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Author Profile: Maria Turtschaninoff

Each month, we research our authors so that you can learn more about their background and how their stories came to life.



Where she comes from & where she is now: Turtschaninoff was born in Helsinki, Finland. Her first language was Finland’s Swedish. She currently lives in Finland.

Where she studied: Turtschaninoff received a Masters of Philosophy in human ecology from Gotthenburg University in 2001.

You might know her from: Turtschaninoff won the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2014 for Maresi, the first book in the Red Abbey Chronicles. She is also a two time winner of the Society of Swedish Literature Prize and a nominee for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

When she was not writing: Turtschaninoff has been writing fairytales since she was five. In addition to writing, she was a child actress in a minor roll in the television series Harjunpää och antastaren. She also worked as a journalist after graduation from university.

Turtschaninoff on writing: [About the presence of female characters in fantasy]:

“‘We have seen more women in fantasy recently, but they are still very much alone. One lone, strong girl, surrounded by men. And she’s always an anomaly, the one girl. So for me it was important building a community, and my point is not to support the myth that girls can’t be friends. No one says that about males in books, apart from the lone traitor, the traitor with the knife. Other than that, they are friends, and no one says that’s abnormal,’ Maria laughs and sounds incredulous.

‘I thought it was so good the way the older ones teach the younger ones, letting them grow into their roles, supporting them and letting them do what they are good at.’” [Full interview here.]

There’s so much more to know: Turtschaninoff shares a lot of her life in Finland and her writing process on her twitter. Follow along here.