We are very happy to announce representation of our wonderful new authors for the fall season and couldn’t be more excited to share their new titles & works below! Welcome to the Ahlback Agency!
LITERARY FICTION: Katja Kettu
CRIME & THRILLERS: Joona Keskitalo, Pauliina Susi, and Kaisu Tuokko
ROMANCE & FEEL-GOOD: Jenni Multisilta
PERSONAL GROWTH & LIFESTYLE: CupOfTherapy authors Antti Ervasti & Matti Pikkujämsä, and Marika Riikonen
CHILDREN’S & YA: Ilona Ahti and Pinja Meretoja
ILLUSTRATORS: Peter Bergting, Pinja Meretoja, Matti Pikkujämsä, Nora Surojegin and Miila Westin
Join us in welcoming our new authors aboard, read more about them and their excellent new titles below and see our Fall 2023 Catalogue here:
View the new Catalogue here!
Katja Kettu is an acclaimed and award-winning writer with a strong, unique voice from Northern Finland. Her debut novel Surujenkerääjä (2005) was nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize and won the Tiiliskivi Prize, but her breakthrough came with The Midwife (orig. Kätilö, 2011), which won the Kalevi Jäntti Prize, the Runeberg Prize and the Thank You for the Book Medal. The rights for the novel have been sold to 19 countries, it has sold more than 160,000 copies in Finland, and in 2015 it was adapted into a film. Her novel Rose on poissa was a Finlandia Prize 2018 nominee. Kettu’s works have been translated into 23 languages.
The Investigations of One Cat (Erään kissan tutkimuksia, Otava, September 2023)
Can one find solace and meaning in life from the past once the future no longer exists? Combining autofiction and elements of magical realism, Katja Kettu’s latest novel also sheds light on the history of the Finnish frontiers.
Photo: Niclas Mäkelä / Otava
The Investigations of One Cat
Jenni Multisilta is a Master of Economics and a writer. Multisilta’s previous works include psychological thrillers, but a love of Christmas has inspired her to write about Christmas romance. In addition to writing, she is a former national-level competitive athlete who teaches aerial acrobatics and pole dancing, as well as yoga. In her free time, Multisilta hangs upside down here and there, for the world looks more interesting from different perspectives.
Arctic Wedding Nightmare (Umpihangessa alttarille, Otava, October 2023)
A dream wedding underneath the northern lights – or a wedding nightmare before Christmas? For readers of Alexandria Bellefleur, Sophie Kinsella and Casey McQuiston!
Photo: Niclas Mäkelä / Otava
Arctic Wedding Nightmare
Romance & Feel-good
Joona Keskitalo was born in Oulu, grew up in Hämeenlinna and now lives with his family in Espoo. His debut novel Tottelemattomat was published in 2021 and is the first title in a crime series with the same name. The series has already captivated readers abroad as well, as the series is being published in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The trilogy has also been optioned as a TV series.
The Outback Series: The Island Torn Apart (Takamailla: Saari, Joka Repesi, Bazar, spring 2024)
New crime series by an author hailed as Finnish Jens Lapidus! The Island Torn Apart kicks off The Outback crime series set in remote Finnish villages. Each part is a unique story with its own set of characters, creating a series of thriller-like visits to the ends of long dirt roads, unleashing the Finnish mental landscape at its most naked and exotic!
Photo: Uupi Tirronen
The Island Torn Apart
Crime & Thrillers
Pauliina Susi is a versatile writer who has authored a number of crime novels and a non-fiction book about private investigators. Her debut novel was nominated for the prestigious Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize and In the Rear Window is the Winner of the Clue of the Year 2016, a recognition of the best crime fiction or detective novel of the year. The readers and critics have been charmed by her Tuulia Raja crime series which combines witty language with complex relationships and intriguing murder mysteries, evoking similarities with the 1980s TV series Moonlighting. While doing research for her novel, Susi has also become a trained private investigator herself!
Private Property (Yksityisalue, Tammi, February 2023)
Pauliina Susi’s Private Property opens the new Tuulia Raja, Private Eye series in which a quick-witted detective capably and cleverly handles the different cases that come her way.
Photo: Milla von Konow/Tammi
Crime & Thrillers
Kaisu Tuokko’s aim is to create a series where interpersonal relationships and the idyll of a small town are mixed with cruel events – using psychological tension to build stories about how badly we know the families or friends of our neighbors, of our loved ones. Everyone has secrets, but some of them are more dangerous than others. Tuokko loves the stories of strangers, secrets of small towns, rainy autumn evenings, and the Swedish language. She lives in Helsinki, and has named her main character after her grandparents.
The Kristinestad Murders #1: Revenge (Kosto, Otava, May 2023)
Perfect for fans of Viveca Sten and Camilla Läckberg, this opening of the new KRISTINESTAD MURDERS crime series follows in the footsteps of strong female crime authors, offering gripping crime plots and interpersonal drama.
Photo: Jonne Räsänen
Crime & Thrillers
Antti Ervasti is a psychotherapist specialising in family, couples and sexual therapy. He also gives lectures and addresses several sexuality related issues such as identity, relationships and well-being in his workshops and lectures.
Matti Pikkujämsä has created illustrations for nearly a dozen children’s books as well as several national magazines and newspapers in Finland. His visual language is defined by clear lines, stylized and expressive characters and bold colours. Among his accolades has been the 2012 Rudolf Koivu Prize, a biennial award given by the Association of Visual Communication Designers in Finland to an outstanding children’s or YA book illustration. Wonky Donkey (Hipinäaasi apinahiisi, Tammi 2013), which Pikkujämsä created together with author Ville Hytönen, was nominated for the prestigious 2013 Finlandia Junior Prize that honours the year’s best children’s book. Wonky Donkey was also named one of 2013′s three most beautiful Finnish children’s books by the Finnish Book Art Committee.
CupOfTherapy series (Otava & Gummerus 2017, 2020, 2021)
Selfcare for the Instagram generation: Books have sold over 75,000 copies and rights sold to 20+ countries!
Internationally bestselling and easily approachable and comforting selfcare with a visual approach – created by an experienced Finnish psychotherapist and an award-winning illustrator – watch a video about the series here!
Photo: Marek Sabogal
CupOfTherapy series: CupOfTherapy Book #1, Book #2: Self-Care Every Day, Book #3: Moments by Myself, Book #4: Earn, Lose & Learn.
Personal Growth & Lifestyle
Marika Riikonen is an author and journalist from Tampere – and also a perennial horse girl and humble servant to a cat. Her literary career started in the early 2000s with speculative fiction short stories and progressed to editing anthologies and writing novels and non-fiction books. Her works include Ravilikat (Karisto 2020), a YA novel about harness racing; Hevostytöt (Art House 2020), a non-fiction title about horse girls; and Lasinen merenneito (Karisto 2021), an adventure novel set in Venice and the borders of reality. Riikonen has also written plays and appeared on stage.
Alone, Yes Please! (Yksin, kiitos, Hertta Kustannus, August 2023)
A hermit, a lonely one, a spinster. Living alone, or even a short period of longing for some alone time seems to be an issue necessary for an immediate fix: the society punishes, relatives jab, politicians admonish, those in a happy relationship push their horrifying friends onto you, and the media just strengthens the stereotypes. What if someone wants to be alone, enjoys their own company?
Photo: Heli Kurimo
Alone, Yes Please!
Personal Growth & Lifestyle
Ilona Ahti is an award-winning tv- and film scriptwriter, who has lived on nearly all continents and currently adventures Tansania together with her family. She’s known especially for being the other writer for the film Girl Picture, which was successful at the Sundance festival and was the Finnish submission for the 95th Academy Awards.
Miila Westin is a Helsinki based illustrator and comic artist. She loves to draw colorful imaginary creatures and characters for books, patterns and wall murals. Radio Popov, a children’s book by Anja Portin she illustrated, won the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2020. She has also written and illustrated a visual narrative about Finnish myths titled Myyttiset, Loputon Talvi.
Stop Secret Mysteries: Stinker the Horrific Sock Monster (Stop Secret. Hikisukka Hirmunen, Tammi, September 2023)
In the opening of this charmingly funny middle-grade series for fans of Roald Dahl, top-secret cases are being solved. Why are there only odd socks in the cabinet, and where have the hairclips and remote controls vanished?
Photo: Tomi Lounio Photo: Reetta Somppi
Stop Secret Mysteries: Stinker the Horrific Sock Monster
Nora Surojegin is an illustrator, children’s author and a graphic designer. She lives in Kirkkonummi, between the sea and the forest, where she creates worlds with images and words, gets inspired by the forest trolls and potters around in her secret garden. In her work she wants to mix the strange with the incredible and create art that makes you stop. Her books have been translated into ten languages. She joins our agency with a brandnew collaboration with EALA author Mila Teräs.
The Vole and the Moon (Myyrä joka katsoi kuuta, Karisto, June 2023)
A charmingly sweet picture book about the beauty of living in the moment, for fans of Leo Lionni’s Frederick.
The Vole and the Mole
Apart from being the co-author and illustrator of the CupOfTherapy books, Matti Pikkujämsä is also the illustrator of the wonderful picture book THE DUCK WHO WAS AFRAID OF EAGLES, written by EALA author Veera Salmi.
The Duck Who Was Afraid of Eagles (Sorsa Aaltonen ja riehuva Rotka, Otava, August 2023)
A picture book about real courage and an Independent sequel to the Nordic Council Award nominated picture book The Duck Who Was Afraid to Fly.
The Duck Who Was Afraid of Eagles
Pinja Meretoja is a Finnish children’s picturebook author and an illustrator, living and working in Helsinki. She draws inspiration from themes of environment, cultural history and equality. Meretoja graduated from Universidad de Palermo (Buenos Aires, Argentina) with a degree in Illustration Designer, and since that she has been working on a field of illustration.
Travels in Time: How the Telephone Became Smart (Aikamatka: kuinka telefoonista tuli älykäs Tammi, 2022)
The smartphone includes a huge amount of functions that are the result of hundreds and thousands of years of progress. How did all these discoveries end up in a child’s pocket? Travels in Time delves into this mystery in a fun but precise way.
Photo: Nina Wilenius
Travels in Time: How the Telephone Became Smart
Peter Bergting’s career began in the late ’80s, providing art for games such as Mutant Chronicles, Dungeons & Dragons and Vampire. In 2006 he released his first comic book for Image Comics, and has illustrated more than 44 comic books. He’s the author and/or artist of more than 50 books, and has provided cover and interior artwork for hunderds of titles. Peter has been nominated for the August award twice, for “Kråkorna”, and “Vi kommer snart hem igen”. In addition, he has won the Adamson statuette. He is a member of The Swedish Academy for Children’s Books.
The Manticore (Mantikoran, Förlaget (orig.), September 2024. Rights sold: Sweden: Rabén & Sjögren, Finland. Tammi)
The Manticore is a middle-grade graphic novel. This supernatural thriller is told from the perspective of an unnamed protagonist who starts suspecting that her stepmother is in fact a Manticore, an ancient monster intending on devouring the protagonist and her baby brother.