Erika Vik’s Twin Suns trilogy has gained instant success in Finland after its publication. The first part is called The Girl Without a Name and the second part, which was just published is called The Seer of Selesia. This fantasy tale discusses xenophobia and the pain of loss.
At the Helsinki Book Fair on 26th October, Erika Vik told she had completed the whole series, when she came up with the idea that the characters should travel by train. So, she rewrote the three books changing all travel to the rails. This anecdote highlights her dedication to the series. Unlike most other Finnish authors, Vik has invested in creating a digital universe for her readers.
Erika Vik is a graphic designer and she has illustrated the world of Twin Suns on her website. She told that she imagines the events of her books in her mind like a movie and then tries to report them to readers by words.
Teen and Adult Minds Meet
The idea for the Twin Suns was born in 1996 when Erika Vik was 14. At the time she didn’t find any fantasy books that would have satisfied her and thus she decided to create her own fantasy world. The now published Twin Suns novels are a mix of what the 14-year-old Erika created and what the adult Erika Vik has written. But Vik says it is very important to her that there are both elements in the books.
The character names in the Twin Suns trilogy are quite clever. Erika Vik has collected names since her teen years. Her proven method for name creation is to look for Latin species names from books and then modify them to her needs.
A strong theme that carries over the entire trilogy is the fear of what is perceived as foreign or strange. It is not a question of a battle of good and evil, rather it is the question of xenophobia. This theme has been in the series from the beginning, but when the refugee crises in Europe culminated in 2015, Erika Vik wanted to bring the emotional aspects of it to her novels. In the second part of the trilogy, Erika Vik wanted to raise the question of the responsibility of the media and politicians in the refugee and immigrant issues.
YA, New Adult or Adult Fantasy?
Erika Vik says she is writing a fairy tale for adults. She doesn’t hesitate to write about the adult relations as they are and including sexual relations. Primarily, she writes the stories for herself and doesn’t think about the age group of potential readers. In Finland adult fantasy is pretty much non-existent. Thus, Erika Vik’s trilogy will most likely gain readers from the whole age range. The more intimate scenes are not a problem here, but in the Anglo-Saxon literary world they would classify this series as adult fantasy.
Erika Vik has created a very visual website around her books. She offers in the website additional information about the Twin Suns world, to help the reader to understand better the conditions in which the characters live and the history affecting their choices. Erika Vik says she is surprised at how little the Finnish publishers invest in the web. Vik is determined to make her series a multichannel experience for the readers.
I will definitely add this series to my Bookworm’s Wishlist for the Santa! 🙂