I told you so! (Leena Parkkinen is the winner!)
November 18th, 2009
by Tiina Kristoffersson

Last April I wrote in my Facebook status: ”Tiina Kristoffersson just finished reading a marvelous novel. Great things will happen to this author.”

I had just finished reading Leena Parkkinen’s debut novel After you, Max that wasn’t even in the book shops yet. I was begeistert.

After that Leena Parkkinen has gained great reviews in every newspaper in Finland. Her debut novel has been called an event of the book year. Even though I didn’t expect anything less than this, it’s still a breathtaking moment to see this young author in front of the audience as a winner of the prestigious Debutant of the Year Award arranged by Helsingin Sanomat. It’s almost like seeing your own child receive an award in the school ceremony. Of course you've as a parent always known that your child is special, the smartest, the brightest, the greatest and [add any superlative] but you still get emotional when you see this little person stand in front of the audience and you feel like shouting to everyone “I told you so! I’ve always known this child is special!”

Well, Leena Parkkinen is of course not “a little person”. She’s a woman in her thirties and a superb author. And I am of course not her literary mother -- her publisher Silja Hiidenheimo from Teos publishing house could be called that. But as her agent I still take a great pride -- maybe as her literary godmother? – in her achievements and proudly announce in front of everybody: “I told you so! I’ve always known this debutant is special!”

After all the sparkling celebrations, it is the godmother’s turn to find great foreign publishers to this exceptional novel. With this author I know, I will.