writing about real-life events

Writing a Book About Real Life Events

Writing About Real-Life Events by Author Helena Halme

I was so excited to talk to Helena and chat about writing about real-life events, her life, her love story with her English husband, and how she wrote this to a fictional novel. Helena has great tips for you if you are wanting to start writing books, blogs, or just want to learn more about what goes around the background of writing a book.

Her Instagram account @helenahalme is how I spotted Helena one day in my feed. I was intrigued by her Finnish looks and wanted to learn more about her and started following her. I realized that she had written a book about her life as a fictional novel on how she met her husband and wanted to know more.

How Did Author Helena Halme End up in England?

[bctt tweet=”Well, yes, it is quite a romantic story, but it’s quite tragic as well.” username=”thenordicmumpodcas”].

Helena Halme is from Finland but she grew up in Sweden. She met her English husband in Helsinki at 1980 that started their love story. She said they were living apart few years but kept in contact with letters, phone calls, and visits and eventually 1984 she married her husband and moved to UK.  Since then Helena has worked as a journalist, translator, and now as a writer in the UK.

How Did The English Heart Book Got Started?

The book is a love story of  Finnish girl Kaisa and English man Peter who is a naval officer. The story tells about their struggle to keep in contact, getting to know each other and falling in love against the background of his naval career and cold war that nearly kept them apart. Writing about real-life events has spun a five-book series by now.

Helena Halme book cover

Helena tells about meeting her now-husband at an English embassy dinner in 1980 Helsinki. How she came there to support a friend and ended up meeting a man that she fell in love with. Her husband was working for the UK Navy and this was a high level naval visit during the cold war era.

They were not sure if they were allowed to get married however they kept in contact by letters, phone calls after the visit, and meeting each other up in Finland and in the UK. She has kept all the letters they wrote in those years and they are the base of the novel The English Heart.

[bctt tweet=”The letters were an inspiration when I was writing the book.” username=”thenordicmumpodcas”].

Helena says her husband is really good at writing letters and she recently rediscovered the letters and was reading them and thinking how emotional they were and how much they missed each other during that time.

Living in the UK as a Navy Wife

Helena says it was really hard to settle for a job as a military wife as she was moving with her husband all the time. She had graduated from university but no employer was going to employ her as they knew that she would not be staying. Helena reminds me how life used to be when you had the job for the next 10 years with the same company and you were more settled.

She also found difficulties in the cultural aspects of UK and Finland. When we Finns are really honest and reliable. The English have the small talk when they do not really mean what they say like I really want to meet you for dinner phrase. When it actually meant that I do not want to socialize with you. She laughs that she had to learn this the hard way.

Moving Back to Finland?

Helena says that it was never really an option as her husband had a career in the Navy which she accepted. She says that the move is really in talks now after Brexit and COVID as Finland has done so well in keeping things going. But she feels that their kids would not want to move as they are settled to their lives in UK.

Do You Feel Finnish or EnHelena Halme authorglish?

Helena is wearing a Marimekko shirt on the podcast interview. She laughs and says the older she gets more Finnish she feels. She says her kids are English but they know that they have this 50%  of Finnish on them.

Her kids have very dark hair and look more like her husband but her granddaughter has very blond hair and blue eyes and looks very Finnish which makes her smile. She is strongly connected to her roots and visits Finland often.

[bctt tweet=” I would love to write a book in Finnish .” username=”thenordicmumpodcas”]

How Helena Became a Writer?

She laughs at this question as she said she was bored as an accountant working for her husband’s family business. She felt that she needed something else and she had always liked to writing. So she went to pursue this further completing a MA in Bath University on creative writing.

She originally had a blog that she wrote about her moving to UK and how different life was there compared to Finland. The blog fuelled her on and the first book Coffee and Vodka was published. This is a Nordic fiction about a dysfunctional family that moves to Sweden.

She says that she has re-written her first book the English Heart at least 5000 times and once self-publishing became the thing she knew she was going to take chance.

Helena is now an ambassador for Nordic in the Alliance of Independent Authors.  She says the indie industry is very supportive and she has got into coaching other authors on how to get writing and publishing and she says she really enjoys it.

Helana Halme author

Tips to Anyone Wanting to Start Writing

Helena had a few tips for any wanna-be indie writers out there so go and listen to the podcast to get them all. [bctt tweet=” It’s about real dramatic change in people’s lives, and how they cope with those.” username=”thenordicmumpodcas”].

However, here is a snippet of what she said:

  • Read a lot in the same genre you want to write about
  • Use voice or text technology to help you on the writing part
  • Practice writing, blogs, articles etc. as much as you can
  • Every story has a beginning, a peak in the middle, and the end
  • Have the discipline to write every day, have a word count that is achievable like 500 per day
  • Have a summary or outline of the story before you start and see where it takes you
  • Don’t write boring stuff, just skip and get into the exciting stuff
  • Write the first draft so you have something to edit

Where is Helena Halme in two years’ time?

She says she is dreaming about living part-time in the UK and part-time in Aland, Finland. Her dream is to write a book in Finnish so she would love to stay six to nine months in Finland and just concentrate on the book. The book would be an exciting Nordic crime story based in Finland.

While we wait for that book check out Helens back catalog in the links below.

Connect with Helena Halme

Website: helenahalme.com
Instagram: @helenahalme
Facebook: @helenahalmeAuthor
Twitter: @helenahalme
LinkedIn: @helenahalme

Connect With Me

You can connect with me on the following social platforms.

Facebook: @NordicMumSusanna
Instagram: @thenordicmum
Twitter: @NordicMumPodcas

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