First Language(s): Danish
Second Language(s): English
Nanna A. Skriver is a Danish writer and student living with her partner and their two rabbits in the north of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has published short fiction in the past and hopes to have a novel under her belt one day. When she’s not writing or studying, she’s expanding her world by learning other languages.
What was your favorite book as a child?
I was a late reader and didn’t fall in love with it until I read Djævelens Lærling (trans: The Devil’s Apprentice) by the Danish author Kenneth Bøgh Andersen. The story follows Filip, a real Goody Two-Shoes, who accidentally ends up in Hell where he becomes the Devil’s apprentice and has to learn how to be bad — because Satan himself is dying, and Hell is in need of a successor. The book has it all: humor, horror, high stakes, and I’ve reread it more times than any other book on my shelves.
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
I’ve been writing since I was able to put strings of words together to form sentences, crafting my first story at the age of six, but I didn’t realize I wanted to become a writer until I read Djævelens Lærling and decided I wanted to write books that would get people as excited about reading as this work had gotten me. And once I started, I just couldn’t stop. The few times I have stopped it has had severe consequences on my mental health. It’s almost become a cliché to say at this point, but to me, telling my stories is truly as essential as air.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
I’m usually not a very adventurous person as I tend to enjoy the comfort and security that comes with things staying the way they are, but during my B.A., I went a semester abroad to University of Stirling in Scotland. Prior to this, I’d never traveled on my own and suddenly I had to take care of myself for three and a half months. And I’m glad I did it. Parts of it were truly awful, like being away from my partner, my friends, and my family — as well as living in a place with walls as thin as paper and roommates with very different sleep schedules from my own. But most of the time, I found myself wandering around a land of fairytales. Unfortunately, I never got a glimpse of Nessie, but I did find a second home.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
Whether I listen to music while writing differs from project to project. Sometimes, I need complete silence, wearing my noise-canceling headphones to achieve it. Other times, I want an ambience of rainfall or café chatter — and then there are the rare times where music plays a central role in the story, and I won’t be able to write without it. Generally though, lyrics tend to distract me, and I’ve never been the type of person to create playlists for my projects — it takes too much time, and I don’t know how to find songs that fit the mood of a story.
That being said, I will almost always have something on in the background while I’m reading. It can be music, a movie or TV show, or even just random YouTube videos. I live in an apartment where I always know what my neighbors are talking about, so I prefer reading to sounds I can control rather than ones I can’t.
The critical period
Issue Fall '21