T.M. Palshof - the Accidental Author
How did you end up becoming an author?
I’ve asked myself the same question many times. I’ve always made my living by being innovative and by finding new solutions. I started my first company when I was 22 and, since then, I’ve launched many others. To create something new and to mobilise people through new solutions has always been my calling. In that way, you might say that I’ve made a living through my creativity and my ability to create an engaging narrative. But last year something crucial happened. I was watching over my terminal father every night for two weeks and, during that time, an important part of the plot developed in my mind. I can’t tell you any more about it without potentially ruining some of the reading experience, but you’ll understand once you’ve read the book. A few months after my father’s death, I started writing. Then, after a long break from it, followed by an intensive writing frenzy, I finally finished the manuscript on the one year anniversary of his death. So, on the 23rd of April 2017, I became a writer, at least as I saw it.
What’s your biggest passion?
To create something new. I’ve always strived to achieve something better - for myself and for others. I think it’s because I see so many challenges in our society these days that I wish more people would do something about.
Why does the world need another storyteller?
I don’t necessarily think that it does, but the world needs stories that make us think and reflect on our lives; how we’re really spending our time on this earth, and on the future ahead of us. Books are still the world’s most powerful communication tool, they can change people and ultimately the world. History has proven that again and again. There are more books published now than ever before and, even though the literary quality is so often very high, I can’t say the same about the ambitions of many novels out there. I believe in the power of storytelling, so why not write stories that have the potential to make a difference?
How does the Butterfly Clan differ from other thrillers?
I believe that the story in itself is very surprising - the book is different, both in the style of writing and in the way the plot unfolds. It’s quite a cinematic experience to read and, even though it’s an international thriller, it doesn’t fit into any stereotypical mold. My ambition was to write something that challenged the genre, which was captivating and offered a different perspective at the same time.
You chose to publish the first editions of the book yourself. What’s the story behind that?
I have always been an entrepreneur and my own boss, for better or worse. I’d spoken to a lot of people within the field, and all of them told me what a slow process it was to go through an established publishing company. That, and the fact that many of them recommended me not to publish myself, was in itself motivation for me to do it differently - to do it in my own way. Doing it myself also gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about all aspects of the business, from the inside. I’ve enjoyed being involved in everything; from creating the cover art, finding the right print house, editing and proofreading, to distribution and sales.
But yet you chose to say yes when you were contacted by an established publishing company?
Yes, and I am overwhelmed by the all the support and positive feedback I have received from Politiken Publishing. They have given me the faith that the book can also reach audiences abroad. Working with them, I now have a professional organisation behind me that gives me the time, means and support to focus my energy what I love to do the most - to write. Because, I believe, that the strongest tool to influence your surroundings with, is the written word.
Interview by Lasse Kristiansen