This Love Will Make Us Better

Tuula Pere
Tuula Pere Author Interview

The Polar Bears’ Journey tells the story of a polar bear mom and her cub being forced to leave their home and find a better place to live. What was the inspiration for your story?

My stories always have many layers. They can be a mixture of experiences of many generations, or they can connect to more general phenomena in society or the environment globally.

“The Polar Bears’ Journey” combines elements of the era of climate change to the destinies of people having to leave their homes as refugees for various reasons. In real life, these elements are sometimes connected, too.

The story about the mother polar bear and her cub makes us feel the worries and pain of many other mothers and fathers, too. So many families are devastated about the uncertain future and the safety of their children globally.

To achieve security, they must first risk the lives of their loved ones. Thinking about this contradiction touches every parent as we understand what families are willing to try for their children. We also understand how little the chance of succeeding is.

I admit that there is one moment in the book where I cried while writing. It’s the point where the mother and child are floating in the sea at night. They have no clear destination in the darkness and hardly any strength left. Still, the mother protects her child and encourages him till the end. The warmth between those two is something that I have always felt for my children.

A parent’s love for the child is something people understand and share wherever they live. I hope that understanding this love will make us better relate to the situation of the families in difficulties as well.

Can you tell readers if it is Dad bear they see at the end of the story reuniting their family?

I have intentionally left the final scene of the story somewhat open. The readers have often asked me what really happened. Did Dad join the family? The destiny of the Granny, who stayed at home, troubles some readers, too.

The open end of the story leaves room for interpretation. I have heard that, e.g., teachers have had lively discussions with their pupils about this very end. I recommend that the adults should discuss the complicated topics in the book with children.

It’s good to listen to the child’s thoughts about the story. A different interpretation may be appropriate for children of various ages. It’s not my intention that anyone would become depressed or too worried about the story or should be left alone to think about the fate of the characters.

I want to believe in happy ends – at least in fairy tales. In my mind, Dad arrives and eventually fetches Granny, too, to the new family home.

Are there any emotions or memories from your own life that you put into your character’s life?

In Finland, we have been living in a time of peace for a long time. Also, the conditions and possibilities for the families have constantly improved in our welfare state. But the events of the rest of the world affect our lives, too.

We Finns also have in mind the experiences of previous generations from the wartime when many families had to make the journey to an uncertain future far from home. Some could return, but it was a change for a lifetime for many.

As a child, I lived in a district inhabited by many migrants from Karelia because of the war. I listened to the challenging experiences of these people. Even then, I was feeling deep in my heart the despair of them who had had to leave their homes and settle in new conditions with strangers. The reception was not always the best either.

These are heavy memories that are passed down from generation to generation. I have written several books, e.g., “Lullaby of the Valley” and “Raspberry Red,” that talk about the consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives. For some of us, they are history – for others, life today. I hope that my books will encourage and bring comfort to these situations as well.

What inspired you to become a children’s book writer?

After working as a lawyer and senior business executive in the heavy industry for some twenty years, I became a mother of a third child. That was a moment of significant change in my life. I decided to focus on two completely different types of writing; I continued my studies to become a Ph. D. in Law, and I started as a children’s author. Some may think this is a strange combination, but it’s a very natural one for me. Now, I can put all my experience and knowledge about life and society together and work for the good of children.

I think I have the soul of a storyteller. I like to make observations and try to understand the life around me. The next step has been to tie all that together into stories that will delight, encourage, and help others as well. I have been telling stories all my life. I have also listened to my grandparents’ stories and read through most of the books of my childhood libraries, shelf by shelf.

At first, I told fairy tales to my little sisters with whom I shared the bedroom. For years, I told them a new fairy tale every night after turning off the lamp. I also wrote small stories, poems, and plays for my school and sometimes sent my texts to a local newspaper.

Later, my children were a keen audience for my stories, but as they grew up, I started telling stories to the world’s children. Now, I can combine all my experience and knowledge about people and society for the good of children and work in my own publishing house to make a difference. I try to influence the world around me and cooperate with a broad international network of professionals in children’s literature.

I love the possibility to work independently and globally – and try to build understanding, acceptance, and respect on every level. That’s my mission as a writer and publisher.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Nanu the polar bear cub is worried. His ice slide is shrinking day by day. Mom and Grandma are worried about their home glacier–it’s melting too. And Father Bear has been gone for days on a hunting trip.
Driven by the melting ice floes, Mom and Nanu set out on a journey to find a new home. A friendly tern accompanies them as their pathfinder. But the journey is long and tiring, and ice is melting all around them. Will the polar bear family ever be reunited?

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 30, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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