I blame Emily of New Moon.
Reading that book at the age of eight gave me the first spark to write, and scribbling my very own Ode to the Wall of a Storage Building made me want to be a writer. I agonised about writing assignments in school, started countless novels in my teens and tried my hand at short stories during my university years. However, I didn’t write regularly until I stopped trying to write what was fashionable and instead started writing what felt the most natural to me. I’m fascinated by the whimsical, the fun, the heartbreaking, the overly dramatic and a thousand other things that are unique to childhood and adolescence – ergo, I started writing for the youngsters among us. I’ve loved every second of it.
My debut YA novel The Frog Princess came out in January 2015 from the acclaimed Finnish publisher WSOY. It was shortlisted for the Topelius award for best YA of the year. Read more about the book here.
Since The Frog Princess I’ve written a sequel, called Operation Lip Fire, and a humorous stand-alone YA called The Magical Ear of Valpuri Vaahtera. It’s the diary of an ordinary girl living in a supernatural family. It was also shortlisted for the Topelius award.
I also wrote two easy readers for WSOY’s Lukupalat-series about three 8-year-old girlfriends and their adventures. My newest series of easy readers is about a little girl called Lilja, who owns five unicorns. The first book came out in 2021, and the sequel came out in July 2022. The third book will be out in the summer of 2023.
I hold a MA in English philology from the University of Helsinki and a BA in History also from the University of Helsinki. I’ve also completed my teacher’s license. When I’m not writing, I’m probably doing crafts or serving my queen, a creamy, blue-eyed ragdoll cat named Lumo (“Enchantment” in English).
Favorite writers: L.M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Sophie Kinsella, J.K. Rowling, Georgette Heyer, Terry Deary, and anyone who writes compelling historical non-fiction.
Favorite food: Italian & Mexican.
Favorite music: BTS, Coldplay, Adam Lambert, 30 Seconds to Mars, Bruce Springsteen, Michalis Hatzigiannis, Angels & Airwaves, Waking Ashland, Josh Groban, Savage Garden, L. van Beethoven, W. A Mozart, Jean Sibelius.
Favorite movies: Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Amadeus, Immortal Beloved, The Matrix, Miss Congeniality, Grease, Bride & Prejudice and many more.
Favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon: Writing.
Favorite place: By the sea or in a forest.
Favorite holiday: Halloween and Christmas.
What’s under your bed? A dust bunny called Ludwig.
Do you eat the stems of broccoli? Absolutely not. I dry them and make funky necklaces.
How many rings before you answer the phone? Zero to two if it’s mum, a friend, or a publisher offering me a contract. If it’s a telemarketer, about a thousand.
If you could travel back in time, what era would you travel to? I’m such a history buff! I’d definitely visit the time of the French Revolution (note: I don’t support chopping heads off people, no matter how rich they are) and fast forward some decades to find Mr Darcy in Regency England. Then I’d slip backwards into the Tudor era to marvel the smells and the thirtysomethings without teeth. I’d end my time travel with a visit to the fabulous fifties.