Hm, who am I!

Hi, I am Anne Lene Johnsen

(pronounced Anneh-Leneh, it's Norwegian. And yes, the surname is with an "e"!)

I am sown and grown in Norway (born 1968, still working on the growing up-part). Already as a child my passion was to figure out stuff which is smart to know about and tell the rest of the world about it (well, some people in my surroundings, at least). While growing up, I has widened my audience to include readers of my magazine columns and books, some translated into several other languages, and those who hear me speak at different venues where I am given a microphone.

I am one of Norway´s most selling non-fiction authors, my most popular book being on how to install the right software in the brain to make it possible to understand math. Since life is not only about math, but about art, tea and chocolate as well, I also write stories about that, many of them with an extra Scandinavian touch. You will notice in my texts that I like to teach you something clever, play with names, and place small Easter eggs here and there, (and that I like parentheses.)

Want to publish my book(s)?

For my mathbook, children's mind puzzle book or the family activity book Smartest in the familycontact my agent Stilton Literary Agency - click here for their website

For any other books, contact me directly (se info below).

About my name:

As a teenager I spent a school year in the USA. One day our class went on a field trip, by bus. The teacher in charged checked if we were all on board by reading out our names, while we in return were supposed to make a noise to confirm being present.

Rob? Yup.

Patricia? Here.

Bryan? Sure, Miss, always by your side, ya´ know.

Anne? Silence.

No Anne? Where is Anne?

Some of the kids started looking at me, our teacher did too. Why so frowningly, I thought, as if I would know where Anne was??

Then I blushed, raised my hand and quickly said “here” as I realized that, for Americans (and other English speaking people), I am Anne!

I have two first names, you see, Anne and Lene, and I use them both. Some others with two first names write them with a hyphen, but Norwegians know the names belong together even without the hyphen. As mine do. I was not used to being called only one of them (still am not), so my brain simply did not recognize nor respond to being called Anne.

Later in life, when communicating with non-Norwegians, I have solved this by removing the gap between the two names, making it into one first name: AnneLene. Often people ask me how to pronounce it (which is very difficult if you are not Norwegian), and I say oh, lovely, yes, that is almost perfect, although it of course is not, but it makes people so happy to hear they pronounce it almost perfectly, as we do like to say other people names as they should be said, and also now, as I am more grown up, my brain has gotten used to responding to several variations of my name.

But never to only “Anne”.

This is also why you may see me using different pen names:

When I was little, and dreamt about becoming an internationally bestselling author, I spent hours testing out different names that sounded and worked better for the English speaker than my Norwegian name does. When I have stepped into the world so far, it has mostly been under my own name. But as I learned from the story above, if you are an English native speaker, you would probably just call me "Anne". Which I wouldn't react to. Who is Anne, my mind would still go. Why doesn't she respond when she is being called, how rude of her.

So why not play a little with it, I thought. English named people often use an initial, so perhaps I could write my name as Anne L? That sounds smart, doesn't it? Perhaps I  could use that as a pen name for non-fiction and other mindstuff books?

Further on, when I pronounce "Anne L" I hear "Annelle". That looks like a name for someone who writes nice stories, doesn't it? And then, when I simply am myself, talking about life in general, I can pull myself (at least my names) together and be AnneLene?

So there. That is why it may seem as if there are more than one of me. (I also like playing with names in general, as the sharp reader may notice in my books.) I even have two more very Norwegian tongue cracker names, Krogh-Vennemo, to play with, but I am saving those for other occasions. 

So, what should you call me? Well, YOU can call me whatever you like! You can even call me AL.

Words of Wisdom with a touch of Scandinavia from Alven Books:

Books inspire, bring joy and have answers

My company is Alven Books.
Alven means "the Elf" and is of course a play around some of my own names
(told you I liked to play with names).
Alven promote books and messages to make you smarter, happier and able to create a better life.

It´s magic!

Get in touch? I would love to hear from you, particularly if you have a (nice) comment about my book(s)!

Thank you so much! I'll be in touch shortly.