John Ajvide Lindqvist: Come Unto Me

john_narrowweb__300x393,0Today’s Fearie Tales post is from the astonishingly talented Mr John Ajvide Lindqvist, talking about trolls, changelings, doppelganger, and the dead returning to the living

FOR THE SECOND time in less than a month, Annika was walking up the aisle of the church with Robert. This time they didn’t continue as far as the altar but turned aside and slipped into a pew at the front of the chancel. The spot where they had exchanged their wedding vows was now occupied by a black coffin.

1. What is the fairy tale you remember most from your childhood ? the one that made the biggest impression on you?
No one really told me any fairy tales as a child, and perhaps I´m making up for that as an adult by reading them and writing new ones. But I do remember being vaguely afraid of bridges since a troll might live under them, so someone must have told me that one.

2. Is there a natural link, do you think, between fairy tales and horror?
 Sure. It´s stories we tell ourselves to be less afraid of the things we can’t control or explain. Fairy tales are the original horror stories and I wouldn’t have a job without them.

3. Does your work usually play with fairy tale elements or is this a first for  FT1you?
I don´t think I have written anything directly connected to fairy tales, and I don´t think that “Come unto me” is such a story either to be honest. But I do deal quite a lot with folktales and the creatures there to be found. Trolls, changelings, doppelgangers and so on. But the line between fairy tale and folktale is of course often quite blurred.

4. What do you think the fairy tale form offers to writers and readers?
It´s a kind of raw version of many stories that can be found in more elaborate form in novels and short stories.  A Beethoven symphony played with one finger on the piano. The basic stuff, but still recognizable. And sometimes better, without all the fluff. (This doesn’t apply to the Beethoven metaphor, though.)

let5. What is your favourite fairy tale trope/motif/element/character with which to work?
Thinking about it it would be the boy or the girl without anything who finds love and fortune in an unexpected place. Or simply the dead returning to the living, simple as that.




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