I’m a Finnish author and freelance writer. My first novel Kristallien valtakunta (Kingdom of Crystals) was published in 1996. My first science fiction YA-novel Molemmin jaloin (With Both Feet) was nominee for the Finlandia Junior Literary Prize in 2006, and my feminist fantasy series Syysmaa (Autumnland) received the Kuvastaja honorary award presented by the Finnish Tolkien Society Kontu in 2021. Fantasy novels Sinisilmä (Blue Eye, 2002) and Varjoja (Shadows, 2012) were shortlisted for the Kuvastaja award, and I was nominee for the Laivakello-award in 2016.
I’m a member of the Union of Finnish Writers, Association of Finnish Writers for Children and Youth, Helsingin kirjailijat ry (Helsinki-area writers) the Union of Journalists in Finland, Terveystoimittajat ry (Association of Health Journalists) and PEN Finland.
I have served as a member of the board and as the vice-chairperson in the Association of Finnish Writers for Children and Youth, and am currently a member of the Literary Board of the Union of Finnish Writers.
I was born in 1968 and have lived my whole life in Helsinki. My hobbies include reading, long walks in the nature, Hearthstone and crossword puzzles. In the summer I love to spend time at my tiny cottage in Southern Savonia.
Foreign rights: Kumma Literary Agency
”… Holopainen has shown her ability to write with versatility for young and older readers. Central themes in her work are friendship, love and trust, combined with diverse adventures and exciting plots. Her special strength is the use of differing realistic female characters.”
– Merja Leppälahti (transl. Liisa Rantalaiho) / Cosmos Pen
Ilmestyskirjan täti (Apocalyptic Aunt)
Finnish weird chick lit, Myllylahti 2014
Airi Kivikko is returning to work after staying at home with the kids for a few years. Work life isn’t the bliss and hope for the future she had expected, and the rotten cherry on top is to find out that she will be working with the notorious Aunt Liila, black sheep of the family. Then the most bizarre things start to happen, and Airi knows it all is somehow connected to Liila – who, or rather what is she, really? And why doesn’t anybody else see in her what Airi sees so clearly?
Ilmeetön mies (The Blank Man)
Magic realism, Karisto 2010
Irma has had a hard life, and she doesn’t even know what lead to what or where it all began. She is running from her man, avoids close relationships and escapes reality into her own imagination. When she meets a quiet man living in the same building, she finds a channel into her deepest, forgotten memories and feelings. But is remembering always a good thing?
Realistic YA/youth novels:
Filigraanityttö (Filigree Girl)
A story about a child’s OCD. Young Enni has a secret: she has the power to protect all her loved ones. But the power is also a curse, as Enni constantly hears the warnings of the Alerter, and if she doesn’t turn her ring and repeat in her mind the magic words “Nothing-Bad-Happens”, everyone will be in danger. One day she meets a boy who does things that seem familiar to Enni. Could someone else have an Alerter, too?
Tiira loves the sea, lakes, rivers, all wild and free waters. She dreams of becoming an oceanologist, but when she is getting ready for the first step, volunteering in marine conservation work, her period is late. Pregnancy test tells the scary truth: birth control has failed. Tiira knows instantly what to do to save her dream, but not all her closest people agree with her.
YA science fiction:
Ihon alaiset (Sub Dermals)
YA dystopia, Karisto 2015
Imagine a world where esthetic surgery and other beaty procedures are a norm. In this novel there are many voices telling about that world; those who embrace the new beautiful humanity, those who resist it and those who haven’t made up their minds. The story is spiced with glimpses of talk shows, reality TV and social media, making the world itself one of the main characters.
Molemmin jaloin (With Both Feet)
YA dystopia, Karisto 2006
In the year 239 New Time after the great destructive war, people live isolated from the nature and birth rates are plummeting. Livia’s best friend talks her into applying to the Mother Centre. There her ”inhibitor” is disabled to start her hormonal system, so she can procreate. The experience is raw and powerful, and the consequences shake the whole Centre.
The EEK!-series, horror for children (Myllylahti):
The EEK!-series is inspired by adults’ horror classics, from Ringu to Creature from the Black Lagoon, from Stephen King’s scariest to The Exorcist and German folklore Christmas monster – not forgetting the all-time favorites, vampires and werewolves! The main characters are Saku and Sussa, twins and also best friends, who find there’s something very strange going on in their small hometown. Little by little it starts to seem like the paranormal powers are especially interested in their little sister Siiri.
EEK 1: Kauhukännykkä (Ghost Phone)
EEK 2: Kilikorven vampyyri (The Vampire of Doeling Forest)
EEK 3: Metsälammikon hirviö (The Creature of Woodlands Puddle)
EEK 4: Nuku, nuku leluseni (Toy Sematary)
EEK 5: Plattilan noita (The Plattila Witch)
EEK 6: Demonikuiskaaja (The Demon Whisperer)
EEK 7: Räyhähenki (Poltergeist)
EEK 8: Krampus
EEK 9: Lauma (The Pack)
Fantasy series for youth:
Welman tytöt (Welma’s Girls)
Feminist fantasy, Karisto 2003
Welma takes abandoned and banished girls under her wing in the Shadowcastle. She also takes in Adaira, who wants to avoid the marriage arranged by her father. Adaira gets to know Wild Rowan, the holy tree of women, and learns a new way of looking at life and the world.
Sisarpuut (Sister Trees)
Feminist fantasy, Karisto 2004
While Welma’s girls travel north, Javona is pregnant with her first child, who turns out to be a girl. That doesn’t go well among worshippers of the Iron Oak, so Javona seeks refuge with her daughter in Wild Rowan’s Redberry village.
Viinikauppias (The Wine Merchant)
Feminist fantasy, Karisto 2005
Zara gives Merkinos and Adaira a mission in the big city. Meanwhile Javona, who has settled among worshippers of Forest Linden, realises that life outside the system may not be for her after all.
This book is dedicated to all Thief-players – ”you’re the Life of the Party!”
Yölaakso (Night Valley)
Feminist fantasy, Karisto 2009
Lorana has a secret affair outside her marriage, and when she gets caught, her whole life turns upside down. She runs to the Living Mountains – and through them, into the dark, quiet world where people are very different and strange.
Feminist fantasy, Karisto 2011
Lorana arrives to the village of Redberry, accompanied by a quiet, pale man from the other side of the mountains. Zara is having doubts of her own leadership over Redberry village. She feels the Wild Rowan is threatened by the non-religious refugee from Night valley, but also by Rakhenes’ faith in Forest Linden. Lorana sees an opportunity for herself in Zara’s inner turmoil.
Feminist fantasy, Karisto 2012
Years have passed after the banishment from Redberry village, and the refugees have built a new home in the forest. Yvana, now a young woman, and Lorana’s son Marrkah want a bigger life with bigger opportunities, so they set off to the seaport of Alimankas, hoping to travel all the way to Summerland. Things don’t go as smoothly as they hope, and Yvana’s old mystical ailment makes things even worse.
Kristallien valtakunta (Kingdom of Crystals)
Fantasy / pseudohistory, Karisto 1996
My ”firstborn” novel and the first book of the Sonja series. Sonja, an ordinary Finnish girl, travels through time to ancient Atlantis. There she finds friends, foes, adventure and love.
Noitien hovi (The Witches’ Court)
Fantasy / pseudohistory, Karisto 1997
Sonja and Zadar move forward in time and end up in Celtic-era Ireland. From there they go to Scotland and the Witches’ Court, ruled by the witch Gwyneth. Sonja and Zadar get help from the mysterious Hexa, who is a little more than you can tell from the surface…
Gae Bolga (Gae Bolga)
Fantasy / pseudohistory, Karisto 2000
Sonja and Zadar find themselves serving as mercenaries for the Pict king. Behind it all is the mythical weapon, Gae Bolga, sought by many power-hungry people.
Pohjoistuuli (The North Wind) series:
Boreaksen lapset (Children of Boreas)
Arctic fantasy, Karisto 1998
The magical willow flute finds its way into the hands of Bork the Healer, who has to take it through the winter landscape to the Mountain of the North Wind. On his journey he finds a new friend, the faithful dog Caspari.
Musta liekki (Black Flame)
Arctic fantasy, Karisto 1999
The son of Khorútan the Shaman disappears, and a selected group of shamans and seitas – northern witches – enter the Kingdom of the Dead to find him. After meeting the Lake Serpent guarding the gate, they must still face many challenges before they reach the White Wizard who can help find the lost son.
Sinisilmä (Blue Eye)
Arctic fantasy, Karisto 2001
Katinna, who gets given the name ”Blue Eye” by her friend Marten, has the skill of turning into a spirit wolf. Marten finds his own talent when they reach Shamans’ Island with Katinna. However, the wilderness of the north is filled with dangers, and the bite of an ice lizard brings them both into the Kingdom of the Dead.
Yksi kaksi kolme neljä viisi NYT! (One two three four five NOW!)
Short story in Taskunovellit-anthology, Karisto 2013
Two young girls and a glimmering summer day, cows in pasture and the big dog with clinking chain, the dim dusty light of a hay barn – and a sudden surprise.
Aukkoja sielun peileissä (Holes in Mirrors of the Soul)
Short story in Marraskesi-anthology, Osuuskumma 2016
A short story in the form of an interview in a magazine. Arbus Autio is a new and interesting artist who suffers from a rare and severe skin condition. His great, colorful mandalas are constructed of human skin.
Short story in Likainen tusina -anthology, Art House 2021
YA-science fiction story of the ”friend app” that uses next generation AI… or past generation?
Veen voima, Veen väki (Might of the V, Folk of the V)
Short story in Tinarinnat-anthology, Hertta-kustannus 2023
The water goddess Vellamo has lost her memory, and lives as a mortal woman in our modern world. She loves but also fears wild waters and spends all her free time on her little boat. Instinctively she wants to protect all aquarian life, which sometimes causes conflict with humans. One day she finds a fish trap full of dead and dying fish, and decides to teach the owner of the trap a lesson.
As ”Anna Ala-Soiroá” (with Ansu Kivekäs):
S.E.K.S.I.Ä. – Kuuma aalto (S.E.X. – Hot Flash)
Parody novel inspired by L. Marie Adeline’s S.E.C.R.E.T.-series. Marjatta’s life is bleak day-to-day grind, but when she turns 60 and her coworkers give her a gift card to an erotic shop and the owner Evita talks her into buying an ”Erotic personal training” -service, things take a sudden, sexy and hilarious turn!