After high school, he completed his national military service in the Royal Norwegian Artillery where he trained as a communication platoon leader in a motorized artillery battery attaining the rank of sergeant. He then went to Canada for a BA in business administration and later, an MBA.
His work career in Norway, Canada, and Mexico spanned two stints in public accounting, one in the industry as an IT Auditor, a short one in Mazatlán with a Mexican research center in aquaculture and environmental management, and a more than 20 year run as a management consultant for three international consulting companies.
In 1992 he sailed with his family in their 32-foot cutter from Canada to Mexico where they lived on the boat for almost two years.
He has a long-running blog some of which posts have been republished by others. Before that he owned the site the Digital Norseman (now defunct) where, among other things, he published a handful of short stories. This and two incidental articles published in the Viking Heritage Magazine about the replica Viking Ship ‘Munin’ built by the British Columbia Viking Ship Project for which he was the chairperson whetted the appetite for concentrating more deeply on writing.
Preben is now retired from the traditional workforce and lives in Progreso, Yucatán, Mexico where he is finally dedicating his time to a long backlog of writing projects of which this book is a product.
Preben is married with a grown daughter and spends his spare time taking long morning walks on the beach followed by a swim in the Caribbean Ocean, cooking, reading, and exploring his new home base, the Yucatán peninsula.
What inspires you to write?
I like the intensity of taking a story idea and then developing it into something bigger; something that other people might want to read and enjoy as well (hopefully).
Tell us about your writing process.
Given my work career as an accountant and management consultant, it shouldn't be a shocker to anyone that I am a "plotster," that is, I plan before writing.
I have learned that for me to get in flow and produce coherent prose, I need to lay out the story beforehand.
With a well thought out plot outline, I can get in flow very quickly and knock out scene by scene. And I am scene driven.
At it's most basic, my approach is to have scenes or scene ideas that can sustain about 1000 words or so. Then sit down and write as fast as I can. I don't worry about a lot of details at this point. I just want the energy baseline of the story out of my system.
When I get to editing, I do start worrying about story and logic and character consistency, of course.
If you want it in a capsule, it would be something like this: lay out the story and plot in scenes, identify the context (location) for each scene, identify the characters for each scene and then have at it on the keyboard.
My go-to writing tool is Scrivener, but I also use MS Word and mind mapping apps as well as spreadsheets. It all depends on what I need to structure.
Full disclosure: I am very much influenced by John Truby and his book "The Anatomy of Story." That tells you a lot about me, right there.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They start out silent and just let me get on with it for awhile. But then at some point, they always get upset over something and start arguing with me. Not all at once, but they can't shut up, either.
I don't mind, because, truth be told, it's kind of fun even if they do tend to invade my head and stay longer than polite guests should.
Who are your favorite authors?
I can remember reading the for-its-time hardboiled crime fiction from Peret Cheyney. Then I found Norman Mailer. For a good while in my youth, I read a lot of sci-fi – all the old masters like Asimov, Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle and the list goes on.
In more recent times, I have zipped through a lot of the Nordic Noir writers, particularly since I am Norwegian myself even though I haven't lived there much in my adult life. Jo Nesbo stands out, of course, as does Henning Mankell.
Then there's the action-oriented writers like Lee Child, Clancey, Baldacci and a lot of others in that camp.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am self-publishing. I set up my own publishing company (sounds grandiose, it's not) so I could get my own ISBN numbers.
I thought I would give it a try on my own rather than try to squeeze through the eye of the agent/publisher needle.
The biggest motivation was impatience, though. I wrote it, so now let's get it out there. Gotta love Amazon, right? They do make it easy.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Honestly, I don't have a good sense for this. I see a lot of statistics telling conflicting stories. Are we going up or down? Who knows.
I do think that despite the competition from a full range of media formats, we are still in early days and should not assume that the media landscape of today will persist unchanged.
What motivates me to keep going is this: everybody is always looking for a good story. That's the savior. I can craft stories and I am sure I can find ways to adapt them to whatever medium makes sense going forward.
For now, there's plenty life left in publishing to book formats on paper or kindle/ebooks to make it worthwhile for me to stay with it. I reserve the right to change my mind:)
What genres do you write?
Mystery Suspense Thriller, non-fiction
What formats are your books in?
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