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Interview: How to survive in Finland as an American author ?

2013-04-02

31 years ago, Russell Snyder moved to Finland from California. He makes his living writing and giving lectures in this remote Nordic country, and claims he enjoys it here – well most of the time, anyway. Find out what he has to say about his style of writing, and the country where he has had some many experiences (fortunately, mainly positive ones).

Russell Snyder

You are known for your entertaining non-fiction books such as “The Lighter Side of Finland.” How did you find your style of writing?

I try to use engaging and humorous texts whenever possible. People are bombarded with too much information these days; to get their attention you have to stand out from the crowd.

However, in many of my writing assignments, one can’t use humor. So I strive to make texts clear and concise.

What else have you written?

I’ve done lots of articles and columns on everything from culture and travel to business and technology.

My previous book, Finland – It Works, is very different from The Lighter Side of Finland. It’s an extremely positive coffee table book that focuses on the Finnish brand. I have also written a range of guidebooks, gift books, and textbooks.

What are your favorite non-fiction books?

There are so many. I enjoy Dave Barry’s humor books, Bill Bryson’s travel books, biographies and autobiographies if they are well written. And I read a lot of positive thinking books to inspire and motivate me.

You are currently using an Amazon Kindle e-book reader. Was it difficult getting used to this device?

Not at all. I use it while waiting in line, take it with me when traveling, and read in bed before going to sleep. It’s terrific having a book store that’s open 24 hours a day.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’d like to write more about Helsinki and some other cities in Finland. Shorts stories interest me as well as flash fiction and poetry.

What are your favorite things to do in Finland?

Swimming in a lake after a sauna, skiing on a well maintained track at my own pace, and attending as many Christmas parties as possible. And there are many more. Have you got any suggestions?