Interview with Tuulia Saaritsa

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in several apartments around the capital city, never on the wealthy side, but never destitute either. My favorite place in the world was the summer cottage owned collectively by my mother's side of the family, an idyllic nook by a lake, surrounded by forest. I remember my uncle telling me about the Näkki, a lake monster that drowns little children, and my grandfather insisting that an elf lived under the bed. Apart from that, my upbringing was quite prosaic, and I had to go seek out my own Anne Rice and 20-sided dice. I think if a person has an affinity to fantasy, they'll end up immersing themselves in fantasy wherever they were born.
When did you first start writing?
The first time I wrote down a story, it was for school, and I hadn't quite mastered the art of putting gaps between words yet. I still wrote three times the length of the assignment. I only remember that it starred a fox.

Most children write stories before they know their ABC - that's what playtime is all about. You never really start making up stories, because you've done it all along. At most you can stop.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I never have any trouble getting out of bed! I can start feeling stymied about the time I have my trousers on, just because there's so much to do that I don't know where to start.

I know, you hate me a little now, don't you? There are morning people and night people. Neither is better than the other, though the world is arranged to favor the former.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading.

Okay, and some Candy Crush. Occasionally I even talk to another human being.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I've sold my soul to Kindle, but I have a Kobo account and Calibre, an e-book reader for desktops. I use Calibre a lot, because it allows your to organize and search your downloaded ePubs - my favorite format if not reading on Kindle - and other text files. Kindle's big downfall is that only the iPad app supports uploaded documents. You're pretty much stuck with just Kindle content.

I find e-books on Amazon and Kobo, but also through various indie sellers. I subscribe to the Crossed Genres magazine, for example, which leads me to authors, who lead me to their publishers. The diversity of stories on offer is mind-boggling. I love it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. If you think you've seen the film and that's enough, you're wrong. The book is amazing.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I understand if you feel a little weary of the subject due to extensive pop culture exposure, but like The Count of Monte Cristo, this is an early love for me and one I'll never forget. Reading Sam facing Shelob is the most immersed I've ever been in a book.

The Devil's Mixtape by Mary Borsellino. I'm so grateful that I found this indie book. It's a defiant story - horror from the point of view of the monsters. It's about forgiveness at a massive scale, and about fixation on the horrific. It's the kind of horror I would love to be able to write.

Picking a short story collection might be cheating, but I have to mention Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things. I'm not trying to be like him, as a writer, but I am awestruck by the craftmanship and emotional impact of his short stories.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. It combines my love of Victorian novels, my love of fantasy, and my love of footnotes. It's ridiculous and knows it, a painstaking and intentionally anachronistic alternative history. I love it!
Published 2014-09-30.
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Books by This Author

Me and Susannah
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,520. Language: American English. Published: September 30, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Elly's girlfriend lives inside her head. That doesn't mean she isn't real. This 2400+ short story was first published by Crossed Genres in their #12 issue of 2009.