Kicki Karlén was recently exploring her local church in Kläckeberga, southern Sweden, when she made a macabre discovery – several large blue Ikea bags, all almost overflowing with bones.
"I was down there doing research for my next book," said the author, whose most recent collection was titled "Eroticism at the Full Moon" (Erotik vid Fullmåne).
"I was investigating the ruins down there. I was thinking the book could be set in the Viking ages… the Viking history is strong in this part of the country – a perfect setting for some kind of love triangle," she told The Local.
But then she found the bones, a discovery that has left her seething ever since.
"Of course it makes you angry. It's not fair that people are just left behind like that, so disrespectfully. For me, it doesn't matter whether you're alive or dead, a life is a precious and meaningful thing. Too many people forget that nowadays," she said.
"I can only hope someone buries them in an honourable way now."
The Local spoke last week to the archaeologist who removed the bones, who said they were dug up when the church was adding wheelchair access back in 2009. He said he was unsure why the bones were never buried.
As for erotic novelist Kicki Karlén, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. The bones, which have already featured in newspapers across the world, could become part of her next story.
"You know, I just might put them in. I have to say I'm tempted," she told The Local.
The Kläckeberga church. Photo: Private