Would you believe it if I told you I put my first story on paper even before I could write? Well, it is true. I was three years old at the time.
Here’s the story:
I live in Turku, Finland. When I was three years old. My mother and I were walking in the park next to the cathedral, and a police horse appeared on the other end of the path. (I’ll put a link at the end of this blog post in case you are interested in the history of this medieval cathedral)
Now I had never seen a horse in my life. And police horses, as you probably know, are chosen based on their large size (and calm disposition), so being a child of the city, I should have been scared at such a big animal.
Apparently I was not aware of that, and before my mother had a chance to stop me, I ran to the horse and was practically climbing up its front leg. (Well, a slight exaggeration there, but that was the moment I learned I had inherited the genes of my grandfather who had trotters.) Mother had some candy with her, and she showed me how to give it to the horse so it would not nibble my fingers. There I stood, knee-high to a horse, feeding it candy from the palm of my hand. Ever so gently the horse took it and I still remember how soft its lips felt. The palm of my hand in horse drool I looked up at the kind eye of the horse (and the amused rider) and life was never the same again.
When we got home I tried to convince my parents that I needed a horse. They were sorry to tell me it was not possible because our apartment was so small and there was no balcony to put the horse in.
I considered the explanations were just excuses, sat down on the floor, took drawing paper and crayons… And the first story I ever put on paper was created.
As I did not know how to write words, I made a cartoon. It was about a small horse that had to leave its parents for good. I was so impressed with the sad story I had created that I cried buckets.
After this I was in a hurry to learn to read and write for real and I think I was about four when I finally managed that.
I had been watching the children’s picture books at kindergarten, asking those in the know what the words and letters were. After processing the facts for a few months, I was ready. Sitting in a bus with my mother, on our way home, I pointed out of the window at a neon sign and announced correctly my mother the name of the bank it was advertising.
After that I began to write for real and never stopped. The rest is history. Much of it ancient Egyptian history. And fantasy. As you can see when you check out my books.
(I also painted horse art for years, and had my art exhibited in Finland and abroad. And of course – started riding.)
As promised, here is information about Turku Cathedral.