Hello everyone! I was lucky enough lately to have author Katja Rusanen (And You Must Love Me and But He Loves Me) agree to an interview! Her YA books take place over in Europe and cover some darker topics. Read on to learn more about the books and the author! Enjoy!
Renate quits her studies in Bergen, Norway, and moves to buzzing London. She tries leaving her tragic past behind but nothing can stay unrevealed forever. During a reckless party night with her new best friend Madeleine she meets Mr Right, who finds out about her dark secrets and doesn’t run away.
Despite having already decided “never again”, Renate finds herself falling in love, and there are plenty more unexpected things heading her way. She refuses to listen to warnings from her well-meaning friends, making excuses for her boyfriend both to them and to herself with “but he loves me…” But how much is too much even in love? What happens when Renate finds out that she is not the only one with a secret? The dangerous cat and mouse game back in Norway was just a warm-up for this one.
Where did you come up with your ideas for But He Loves Me?
“But He Loves Me” is the sequel to “And You Must Love Me”, the first book in a trilogy. It’s a transformational story which centers on the experience of Renate. When I was doing the research for the book, I came across some heart-wrenching stories that you wish were not true. These stories gave me inspiration to write this book, they pushed me to write the broken and ugly parts as I want to raise awareness.
Renate seems to struggle with the idea of love vs. her friends’ opinions of her Mr. Right. Is this something you think lots of girls struggle with?
At least I did! I wanted to fit in the group and their approval was important. Later on I learnt to listen better to my own intuition and select my own path.
Where there parts of your story that were difficult for you to write?
Yes, it was an emotional roller-coaster. While writing, I saw the world through the eyes of my characters – sometimes they took me to pretty dark places…
What made you want to write a book aimed at teenagers?
I didn’t sit down and think that now I start out to write a YA trilogy; I just had a story to tell. Once I had completed my debut novel, my publisher classified it in the young adult genre due the age of the characters. I would also add my books under transformational novels.
It seems that Renate travels a lot. Do you have a lot of experience travelling? Have you visited the places Renate goes?
Sure, I love travelling and I have visited the places where Renate goes. It was the fun part of the research for my book. What a brilliant excuse to travel to beautiful Bergen and lively London!
What do you hope readers will come away with from your story?
I hope readers will come away from the book more aware what it means to be a prisoner of the past… My hope is that I have told the story in a way that it provokes thought in readers – about what it means to be free and about the potency of hope that we are actually capable of healing our wounds from the past. We are so much more than our story. ❤
I’m looking forward to receive more feedback from readers, and I would also like to invite them to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
Here’s the link to my e-book:
Katja Rusanen is a Finnish writer who has been living in Barcelona since 2004. ‘But He Loves Me’ is her second novel. It is the sequel to her debut novel ‘And You Must Love Me’ which was published in 2011.
She is a Spiritual Life Coach and writes a blog about how you can become the star of your life. She is involved in charity work and participated in a Kilimanjaro charity climb for the Amani Children’s Home in Tanzania, in February 2012.
If you would like to find out more about Katja, check out her website; www.katjarusanen.com