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04 July 2019

Q&A With Sif Sigmarsdóttir

When I read The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake by Sif Sigmarsdóttir I knew I had read something special, and the first thing I did when I finished it was reach out and ask if I could do a Q&A... And here we go!

This is probably one of my favourite Q&As ever, I think I've read it myself around five times already. Sif gives wonderful and interesting answers that provide a bit of insight into the characters and story in The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake.

Q&A with Sif Sigmarsdóttir

Can you describe The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake in five words?
YA Nordic noir feminist thriller

What inspired you to write the The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake, especially with such emphasis on the influence of social media?
I’m fascinated with social media and how it’s changing the world. Some people say it’s all bad, others say it’s all good. But I think it’s somewhere in-between.

The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake is inspired by two real life examples of how social media is being used – one for bad and one for good:

In 2018 the journalist Carole Cadwalladr revealed that a British company called Cambridge Analytica had harvested the personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent and used it to influence elections. It was a scandal that made us all think seriously about how our personal data can be abused. (In The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake a pharmaceutical company uses stolen data to target ads for slimming pills at vulnerable young girls.)

Around the same time the #metoo movement was gaining momentum. In 2018 the actress and activist Rose McGowan released her captivating book Brave in which she exposed the predatory misogyny within the film industry and told of how the most influential man in Hollywood sexually assaulted her. The #metoo movement, which has sparked positive change in attitudes towards women, relies heavily on the power of social media. 

Which of your characters would you most like to sit down and have a cuppa with?
Oooh! That’s a tough one. There are two strong female heroines in The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake and I love them both equally.

I would love to sit down with the glamorous and mysterious Imogen Collins who is a marketing executive by day and social media influencer by night (and maybe also a murderer).

But I grew up reading – and loving – the Nancy Drew books. So, I will have to go for my amateur sleuth, the half Icelandic, Hannah Eiríksdóttir, who gets a job as a journalist – and the task of finding out whether Imogen Collins is guilty of murder or not.

I’d take Hannah out for a cold coffee which is to me the elixir of life and source of creativity.

Do you think that you would be able to survive in the world of your book?
The word “snowflake” in the title refers both to literal snowflakes and the word’s more recent adoption as a derogatory term used to describe a particular generation.

I feel that the snowflake generation, and just young people in general get far too much flak. They’ve become punching bags for older generations who are desperate to prove their moral superiority and justify their economic advantage by putting the young down.

I’m not sure how I’d cope – but I think that young people today, like the climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg, are doing a fabulous job of showing us who’s right and who’s wrong. 

Are you a planner or a pantser?
I always say that I don’t believe in inspiration; I believe in perspiration. I believe that it’s important to be organised and sit down every day and write, whether you feel up to it or not. So, my best writing skill is my tough bottom. I do consider myself a planner.

But I do think the pantser in me is also important. Because sitting down at the computer isn’t actually the only part of the writing process. It’s what happens in-between that sometimes is the key. Most of my ideas come when I’m not sitting at the computer, when I’m not technically at work. I get ideas, I get inspired, when I’m taking a walk, going to the store, making dinner, on the loo, in the shower… So, my books come to life subconsciously while I’m doing other things.

What is your favourite thing about writing?
The endorphin kick I get when I’ve written a paragraph that I’m pleased with. It’s like the rush you get from bungee jumping or swimming with sharks (or so I imagine – I’ve done neither … writing is as close to an extreme sport I’m willing to go).

Finally, what are you working on now? What can we expect from you in the future?
That’s the million-dollar question. I’m not sure if many writers are willing to admit to this (they probably fear that it will make them sound like ungrateful pricks), but having your book published can be extremely depressing. Yes, you’ve achieved your dream. But then what?

You’ve spent years writing a book, obsessing about it, thinking about it night and day. Publication day arrives. It’s a massive high. It’s all about you, your creation, your precious offspring which is now out there in the world for all to see. But then comes a new day. Your life doesn’t change when your book is published. The pile of dirty laundry is still there. A crowd of adoring fans doesn’t magically appear outside your house with home-made cookies and cold coffee to encourage you on and keep you fed and happy while you work on your next masterpiece. It’s like you’ve climbed up a steep mountain, got to the top, and then rolled back down again. You’re back to square one.

But saying that, being a writer is the best job in the world. (Sorry for the mixed messages, folks.) I’m definitely climbing up that mountain again. While writing The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake I fell in love with the characters of Hannah and Imogen so at the moment I’m planning a new adventure for them. So, stay tuned.


  1. What a lovely interview! Sif seems so lovely! I cannot wait for my blog post with Sif on Friday!

  2. This was such a lovely interview to read!

  3. What a great interview ��

  4. "YA Nordic noir feminist thriller"

    I am IN. This sounds like a great book, and I loved this interview!

    1. I think you will really enjoy The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake!

  5. Great Q&A and its a beautiful cover too!

  6. great Q+A, really enjoyed the answers here. i cant imagine how it must feel after a bookis published, i have enough heartache finished a great book aha

  7. Brilliant interview and now I want to read this book even more!

  8. This interview made me really interested in reading the book! It love hearing the inspiration behind this book!

  9. A brilliant interview and very interesting! I've seen this book around on social media lately and it sounds really thought provoking.


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