Flora Wiström

In Grandpa Family, we highlight creative, exciting, and ambitious people who are close to us. This time we met up with author, writer, and blogger Flora Wiström. She’s written two books so far: Stanna in 2016 and Hålla andan in 2019. Other than that she holds writing classes and workshops with her friend Yrsa Keysendal.

Flora is close to us, literally. She lives and works on Södermalm, just next to one of our stores and our head office. We met up this overcast spring day for a walk from the Grandpa office to her apartment. Passing by the very popular bakeshop Wallins konditori, we make sure to pick up some cinnamon buns for fika.

See our photos and read our interview with Flora below:

Tell us a bit about your background and how you came to be a writer.

I’ve been writing daily ever since starting my blog at the age of 12. That blog has turned into endurance training of sorts for my writing skills. After high school, I attended a creative writing class, and I’d say that’s when I really got hooked on writing. I still remember the two biggest insights that I took away from that class: firstly that becoming an author is something that takes practice, it's not something you’re born into, and secondly that you can create fiction by using your own life and reimagining the stories of it.

Since then I’ve attended a couple of other writing schools, and I’m now working on my third novel.

When I’m not writing fiction I host writing classes and workshops with my best friend and colleague Yrsa Keysendal, update my blog or my Instagram account.

What inspires you?

Other people that write! And then books, movies, and theatre. People that I follow on social media. And then my grandma, my mom, and my friends.

Tell us about your average weekday, what do you get up to?

I get up, make some coffee and sit down for some reading on the sofa. My boyfriend Johan is still asleep, so the apartment is empty. I lit a few candles, mosey over to the kitchen table where my laptop sits prepped and ready for me. I prepared it the night before, closing down all distractions and setting my manuscript up. I sit down and write for two and a half hours using the Pomodoro method. I work for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break, and so on until the full time is spent.

When done I get ready and bike down to the office. I’ll share lunch with my friend (and also the graphic designer of my books) Sara. We take the chairs outside to the sidewalk and sit in the sun. The afternoon is spent updating the blog, doing admin, and planning out the classes.

In the evening I’ll have dinner with my boyfriend or go for a walk with a friend.

You've got a blog and an Instagram account where you share your life. Where do you draw the line between work and your personal life?

I draw a pretty distinct line between the two. I work office hours and then I’m off evenings and weekends – unless I’m hosting a writing class. At the time when I was blogging everyday, it was harder to draw that line. Nowadays I blog 3-4 times a week and that gives me more free time. I’m pretty open with my life on all my channels, but the important thing is that I expose myself, not the people around me.

How do you spend your spare time?

I’ll be cooking with my boyfriend, go out to my parents’ house and sit in their garden, I’ll go for a walk  and have a hot dog with a friend. I’ll read in front of the fireplace.

How would you describe your personal style?

I’ve always felt drawn towards the esthetics of the sixties and seventies. You’ll find me with a pair of high-waisted trousers and a colorful sweater.

Are there any books we must read?

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It’s one of the best books I read during 2020.