The Ice Sea Pirates (Gecko Press) written by Frida Nilsson, with illustrations by David Barrow, and translated from Swedish by Peter Graves is the story of ten-year-old Siri and her little sister Miki who live with their elderly father in an Arctic archipelago. One day, while they are out gathering snowberries, Miki is abducted by the infamous ice pirate, Captain Whitehead. Siri sets out to find her sister by herself, and on her quest, she encounters wolves, treacherous sailors, and the dangers of the arctic winter. The Ice Sea Pirates is a modern children’s adventure with love and courage at its heart. It will delight fans of Katherine Rundell, Abi Elphinstone and Kiran Millwood Hargrave to name but a few.
Frida Nilsson is a leading Swedish author who has been an August Prize nominee three-times and won the Astrid Lindgren Prize in 2014. In 2017, she was selected as one of Europe’s best emerging writers for young people through the Hay Festival’s Aarhus 39. Her books have been translated throughout Europe and nominated for the prestigious Youth Literature Prize in Germany and several literary awards in France. The Ice Sea Pirates has been nominated for five Swedish awards (including the August Prize) and has won three of them.
I am delighted to welcome Frida to Library Mice as part of the blog tour for The Ice Sea Pirates.
The Inspiration behind The Ice Sea Pirates
by Frida Nilsson
The inspiration for The Ice Sea Pirates mainly came to me shortly after my first child was born. Until then, my books were of another character, they had much more humour in them and were not classic sagas. When I became a mother it was suddenly more important to me to try and make some sort of change with my books. A lot of us are worried about the conditions in our world, with poverty and pollution, the death of many species, the plastic in all the oceans. My story about Siri is my way of questioning how we live our lives. We constantly take more than we need and in the long term, that’s not going to work.
I started on the story in 2004 when my first book, Hitchhiking with Crow, was published. I wrote the first chapters then put it aside. I was worried that The Ice Sea Pirates would just be a saga like hundreds of other sagas. After that I focused on other types of stories, where I tried to hammer out my own writing style. I wrote three connected books which I think of as the “Garbage Suite”. These three stories share the theme of being different and finding out who you are and not who you are supposed to be in other people’s eyes. As I was working on the last book, I had a holiday by the sea, and there in a bookshelf I found a book about crab fishing, and the story about Siri woke up in me. I wrote a few more chapters and again put it aside. But in 2011 a Swedish radio broadcaster asked me for a new story that they could produce as a radio drama. I first presented an idea about a murder case and a dog but they didn’t like it, so I sent them what I had written about Siri, and they were really positive. That’s when I sat down and finished the story.
Thank you so much, Frida!
The Ice Sea Pirates is published by Geck Press and is out now
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