Monday, February 29, 2016

An Author Event at Los Gatos Library

This past Saturday, I went to the Los Gatos Library to see Emmi Itaranta, who wrote Memory of Water.  This was our February book for the Los Gatos Library Evening Book Club.  And the book and author are part of SV Reads for this year.  I wasn't crazy about the book - 2.75/4 - but she was very interesting.  I'm just going to list 10 different things that I learned about her and her book:

1.  Emmi is Finnish and moved from Finland to England 8 years ago.  She wrote the book in both Finnish and English.  She said that it definitely helped her to write the book in both languages.  She said that she had to pay more attention to her wording.
2.  She was in a writing class and thought her book was just going to be a short story.  It was her teacher and other students who said that it needed to be a novel.  It took her a year to convince herself that it should be a novel and another year before she publicly stated that it was a novel.
3.  It took 3 years for Emmi to completely write the novel in both languages.
4.  Emmi told us that translators picked up errors that all of the editors missed.
5.  The author did not pick the cover.  But, then again, authors rarely do.
6.  She got her book published in a very roundabout way.  In England, an author has to go through an agent.  In Finland, it's not required.  In fact, there are very few agents.  After getting a bunch of rejections, she entered the novel in a contest in Finland.  And won. Shortly after, one of the Finnish agents got in touch with Emmi and ended up representing her.  Ultimately, that led to publication in both countries and in both languages.
7.  Her book has been optioned by a movie production company.  But she said that the great majority of books that are optioned are never made.
8.  Her next book, The Weaver, is a fantasy.  It has already been published in Finland, and will hit the U.S. in May.  It's even been short-listed for top Sci Fi book in Finland.
9.  She was asked whether she ever considered a different ending for the book.  She said this ending was the one she conceived from the get-go.  As she got close to the end, she thought about another ending but dismissed it.
10. For those who have read the book (or intend to read it), Emmi said that she envisioned the story taking place 400-500 years in the future.

We had a great discussion in book club.  And I have to tell you that there were a number of people who liked the book much more than I did.  If you normally agree with my recommendations (you 1-2.5 people know who you are), this is one where you might want to take your own shot at it.


  1. Thanks for providing these details regarding Author Event at Los Gatos Library!! I wish I could have attended this show but was quite busy in my sister’s destination engagement party arrangements. She had a grand ceremony at one of the best event venue in LA and everyone praised my efforts.

    1. Definitely more important than an author event!