AUTHORS’ AUGUST ends on a high note: watch Maria Turtschaninoff describe the ideas behind her bestselling YA Fantasy novels

Authors’ August ends on a high note!

Watch how bestselling YA Fantasy author Maria Turtschaninoff describes becoming a writer and the ideas behind the worlds she has created.

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency has produced in collaboration with Kintsugi Agency five cinematic Author Videos.
In Authors’ August,
 we are extremely proud to launch these unique author videos one by one.

In previous weeks we have launched Laura LindstedtMax SeeckSalla Simukka and A.M. Ollikainen and this week we are happy to end the Authors’ August on a high note with Maria Turtschaninoff!

See all 5 videos here.

Maria Turtschaninoff: “I crawled into every wardrobe I could find and I was very disappointed that none of them ever lead to Narnia”

We thank the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture for their financial support of the video project.

Red Abbey Chronicles by Maria Turtschaninoff

MARESI
The Red Abbey is a refuge for women and girls, where everyone pursues their own areas of interest. Maresi prefers to spend her time reading and learning. Everything changes when the frightened Jai arrives on the island. She has seen her sister get buried alive for speaking to a young man, and her father and a crew of thugs are after her. Maresi and her friends have to fight to defend both Jai and their community.

NAONDEL
An independent prequel to Maresi, Naondel tells the story of the First Sisters – founders of the Red Abbey. Imprisoned in a harem by a dangerous man, with a dark magic that grants him power over life and death, the women must overcome their mistrust of each other in order to escape. But they can only do so at a great cost, both for those who leave and those left behind.

MARESI: RED MANTLE
The third book is an epistolary novel that follows Maresi after she leaves the Red Abbey to establish a school in her oppressed home province of Rovas. The return to her Northern home, and fitting in, is not easy even with all the knowledge she’s bringing with her, but she is determined to triumph over the difficulties. However, she does not need to make it alone, for life has yet another surprise in store: love.

Download full English pdfs for the series here

Praise for the series:
“Maresi stands out for its startling originality, and for the frightening plausibility of the dangerous world it creates” – Rebecca Hawkes, Telegraph

“It’s rare to find a YA fantasy with such polished writing… Utterly satisfying and completely different” – Booklist, starred review

“Dark, powerful and original… it really stands out in a very crowded YA marketplace. Thrilling, suspenseful and gloriously feminist” – The Bookseller

“It’s hard not to be impressed with Turtschaninoff’s magical world”
– The Times

”The novel is at once contemporary and timeless. Its unwavering feminism is resolutely modern, resonating with a range of texts from Ursula Le Guin’s 2001 Tales from Earthsea to Disney’s Frozen. At the same time, it feels authentically ancient and mythic.”
– The Guardian

”The first book in a very unusual fantasy/fairytale trilogy, bristling with feminism, inner darkness and intellectual questions”
– The Daily Mail

RED ABBEY CHRONICLES

#1 Maresi, Schildts & Söderströms 2014 180pp
#2 Naondel, Förlaget , 2016, 400pp
#3 Breven från Maresi, Förlaget, 2018, 300pp

Rights sold or the series:

Original publisher: FINLAND, (Book 1)
Original publisher: FINLAND, Förlaget (Books 2-3)

ALBANIA: Dritan (Book 1-2)
AZERBAIJAN: Alatoran (Book 1-2)
BELGIUM, Clavis (Book 1-2)
BRAZIL, Morro Branco (Books 1-3)
BULGARIA, Izida (Books 1-3)
CANADA (French), Editions de la Bagnole (Book 1)
CHINA (Simplified), Shanghai 99 (Books 1-3)
CROATIA, Naklada ljevak (Book 1)
DENMARK, Turbine (Book 1)
ESTONIA, Varrak (Book 1-2)
FINLAND, Tammi (Books 1-2)
FRANCE, Rageot (Books 1-2)
GERMANY, Random House/Heyne (Book 1)
HUNGARY, Scolar (Books 1-3)
ITALY, Atmosphere Libri (Books 1-3)
LATVIA, Petergailis (Book 1-2)
LITHUANIA: Aukso Pieva (Book 1)
NETHERLANDS, Clavis (Book 1-2)
NORWAY, Gursli Berg Forlag (Books 1-3)
POLAND, Wydawnictwo Debit (Books 1-3)
ROMANIA, Univers (Books 1-2)
WORLD SPANISH, Penguin Random House/Alfaguara (Book 1)
SWEDEN, Berghs (Books 1-2)
TURKEY, Altın Kitaplar (Book 1)
UNITED KINGDOM, Pushkin Press (Books 1-3)
UNITED STATES, Abrams (Books 1-3)

FILM & TV Rights: The Bureau/Film4

Maria Turtschaninoff


Maria Turtschaninoff is known for crafting lyrical, historically inspired fantasy stories starring strong female protagonists. In addition to J.R.R. Tolkien, she counts Philip Pullman, Ursula K. Le Guin and C.S. Lewis among her favorite authors. She is a two-time winner of the Society of Swedish Literature Prize, a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and winner of the 2014 Finlandia Junior Prize. Maria has a Master of Arts in human ecology and works full-time as a writer.

Bibliography


Maria Turtschaninoff

Maresi: Red Mantle

2018, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Maria Turtschaninoff

Naondel

2016, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Maria Turtschaninoff

Maresi

2014, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Related news

AUTHORS’ AUGUST: How did the new Nordic Noir power couple Aki and Milla Ollikainen start to write together?

Authors’ August continues!

How did the new Nordic Noir power couple Aki and Milla Ollikainen start to write together and which are the challenges in writing as a married couple?

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency has produced in collaboration with Kintsugi Agency five cinematic Author Videos.
In Authors’ August,
 we are extremely proud to launch these unique author videos one by one.In previous weeks we have launched Laura LindstedtMax Seeck and Salla Simukka and this week we are happy to present A.M. Ollikainen!

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE:

A.M. Ollikainen “I’m not very fond of cruel crime fiction”

We thank the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture for their financial support of the video project.


“Finland is the new Mecca of crime fiction. Do you need proof? Just read the first novel by A.M. Ollikainen. I couldn’t imagine a better start for a series. CARGO is outstanding.”

This is what the publishing director of German Bastei Lübbe – Marco Schneiders –  said about CARGO and its authors Aki and Milla Ollikainen.

The Paula Pihlaja series has already sold to 14 countries worldwide and the second title SWING will be published in Finland in Spring 2022.

 

CARGO
by A.M. Ollikainen

#1 Paula Pihlaja series

The first installment in a fast-paced and addictive series.

A cargo container is found in Helsinki with a dead body inside.The property where the container is discovered, belongs to one of the most notorious businessmen in Finland. As Police Commissioner Paula Pihlaja begins to investigate the case, traces lead back to the businessman’s family, revealing decades of suspicious business ventures in Namibia.

Meanwhile, Paula’s own personal life is shaken by old memories that are now surfacing following recent events.When she was younger, she had to give her baby up for adoption. The boy, her son, is now in his twenties and facing a murder charge. Not only is Paula tormented by her own guilt about the adoption, she is also worried about what will become of her son.

Download English materials for the series here


SWING
by A.M. Ollikainen

#2 Paula Pihlaja series

A famous mountain climber is found hanging above a seesaw in a playground. The other end of the seesaw bears a sandbag that has spilled its contents.

Paula Pihlaja has barely had time to start the investigation when another body turns up – at another playground, hanging above a seesaw in the same way. A serial killer is on the loose, but his or her victims seem to have nothing in common.

In the first novel of the series, Paula develops strange symptoms. In this second instalment of the series, Paula is forced to hide her escalating symptoms from her colleagues, trying to avoid police fitness tests. At the same time, she continues investigating the life of her son, whom she gave up for adoption when he was a baby, in order to understand why he ended up a criminal, and eventually in prison for manslaughter. The drama intensifies when Paula finally shares her secret with her son about the slowly advancing ALS.

Download English materials for the series here

A.M. Ollikainen


A. M. Ollikainen is a pseudonym for a husband-and-wife author duo Aki and Milla Ollikainen. Aki Ollikainen has published three novels and won the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize in 2012. He has also been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and Prix Femina in 2016. Milla Ollikainen has published three crime novels and won Like Publishing and the Finnish Detective Society’s Crime novel writing competition in 2012. Cargo is their first novel together and the Winner of a National Crime Novel Competition. The couple lives in Lohja with their two children.

Bibliography


A. M. Ollikainen

Swing

2022, Crime & Suspense


A. M. Ollikainen

Cargo

2021, Crime & Suspense

Related news

Authors’ August continues! How did one of the bestselling Finnish authors of all time – Salla Simukka – start writing and why did she choose Young Adult as her genre?

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency has produced in collaboration with Kintsugi Agency five cinematic Author Videos.
In Authors’ August,
 we are extremely proud to launch these unique author videos one by one.In previous weeks we have launched Laura Lindstedt and Max Seeck and this week we are happy to present Salla Simukka!WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE:

Salla Simukka: “Books can be someone you can talk to when growing up”

We thank the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture for their financial support of the video project.


The most recent YA title by Salla Simukka is IN THE DARK I CAN BE YOURS, which talks about a relationship between two girls in one summer and about setting yourself free from prejudice.

Salla Simukka is most known for her SNOW WHITE TRILOGY that was sold to 52 countries with a major FILM/TV project in the works.


IN THE DARK I CAN BE YOURS 
by Salla Simukka

If your love can only be a secret, will it last?

Salla Simukka is Finland’s most internationally bestselling author with the Snow White Trilogy (sold in 52 countries)

Varpu and Saga are two sixteen-year-old girls that are forced to stay in their hometown for the summer. After just one drunken kiss, prejudice and identity are shattered and it’s revealed how behind the facade, everyone hurts and loves the same.

In The Dark I Can be Yours is a touching and beautiful title about great emotions in the summer. The authentic characters are supported by Simukka’s light and airy narrative.  Each side of the book tells one girl’s story, which effortlessly melts together into a summer of love, insecurities, and exploration of two young people.

Download the full English pdf here


SNOW WHITE TRILOGY
by Salla Simukka

#1 As Red as Blood
(Tammi, 2013)

It’s the coldest winter in decades: the streets of Tampere are frozen and white with snow. And nothing is as red against white snow as blood…
17-year-old Lumikki Andersson goes to a high school of performing arts. She has made it a rule to stay out of things that do not involve her. However, the rule is put to the test on leap day when she finds washed five hundred euro notes hung to dry in her school’s darkroom. Soon Lumikki finds herself caught in a tangled web of international drug trafficking.

#2 As White as Snow
(Tammi, 2013)

Lumikki Andersson is backpacking in Prague, where the weather is scorching hot. A girl approaches her in a small café and claims to be her stepsister. Lumikki’s parents seem to be hiding a secret concerning the family’s past, so the girl’s claim rouses Lumikki’s interest. Despite her erratic behaviour, the girl manages to persuade Lumikki to join a religious community. But the religion of the cult is not pure; and innocence is not as white as snow…

#3 As Black as Ebony
(Tammi, 2014)

Lumikki Andersson is set to play the leading role in a modern-day version of Snow White at her high school. As opening night approaches, Lumikki starts receiving notes from a secret admirer whose infatuation soon turns out to be a dangerous obsession. The admirer threatens to turn the premiere into a bloodbath unless Lumikki consents to his demands. Time is running out, the opening night is just around the corner and Lumikki has to find a way to outwit the stalker with a soul as black as ebony.

Download the English editions for the series here

 


Salla Simukka is the author of the international success story Snow White Trilogy: rights are sold in 52 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.

Previously Simukka has written book reviews for the newspapers, translated all kinds of texts into Finnish, worked an editor at a literary magazine and as a screenwriter for a popular TV show for young audiences. These days she writes books for young adults and children, and travels the world talking about them.

Snow White Trilogy
by Salla Simukka

Rights sold:

FINLAND, Tammi (Original publisher)
ALBANIA, Botime B-Books
ARAB WORLD, Arab Scientific
ARGENTINA, Nuevo Extremo
AZERBAIJAN, Qanun
BELGIUM, Clavis
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA, BTC Sahinpasic
BRAZIL, Novo Conceito
BULGARIA, Egmont
CANADA (French), Hachette Livre
CATALAN, La Galera
CHINA, Modern Press
CROATIA, Znanje
CZECH REPUBLIC, Egmont
DENMARK, Gyldendal
ESTONIA, Pegasus
FAROE ISLANDS, Bókadeildin
FRANCE, Hachette Livre
GEORGIA, Bakur Sulakauri
GERMANY, Arena
GREECE, Metaixmio
HUNGARY, Athenaeum
ICELAND, Forlagid
INDONESIA, Gramedia/Bhuana Ilmu Populer
ISRAEL, Yedioth
ITALY, Mondadori
JAPAN, Nishimura
KOREA, Gimm Young
LATVIA, Zvaigzne
LITHUANIA, Alma Littera
MACEDONIA, Bata Press
MALAYSIA, Buku Fixi
MONTENEGRO, BTC Sahinpasic
NETHERLANDS, Clavis
NORWAY, Gyldendal
POLAND, Foksal/WAB
PORTUGAL, Presença
ROMANIA, Trei
RUSSIA, Eksmo
SERBIA, Vulkan
SLOVAKIA, Verbarium
SLOVENIA, Mladinska
SPAIN, La Galera
SWEDEN, Rabén & Sjögren
TAIWAN, Emily Publishing
THAILAND, Nanmee Books
TURKEY, Altin Kitaplar
UNITED KINGDOM & COMMONWEALTH, Hot Key Books
UNITED STATES & CANADA, Crown Books for Young Readers
VIETNAM, Alpha Books

Salla Simukka


Salla Simukka is the author of the international success story The Snow White Trilogy: rights are sold in 52 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.

Previously Simukka has written book reviews for the newspapers, translated all kinds of texts into Finnish, worked an editor at a literary magazine and as a screenwriter for a popular TV show for young audiences. These days she writes books for young adults and children, and travels the world talking about them.

Bibliography


Salla Simukka

In the Dark I Can Be Yours

2021, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Salla Simukka

Detained

2020, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Salla Simukka

Turn off the Lights! Turn on the Lights!

2018, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Salla Simukka

Sisterland

2016, Middle Grade (8-12 Years)


Salla Simukka

As Black as Ebony

2014, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Salla Simukka

As Red as Blood

2013, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Salla Simukka

As White as Snow

2013, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Salla Simukka

Elsewhere

2012, Young Adult (13 or 14+)


Salla Simukka

Without a trace

2012, Young Adult (13 or 14+)

Related news

AUTHORS’ AUGUST: How did NYT bestselling Max Seeck start as a writer? Watch the video!

Authors’ August continues!
How did a New York Times Bestselling Author find his way to writing?

Watch Max Seeck describing the road to becoming an NYT and Spiegel bestselling author!

 

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency has produced in collaboration with Kintsugi Agency five cinematic Author Videos.
In Authors’ August,
 we are extremely proud to launch these unique author videos one by one

Last week we launched Laura Lindstedt’s video (which you can watch here) and this week we are happy to present New York Times Bestselling Author Max Seeck!

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE:

“Max Seeck: I have always wanted to be a storyteller”

We thank the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture for their financial support on the video project.

THE WITCH HUNTER, Book 1 in the Jessica Niemi series, has topped the bestseller lists in Denmark, Norway and Sweden and is already a New York Times and Spiegel Bestseller. Max Seeck’s WITCH HUNTER aka FAITHFUL READER has sold already 50.000 copies solely in Finland!

THE WITCH HUNTER, Book 1

The rights have been sold in 40 countries and a TV show is in development in Hollywood by Stampede Ventures’ Greg Silverman.

The rights are still available in Ukraine, Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Georgia etc.

Download the full English ms for THE WITCH HUNTER here.

Praise

The Witch Hunter, translated with icy precision by Kristian London, is written in short, sharp, present-tense chapters, a technique which adds to its relentless tension. Flashbacks to earlier episodes in Jessica’s life suggest that the strangeness currently unfolding is tied to her personal history. Discovering the how and why of it brings a resolution as bleak as anything Poe might have conjured.”–Wall Street Journal

THE ICE COVEN, Book 2

will be published in the US and UK in September 2021 and rights have been sold to 24 territories around the world, the rights are still available in Russia, Lithuania, Turkey, Italy, Iceland, Korea, Spain, Croatia etc. 

Download the full English ms for THE ICE COVEN here.

BAD BLOOD, Book 3

The book will be published first in September 2021 by Tammi in Finland and has been acquired by publishers in the US, UK, Norway, Germany, Denmark and Estonia.

The full Finnish ms is now available!

Download the short English synopsis for BAD BLOOD here.

 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR MAX SEECK

“Another star has been added to the firmament of thriller writers,” announced Iltalehti newspaper, when Max’s debut novel was published in 2016. Four years and four books later, Max Seeck’s novels have been sold to more than 40 countries, including US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries and as far as Korea!

His debut trilogy following protagonist Daniel Kuisma sold over 40,000 copies in Finland. His new Jessica Niemi series landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list! In The Witch Hunter, book 1 of the Jessica Niemi series, Helsinki Police Detective Jessica Niemi hunts an occultist serial killer. In The Ice Coven, Jessica and her team follow clues hidden on Instagram to solve the disappearance of a young influencer and a manga artist. He is currently writing the 3rd book of Jessica Niemi series.

Max Seeck devotes his time to writing professionally. An avid reader of Nordic noir for personal pleasure, he listens to film scores as he writes. His accolades include the Finnish Whodunit Society’s Debut Thriller of the Year Award 2016. Max Seeck has a background in sales and marketing and loves to promote his works, and is fluent in English and German.

Max Seeck, New York Times Best Selling Author


Max Seeck - New York Times Bestselling Author of THE WITCH HUNTER.

“Another star has been added to the firmament of thriller writers,” announced Iltalehti newspaper, when Max’s debut novel was published in 2016. Four years and four books later, Max Seeck’s novels have been sold to more than 40 countries, including US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Nordic countries and as far as Korea!

His debut trilogy following protagonist Daniel Kuisma sold over 40,000 copies in Finland. His new Jessica Niemi series landed him on the New York Times Bestseller list! In Faithful Reader, AKA The Witch Hunter (US title), book 1 of the Jessica Niemi series, Helsinki Police Detective Jessica Niemi hunts an occultist serial killer. In Evil’s Net, AKA Ice Coven, Jessica and her team follow clues hidden on Instagram to solve the disappearance of a young influencer and a manga artist.

Max Seeck is currently finalizing the third book of the Jessica Niemi series, which is to be published in Finland in September 2021.

Max Seeck has a background in sales and marketing, and has lately been able to dedicate his time to his lifelong love of writing. His interests include well-conducted research, reading Nordic Noir and listening to movie soundtracks as he writes.

Bibliography


Max Seeck

Bad Blood

2021, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

The Ice Coven (a.k.a. Evil's Net)

2020, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

The Witch Hunter (a.k.a. Faithful Reader)

2019, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

The Mephisto Touch

2018, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

The Call of Hades

2018, Crime & Suspense


Max Seeck

Angels of Hammurabi

2016, Crime & Suspense

Related news

AUTHORS’ AUGUST: Enter the writing space of our bestselling authors!

AUTHORS’ AUGUST: Enter the writing space of our bestselling authors!

Welcome behind the scenes to hear and feel how our talented best-selling & award-winning authors connect with their creative side and how and why their thoughts and words become art that compels readers around the world.

Elina Ahlback Literary Agency has produced five cinematic Author Videos in collaboration with Kintsugi Agency.

In Authors’ August, we are extremely proud to launch these unique author videos one by one, starting today with Finlandia-winner Laura Lindstedt revealing how she became a writer and how her latest novel MY FRIEND NATALIA came to her.

Ready for the tour?

First Video: Wednesday, 4th of August. Laura Lindstedt: “Writing is not an abstract thing at all, it’s very physical”.

Four mystery authors coming soon:

  • Wednesday, 11th of August

  • Wednesday, 18th of August

  • Wednesday, 25th of August

  • Tuesday, 31th of August

Thank you, our award-winning and bestselling EALA Authors!

We also thank The Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland for their financial support on this project.

Wishing you wonderful moments!

EALA Team, Elina, Toomas, Ebba and Linda.

An Evening with Laura Lindstedt, the “Rock Star” of Finnish Literature

An Evening with Laura Lindstedt, the “Rock Star” of Finnish Literature

We are really happy to invite you to join us for an evening with Finlandia-winning author Laura Lindstedt, the “Rock Star” of Finnish Literature, discussing her globally-acclaimed new novel MY FRIEND NATALIA with critic and writer Bethanne Patrick.

Register here for the virtual event in Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-laura-lindstedt-the-rock-star-of-finnish-literature-tickets-153531907067?aff=ebdssbeac

                                                                                                   

Laura Lindstedt


Laura Lindstedt (b. 1976) became a critical darling with her adoption-themed debut novel Scissors (Sakset, Teos 2007), which earned her a nomination for the Finlandia Prize, the country’s most prestigious literary honour. She is currently revising her Ph.D. thesis on French author Nathalie Sarraute. Lindstedt’s second novel Oneiron (Teos 2015) is a work of speculative fiction that takes place in the mysterious moments that follow one’s death. Oneiron has continued Lindstedt’s critical success, earning her the coveted 2015 Finlandia Prize. Lindstedt’s latest novel My Friend Natalia has been a critical success and the rights have been sold to 12 territories.

Bibliography


Laura Lindstedt

My Friend Natalia

2019, Literary Fiction


Laura Lindstedt

Oneiron

2015, Literary Fiction


Laura Lindstedt

Scissors

2007, Literary Fiction

Related news

Celebrate the summer with LITTLE MOUSE! Read the interview with the author and illustrator Riikka Jäntti!

Little Mouse is a picture book series for ages 2+ that has already six wonderful titles!

Little Mouse – as many children its age – has strong opinions and a busy schedule of his own that a single mother Mummy Mouse has to come to terms with.

This is a wonderful picture book series that has this year sold already to 12 territories – from France to Nepal, From Russia to Australia!

The rights are still available in Germany, Sweden, the US, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland etc.


Click here to ask for full English pdf’s for LITTLE MOUSE series.


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR RIIKKA JÄNTTI!

The author and illustrator of the series – Riikka Jäntti – was recently interviewed by a publisher Dea Oidekivi, from the Estonian LITTLE MOUSE publisher Rahva Raamat.

LITTLE MOUSE series is a hit in Estonia. Read the lovely interview below:

By the end of last month Rahva Raamat Publishing House in Estonia published a new edition of Riikka Jäntti’s Little Mouse adventures in Estonia, VÄIKE HIIR SÕIDAB MAALE.
It received a warm welcome from Estonian readers and that sparked some interest about the work process and the characters. Fortunately, the author was so kind to explain us the inspiring process.
Dea Oidekivi (Rahva Raamat): First of all, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you please explain to our young readers how you became an illustrator? Is it something that you always wanted to do? Did you have any influences when you were still a child?Riikka Jäntti: I have been drawing and painting since I was born. My parents put a pencil in my hand when I was a baby, and when I was a child I spent a lot of time drawing, and then when I learned to write, writing. I have always loved books, so I guess I had this secret hope to get to do something with books when I grow up.
When there was a question of what to study after school, the art school was a natural choice. I don’t know if I ever really decided to become an illustrator, it’s more like something that just happened.

DO: It’s quite common to use animals in children’s’ books. Still, not all the authors master the simple yet captivating plot interesting both for children and grown-ups. How did the idea of a little mouse come into your mind?

RJ: Little Mouse came into my mind when my own daughter was about three years old. I had done some illustrations for a book, where there had been some nice little mouse-characters. I liked drawing mouses, so I first did some small cartoons about my daughter as a mouse. Then I thought of a book. I showed the first sketches to the publisher and they loved it! My father then said that I should keep the stories as truthful as I could, and be as honest as I can. No fairy tales, there is real life, he said. I did my best.

DO: There are six books altogether, two of them published in Estonia already. Was it your original plan to create a bestselling series or is it something that just happened?

RJ: There are now six books, and number seven is in the making. My publisher was so happy with the first book, that they asked me to make another one, and then again another one, and so on. I promised them that I will try making them as long as there are good ideas to work with. My daughter is now nine years old already, so she is no longer a little mouse, but she is still a great inspiration.

DO: The characters of the mouse books are all very relatable for children. It’s very graciously done and we believe the series is very relatable for many parents as well. Some of our young readers have asked why is there only a Mommy Mouse and where is Daddy Mouse? Is the single-parent household in the book something you planned from the start?

RJ: Being a single mother myself, that was a natural choice. The stories and ideas are all from our own everyday life, and I like to keep things in the books so close to reality as I can. Of course, there can be a little humor and fantasy too. To the readers: Yes, there is a Daddy Mouse, but he lives far away at the other side of town and doesn’t have a part in the stories. The journey to the cabin to pick berries was a real event, and yes, there was an outdoor toilet.

DO: It sometimes happens that foreign publishers want to make some adjustments for their target audience. Even I, for an example, requested to change the font on behalf of Estonian readers (thank you for granting it, it’s a hit!)  Little Mouse series has been sold to many different countries. What kind of changes have other publishers asked for?

RJ: Well, the first and probably the most important adjustment was, when the books were first sold to England, that they had to decide the gender of Little Mouse. Was it ’he’ or ’she’. Because in the Finnish language, there is no difference, it could be either. I never had really thought of which one is it, boy or girl. I think at first I thought of a girl because I have a daughter myself. But then we decided that in the English version it will be ’he’.

DO: And just to keep the questions short – we would like to know, which of the 6 books is your favorite?

RJ: The latest work is usually closest to my heart, so at the moment my favorite is book number six, Little Mouse’s Summer. I’m gradually getting more and more into book seven, but it’s still in progress.

The interview was conducted by Dea Oidekivi (Publisher, Rahva Raamat).
Publishers kindly thank the author for her time and interesting answers. They eagerly wait to publish all the additional books and wish the LITTLE MOUSE to conquer the world. 🙂

Rights sold for the series:

FINLAND: Tammi (orig.)

AUSTRALIA:
Scribble/Scribe
CHINA: 
Beijing Yuntu Tech
DENMARK:
ABC Forlag
ESTONIA: 
Rahva Raamat
FRANCE:
Carbourakis
NEPAL:
Kathalaya
NEW ZEALAND:
Scribble/Scribe
PORTUGAL:
Harper Collins Iberica
RUSSIA:
Lenizdat
SPAIN (Spanish):
Harper Collins Iberica
SPAIN (Catalan):
Harper Collins Iberica
UK: Scribble/Scribe

Riikka Jäntti


Riikka Jäntti, a 2003 graduate of University of Industrial Art of Helsinki, now part of Aalto University, is a Helsinki-based illustrator and author who has created art for both nonfiction and fairy tale books for children. Her first children’s book was published in 2005. Jäntti is best known for the adorable Little Mouse series that has publishers in 16 territories, including Australia, Nepal, and China!

In her illustrations, she uses pen and ink as well as watercolor and gouache. In 2009 Jäntti won the first-ever Tieto-Lauri, an award for children’s and juvenile non-fiction, for her illustrations in Viidakkotanssi (Jungle Dance). The book was written by Markku Löytönen about the explorer Rafael Karsten in Ecuador.

Bibliography


Riikka Jäntti

Little Mouse Goes Camping

2021, Picture Books (0-3 Years)


Riikka Jäntti

Little Mouse's Summer

2020, Picture Books (0-3 Years)


Riikka Jäntti

Little Mouse's Winter

2019, Picture Books (0-3 Years)


Riikka Jäntti

Little Mouse's Holiday

2018, Picture Books (0-3 Years)


Riikka Jäntti

Little Mouse's Christmas

2017, Picture Books (0-3 Years)


Riikka Jäntti

Little Mouse Helps Out

2016, Picture Books (0-3 Years)


Riikka Jäntti

Little Mouse

2015, Picture Books (0-3 Years)

Related news

The horror writer who scares himself: interview with Marko Hautala

Finland’s most renowned horror writer Marko Hautala once worked at a mental hospital – an experience that continues to inform his writing to this day.

Our author gave an interview to Helsingin Sanomat newspaper, in which he talks about his experience of working in a mental hospital in his youth inspiring his writing, and researching his latest novel, The Whispering Girl. Here is an excerpt of the full piece, which can be found here.

“Hailing from the town of Vaasa, Marko Hautala is Finland’s best known horror writer. He has published seven novels, the latest being The Whispering Girl (Tammi), which was published last autumn.

Hautala weaves together psychological and realistic horror to produce his chilling thrillers. He has a talent for depicting events which the reader can feel in the pit of their stomach. Though they often brush the boundaries, Hautala’s novels do not dive into the depths of the supernatural.

Vaasa
It was four in the morning when Marko Hautala needed to focus on writing, so he put the radio on in the cottage.

He was too scared: it was quiet and dark at the cottage. Hautala was there alone – as was his habit when it came to writing key moments in his novels. The moments in his books when the main character begins to fall apart or their grip on reality dims.

These scenes are best conceived when your own perception of reality dims, that is to say, when you find yourself in a place where you cannot confirm your perception of things with anyone else – you yourself in the middle of the darkness.