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I always love meeting new writers and artists, and thanks to this blog, I get to do that often. Katja, author of And You Must Love Me, was no exception. She was a very entertaining interview. I have to admit that I was surprised and intrigued by her answer to #13. I love that kind of stuff! Read on and get to know her a little better…

1) How did you end up becoming an author? Was that what you’d always wanted to do?
I have always wanted to write, but kept postponing it for various reasons until one day a wise man gave me the push that I needed to start writing. “And You Must Love Me” is my debut novel, and the first part of trilogy.

2) What is your main influence as a writer?
It’s often said that all fiction has a tiny kernel of truth at its centre, and in this story it’s the traumatic event that changes Renate’s life. This actually happened to me and I have expressed some of my own experiences and feelings through the novel. I wanted to break the silence, as I want people who are going through the same difficulties to know that they are not alone!

3) I see you deal with gypsy culture in your novel. What is one thing about that culture that really appeals to you?
As a child, I remember admiring Romani women’s traditional clothing – high heels, heavy full-length black velvet skirts, colourful jackets with sequins, lace, and other details, and gold earrings. There was also a rumour that my grandmother had Romani blood and that made me interested in Romani culture later on…

One thing that really appeals to me is that Romani culture values kinship and family; it’s one of the main features of Romani societies all over the world.

4) Tell me about some of the other stories you’ve written.
I’m currently working on the sequel for “And You Must Love Me”. I also write funny short stories, six of which have been published by the Barcelona Connect Magazine over the past few years.

5) You mentioned in your biography you are a spiritual life coach. How did you get involved in that career and has it influenced you as a writer at all?
I had some very difficult experiences and struggled to find happiness for many years but then I found the right path that now gives me joy, and I want to help people to find theirs. My passion is in supporting people who want to reach their full potential and capacity. I specialize in assisting people in breaking through mental and emotional challenges and moving forward towards what they really want to achieve in their lives. Writing as well as spiritual life coaching, motivational speaking and soul plan reading are all go together, they are all pieces of the same puzzle.

6) What’s one book that has really influenced you?
If I need to select one, I’d say “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne because that book introduced me to the Law of Attraction, and so many good things have happened to me after reading that.

7) If you could make any fictional character real for a day and spend time with them, who would it be?
The Little Prince. He might have some things to teach me…

8) Do you need silence when you write or do you crank up the MP3 player? If so, what do you choose to listen to?
I listen to music while I write – it keeps the text flowing. My music taste varies from Rihanna to David Guetta and anything between… Sometimes I go on a memory trip with my music, and while writing “And You Must Love Me” I listened to Roxette and Nirvana as Renate would have listened to them.

9) Who is your favorite character in your book? Who is your least favorite? Why?
Uh, this is so hard for me. Renate’s character was maybe the hardest one to put together and the process required a lot of tears, but then Ellen was really fun to write. Sabina’s character expanded from the original plan as the words just kept flowing… Oh, and not to forget the bad boys… Well, I love them all– they are very special to me!

10) Kindle or hard copy?
Hard copy.

11) YA or Adult books?

12) Remakes or originals?

13) Do you have any unusual talents?
Yes, I can do Soul Plan Readings! Many people report significant shifts and changes in their lives after receiving a Soul Plan Reading. You can find more info on my website: http://www.katjarusanen.com/soulplanreading.html

14) Who would play you in the story of yourlife?
Good question! Who would you suggest? I would definitely need to organize a casting and see who would be the most suitable. Maybe Noomi Rapace…

15) Any final thoughts for my readers?
I’m look forward to receiving more feedback from readers, and I would also like to invite them to write a review on Amazon and Goodreads.

Connect with Katja

Twitter: @KatjaRusanen


When Renate falls for local bad-boy Ronny she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. After all, she’s only 15. She’s never had to deal with someone like his Gypsy girlfriend Sabina, who is ready to go to extremes to keep him. And she certainly wasn’t expecting to find herself caught up such a dangerous cat and mouse game which gets even more complicated when Ronny’s cousin Emil gets involved in it.

The news about the love tragedy that ensues travels fast in the small village of Loddefjord, Norway, and Renate feels invisible fingers pointing at her. She starts to fall apart under the pressure. But was it really Renate’s fault? Will she ever find out what really happened? Each malicious whisper at school increases her freefall. Can she stop her own destructive behaviour before it’s too late?


Katja Rusanen is a Finnish writer who has been living in Barcelona since 2004. ‘And You Must Love Me’ is her first novel. She also writes short stories, six of which have been published by Barcelona Connect magazine. She is a Spiritual Life Coach and is involved in charity work. In February 2012 she will participate in a Kilimanjaro charity climb for the Amani Children’s Home in Tanzania.