Meaningful Stories Live Further

Tuula Pere
Tuula Pere Author Interview

Lullaby of the Valley follows a grandmother that wants to heal her world from the war that is ravaging it and tearing it apart. She uses the only tool she has, her voice. What was the inspiration for your story?

There are dramatic memories involved in writing this book some years ago. I was having breakfast in my own safe kitchen, reading a newspaper about events in the Middle East. The news talked about families with children in the middle of the horror of bombings. The contrast was huge!

I looked at the picture of the little girl in the middle of ruins and read the title “Only she is left.” Tears began to flow from my eyes. I simply had to do something. Writing a children’s book about war and peace was my only means.

The experiences of older people and their memories about wartime have also influenced my story. During significant challenges, individuals have often felt small and insecure.

On the other hand, a surprising force can be found in small people when we don’t even expect it. Even the most modest individuals have grown into people who make a difference. That is encouraging for us and makes us try and dare, even if the situation seems hopeless. I wanted to highlight that, too, in my story.

The lullaby that Kaina sings is beautiful. Is this inspired by a childhood lullaby of your own?

I love music and enjoy singing. I know many beautiful lullabies, and I have been singing them to my three children when they were small. Now the tradition continues as I have grandchildren, too.

But this song came straight from my heart and imagination. I even started hearing the melody in my ears. I could record it at any time in Finnish, but the English text should be adapted to suit the tune as it doesn’t have similar rhymes, just the idea.

It’s rather strange, but I have a feeling that I heard an ethnic melody from a place where I have been only in my fantasy. I love music from all over the world from different cultures. There is always something that touches my heart deeply when I listen to old ethnic melodies. That’s why I wanted to give credit to those who continue signing old songs and passing on the tunes to new generations. With the music, the meaningful stories live further, too!

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Above all, this is a book about war and peace. I want to encourage people to believe that building peaceful coexistence in all circumstances is possible. We all have our own ways of working toward that goal. Those in power have the most efficient means to influence, but even ordinary individuals have their ways. Some of us know how to write books, some can teach children compassion and empathy to meet other people, even outside your familiar territory.

Another important theme is respect for the older generations. I have had a special relationship with my grandparents, and I have spent so many hours together with them throughout the decades. They don’t live anymore, but their stories and memories live in me and my books.

In Lullaby of the Valley, the journey of brave grandmothers in the darkness of the night encourages us all to step up and make a difference. It shows how much mothers and grandmothers are willing to do for children, even when they have grown adults.

That same love and responsibility apply to men having children as well, but they often have different ways and means of showing it. The gentle way of influencing is characteristic of me. It is often undervalued in society, but I believe in the power of the diplomacy of heart. With it, we can always do more than we could even imagine.

Instead of differences and contradictions, I always want to emphasize what we people have in common. And that’s plenty! That is also one of the main themes of the story. I always want to talk about similarities under the surface and the importance of cooperation.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

After reading this story and listening to the lullaby of the valley in their mind, I really hope that my readers will feel warmth in their hearts.

Just as the grandmothers of the story relied on the power of their own lullaby and love, I hope we all can trust that there is enough love for us to understand and respect the people beyond our own countries, towns, and valleys. It’s crucial to understand the world is full of children and families in very different circumstances, but they still have a lot in common and are sharing the same globe.

By feeling and showing love without narrow boundaries, we can make life warmer and safer for all of us – both adults and children. Respecting others despite differences in nationality, gender, culture, religion, or any other respect, is needed for peaceful coexistence.

War is one of the most challenging subjects for a children’s book, but I think we need to have the courage to talk about it even with the little ones. They will face these complex issues anyway, so it’s better to do it with some gentle guidance that helps them.

Lullaby of the Valley has been an important book for many people, and it has been accepted well in many countries. Even people working with children’s education find it useful as they must face these issues with the smallest ones, too. They need tools to help children to grow into responsible and balanced people.

I often say that we must dare to deal with even the most difficult things, but that requires an empathetic approach and a soft touch. My book is meant to be both comforting and encouraging. Even children need them both in this complex world that surrounds us. I have intended this book, Lullaby of the Valley, to sing a memorable song of love and hope to their ears.

Now, I’m singing to children of today, and they will pass the message on as they grow – I hope!

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Far away in a distant mountain valley are two villages, where people have lived peacefully side by side for centuries, sharing their joys and sorrows. But life in the valley changes completely when doubt and distrust creep in, and young men embark on a revenge mission. Fear spreads among the elderly, women, and children.

Grandma Kaina, a wise and courageous woman, sets out on a dangerous journey to a spring located between the villages. The only thing that will calm down the outbreak of hate is the gentle weapon of grandmothers.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on January 29, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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