Scandinavian and Nordic Crime Fiction discussion

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Authors by Country > Finland

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Ian (PepeCan) | 322 comments Just bought Purge by Sofi Oksanen which is set in Estonia. The author is half Finnish/half Estonian.


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Sofi is half Estonian and writes much about Estonia, but she grew up in Finland. She lives down the street from me. An interesting person. Purge sold twice as many as any other previous book in Finland. Last I heard it was 60,000 (in a country with a pop. of 5.5 million). I think that record will stand for at least a generation.


Dave | 113 comments Purge is a book that I really feel like I owe it to myself to re-read. My initial response was less than favorable, as I grew to really dislike the character of Aliide the more I read and I wasn't sure how I felt about the end resolution (or lack of) for Zara. That said, I find that this book continues to haunt and nag my thoughts months later. Much more so than many books I've read since and enjoyed without question.


Junying | 266 comments In that case, it will be my next read, as soon as I finish my first Nesbo book this weekend.


Kenneth Fredette (klfredette) | 879 comments Mod
There are too many **mn authors to read. I didn't include any authors not published in English. Add about 24-30 more authors.


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Just to reiterate. Purge isn't Nordic noir. It falls more into the mainstream literature category, although it does have some scenes in it that may disturb some.


Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 187 comments James wrote: "Sofi is half Estonian and writes much about Estonia, but she grew up in Finland. She lives down the street from me. An interesting person. Purge sold twice as many as any other previous book in Fin..."

Part of my family is Estonian and after reading Purge this year it will stand as one of the most powerful books I have ever read.


Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 187 comments On to Snow Angels and Lucifer's Tears.


Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 187 comments Thanks Ken for your Nordic-Scandi author lists!

Love Anne Holt. Wish she had more in English.


Anna (aetm) | 227 comments Mod
Hm - I guess Leena Lehtolainen has never been translated to other languages English? I'm reading Tappava säde now (the first book by her that I've read since I don't think there were any of her books out yet when I lived over there, and this just happens to be the first one that I've run to) and that would work in other languages too.
Except the title... ('a killing Säde', or 'A killing ray'). But hey, there's a man with a green dragon tattoo in it, I wonder how I'd title the book if it ever came out in English... :)


message 12: by Fizzycola (last edited Sep 28, 2011 10:53AM) (new)

Fizzycola | 136 comments Lehtolainen's novels have been translated to Estonian, Spanish, Dutch, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, French, Chineses, Swedish, Slovakian, Czech, Ukranian and Russian. Not ONE has been translated to English!


Anna (aetm) | 227 comments Mod
Any clue why is that? If it sells in Chinese, French, and Ukrainian, it can't obviously be too "Finnish" to sell to the other markets too.


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Knowing the Finnish publishing industry as I do, there are three factors. 1. The foreign rights departmant of her publisher doesn't have good contacts in the English-speaking markets. 2. Publishers in those markets lack confidence. 3. Because of the world economic crisis, publishers lack cash to launch new authors (an expensive process), and only take on what they consider sure bets at the moment.


Anna (aetm) | 227 comments Mod
Well, I found the pages for the company who has Lehtolainen's translation rights http://www.ahlbackagency.com/aba_auth...
Maybe the same curiosity and interest for the Nordic authors that's in the US is also in the countries where they apparently publish her books, such as Romania, Turkey, and Israel...
Of course it's a bet whether something will be popular in a different target audience and culture, but please note that the marketing page also touts her to be "the Finnish female Henning Mankell". Well, then I'd expect to see some of her stuff in the bookstores. In two years (and without going too much into detail, I do spend quite a bit of time in a bookstore) the only two Finnish authors I've run to in the bookstore's shelves here are Mika Waltari and you, James. Mankell I see frequently.
I find more even Icelandic and Nigerian crime authors than the Finnish ones in the bookshelves. I take the bookshelves as a better indicator of what is around and what people are looking for than the ebooks since with the ebooks an aficionado will find a way even if it means loaning a billing address in another country. And even that wouldn't help past the translation issues since 99,99 % of the people don't read Finnish.


Junying | 266 comments James wrote: "Knowing the Finnish publishing industry as I do, there are three factors. 1. The foreign rights departmant of her publisher doesn't have good contacts in the English-speaking markets. 2. Publishers..."

James,

What you've said on Finland and your book has been really interesting and eye-opening for me. I wonder if you would mind being interviewed for my blog - I'll only ask you a few questions about your book, and perhaps a bit of discussion on culture etc.

Please take a look at my author dialogue with another writer Eden below and let me know if you'd like to do something similar. I've had overwhelming response with that blog post. I'm hoping that it would do the same with yours, making more people aware of your book and where you're coming from.

There is no pressure and you can say no. But if you like the idea, I'll think of a few relevant questions to send them to you. Let me know.

Here is the link: http://www.junyingkirk.com/?p=648.

Cheers!


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Hi Anna, Literary agency's in Finland are a new thing. A couple have sprung up in the past year or two. The reason being that typical Finnish royalties are already some of the highest in the world, and most Finnish authors can't expect to get more than they already are through agent negotiations. I fact, they stand to lose money after paying a 15% agent fee. Most Finnish authors don't seem to understand this. Traditionally, the publisher has sold their authors' foreign rights and the author's managing editor has in effect acted as the author's agent.The advent of agents in Finland reflects author dissatisfaction with those foreign sales. Some of the top Finnish authors use Swedish agencies, and it angers Finnish publishers. Big money losses. "The Finnish Henning Mankell" is an advertising blurb. No more, no less. I'm often advertised as the Finnish Stieg Larsson. Does my writing remind you of Larsson? I do hope though, that the new agencies succeed in increased foreign sales. Sorry, that's probably more than you wanted to know.


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Junying wrote: "James wrote: "Knowing the Finnish publishing industry as I do, there are three factors. 1. The foreign rights departmant of her publisher doesn't have good contacts in the English-speaking markets...."

I would be honored. Please just send your questions to jamesthompsonauthor@gmail.com
It might take me a week or two to get it done. I'm in a work frenzy. Thanks - James


Junying | 266 comments James wrote: "Junying wrote: "James wrote: "Knowing the Finnish publishing industry as I do, there are three factors. 1. The foreign rights departmant of her publisher doesn't have good contacts in the English-s..."

Thanks. Will be in touch via email. Junying


Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 187 comments Loved The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. Not a mystery but well worth the read.


Anna (aetm) | 227 comments Mod
James, one stupid question: is there a different word in Finnish for fiction and literature?
The only word I know is kirjallisuus. Does that cover both?

I guess it'd be easier to not make a difference for the book classifications. It's always interesting to see which books make the cut for the literature vs fiction section. If the author is alive, then it's fiction. Well, one colleague sorts that more or less so that if a book (the print) is old enough then it's literature.
I'd probably put things in the literature that aren't for the mainstream genres but have their own place anyway, like Mario Puzo, Agatha Christie and old Robert Ludlum classics. They define those genres and don't suffer much from time. Then there's always the mystery why some of Salman Rushdie and some Toni Morrison is literature and the rest fiction. Or why Asimov or Verne should be in literature and/or scifi or kid's section...


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Hi Anna. Not a stupid question at all. Kirjallisuus covers both literature and fiction. But if you want to specifically discuss fiction, you can use the word fiktio. But mainsteam popular literature can be called kirjallisuus.


message 23: by Manugw (last edited Oct 28, 2011 11:58AM) (new)

Manugw | 12 comments I am looking for a consecrated Finnish author to end my Scandinavian tour after (Norwegian Jo Nesbo, Swedish Stieg Larson, Danish (Sunni Allen Olsen)and Icelanding (Arnaldur Indridalson. Any suggestions ?


Fizzycola | 136 comments Not so much Finnish literature has been translated to English but:

If you want crime fiction you might try this one:

The Priest of Evil (Harjunpää #10) by Matti Yrjänä Joensuu

But if you want something truly unforgettable...

Purge


Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 187 comments Purge is the best book I have read this year and maybe one of the top 20 of all times.!!!


Fizzycola | 136 comments Elizabeth wrote: "Purge is the best book I have read this year and maybe one of the top 20 of all times.!!!"

I agree. Not a crime novel in the traditional sense but hard to forget.


Junying | 266 comments Hello all,

I just did an interview with James Thompson whom I met through this wonderful group. Thought I'd share it here: http://www.junyingkirk.com/. Please come by and join us in our discussion about Finland, thinking in foreign languages, cultural integration and Scandinavian crime fiction wave.

Thanks and see you there :0


Kenneth Fredette (klfredette) | 879 comments Mod
Thanks Junying, I was afraid we didn't get many questions on Jim's second book but you really took care of that. Many thanks.


Junying | 266 comments Kenneth wrote: "Thanks Junying, I was afraid we didn't get many questions on Jim's second book but you really took care of that. Many thanks."

Kenneth, thanks for your kind comments. It was very gracious of James to answer my questions and the pleasure was all mine. I'm delighted with what I managed to get out of him :).

The response has been really great. Thanks for your support!


Manugw | 12 comments Thank you !

Fizzycola wrote: "Not so much Finnish literature has been translated to English but:

If you want crime fiction you might try this one:

The Priest of Evil (Harjunpää #10) by Matti Yrjänä Joensuu

But if you want something truly unforg..."



Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 187 comments Loved the interview, Makes you know what it takes to be a great writer


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments The pleasure was all mine. Thank you Junying.


Junying | 266 comments Thanks, Elizabeth, for commenting on the fabulous interview :).

James, as I have hoped, I have got some new fans for you - at least a couple of author friends have openly expressed their interest to read your books - you can find their comments on my website - they are also promoting the interview on Twitter - they have a even bigger following than me so I'm delighted!


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Thanks for doing such a great job in disseminating the interview. When you asked me, I had no idea you had such a following! I'm going to your website now. Best, James


Junying | 266 comments James wrote: "Thanks for doing such a great job in disseminating the interview. When you asked me, I had no idea you had such a following! I'm going to your website now. Best, James"

Having you on my site and promoting a great author like you has been a true pleasure on my part. I'm pleased that I surprised you - I do have some magic under my sleeves :) Don't forget, one day we'll get to that Dragon Throne I promised you :)


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Actually, that's one thing I haven't done in life that I would like to. Take an extended vacation and visit China, Korea, and Japan. Maybe you should come and be my guide.


Junying | 266 comments James wrote: "Actually, that's one thing I haven't done in life that I would like to. Take an extended vacation and visit China, Korea, and Japan. Maybe you should come and be my guide."

Would love that, James - you can't get a better guide than me :) Have not been to Japan or Korea but would love to visit them too - tried Japanese years ago and completely rusty now!

Perhaps you can bring your wife and I'll ask John too :)

Seriously I go back to China once every two or three years, so you're welcome to come along one day, either for work or pleasure :)


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Thanks! We'll see what the future brings. Work work work. I haven't had a vacation in two years.


Junying | 266 comments You really do live up to your workaholic reputation, James, and I think you need a vacation real soon :)!

I love travelling so much that I have to get away every two or three months, even just for a short break. Even so there are so many places I long to visit but have not been able to.


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Maybe next year I'll take a vacation. I want to write another book first.


Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 187 comments Yes Yes!!


Junying | 266 comments I know that your fans come first, James :)

Like Elizabeth, I'm delighted to hear that. Keep writing and keep us happy :)


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments I have to admit, it's more for selfish reasons. The urge is upon me and I get neurotic if I don't write for too long. I've spent thinking about it for weeks and spent the day plotting it. It's taken on a life of it's own. That means it's time.


Junying | 266 comments James wrote: "I have to admit, it's more for selfish reasons. The urge is upon me and I get neurotic if I don't write for too long. I've spent thinking about it for weeks and spent the day plotting it. It's take..."

I wish I have this kind of drive. I was like that when I did one of my first books - I wrote non-stop for a few months and finished it. Now I seem to have run out of steam :) Of course, I didn't have all that distraction back then, no blog, no video making, no twitter, no GoodReads and limited on-line chatting :), talking about which, now time to get back to my editing, before the afternoon slips away :)


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments The book coming out next: I stopped watching TV, reading, answering emails or do any blogging or social networking, and didn't go farther than the grocery store for several weeks. Had to be done. To many distractions dragging me out of my fictional world.


Junying | 266 comments Many thanks for that tip. I'll take a leaf out of your wonderful book, and definitely try to limit my time on the SM circus. Can't put a full stop on all that fun stuff though :)


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments It wasn't really a tip. Just the only way I know to write. A lot of people are good at multi-tasking. I can only do one thing at a time and can't stop until it's done. I can change what I'm working on only if I start as soon as I wake up, then I do that thing until it's done or I go to bed. I think it's called obsessive compulsive behavior.


Anna (aetm) | 227 comments Mod
I can't deal with music (or stuff that has spoken words in any language I can understand or my brain tries to understand) - so if it's any music while reading or writing it's instrumental stuff.
Jim, I hope you won't be too much in the middle of some writing next summer - I'd love to get you out for a pint of one of (possible and few) days we might be in Hellsinki (I used that spelling for it while in high school, close to where you live).


James Thompson (JamesThompson) | 310 comments Hi Anna,

Sure, that would be really nice. Let me know when you're coming. That's a very Finnish way to phrase it. As if we'll only have one :-)


Anna (aetm) | 227 comments Mod
Hey, I lived in Cork long enough that one = one round (or more). :)
(and planning around summer-ish.)


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Books mentioned in this topic

Tappava säde (other topics)
The Priest of Evil (other topics)
Purge (other topics)
Snow Angels (other topics)
Operaatio Troijalainen (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Sofi Oksanen (other topics)
Leena Lehtolainen (other topics)
Pirkko Arhippa (other topics)
Simon Boswell (other topics)
Gyroir Eliasson (other topics)
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