He writes six books a year
In his books, Widmark avoids complicated questions, such as violence, sex or drinking.
- The message I want to convey is that life is fantastic, he says.
Since the early 2000s, Martin Widmark has published a large number of books for children and young adults. In Swedish, there are several different characters, but on an international level, “Nelly Rapp” and “Jerry and Maya” are the most famous ones.
- I write between six and eight books per year, he says.
When writing the books about Jerry and Maya, he uses a language stripped from complicated words, making sure that it is suitable for readers who recently have started to read on their own. Not without pride Martin Widmark states that it’s through his books that many children learn how to read in today’s society.
- To learn how to read is a life-changing event! Reading has been a positive force throughout my own life.
If the language is easy in The Jerry and Maya Detective Agency, the cases are nevertheless more complicated.
- As a writer, one should never be fooled into thinking children’s minds and thoughts are as simple as their language, says Martin Widmark.
In his books, he also makes a lot of fun of the adult world and many of the characters are caricatures. Jerry and Maya are often the only characters that can see clearly and think straight.
Martin Widmark describes that he deliberately has avoided to give the main characters any characteristic features.
- All children should be able to identify with them, he remarks.
- I’m always thinking about the reader when I’m writing. The child is constantly present. It's like a conversation. Will the reader understand this? I’m trying to find the reader and create a connection, Martin says.
He is not very interested in writing morality lessons and thorough examinations of life and problems which are awaiting in life.
- I avoid too complex questions. As a writer, I don’t have to discuss everything with my readers, hence I don’t write about sex, violence or alcohol, he says.
Martin Widmark simply wants his books to be a sanctuary from things that belongs in the world of the grown-ups, things which young children are not ready to face.
- Let children be children!
At the same time, he wants to make a difference.
- If I have any message to my readers, it’s about tolerance, about everyone being allowed to be who they really are. It doesn’t matter if you’re small and shy, or outspoken and loud, you are still allowed to be yourself.
- I want to give the message that life is beautiful, that to change things is possible and that nothing is dangerous!
Translation from Swedish: Emma Kreü