Tuulia Saaritsa is a writer and poet fascinated by the fantastical. Her short stories have been published by Crossed Genres and Circlet Press in print and online, as well as for free on her own website. Her latest project is a novella about children underfoot in a world at war with monsters.
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.