Friday, 22 June 2018

'Short and Sweet' Interview with Kati Hiekkapelto

                           Kati with her punk band 'The Bearded Women'

Rotorua Noir will be your first visit to New Zealand. Tell us what you know about New Zealand and what you’re expecting to see and experience while you’re here?

"I know that New Zealand was the first country in the world that gave women the right to vote. This was in 1893. Finland was the third in the world and the first in Europe, in 1906. At the same time, and the first in the world, we allowed full political rights for women to stand for election. So, we Finns and Kiwis share a similar history of being in the front line of issues regarding women’s rights, which we should both be really proud of.

"I also know that you have amazing nature and I can’t wait to see it with my own eyes. I am planning to do a hiking trip before or after the festival. I would particularly like to see a local moose.
Naturally I am looking forward to Rotorua Noir too. It is always very interesting to meet other writers and readers, talk, listen, learn and simply have fun. Events and festivals are very welcome breaks in an otherwise lonely job. And what an opportunity they are to see the world too!
To see a local punk gig would be cool too..."

You’ve been to several crime writing festivals all around the world. How are you expecting Rotorua Noir to be different to the other ones you’ve been to?

"Knowing the organizer Grant Nicol, I’m sure that Rotorua will be different. For the same reason, I am expecting something very special, humorous and fun."

The weather in Rotorua during January will be very different to your country in the grips of winter. What steps are you going to take to combat the heat and humidity?

"I have already started to acclimatize to Rotorua - without consciously knowing it -  almost two years ago I decided that I will not spend winters in Finland anymore. This happened in Reykjavik in November 2016 (at Iceland Noir). I flew to Tenerife straight after Iceland Noir, where Grant was one of the organizers. I felt a kind of strange connection between these mysterious volcanic islands and now I am going to volcanic and mysterious Rotorua, organized by Grant too. I believe it is all written in the stars and that everything is connected and that islands are my destiny. I will have no problem with the heat or the humidity."

Next January you will find that New Zealand and Rotorua in particular is very different to the little island off the coast of Finland you live on. There is no snow in Rotorua and not one single moose either, so you will immediately feel culture shock. Also, there are no saunas in Rotorua but with the humidity here in summer you may not notice them missing. It is a particularly dangerous place to visit with huge spouting geysers, giant volcanoes, pits of mud so hot it bubbles and geothermal areas with pools so hot you can cook food in them. What makes you think you’re going to make it out of New Zealand alive?

"What can I say? I am shocked now! No moose!!!!  I’m not very worried about volcanoes and stuff like that but the lack of moose is definitely a problem. I’m not sure if I can make it without them. But I will try. Inshallah!"

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