Local Voice: Kimberly Golden-Malmgren, Author
In our series Local Voice, we’ll be introducing you to locals and some of their favourite things to do in Stockholm.
Author Kimberly Golden-Malmgren (pen name – Kim Golden) delves into complex issues surrounding love and relationships across color lines in her series of novels. “I like reading stories about people who are different, who see past the differences and fall in love. And those are the stories I also enjoy writing. I write stories for people who know that love comes in many colors,” shares Golden.
So we reached out to learn more about her work including her favourite bookstores in Stockholm as well as her other favourite things to do in town.
How long have you been based here in Stockholm and what drew you to the city?
I’ve been living in Stockholm since July 1995. I moved here for love–I fell in love with a gorgeous Swede and he lured me here. The first time I ever came to Stockholm was in 1993.
I came to spend Christmas with my Swede. It was gray and dark and dreary, but I loved the salt water taffy coloured buildings in Gamla Stan and the city is just so beautiful that sometimes its beauty helps you forget about the winter darkness–especially when it’s snowing.
But another thing I love about Stockholm is the history and all the green spaces here.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia–the City of Brotherly Love (and the first US UNESCO World Heritage City). I grew up in the middle of the city and loved hanging out on South Street or going to art classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. My family still lives there. Even though I haven’t lived there since 1992, I still cheer for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Flyers, and Philly is still in my blood.
I knew I wanted to be a writer already when I was in high school, but it became my dream while I was studying English at Temple University. I took several creative writing classes there and then moved to Richmond, Virginia to work on my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
I started self-publishing my writing around three years ago, and I really love the whole process of writing and then working together with a designer for the the perfect book cover. With every new book I publish, I learn something new.
Tell us more about your work as an author.
Ever since I started writing fiction, I’ve nearly always written about relationships. I liked writing about complicated relationships. When I moved to Sweden, I found the relationships began to change–still complicated, still not always with a Happily Ever After ending.
I also became exceedingly curious about cultural differences and the tension they cause. It started popping up in my writing and became a big part of my second novel, Maybe Baby. I came up with the idea for Maybe Baby, which is set here in Stockholm and in Copenhagen, I wanted to write about an American woman struggling to find her place in the world and to find the person she is meant to be with.
I’m working on another book about a former couple looking for a second chance at love. She is American, the man who broke her heart is Swedish and the beginning of their love story takes place during their student days in Stockholm. When they meet again the story moves to a small town in Vermont.
I like writing about culture clashes, and this is one of the things that initially forces Cassie and Michael apart.
What are some of your favorite bookstores or places for aspiring authors to check out in Stockholm?
Hedengrens and The English Bookshop are my absolute favourites in Stockholm. I never walk out of either store empty-handed.
I love going to Internationell Forfattarscen at Kulturhuset. It’s something I think every aspiring author should do–go to as many literary events as possible, listen to other authors talk about the craft and about what inspires them. It helps us look at our own writing from another perspective.
But most importantly I think aspiring writers should find places that become their writing space. When I first moved to Stockholm, I spent a lot of time at Stockholm’s Stadsbiblioteket on Odengatan, getting inspired, reading, working on the novel I wrote so I could learn how to write a novel.
Since then, I’ve found inspiration while sipping coffee at Knut (my favourite place to stop for an afterwork drink) and Primafila on Upplandsgatan (Andrea makes the best coffee and grilled sandwiches). On the weekends, you can find me at Thelins Frösunda Torg, enjoying a Budapest pastry and coffee while writing.
Or you could always find me by the fireplace in Brunnsvikens Trädgård and Café. The café is in the greenhouse and they serve amazing scones and homemade marmalade. I only wish they had clotted cream. I especially love going there on cold, snowy days when everything is still and the warmth of the open fire is just so enticing.
I can spend hours there, writing and musing over cups of coffee.
What are three of your favorite things to do in Stockholm.
Just three? It’s not easy to narrow it down, but here are the first three that come to mind…
- During the summer: Jumping on one of the boats that take you to the archipelago and heading to Grinda for a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city
- Having a lazy morning and eating American pancakes at Cafe Sirap
- Long, lazy walks in Hagaparken
More on Kimberly’s books
Check out her series here including how to buy them: Snowbound, Maybe Baby, Maybe Tonight, Maybe Forever, Maybe Tomorrow (coming spring 2016) – and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Do you know any local voices you’d love us to spotlight or would you love to share your voice and Stockholm with us? Please get in touch with us.