Blog Archives

Heart, Brain, and Love

Author Interview Tuula Pere

The Wild Waves follows a young boy that is terrified of boats because of the noise and speed and how a patient Grandpa helps him overcome those fears. What was the inspiration for your story?

I lived my important childhood years in the lake district of Eastern Finland. I have spent a lot of time in the waters – swimming, fishing with my father, adventuring on a rowing boat along the nearby lakes – so this subject is familiar to me.

As for swimming, I was one of the bravest and loved diving, too! But I must admit, I was afraid of fast motorboats. Our family only had a small rowing boat that I could use whenever I wanted. But I hated situations when someone took us for a ride in a motorboat. I would have preferred to have escaped the whole situation, but I tried to be polite! The feelings of such experiences now flow into my stories for children and their families.

The Wild Waves story is part of my book series, The Little Fears. I have built the series on the importance of a child’s experience. All the stories draw attention to the role of the adult as a listener and supporter for the child.

The adults easily underestimate the importance of the child’s concern. My experience is that the little fear quickly grows too big if you don’t get help with it in time.

When I present my Little Fears Series at book fairs in different countries, I often hear very personal confessions and childhood memories from adults. The message is the same: If only someone had taken my worries seriously, I would have coped easier with my fears even as an adult!

What books did you grow up reading?

As a child, I enjoyed living next to a small village library for a decade. There was enough to read for the curious child. I gradually went through most of the library department by department and subject by subject. Of course, I liked fairy tales at first, but soon I started reading longer novels and nonfiction.

In fact, nonfiction was my passion. Whenever I wanted to find answers to questions that preoccupied my mind, I browsed various encyclopedias and books about nature, geography, or history. My passion for information was great, and we didn’t have such literature at home. So, I spent a lot of time in the library and borrowed loads of books to read at home.

In elementary school, I quickly did all the other tasks, so the teacher let me read any books freely for the rest of the lesson. There, I became acquainted with Finnish folk tales and the stories of the Thousand and One Nights – both of which are still my favorites.

If you had to describe yourself in just three words, what would those be and why?

This is a difficult question. Sometimes it feels like one person can hold so many things that an entire dictionary would be necessary to describe them. I would rather divide the question into two parts: the words that describe my most important roles in different areas of life and those that define me as a person.

But let me try to stick to the assignment and choose the words heart, brain, and love.

The three words I have chosen are significant to me. I try to combine them all into a harmonious entity because I think they reinforce each other’s influence.

The things I find most meaningful in my life always follow me in my heart. It represents the human factor in everything I do. I am a very family-oriented person, but I try to extend the same warmth of my heart beyond the close circle and influence the well-being of others, too. I’ve noticed that incorporating the warmth of the heart into everything you do opens surprising doors and creates unexpectedly rewarding connections with others. Writing books for the world’s children is very well suited for this purpose, too!

Good goals are easier to achieve if they involve not only the heart but also the brain. I greatly appreciate people’s ability to learn, acquire knowledge, and use their own brains to weigh things up. The brain, used wisely, also effectively promotes soft values. The use of the brain is also related to a person’s self-confidence. With the help of education, it is possible to develop both the knowledge base and the ability to use it for the common good. For this reason, I want to combine my work as a children’s author and publisher also to support children’s education.

When my father died, and I had to choose the text on his tombstone, the choice was easy. Now it reads freely translated: The greatest of all is love. I feel that love has incredible power everywhere, not just in the family. If I can sense that a person truly loves and respects other people – even strangers and distant ones – it is easier to find common ground to start cooperation. Love cannot be pretended. When it includes genuine respect and interest in life, it has irresistible power. We can transmit that power in many ways. It goes along with everything we say or write, sometimes in words and on lines, sometimes between them. Even silence can contain love.

I hope that all these words – heart, brain, and love – say something about me. At least, I value and need them in everything I do.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I hope I understood the question correctly. One of my special traits and skills in writing is remembering in detail very old experiences, feelings, and scenes from my childhood. I also bear in mind events told by others and their emotional states. I combine all of these with my books, which are thus authentic and vivid.

After more than sixty years of living, I have a vast collection of stories in my mind. Just give me a keyword, and I’ll tell you a story about it. Let me work with the illustrator, and we will have a children’s book ready. I don’t mean to brag; there’s no reason for that. The world is full of more advanced authors. But I’m honestly doing what I truly believe in. That’s the best guarantee for my writing, and it doesn’t need any tricks!

Author Links: Facebook | Website

“Little Fears” is a book series about the various concerns that children can have. Sometimes, minor harms may grow into big worries if they are ignored. Fortunately, there are fun ways and gentle tools to handle such situations, often through play.
“The Wild Waves” is a story about the fear of high speeds and waves.
Otto dreads his family’s boat trips. He’s afraid of speeding over the water in the motorboat. But Grandpa is a patient teacher, and in the end, Otto dares to go aboard Grandpa’s old boat as assistant captain.
The waves are splashing, and the wind is howling. Otto is sitting stiffly in the cabin while the rest of the family is enjoying the boat trip. “What if the motor dies during the storm, and we never get back to shore?” Otto worries.
With Grandpa, Otto tries to get used to fast speeds on a new carousel. Thumb signals are a great help! In the end, Otto boards Grandpa’s old boat as assistant captain.

The Wild Waves

The Wild Waves is a short picture book whose protagonist is Otto, a young boy who goes on a boating trip with his family during rough weather. Otto is taken aback by the loud motor roaring, the boat’s erratic movements, and the sheer size of the sea waves that crash against it. On the other hand, his family is having a terrific time encouraging the father to go faster and faster. Finally, they arrive at the island, and the rest of the family enjoys the peace and quiet of an island picnic after the exciting journey.

Completely scared off by the experience, Otto decides not to sail again. His Grandfather visits the following days, and they talk about the trip. Together they develop a system for Otto to tell him when he wants to go faster or slower on a carousel. Grandpa then suggests that Otto go out on his boat and use the system they just created to make sure Otto is comfortable.

Author Tuula Pere and illustrator Catty Flores’ encouraging book is about overcoming fears and respecting other people’s boundaries. The protagonist, Otto, had a poor experience sailing because his father was steering the boat at high speeds as they sailed through a storm. His fears, disregarded by his parents and sister, continued to grow and prompted him to avoid any future trips sailing. His Grandfather, however, listens to his fears and comes up with a plan to help him come to terms with his fear in a way that he feels safe and heard.

His compromise with his Grandfather, who volunteers to take him on a more tranquil trip, is a prime example of how consent from all involved parties is fundamental in any shared experience. This is a moral that any child should take with them.

The Wild Waves is a heartwarming picture book about overcoming fears, respecting boundaries, and problem-solving. Teachers and caregivers can use this to help younger children learn that it is ok to be afraid and give them steps to learn how to overcome fears.

Pages: 32 | ISBN : 9523573047

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: