Today’s blog features Petteri Hannila, the author of “Fargoer,” an historical fantasy novel. Thank you so much Petteri for participating.
Blog followers, enjoy the read!
I’m a writer from Central Finland, a software designer by day and a dad/husband/dreamer/martial artist by night.
It all began when I was eight years old. I found out that there were books of Tarzan, my childhood hero. My mother started to read them to me, but censored them – all of you who have read them know why. Annoyed by this, I started to read them on my own. Dreams and legends have followed me from those days, as companions on my voyage through life.
Only few years after that I thought about writing for the first time, but for a long time I pushed it away from my mind for supposedly more important things. Finally I understood that none of my stories would ever see the daylight until I got started, and I did.
From the days of Tarzan, exciting adventures and fantasy stories set in the past and the future have been my interest. Thus, the natural choice for me was to start writing science fiction and fantasy. Some years ago the idea of Fargoer made its way into my consciousness, and it hasn’t loosened its grip of me since.
New Fargoer stories and paths of Vierra’s future circle in my thoughts until I write them out. There are so many stories to tell until the end, and that end is painted clearly on my mind.
Author: Petteri Hannila
Genre: Fantasy (Historical fantasy, to be exact)
Social Media connections:
Release Date: 3.3.2013
Where to buy: http://www.amazon.com/Fargoer-ebook/dp/B00BLQZC00
Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.
From underneath a bundle of cloth that Vierra used as a pillow, she heard a familiar voice. These days it spoke to her every morning.
“Take me out.”
Vierra obeyed. From underneath her sleeping underlay she pulled a long, badly rusted blade.
Vierra tried. She had kept the blade in as good condition as it was possible. With her thumb she felt the hard, unforgiving edge.
“Shall we do it today?” the blade asked. Its voice had a waiting, anxious tone. “How easily would I cut flesh, draw blood. Set free.”
Vierra didn’t say or do anything. When the blade had presented the same question for the first time, she had thrown the weapon away and forgotten it for a few days. Finally she had set it back under her mattress, though. From that day on the decision had been harder and harder to make.
1 When did you first start writing?
I wrote some poetry when I was in high school and tried few times to start fiction but was unsuccessful. After almost twenty years I started again at 2009 and this time I decided I would not give it up. And I didn’t.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
As a kid I probably had a different wish every day, but for a very long time I have thought of writing as I’ve loved reading from a very early age. In addition to writing I am interested in science, and if I wouldn’t have become a programmer I probably would have ended up as a teacher of mathematics or physics.
3 What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?
I would say science fiction and fantasy are my genres. But I think every writer must develop his or her unique voice and approach to writing and mine (at the moment) seems to be combining historical elements with those of fantasy and mythology.
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?
It is not easy to define absolute sources, but I would say Finnish nature, history and mythology as well as old fantasy literature (pulps and such) are the main elements. As I stated earlier, I want to create a unique voice and approach and it is not an easy thing to learn and find. The inspiring elements must be combined just right to make it happen.
5 What has your publishing experience been like?
As an indie author it has been a trip full or learning (and continues to be so). The workload was probably something I could not anticipate beforehand, and without the aid of my brother this level of publication would have been impossible.
6 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I tend to shy away from restrictive routines, since as a family man I haven’t got too much free time in my hands. For this, I write when I can. Inspiration is the main key, when I have it, I tend to write more and if I don’t, I use the time for editing. During the years I have found ways to manipulate the inspiration and music is one of the best ways to do it. For example today I wrote a poem for the beginning of Fargoer’s sequel just because I happened to listen one particular song that just “clicked”.
7 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I try to do historical research over the subject. Often enough I find a suitable list of names from the internet that suit my need and use intuition to pick the ones just right for their parts. Sometimes it works better than others.
8 In your most recent work, who is your favorite character and why?
I have one main character in Fargoer, so it would be weird if it wasn’t her. So it is Vierra and the reason is twofold. First, even if she is a hero she is far from perfect and second she is developing all the time. In fact, I don’t really know yet what the character will be like after the second book, I’ll just have to write it out and see.
9 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
I would say (in light of this first book) it is not possible to write a book without changing yourself, at least as this is my first. It would be impossible to define all the things that I have learned, but I must say I am not the same person who I was when I started.
10 How did you/do you market your work?
My brother has done a lion’s share of the marketing of Fargoer, but we use social media, bloggers and other book enthusiasts who wish to help to get the word out there. It is hard work and has no guaranteed results but is the way to go. Self-publishing in Finland is not very advanced at the moment, and here we are sort of pioneers in the field. Hopefully, Fargoer will show the industry in Finland that self-publishing is not only possible, but a viable option to the traditional way.
11 Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?
Especially holding the printed one for the first time was quite an experience. A mixture of joy, anxiety and dreams of future.
12 Favorite authors?
There are many and many reasons for why I like them. R. E. Howard for his raw energy and wonder of the lost and the wicked. Tolkien for his immense constructions and love of beauty. Ancient Finnish orators and sages, who we must thank for Kalevala (Lönnrot couldn’t have collected poems if there weren’t any).
13 Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?
Most definitely. The obvious answer would be to wait it out, read and subject yourself to material that sparks the inspiration again (like music and movies) but this is just logical thinking and it will not reduce the anxiety caused by the block. So, the answer would be, I haven’t found any quick fixes for the problem.
14 What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
I would say be patient and work your skills. Keep writing even if the text feels bad, it gets better with practice. Read and analyse the texts you like and try to get your own text working, slowly and steadily.
15 Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it?
The sequel of Fargoer is in the works, it is in beginning stages but the ball is rolling. Let’s see where it ends up.