“Nothing you read as an adult will ever matter to you as much as things you read as a child” | Maria Turtschaninoff

“Nothing you read as an adult will ever matter to you as much as things you read as a child” | Maria Turtschaninoff

Maria Turtschaninoff is an award-winning Finnish writer, part of our Aarhus 39 selection of the best emerging writers from across Europe. Maria will be appearing at the inaugural International Children’s Literature Hay Festival Aarhus 2017 later this month. Here she talks about her new story for Quest, our new anthology of  stories for children, inspired by journeys. 

Tell us about the theme of your short story…
I don’t do themes. I do stories. So I don’t set out to pick a theme, I begin writing a story that speaks to me, that asks to be told.

When did you decide to become an author?
I was about five years old when I started writing my first stories, I think it was at about the same time that I decided to be a writer.

When did you publish your first book?
My very first book was a cookbook that came out in 2006. In 2007, ten years ago now, I published my first non-fiction, a portal fantasy for middle grade readers.

What is special about writing for children?
I don’t really know. I just write stories, they happen to be marketed at young readers. However, I do take the responsibility seriously: nothing you read as an adult will ever matter to you as much as things you read as a child.

What does it mean to you to be a part of the anthology and the Hay Festival?
It’s an incredible honour and I am very excited to take part!

Do you have a favorite spot where you write?
Yes, I have several, actually, but one is the old Bed and Breakfast where I sometimes rent a room to sit and write. It’s located in the most idyllic setting, and it’s very quiet and serene. I love writing there. But I also like writing in other places, such as trains or cafés.

How do you get inspired?
By being open to the world.