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Friday, January 29, 2021

Interview with Daniel Ståhl

Daniel Ståhl

Requiem – In Memory of All That Should Have Been




Requiem is in the genre of Poetry

It is a double-tiered heroic crown of 211 interwoven sonnets

Daniel, can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?


Like so many others, I imagine, it’s as though I always needed to have some kind of creative project running in the background. While writing has been one outlet for that, it used to be mostly games development. For the longest time, though, I started way more projects than I finished, but that all changed when I first became a father. Literally from one day to the next I had no time for myself – as a parent, I’m sure you can relate.


I have six kids. I can totally relate!

At that point I made a conscious decision: if I were to get anything truly done, I would need to focus on one project at a time, and stick with what offered me the highest creativity-to-time ratio. And that was writing. Not long after I published my first novel.


I always found that inspiration comes from that twilight zone nestled in between constraint and freedom. That’s why I quite enjoy the strict format of a sonnet – it provides a frame within which the mind can get to work. 

So how do you work writing in with your other responsibilities?

I split most of my time between being a developer, researcher and writer in the software industry, and teaching as an associate professor of software engineering. And whenever I’m not at work, I’m with my kids, so what remains to me is pretty much my lunch breaks. Sometimes I need to do lunch meetings and such, but for the most part I have my lunch breaks to myself, so that’s when I get to do most of my creative writing. For the Requiem project, I aimed to get one sonnet done per lunch. I almost succeeded.


It’s not necessarily something I would recommend, though. A little bit of time pressure can be a good thing, but trying to squeeze out a sonnet in 45 minutes, and then again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that… It can get stressful.


Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?

I always found that inspiration comes from that twilight zone nestled in between constraint and freedom. We all know the terror of a blank sheet of paper; it can be torturous to try to produce something out of nothing.  That’s why I quite enjoy the strict format of a sonnet – it provides a frame within which the mind can get to work. It gives the imagination purchase on the paper, a foothold. And then all you need is to seed that process with something; it can be anything, something you overheard on the bus, some phrase you picked up in a book, something you read in the news that morning that stuck with you.


Please tell us about your current release.

Through its 211 interwoven poems, this double-tiered recursive crown of sonnets takes the reader on an epic journey to the heart of mankind’s would-be nemesis – herself – and back again. Does her destiny await in the unexplored depths of the cosmos, or in a toxic wasteland of her own making? Does she have the will to shape her own future, or is she a slave to her myopic wants and impulses?

Requiem takes the existential threats facing humanity – from the destruction of the environment to nuclear holocaust – as a lens through which to reflect on the fate of civilization, humanity and ultimately conscious life in the universe.

That is a lot to undertake! Do you ever feel like there is a kryptonite out there preventing you from writing?

Kids. To paraphrase my PhD supervisor: I love them to bits, but they can be quite time consuming.


I understand. For me, I always wanted to write. It took till most of mine were out of the house before I could carve out the time. Kudos for you making it happen at your stage of life.

Thanks again for talking. One more time, where can someone go to purchase your book?


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