Herself


I am Annika. And this is my little home on the Interweb.

Currently, my real-life home is in Copenhagen, Mordor (you’ll find it on the big blue marble to the north; it’s the little speck above Germany that looks like a fly shit), a country where everybody gets around on bicycles and count the year in weeks. You can see how I fit in; I don’t own a bicycle, and I have no idea what day it is (fringe benefit – your aha-moment is slowly approaching), much less the dates of week no. 17, 38 or 42.

I am not the outdoorsy type, at least not when it’s cold. And it’s almost always cold here. Summers slip away faster than butter on hot toast, and the rest of the year passes in different shades of cashmere and turtlenecks. But I have the perfect escape; I am a writer (aha!). I tell lies for a living. Which about says it all, doesn’t it? And in that capacity, I travel to all sorts of warm, exotic places – without leaving the room or having to go through the passive-agressive hassle of airport security. Being a writer is a fantastic job like that and counts a plentitude of other fringe benefits. But none worth mentioning.

I have a formal “fall-back” education, that I’ve never used, which is good because I am not an early riser or a great people-person (I majored in mathematics, what can I say?). Instead, and by way of circumstance, I laboured a decade in the fashion industry, as a model and public relations manager. But I am a tech geek at heart, programming and writing is what I do best; I hung around the world wide web in its infancy, developing HTML, Ruby and Java-scripts to what we now call blogs, designed graphics and websites with 30 frames, hand-typed a lot of code (now I run my website on a completely outdated WordPress platform, because I am lazy, but I still think web-design software is for pussies) and created brush plug-ins for Adobe before I turned to writing novels in 2002.

First novel became a bestseller, second novel became another bestseller and won me a literary award; I was shooting these babies out of my sleeve. I was on a roll.

The intervening year of 2004 was a game-changer; I became a mother. Nine months (three with intense morning sickness) I waited, impatiently, imagining how lovely an addition a baby would be in my life; I’d be in my skinny jeans, typing away with manicured nails, and a baby girl dressed in cute, pink Bonpoint outfits would be sleeping peacefully in a bassinet next to my Louboutin-covered feet, back-lit by sunshine.

When he (not a she) arrived, I wanted to call 911. I was having a fucking the kid from the Exorcist cries all the time and shits green-emergency! But I coped. As you do. Turnes out that green poop is perfectly normal when you are 3 hours old. Alas, no time wasted, I walked out of the hospital later that afternoon, baby stroller in tow (although I am using “walked” generously) and came home to my lovely organised house, that looked like a disaster zone after two days.

In the months that followed, I ate my body weight in just about anything containing carbs, gained 20 pounds, wore a robe all day or sported elastic pants, delayed taking showers, turned scrap-booking into an art form, invented a language unknown to other than babies, launched myself into serial coma caused by sleep deprivation, and realised that general self-identity was pretty much beside the point.

In 2005, abandoning all my intentions of good, traditional family life, I institutionalised our offspring, farming him out to 5-7 hours in daycare each day – 5 days a week. I cried like a detoxing crack-whore, when I left him there for two hours the first day. But it was either that, or going insane, or at least insaner than I was to begin with.

Over the next years, I typed more code, bought and restored two 100-year old apartments, lost 20 pounds, wrote four novels, a book on interior design, a screenplay and a hand-full of novellas – all of which I am fairly proud of. I reached an all time low a few years ago, however, when I agreed to write a couple of books for other people – as a so called “ghost-writer”. It’s really just a fancy euphemism for the idiot who doesn’t get any credit. And the people you write for don’t know the difference between Syria and Somalia but they have egos the size of continents. They can’t spell or type 6 words in the right order, but that doesn’t deter them either. They just have their people engage with people like me. And 50.000 words later, a glazed “autobiography” is born (technically, it’s a biography, because somebody else wrote it), and you – the ghost writer – look back in retrospect, pretty fucking grateful you don’t have your name anywhere near that bottom-less pit of self-indulgent dreck.

By now it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, that I am an introvert loner eccentric, who will run like water, if I meet you on the street. It’s nothing personal, I just like animals a lot better than people. The thing I like best about people is people-watching (call me a pervert, but eccentricities are not only accepted, but very much expected in my line of work). I hate social functions, bullshit cheek-kissing, mingling and small talk. I prefer text and e-mail to phone calls and actual conversation. My husband and son are outgoing enough for the tree of us, and I have to suffer brunches, lunches and dinners with friends (and a never-ending stream of short playmates coming and going). But hey, motherhood turned out to be pretty groovy, it keeps me on my toes, and it’s how I get the latest intel.

When I don’t write, spy on people or try to avoid them, trespass for that perfect Instagram moment, hide in the Bahamas, or perform deputy duties for the 12-year old sheriff, I dabble in the world of interior design, architecture and restoration.