By Seija Rankin
July 08, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
Magnus Ragnvid; Knopf Doubleday

What happens when you combine billionaires, an affair, an extreme revenge plot, and a hint of Swedish chic-ness? That would be iconic crime novelist Camilla Läckberg's newest novel, The Golden Cage. The thriller, which is out now, follows Faye — wife of said billionaire who had said affair, and evil genius behind said revenge plot — who helped her husband build their business, and raised their son, and will not take his betrayal lightly.

While Läckberg has never enacted a plot to take down an ex-husband, she does have intimate experience with all of the disappointingly darker sides of the business world. The author has built a global brand — it encompasses her crime-writing, children's books, cookbooks, film and television projects, and her "crime school." Here, she answers EW's burning author questions on her first time writing (ever) and what felt different about The Golden Cage.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What is the first thing — ever — that you remember writing?

CAMILLA LÄCKBERG: I “wrote” my first book when I was four. Well, I couldn’t write, so I drew pictures and made my father write the text that I dictated. The story was four pages long, and it was called “Santa.” On the first page, Santa and his wife were smiling, holding hands. But four pages later Santa’s wife was laying on the ground, beaten to death, blood running from her Santa hat…So, I guess I had two career choices, serial killer or crime writer…

What is the last book that made you cry?

Lullaby by Leïla Slimani.

Which book is at the top of your current To-Read list?

I want to re-read How I Loved by Siri Hustvedt. It’s one of my favorite books and I read it every now and then.

Where do you write?

Mostly at home — or at cafés.

Which book made you a forever reader?

When I found Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie on my father’s bookshelf, I fell head over heels [in love] with books — and with crime novels. It’s a lasting love story.

What is a snack you couldn’t write without?

Is coffee a snack? If not, I proclaim it, from now on, to be. Coffee is what keeps me going. I probably by now have more coffee than blood in my veins…

If you could change one thing about any of your books what would it be?

Nothing. Everything. As a writer it is your job to be constantly critical of your own work, to be able to keep evolving. That being said, I am also very proud of what I have written through the years.

What is your favorite part of The Golden Cage?

To my big surprise, I actually enjoyed writing the sex scenes. I have not dared to write anything like that before, so I found it very liberating.

What was the hardest plot point or character to write?

My biggest challenge was to create a main character that is capable of horrible things, but that is still likeable.

Write a movie poster tag line for The Golden Cage:

“She had no more f---s to give. Revenge was hers. Faye was back.”

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