How did all this happen?

I wrote the first draft back in November 2015. It was a dark and rainy night... or, in fact, there were many dark nights in a row that I spent at home with my laptop, feeling the strong urge to throw up absolutely everything about my divorce. By the end of NaNoWriMo I had 50,000 words of textual vomit on my hands.

The first draft was a chaotic, auto-fictive revenge story that soon became too miserable for even me to read. Over the following years, I continued writing but would take my laptop to nice cafes, both in Finland and also abroad, and the autofiction dried out while I sipped lattes. Fiction just took over, characters started to act on their own, and they made everything much funnier than it ever was in my real life. I laugh a lot to myself and I find life in general to be funny and gracious, and that tone diffused into the text.

When I heard about the writing competition organised by the Finnish publishing house WSOY, I knew right away they were looking for something similar to what I had been working on. But winning the competition was a mind-blowing surprise! A trained theatre teacher, I also teach dramaturgy and creative writing, and have studied writing at degree level - so I am not exactly a beginner - but I’d been wanted to become a writer even before I knew how to write, so making my fiction debut now is truly a life-long dream come true.

© 2020 Marja Kangas