English book trailer for THE SECRET STAIRCASE!

We are excited to share the English teaser trailer for THE SECRET STAIRCASE by Salla Simukka and JP Ahonen with you!

THE SECRET STAIRCASE is a grounded illustrated middle grade fantasy title with a classic feel for fans of Michael Ende and Maria Gripe.

THE SECRET STAIRCASE is a stylish and fascinating children’s novel. [–] The cooperation of the author-illustrator duo works well: the illustrations by Ahonen bring a nice atmosphere to Simukka’s fascinating story. The two parallel worlds have small differences and there is a pleasant weirdness for the reader to ponder on.” –Mikko on kirjavinkit.fi

Salla Simukka is a talented and sure writer, and therefore it wasn’t a surprise that her new children’s book The Secret Staircase was a great reading experience. The illustrations by JP Ahonen are also lovely and dynamic. [–] Simukka’s fairytale-like title is an enchanting one, the weird buzzing in your brain for 9+ children, but even an older reader will enjoy this one.” –Kirjakissa book blog

The setting which slowly builds up to when the two boys meet, is an exciting one. Once Alexis and Max have met, the thrilling situations and every day take turns naturally and the story progresses at a good pace. The book also shortly addresses a few hard themes, such as bullying, at a child’s level.” –Järvenpää city library

Rights are still available for all territories!

Download the English materials for THE SECRET STAIRCASE here!

Tammi, March 2024, 200 pp., b&w illustrations

Reading material:
English sample with illustrations
Finnish edition

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)

About author

JP Ahonen

JP Ahonen (1981) is a comic book artist, illustrator, and the author of several newspaper strips in his native Finland. He is best known for his graphic novel SING NO EVIL and the critically acclaimed strip series BELZEBUBS, which has evolved from a humble webcomic into a unique cross-media project, interweaving comics, music and animation.

About author

Salla Simukka

Salla Simukka is the author of the international success story The Snow White Trilogy: rights are sold in 53 territories and in Hollywood. She has written several novels for young readers and her accolades include the Topelius Prize 2013 and the Finland Prize 2013. Simukka has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award  every year 2021–2024. Where It All Begins, published in 2022, is her first novel for adults and in 2024 she started a collaboration with JP Ahonen on a middle grade novel.

Previously Simukka has written book reviews for the newspapers, translated all kinds of texts into Finnish, worked as an editor at a literary magazine and as a screenwriter for a popular TV show for young audiences.  She has also been working on the programme of Turku Book Fair in 2017–2020.

The Power of Hot And Cold – English cover reveal & proofs available!

We are happy to share that a full pdf proof of the upcoming English edition of THE POWER OF HOT AND COLD: From Sauna to Sea: The Finnish Way to a Happy, Healthy Life by Katja Pantzar & Carita Harju (Yellow Kite, November 2024) is now available! Check out the stylish cover!

This definite guide to hot-and-cold therapy is a unique collaboration by Finnish sauna expert Carita Harju and Katja Pantzar, author of The Finnish Way, sold to 24 languages!

Download the full English pdf proof for THE POWER OF HOT AND COLD here!

From Sauna to Sea: The Finnish Way to a Happy, Healthy Life
Yellow Kite / Hodder & Stoughton, November 2024, approx. 45,000 words

Reading material:
pdf proof of the English edition

Rights sold:
WORLD ENGLISH: Yellow Kite / Hodder & Stoughton (orig.)

About author

Carita Harju

Carita Harju is a Finnish sauna experience expert and marketing professional whose mission is to share the Finnish sauna’s positive health and wellness benefits with the world. She is the founder and executive director of Sauna from Finland, which represents an international network of more than 200 sauna industry companies. The organization’s mission is to create the world’s best sauna experiences, and Harju loves her work, because it allows her to advance an idea that she is personally so passionate about. Carita Harju has always enjoyed saunas, goes to sauna with her family nearly every day and gives talks all over the world.

Her first illustrated guide, Sauna - The Way of Finnish Life (2016), has been published in four languages, including German and Chinese. Her second book, Soul of the Sauna, was released in Japanese and Hungarian, while her newest title Saunafulness (Hyvää oloa saunomalla, 2021) has been sold to 4 territories.

About author

Katja Pantzar

Katja Pantzar –  Katja Pantzar is a Helsinki-based writer and journalist who swims in the Baltic Sea year round. Raised in Canada, with stints in New Zealand and England, she is the author of The Finnish Way (Penguin Random House/2018), a bestselling non-fiction book about Nordic well-being, winter swimming and sisu (resilience) that has been translated into 24 languages. Her second book on sisu, Everyday Sisu: Tapping into Finnish Fortitude for a Happier, More Resilient Life (Penguin Random House/2022) explores through expert interviews and research-based information how we can better support our mental and physical health while taking care of each other and our planet. Everyday Sisu has also been published in Japanese, Thai, and Indonesian. Pantzar’s work has been widely covered around the world in media ranging from Le Figaro, Le Monde, and El Paísto Vogue the Washington Post and the New York Review of Books. . She is also the author of three mini-guides to the Finnish capital, including 100 things to do in Helsinki (Siltala/2024).

Frank Martela interview on NBC

We were thrilled to see that our author Frank Martela was interviewed about the World Happiness Report on NBC – you can see the interview here.

Frank will continue his tour of the major news outlets talking about why Finland was picked as the World Happiest Country for the 7th time in a row. You can soon read more in his forthcoming book STOP CHASING HAPPINESS: Counterintuitive Life Advice From the World’s Happiest Country (Allen & Unwin, March 2025).

An English book proposal and English sample chapters are available, the full English manuscript will follow in September 2024.

Download the English materials for STOP CHASING HAPPINESS here!


Stop Chasing Happiness: Counterintuitive Life Advice from the World’s Happiest Country
Approx. 40,000 words

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Gummerus (Spring 2025)
WORLD ENGLISH LANGUAGE: Allen & Unwin (March 2025)

Reading materials:
English sample chapters & book proposal available
Full English ms. in September 2024

About author

Frank Martela

Professor Frank Martela, PhD, is a philosopher and researcher of psychology specializing in the question of meaning in life. His articles have appeared in Scientific American Mind, Harvard Business Review, Salon, CNBC and his work has been featured on Quartz and on the BBC. His research has been published extensively in numerous academic journals such as Nature Human Behaviour, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Journal of Personality, Metaphilosophy, Southern Journal of Philosophy, and Academy of Management Review. He has spoken to more than one hundred audiences worldwide, including invited lectures in universities on five continents, including Stanford University and Harvard University. He’s been interviewed by the New York Times, Discover Magazine, New Scientist, Vice News, Fox News, and Monocle Observer among others. He is Assistant Professor at Aalto University in Finland.

Outside of work, Frank is a father to three lovely children, an amateur-level soccer player, with an occasional skiing trip in the winters. He is made in Green Bay, so Packers holds a special place in his heart.


2023, Personal Growth & Lifestyle

The Meaning Manifesto: Why Work Needs to Have a Purpose

Frank Martela

2020, Personal Growth & Lifestyle

A Wonderful Life: Insights on Finding a Meaningful Existence

Frank Martela

Welcoming New Agent Julia Bogen and New Co-Agents to the Ahlback Agency!

We are delighted to introduce and welcome Julia Bogen, our new Literary Agent to the fast-growing Elina Ahlback Literary Agency. Julia Bogen has started on May 2nd , and she is currently selling rights to Hungary, Estonia and other Baltic territories, Southeast Europe, as well as Greece, Israel, Turkey, the Arabic world, and Southeast Asia. Please join us in welcoming Julia to our team!
You can contact her at julia.bogen@ahlbackagency.com.

With the ultimate goal to be a bridge between cultures, Julia began her career in publishing by interning in foreign rights and then spending the next several years as an associate book scout working for publishing houses around the world. Julia majored in linguistics, along with East Asian languages and cultures while minoring in French at Indiana University and Tokyo’s Temple University. She fell in love with Finland years ago, starting with an interest in Sami culture. As an agent with Elina Ahlback Literary Agency, she is excited to help share the birthplace of sisu, Moomins, and extreme personal space with the rest of the world.

Furthermore, we are very happy to announce excellent collaboration with three new Co-Agencies:

In North America, we have appointed Agent Hannah Brattesani at the Friedrich Agency as our co-agent in North America for our Agency’s selected, bestselling, and award-winning Finnish titles.  Join us in welcoming Hannah to our team! You can contact her at hbrattesani@friedrichagency.com.

“I am delighted to be representing Elina Ahlback Literary Agency’s titles in North America. At the Friedrich Agency, we have built a reputation for nurturing literary careers through our dedicated, hands-on approach to agenting. We found kin in EALA –also, coincidentally, a team of five – whose status as one of the Nordic’s leading agencies has been built over a decade of that same dedication to their authors. Elina decided to establish EALA on a visit to Manhattan, wanting to encourage international exchange between Finland and the rest of the world. It gives me immense pleasure to be carrying the EALA mantle in the city of its conception, and to support Elina’s mission to further internationalize great Nordic literature.” – Hannah Brattesani, The Friedrich Agency

In France, we have appointed Marotte et Compagnie, Agence littéraire, Agent Corinne Marotte et Agent Hanna Thorén as our co-agents in France and French-speaking territories for our Agency’s selected, bestselling, and award-winning Finnish titles.  Join us in welcoming Corinne et Hanna to our team! You can contact them at corinne@marotteetcompagnie.ag and hanna@marotteetcompagnie.ag

In Spain, we have appointed IMC Agència Litèraria, Anna Ascolies and Isabel Martí Castro, as our co-agents in World Spanish languages (Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician) and Portuguese language in the territory of the World for our Agency’s selected, bestselling, and award-winning Finnish titles. Join us in welcoming Anna and Isabel to our team! You can contact IMC Agència Litèraria at anna@iemece.com

Thank You, Elsa!  We express our warmest thanks to Literary Agent Elsa Lindström for her great work at the Ahlback Agency over two and a half years, as she is leaving at the end of May for new adventures. Join us in wishing Elsa all the very best in the future.

Literary Agent Sten-Erik Tammemäe is on parental leave until January 7th, 2025.

Sales Lead, Literary Agent Anna Kappauf is currently selling rights to Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland as well as to Germany, Netherlands, and Nordic Countries.

CEO, Literary Agent Elina Ahlbäck is currently selling rights to the UK and Italy and is responsible for Agency’s Film & TV rights. Elina will be the main contact for our excellent new Co-Agencies in North America, France and Spain, as well as for our existing excellent Co-Agencies in Asia: Grayhawk Agency, Tuttle-Mori Agency and Danny Hong Agency.