Happy New Year to my readers.
I have enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my family, and now I am back in full swing, editing, editing and editing.
I have finished the draft of my next stand-alone, Crystal Nights. The main part of the story takes place in Vendsyssel (the very northern part of Jutland) in the sixties, and though I have changed the name of the village and made the main character into a boy, my close relatives have seen through the disguise – this is my childhood revisited. The environment, mind you, not the violent crimes. I was very happy in ‘Kalum’, a lovely and peaceful place to grow up so it is only in my horrible mind that children keep disapearing.
Here you can see the Danish cover, created by Mallory Rock.
A teaser from one of the first chapters
“Open your books on page forty-seven.” Mr Petersen leaned back in his chair behind the heavy desk, his dry voice hypnotizing the children to the point of sleep. “Lone, what can you tell us about the Kristallnacht?”
“Well, Kristallnacht that was the night between the ninth and the tenth of October 1938. The National Socialists burnt down Jewish shops, homes, schools and synagogues all around Germany. They did it because they wanted to blame the Jews for a murder in Paris. Ehm, they called it Kristallnacht afterwards because they smashed in so many windows that there were hardly any whole panes left where the Jews lived.” The blacksmith’s daughter rattled off her homework while making fresh dog’s ears in the history book in front of her.
Mr Petersen was not as mean as Mr Sahl, the headmaster, but Lone was not exactly one of the brightest children of fourth class. Quite soon she began to stutter and repeat herself so it would not take long before Mr Peterson had had enough of her rambling.
Niels’ attention drifted away long before Mr Petersen’s. He did not mind history in general, but the weather was unusually fine today. After several rainy days, the school year had started, and of course the summer hit them at full force. It was downright unfair to coop them up in the dusty classroom, and many of the boys dreamed themselves outside, on the sports field or up in the trees, while Mr Petersen tried to make a confused Lone understand the gist of the Nuremberg laws and a few major, historical events of the 1930s. When he seemed to think she had repeated herself enough times, he let her off the hook and nodded in the direction of Anna. Could Anna tell them about the Jews in Warsaw?
“Lone forgot to mention that Kristallnacht was also called the Night of Broken Glass,” Anna began. She embarked on a smug account of ghettoes and work camps, Jews who tried to escape by emigrating to America and the humiliation of wearing the yellow star badges. Mr Petersen leant back in his chair, putting his fingertips together as if he were listening to his favourite composer. Did he actually understand it would be a waste of time to test the boys who still had the long holiday under their skin? And it was just Wednesday; three long days to go before Sunday.
Niels glanced at the empty chair next to his, wondering if the history lesson would ever end.
The novel should be ready for publication in a few months, but if any of you would like to betaread it for me, just let me know.