I Have To Trust My Instinct

Author Interview Tuula Pere

The Healer Cat follows a house cat that has the power to heal through her touch and purrs as she goes out in a winter storm to help save a baby bunny. What was the inspiration for your story?

The initial inspiration for the book The Healer Cat contains mysterious features. The Healer Cat herself came to me as I lay half-asleep on the couch with the migraine just started. That kind of headache is rare for me, and I don’t like to take medication. When this mysterious fairytale cat arrived and put her paw on my head, I got the whole story in a flash – and my headache disappeared!

Amazed, I got up and began to memorize the story of the cat’s miraculous journey in a snowstorm and her encountering a wolf in a dark forest. When it was on paper, I felt surprisingly irritated. Something important was missing, and I couldn’t remember what it was! But the cat came back and reminded me about this scary wolf, one of the main characters besides the cat and the hare. I added the missing chapters, and the story was ready!

Also noteworthy is that I’m not really any cat person, but this healer cat Celesse became my friend. I even illustrated the first version of the book myself – which I hardly admit to anybody. But this current version is illustrated by a professional artist, and I love her skillful artwork.

What are common traps for new authors?

I think a new author may suffer from two opposing delusions; unreasonable disbelief or excessive expectations of one’s own possibilities.

The newcomer may be unsure whether anyone is interested in the book or whether it is good enough. I think the authors must at least be passionate about their stories and believe in their power.

On the other hand, some new authors may assume that publishers’ reactions are faster and more enthusiastic than they will be in harsh reality. Unfortunately, most books never find a publisher – and those who find one have to search through a dozen companies first!

My advice to the new author would be to keep realistic about one’s particular strength and not give up if the writer genuinely has something to say to the others!

What is your favorite book series?

All my series are dear to me, each in a different way. Several of them talk about the lives of children and their families from various angles. I try to pass on what I have experienced and learned as a parent for three decades.

I find it necessary to write about the unfortunate attempts (Axel and Ava Series) or difficulties of young children (The Little Fears Series and Do You See Me? Series). But the independent activities and sometimes slightly disobedient acts of older children deserve their own books (I Did It! Series).

But if I must choose something exceptionally dear to me, it would be Colin the Crab Series.

Colin is an exceptionally sympathetic crab with a mixed group of friends around him. I have created their extraordinary river bay world with many human joys and sorrows. When all friends are different as individuals, it is possible for me to address topics from many perspectives. All characters are unique, and everyone has something to give to each other.

The idyll at Colin the Crab’s home river is not perfect, as there are often disagreements about the issues, and opinions must be reconciled. These features of diversity and inclusion – individuality and coexistence – are precisely those that I like in human communities as well. Taking others into account makes living together more rewarding for everyone.

Colin has gained his fan base even abroad. Readers often comment on other characters in the books as well. They try to figure out which one of the characters they or their friends resemble. Opinions can even collide!

What has been the most surprising reader reaction you’ve received so far?

I have experienced a lot of powerful reader reactions. Often, the story brings to the surface the emotions the reader has tried to hide.

We have cried and laughed together with many young and old readers when we have been talking about my books and the stories behind the stories. I think a good book offers a basis for deep discussions. Suddenly new doors open, and people meet each other on another level.

In particular, the most demanding stories of survival, war, and shortcomings touch readers deeply and perhaps raise their concerns. For someone, the wolf in the forest in The Healer Cat has been the suicide of his friend. For the other, it has been the severe illness threatening the life of her dear mother. Raspberry Red has built understanding between generations in the families about the war experiences that have been too difficult to discuss so far.

This kind of feedback has encouraged me to write further, even about the most demanding subjects. I have to trust my instinct and use all my skills to handle these issues. The challenge for me is to have a sensitive mind and a delicate hand in interpreting these extraordinary situations in life.

In one particular case, I received the most amazing reader feedback indirectly through a professional who helps children with difficulties. This professional told me – without details – about a child who refused to talk during their sessions together. It took many meetings, and the child was under the table without saying anything. The therapist read The Caring Crab book aloud every time they met. The story went on, and suddenly one day, the child started talking about it – still sitting under the table. The little patient was angry at how unfairly the others treated Colin when this friendly crab needed their attention for once!

When I heard about this feedback, I felt happy. I had managed to help a struggling, closed child at least a little. A connection had been established through which this person could express his or her feelings, and the healing of the mind could begin.

Author Links: Facebook | Website

Celesse, the healer cat, is a highly respected member of the neighborhood. As the mistress’s favorite cat, she spends lazy days in the warmth of the house.
One snowy night a mother hare rushes in, desperate for help. Reluctantly, the healer cat travels with her through a nighttime snowstorm and biting cold winds. In a dark forest, Celesse comes face-to-face with a scary surprise and is forced to gather her powers for the first time in a while.

Posted on April 19, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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