“Writing saved my life” by Alexander Sandtorv

Norwegian fantasy writer Alexander Sandtorv (photo:Emil W. Breistein)

When I toured Norway after my first fiction book came out, one of the most asked questions were “why do you write”. I got the impression that my audience was looking for a very deep and insightful answer (and I am neither deep nor insightful), and they always seemed very disappointed when I simply said, “Because I have to”.

I am pretty sure fiction has saved my life, and I am fairly sure fiction is still saving my life. It certainly has a very special place in my lifeWhen I write, I am powerful. I can examine anything, feel anything, and survive anything. The words are protectors, golden armor that shield me from all sorts of monsters, and in this layer of defense, I feel strong.

Alexander Sandtorv(b.1986) has a Ph.D in Chemistry from the University of Bergen. His fantasy novel, Profetien om Laura (The Prophecy about Laura), is published by Umbrella.

And let me tell you this: strong is not something that I feel very often.

It is crazy, of course, that I can sit down in a busy coffee shop with a toddler that is crying so loudly it makes the walls shake, and escape into any world that I choose. And it feels real to me. As real as the toddler, as real as my computer and the coffee I am drinking. I sometimes mourn people in my books. I sometimes hear whispers of their lives when I am walking about or making dinner. They visit me when I shower or work or sleep. They speak to me.

And whoever they are, wherever they come from, they enrich my life. And through them, I feel empowered, and through their stories, I feel.

And is there anything greater than to feel?

Alexander Sandtorv

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