“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
– quote from Through the Looking-Glass, an Alice in the Wonderland book by C.S. Lewis
Hello there. It is nice to meet you.
I’m Reetta, a thirty something writer from Finland. I’m a 100% geek who loves superhero movies, board games, and Ren Faires. I have a busy life with two kids, a job and sociology studies in the university.
How did you become a writer?
I have always been a dreamer and a creator of stories, ever since the make belief games of childhood. As a kid, I staged plays and impromptu dance shows for my parents and grandparents. I once acted out a scene from my favourite childhood movie, The Labyrinth, so vigorously that I broke a window with my doll.
My best grades in school I got from my essays, especially the creative ones. I have been devouring books and any text ever since I learned to read. And even before that, I listened to children’s stories as audiobooks, and my parents read to me. I fell in love with the fantasy genre through stories like The Wizard of Oz, the Narnia tales and Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles (based on Welsh mythology). And in teenage, I discovered Tolkien, David Eddings’s Belgarion and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, and felt like I had come home.
Strangely enough I started writing my own stories only in late teenage. And in English, instead of my native Finnish language. These stories were Wheel of Time fan fiction but with my own characters (see the link at the end of this post). Perhaps it was all in preparation for the WarpWorld since I wrote the fanfic stories collaboratively too.
Ideas come to me as easy as breathing. Now I am finally turning those cool concepts and story seeds into concrete stories for you to read.
What kind of things have influenced you as a writer?
I already mentioned a few stories and authors. Then there were, of course, TV series and movies. Some of my most shaping early experiences have been the aforementioned Labyrinth movie (ah, David Bowie as the Goblin King), Interview with the Vampire, and Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola. And then Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. The connecting elements in all four are the supernatural and bad boys who might or might not be redeemable (The Goblin King, Lestat, Dracula, Angel and Spike).
In my 20s, I finally discovered there was a whole book genre about paranormal creatures, Urban Fantasy. And that there are much longer and better written romance books than just the Harlequins. A lot hotter too. *fans herself*
Which books you do you love and would recommend for others?
For Urban Fantasy, I love Patricia Briggs’ werewolf series Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega. And anything by Ilona Andews is a sure bet. Her UF series are post-apocalyptic Kate Daniels series, Hidden Legacies trilogy about modern magical dynasties, and the madcap Innkeepers series about an intergalactic bed & breakfast with alien guests like space vampires and werewolves.
For Paranormal Romance, Nalini Singh is your lady. She has two excellent series, Psy-Changelings, a futuristic one about Psychics and Changelings (shapeshifters, like werepanthers and werewolves), and another one about Archangels, the vampires they create, and hunters who retrieve the vampires gone rogue.
For Fantasy, I recommend Brandon Sanderson’s epic, dystopian Mistborn trilogy, and Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series with scheming faeries and an adult fairytale feel.
What kind of stories do you like to write?
My stories always have a touch of magic in them, and feature some kind of supernatural elements. I love complex cultures and world building with layers, rich details, and a history that feels real. My people are not islands. They have a family, friends, co-workers, pets… at least one someone important to them. Not to forget romances, my characters almost always end up with a love interest.
I often write flawed heroes who struggle to redeem themselves. They need to work hard to earn it. I connect the most to characters who have a Wound, a deep, hurtful past experience that caused a false belief about themselves. To triumph with their external goals, they need to overcome that false belief. There will be losses on the way before the happy ending. But good things come to people who work hard to make things better.
If you want to see more of my creations, I have some links for you.
My personal author website: www.reettaraitanen.com
My Pinterest boards: https://fi.pinterest.com/reettaraitanen/ (behold thousands of cool pictures. This is what it looks like in my mind)
WarpWorld Pinterest boards: https://fi.pinterest.com/reettaraitanen/warpworld/
Older fan fiction written for the Wheel of Time fantasy world (with my own characters): https://arette.wordpress.com/mina-archives/ (See the side bar for more stories)
That’s all for now, folks. Thank you for reading.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What kind of stories you love to read and watch? What books, movies and TV shows do you love so much that you recommend them to others?