Writer. Actor. Swede.
There was rarely a time in my childhood where I wasn’t trying to either drum up a ghost (by way of seance or the Ouija board); locate proof of extraterrestrial life; or sneak off to buy Big Wheel cupcakes and Twizzlers. I was obsessed with all things supernatural and paranormal and watched and read as much creepy stuff as I could get my hands on. The TV show, In Search of…, the movies Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Alien and Jaws were all DNA-altering for me.
In both literature and film, I am drawn to the truth that lurks beneath the surface of the visible—the dark matter, the missing mass of the universe. That immense dark weight is what anchors the seemingly normal world above. Without that, the every day would drift away and be without meaning. In both of my novels, Cigarette Girl and Overgrown, I try to make sense of that endless murk. I grew up feeding from Grimms Fairy Tales and Roald Dahl. Now, my greatest influences (idols) are Stephen King and Megan Abbott.
I was born and raised in Princeton, NJ which also happens to be the setting (though never expressly stated) for my first novel, Overgrown. My mother is Swedish and my father is first generation American with Albanian parents (yeah, a super common combination). Each summer we would travel to Sweden to visit family, and my heart and soul are deeply rooted in our little house on an island in the Baltic Sea. At the age of 15, I became a dual-citizen of Sweden and the US.
I graduated from Cornell University as an English and theatre major. I then headed to NYC and became the first Editorial Assistant at the newly minted, Hyperion Books for Children. I read through the slush piles and wrote flap copy before altering my course to pursue a comedy and acting career.
For the next twenty-five years, I was a full-time actor and had much success as a sketch regular on Late Night with Conan O’Brien; TV shows; and my bread-and-butter, commercials and voice-overs (which I still do today). Along the way, my writing took the form of one-woman shows performed at UCB and The PIT, as well as two screenplays: the first, in Swedish, Den Otäcka Amerikanen (The Horrible American), and the second, Going Dutch, (in English). And here, many years later, I have circled back to my first love of writing with my first novel (written in 2021) Overgrown and my 2nd novel, Cigarette Girl, completed in 2022 and currently out with agents.
I am lucky enough to live with the best damned human I have ever known—my husband Tom—in our house in Dutchess County, NY with our two shamelessly adorable cats, Taxi and Pepe.
Have a look around and reach out and say “Hi”!