Interview and Giveaway: Thomas Enger, author of Burned

It’s my pleasure to welcome Norwegian author Thomas Enger to the blog today! Thomas is the author of the brand new crime novel, Burned, the first of a series, and is also a songwriter! Also up for grabs is two copies of Burned to two lucky winners, so be sure to check out the details at the end of the post.

Please welcome Thomas to the blog!

Thomas, can you tell us a bit about the first book in your new crime series, Burned, and its star, crime reporter Henning Juul?
I’d love to. Henning Juul is my main protagonist, and the story in Burned starts approximately two years after he has lost his beloved son Jonas in a domestic fire. He blames himself for his son’s death, and his scars are not just on the inside, he has burns on his face, too. But what keeps him alive, what gives him motivation to go back to work, is a feeling he has. He can’t understand why his apartment caught fire in the first place, and he is convinced that someone set fire to it. That’s why he returns to work, because he wants to figure out if he still is the brilliant journalist he once was, before the fire. And on the same day he returns to his employer, the internet newspaper 123news, a young girl is found murdered in a large tent on a large field of grass just outside Oslo. She has been stoned to death in what looks to be a sharia killing. That becomes Henning Juul’s first case back on the job, and he quickly realizes that the truth has a lot more to it than everybody thinks. So he starts working the case, and his instincts and nosy questions get him into a lot of trouble.

I read that you’ve been writing since you were 18. What were some of your biggest literary influences when you were growing up?
I think I would have to go with Henning Mankell, first and foremost. He was the one that really got me hooked on crime, and that, of course, led to other Scandinavian writers like Jo Nesbo. There weren’t any huge influences on me when I was a child, but I have certainly been inspired by many contemporary writers.

Any contemporary favorites?
I am a huge fan of Harlan Coben. He is simply the best there is, the way he combines his thrilling plots with a fantastic sense of humor. I often find myself laughing out loud when I read his books.

Burned is a bestseller in many of the 12 countries that it’s already available in, and that number is rapidly growing! How did you celebrate when you first found out Burned would be published?
Actually I didn’t celebrate at all the day my publisher told me I was going to be published, because I wasn’t sure that it would happen. You see, I wasn’t even half finished, I had only written about 120 pages at that time, and I knew that I had at least 250 more to go. But, of course, deep down inside I knew that I was on to something, and when I was actually finished and was able to hold my first novel in my hands, I took my family out to dinner and we celebrated like crazy. That was a fantastic day, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

I imagine balancing a family with writing is challenging. When you have free time, how do you like to spend it?
I love to play golf. I am a huge golf fan, and I watch the PGA tour on my television set as often as I can. But, of course, I love to do other stuff as well. Go to the movies, have dinner with some friends, meet up with some of the boys, chatting, hanging around. I read a lot. And I love to travel. That’s one of the great perks about this job, getting to travel a bit more than I used to. And I love playing with my kids.

I’ve heard Norway is stunningly beautiful, and has always been at the top of my travel wishlist. What are a few places that you would take a first time visitor?
It depends on how long you are going to stay, but I would highly recommend a trip with Hurtigruten, which is a boat trip that lasts for several days going up north along the amazing coastline. You really get a feel for the Norwegian nature. And Lofoten – the whole region takes my breath away. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

If you could pack your bags and go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go, and why?
I have so many places that I would want to visit, but right now, as the fall is coming down on Norway with all it’s chills and long, dark nights, I probably would want to go some place warm with my family. We went to Egypt during the summer, and I wouldn’t mind going back.

Is there any news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share?
I have just released my second novel in Norway and Finland, and I am so thrilled because the reviews have been great. There seems to be a consensus that my second one is even better than the first, which was my goal from the beginning. I want to get better with each book, and I can’t wait to get reactions from the American readers. Oh, and one more thing. I am also a composer. I have scored a few short films in Norway. You can check out some of my music on my web site. So Hollywood, feel free to knock on my door.

1.Giveaway is for 2 copies of Burned to 2 winners.
2.Giveaway is open to US/Canadian addresses only
3.To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. Following the blog is not required but is always appreciated!
4.Must be at least 18 to enter or have parent’s permission
5.Giveaway books generously provided by Atria Books
6.Giveaway ENDS 10/16/11

About the book:
Henning Juul is a veteran investigative crime reporter in Oslo, Norway. A horrific fire killed his six-year-old son, cut scars across his face, and ended his marriage, and on his first day back at the job after the terrible tragedy a body is discovered in one of the city’s public parks. A beautiful female college student has been stoned to death and buried up to her neck, her body left bloody and exposed. The brutality of the crime shakes the whole country, but despite his own recent trauma – and the fact that his ex-wife’s new boyfriend is also on the case – Henning is given the assignment. When the victim’s boyfriend, a Pakistani native, is arrested, Henning feels certain the man is innocent. This was not simply a Middle Eastern-style honor killing in the face of adultery – it was a far more complicated gesture, and one that will drag Henning into a darkness he’s never dreamed of.


  1. This sounds very interesting. I can’t wait to check it out.


  2. This Sounds like an awesome book. And the Great Interview.
    I do have a question for Thomas Enger:
    Do you find it harder as a writer to break into the literary world in North America because you are from Norway?


    j-9-book (at) Hotmail (dot) com

  3. sorry my email should be

    j-9-books (at) hotmail (dot) com


  4. I really just read about this book yesterday, and it sounds great. thanks for the shot to win. fun interview!

  5. I love finding new to me authors, I’d like to read this book.

  6. I love the cover, did you get to choose or help design the cover in any way? edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  7. Victoria Zumbrum

    Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. It sounds really good.

  8. Awesome interview. I would like to see how the story ends!

  9. I have always dreamed of visiting Norway, as that is where my ancestors came from and looking at pictures it is a beautiful place. Someday I will make it there and I will love it.
    You book sounds intense, an interesting plot line. Its always easy to blame things on the stereotype and not bother to dig any deeper. Henning sounds likea a strong character you would want to root for. I hope it does very well for you!

    Thank you for a chance to win a copy of your book.
    eyesofblueice (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. Great interview. Plus this sounds very promising 🙂

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  11. I enjoyed the intereview – Egypt is on my bucket list and I enjoy reading Coban too! I love finding new authors and your book does sound intriguing.


  12. I would love to win this book because just the description of it has captured my interest

  13. Having several Norwegian friends I would love to try this one.

  14. ‘Burned’ sounds like a great thriller/mystery. I just added this book to my TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win! BTW Super interview.

  15. Sounds good, please enter me in the giveaway ^_^

  16. Please count me in 🙂 Thanks


  17. I’d love to read this! It sounds really good! Please enter me. Thank you!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  18. I’ll have to put this on my shopping list if I don’t win.


  19. What an intriguing book. Thank you for sharing with us today and for the lovely giveaway opportunity. I would love to read Burned 🙂


  20. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.

    s_walters at yahoo dot com

  21. Great interview. I love that you got the news you were being published and you only 120 pages done. They obviously fell for you quickly LOL! I really can’t wait to start this. Lexi said, Henning sounds like a great main character and I can’t wait to read more of the story. It sounds sad, but very thrilling. I am excited. Great interview and giveaway guys, thank you sooooo much 🙂

    GFC Follower: drharleyquinn87

    drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

  22. I love a good crime book. I haven’t read any recently and need to jump back in. Burned sounds like a great read and a good book to reintroduce me to crime books. Thankf for the giveaway.

  23. It looks like an interesting book
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  24. Hi everybody, thanks for the comments and the interest.

    J9 – cool name – you had a question for me. Do I find it harder to break into the literary world in North America because I am from Norway? That’s difficult to say, but as for any author anywhere in the world I guess it depends on the book. If it’s good, then people will discover it. I try to write stories that somehow can apply to any society, not just the Norwegian one. That’s one of the reasons, I think, that Scandinavian Crime has this huge world wide appeal nowadays. It offers suspense, it offers something true (although it’s fiction), and it’s something new and fresh and different. Hopefully you’ll find that in my novel.


  25. I like Harlan Coben, too. I’d love to read this book.

  26. The cover caught my eye and I definitely want to try this. Thanks for the chance.

  27. i love crime novels and always enjoy reading novels that play in different parts of the worlds and/or are written by non-US authors.

  28. Iliked your second book(Fantomsmerte)! When is the third book coming in finnish?

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