl in the
David Lagercrantz: I really immersed
myself in the Stieg Larsson universe. The first
step, of course, was reading. I read each of the
books multiple times, taking notes on the
characters and the various threads Larsson
had embedded in the books for them. I started
asking questions about each of them, and their
backgrounds. Who are these characters? What
don’t we know about them?
Take Lisbeth Salander, for example. She
has such an interesting background, with her
evil father dominating her childhood. We
know she’s a unique person, but there are still
so many questions to ask about her. Why is
Lisbeth such a great hacker? I really wanted to
explore that question, and dig deeper into
what made her who she is.
CC: What did you most enjoy about continuing the series and slipping into characters
that Larsson had already created?
DL: From the beginning I loved the disparity, the contrast between Mikael and
Lisbeth. I also loved writing about a newspaper, since [I was] a reporter myself.
I loved all of the characters, but I loved
Lisbeth most of all. She’s the kind of character
that I’ve been writing about my whole career:
odd, antisocial geniuses that the world has
treated badly. My whole life has been about
understanding these types of characters. It was
absolutely wonderful to try to understand
Lisbeth and get inside her head.
CC: Did your training as a journalist help
you stay true to Lisbeth and Mikael, characters
who may feel real to readers?
DL: As a former journalist I had a lot of
experience researching, and I was able to draw
on that experience when learning about hack-
ing. I was also able to draw on that writing
style and use an authoritative, journalistic
prose that I learned from my days as a reporter.
[Larsson] was a journalist as well, and he
wrote with such a page-turner style. I wanted
to emulate his writing with prose that wasn’t
too literary, and I definitely think my experience as a journalist helped me do that.
I was always stopping myself, wondering if
Lisbeth and Mikael would really do the things
I was writing about. I was testing their borders.
Would Lisbeth do this? What would Mikael
do? It was lovely that I worked with [Larsson’s]
old publisher, Eva Gedin, because she really
helped me as I tested those boundaries.
CC: What would you most like fans of
the first three books to know about The Girl
in the Spider’s Web?
DL: Fans will feel at home with The Girl in
the Spider’s Web. They’ll recognize the universe
that Larsson created, and the characters that he
developed. I took the world that he developed
and expanded upon it. Readers can expect to
find out more about Lisbeth, and what made
her the person that she is, and they can expect a
thriller that’s worthy of Larsson’s series.
I worked so hard, with the deepest respect
for Larsson, and I do hope they like it. C
The Costco Connection
The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Item #761713,
9/1) is available in most Costco warehouses.