I was born in the city of Kuopio, among the lakes of Eastern Finland. My parents and extended family had been severely affected by events of 20th-century history. The Finnish Civil War in 1918 and the Second World War had scarred my relatives, leaving behind heavy silences and words left unsaid.
Surveying that silence became my work. The initial questions concerned those closest to me: what happened to my beloved grandparents? This intellectual curiosity expanded from my personal sphere to encompass first Finnish history, then the history of Europe and finally more generally the fate of the individual in times of crisis.
I studied history at the University of Helsinki, and I now live and work in Helsinki. I construct my books on a foundation of research, using a range of archive materials, press archives, scholarly studies and literature from that era. The philosophy of history is a subject dear to me. Inspired by the micro-historical research tradition, I write about how mindsets arise and how intangible heritage circulates in families and societies.
The historical novel begins where the sources end. It opens the gates to an eidetic experience of the past. My characters live as flesh-and-blood beings in the settings of my novels.
I have written about a small city by a lake. The name of that city is Kuopio, but it could also be anywhere else on the map of Europe. I have also written about a city called Petrograd/Leningrad/St Petersburg. Just as the Ice Age shaped the landscape of Eastern Finland, carving lakes into the bedrock and piling golden sand into long ridges, history inexorably shapes the people in my novels.