I am Katri Alatalo, a Finnish author of fantasy and other speculative fiction.
I love the freedom and challenges that writing fantasy offers me. Everything is possible, but on the other hand, it is not easy to write something in the genre that is unique and fresh. I always want to venture a little further from my comfort zone and try something new. I love building fantasy worlds, although I feel that each world I create is never perfect, never totally mapped – with every tale I write, I discover a bit more of that world. I absolutely believe that writing and reading fantasy can be so much more than just fun and entertainment: the fantasy world is my place to escape this world, my playground, but also a mirror, a place for me to examine the wonders and troubles of our world. We can invent strange worlds and odd creatures, but whatever we do, I believe that at heart we are always writing about ourselves, human beings.
Most of all, I love telling stories. That’s the reason why I started writing when I was a small child, and that’s the reason I still write today. I love filling the holes in the plot, imagining what could happen, looking around the corner, and the next one, and the next. I always hope for the outcome to be an interesting story for the reader to enjoy, with ups and downs, laughter and tears, horror and beauty.
My latest novel Ikuisesti, siskoni (”Forever, My Sister”) was published in 2019. It tells the story of warrior-druid Caitriona, who is trying to make peace with her past.
”Forever, my Sister” is a story about family, jealousy, guilt and the long and painful path that seeking forgiveness sometimes is.
Why is it sometimes so hard not to betray the ones we love — and why is it always so hard to forgive ourselves? Is it possible to truly move on, or do we always repeat the same mistakes in our lives?
Everything, that has happened once, may happen again.
Käärmeiden kaupunki (”The City of Snakes”, 2017) is an epic fantasy tale set in a desert world. It’s an adventurous story about three childhood friends trying to survive in a land of war, deceit and old magical powers. When I first started writing this book, I had two questions on my mind: Can anyone truly be trusted? What if the trust is lost — can it be rediscovered?
”Forever, my Sister” and ”The City of Snakes” are both published in Finnish by Gummerus.
I have also published a fantasy trilogy for young adults, a short story collection and several short stories and novellas in magazines and anthologies. My stories are most often high fantasy with an occasional twist of horror, a creepy fairy-tale atmosphere or an urban fantasy setting.
Stories in English
So far my books are only available in Finnish, but one of my short stories has been translated into English. A Winter Night’s Tale was published in the anthology Never Stop – Finnish Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories in 2017.
Questions, comments? Please feel free to email me at katri.alatalo @ gmail.com .