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Local woman from Stjørdal, Norway, with debut fantasy novel: -I am working on overcoming ‘the Jante Law’.

The local Stjørdal woman Carina Steinbakk made her debut as an author and is receiving good feedback from readers around the world.

Since its publication last autumn, the author has received good feedback on the book Flames of Eader, both from reviewers and readers.

- The book is an urban fantasy book, in the same vein as Harry Potter. It's about the main character Grey, who prefers his own company and books, and who one day stumbles into Eader, says the author of the book and explains that the character has lived in her head for a long time.

- I have had the idea for this world for a long time, but started writing in 2016, while I was procrastinating on writing my master's thesis, she says.

Wrote half the book in two weeks

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Steinbakk wrote about half the book in two weeks and then she continued to write at every opportunity.

- I wrote everywhere, from park benches in Brisbane to various cafes and bars in Melbourne. I took inspiration from my surroundings and added more colorful layers to the world building and characters. Darby and Grey, the two main characters in the book, have lived in my head for a long time, and I had to discuss with them what they liked and didn't like while I was writing, says Steinbakk, who says that there is a lot of herself in the text.

- Those who know me will probably notice it. There is a lot of humour, sarcasm and interests that colour the tone throughout the book, she says.

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In love with Australia

The budding author lives in the Gold Coast, Queensland, with her Australian Shepherd Brady. On a daily basis, she is a project manager at Origin Energy. There she works with renewable energy projects and has also started the company Aevi Tech, for biosecurity solutions for the energy industry in Australia.

- I got a job as a field engineer at Schlumberger after I finished my education in 2016, says Steinbakk, who has a Master of Science degree in engineering in Energy and Environment at NTNU and a master's degree in International Business Management at the University of Aberdeen in 2016.

- Christmas 2016 I took the plunge and moved to Toowoomba in

Queensland. I have always had an adventurous spirit and I moved a lot when I was younger as I have a father in the oil and gas industry. I will always be Norwegian deep down, but I have fallen in love with Australia and am now also an Australian citizen, says Steinbakk, who lived in Dullum, before she travelled out into the world.

Famous on BookTok and Bookstagram

On the apps TikTok and Instagram, the book has ended up on the famous "BookTok" and “Bookstagram”, where book lovers around the world share reading experiences, books and author tips with each other.

- BookTok and Bookstagram are fun. It is fascinating to see how readers and authors support each other in these digital communities, says Steinbakk. It's very much about self-expression, which I'm not very used to, but I'm working on overcoming Janteloven and enjoying the process, says the new author.

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Helped in tough times

Steinbakk, who has always been fascinated by the idea that magic exists in our world, has sought out these magical places since she was a child, both in book and film form.

- Whether it was Disney or Harry Potter, it has helped me stay positive and see opportunities and solutions in difficult situations and times. I have always made little stories about things in my life, and there was never any doubt that I would write in the fantasy genre, says the author.

Always been a passion

She says that she has been reading books for as long as she can remember, and that it was a hobby her parents happily supported.

- I learned English to be able to read more of the fantasy genre when I was 5 years old, and I never looked back, says Steinbakk, who has worked at Ark bookshop in Torgkvartalet, and several other bookshops when she lived in Norway.

- It was a wonderful way to support my passion. Just ask my mom how many books I have. I have even started a small library here in Australia, says Steinbakk, who prefers to read physical books.

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Hoping people will be excited to read

Steinbakk is an indie author and has published a book with the hybrid model. This means that you get the opportunity to publish through a publisher who recognizes that the book has potential, even if you have not published anything before, do not have an agent, or several thousand followers on social media.

- They take on a bit of the risk and print, make the cover and make the book available through international distributors, such as Gardners and IngramSpark. I have such a contract with Olympia Publishers, says Steinbakk and explains that she is still more or less alone in marketing.

- I am working to spread the word as best I can, and hope many people want to read the book, she says.

Published in StjordalsNytt: fredag 26. januar 2024 kl. 21:00.

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