1) Tell us about yourself.
I live in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. I’m a pre-school teacher by profession but I stayed at home when my youngest daughter suffered brain fever, which developed severe epilepsy in 2004. I’m a workaholic Teen/Young Adult author, who loves dark fantasy, teen movies, chips and candies and warm sunny days. I’m also very keen on charity work and a big part of my royalties go to the charity; mainly to help families with epileptic children but also to the epilepsy units in the hospitals. Oh, and I’m also a part of the group that creates Epilepsy Finland magazine and Authors For Charity, a union of authors who write short stories for charity. All profits go to the ones in need.
2) What do you do when you are not writing? Day job?
Well, if you ask from the members of my family I’m always writing…Luckily I can write fulltime as I’m taking care of my disabled daughter at home, but when I’m not with her or writing I’m out with my dogs or at the gym with my other daughter.
3) How did you choose the genre you write in?
I think the genre chose me. I’ve always loved everything paranormal so if you add couple of hunks, fangs, dark wings etc. in it how can I not write about them?!
4) When did you start writing?
The second I knew what to do with a pen. I’ve always wanted to write…diary, comics, letters, short stories, series…anything goes.
5) Biggest influences as a reader/writer?
I think it’s impossible to name just one but if you mix Stephen King, Nora Roberts, L.J. Smith, J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Pratchett I think we’re getting close.
6) Is anything in your writing based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? Where do your ideas come from?
My Shape Shifter series is partly based on real life. It tells about epilepsy in its hardest form and what it can do to you. All though, I haven’t seen any epileptic changed into a wolf lately.
My ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes it’s a half-heard word, a person, movie, a rock…that triggers the inspiration in me. Sometimes I imagine a character in my mind and write the story around him/her. Really, it doesn’t need much to get me inspired!
7) Planner or Panster?
Both. Sometimes I plan the story inside my head and write it down when it’s almost ready sometimes I just go with the flow and let the story develop on its way.
8) What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Good question. Toughest criticism has been when someone said that I should stick to my native language and stop writing in English as she thought I wasn’t very good at it.
Definitely the best compliment was when someone nominated my upcoming book, LUCAS, to the most waited book in 2013 in US.
9) Tell us about your book (s). Favorite thing? Hardest issue to overcome?
The books in my Shape Shifter series, IMMINENCE, SEDUCTION, are way more serious than my other books. I’ve poured my soul and pain in them and I hope I’ve managed to raise the epilepsy awareness of the readers. The tempo is much slower than with the other series but what I love the most is that readers of all age and gender have found them and grown to love the characters as much as I do. The hardest issue was that this series being my first there are issues I need to re-edit. Something I didn’t know how to put down on words before but I do now. But the tricky part is that I’ve sold thousands of copies of this series, and I don’t know what the readers will think if I touch the plot now… By the way, all the facts about epilepsy and wolves are true in this series.
CLUB NUMBER FIVE, the first book in Immortal Blood series is fun, a bit sassy and quite easy to read. The story of this series bugged me for so long that I had no other option, but to write it down. I once said I’d never write a vampire story but well, here I am, happy as a little squirrel with my little vampires.
BLACK DIAMOND, McLean Twins series, is a story I knew I absolutely had to write the second I saw pictures from Burford, England. The place basically screamed for a sassy little witches, long lost spells and a demon that needed to be freed. The easiest part with this book was the plot line. The hardest was to getting to know the witchy side of me by creating spells and learning the history of witches and witchcraft.
10) Advice for aspiring writers?
Never, ever give up! If you’re willing to work hard (and I mean really hard) the success will come. Just wait and see.
11) Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Huge thanks for your support! Every time I think of quitting I receive an email saying how much someone loved my book, can’t wait for the sequel or wants to know more about epilepsy. You mean the world to me and I couldn’t do this without you.
Links to the novel (s) that you would like to showcase: