Hello! My name
is Michael Hurd, and I wrote the stories for the
children's book Where Is Turnip Troll, and Other Stories from Lapland.
I was born in
the United States, and I have lived in Finnish Lapland
for 27 years. I live in the town of Rovaniemi, which is located just a
few miles south of the Arctic Circle. Ever since I moved to Rovaniemi,
I have worked as an English teacher at the University of Lapland. (If
you read the stories in the book carefully, you might notice a few
references to my background in English teaching; there's one about
verbs on p. 90, for example.)
wife is a Finn. We have three kids who are adults now (the
youngest one turned 20 the summer before the book was published),
but they were still small when I began to write these stories, and they
were my first audience. You may have noticed that there is a story
dedicated to Emily, one to Nora, and one to Jonathan. It took me a
while to write the stories and even longer to get them published.
Fortunately, a few years ago, I met Ulla Etto, the illustrator who
created the wonderful pictures for the book and then contacted the
University of Lapland Press, who were interested in publishing the book.
I am one of the co-authors (along with my friend and colleague Richard
Foley) of A Learner's Glossary of Lapland. Besides Where Is Turnip Troll,
I have written many poems, novels and children's stories. In addition to
writing, I sing, play guitar and write songs for three bands that are based
in Rovaniemi: The Ramsons, Close Enough, and Ringwear. Every year I ski
several hundred kilometers (as many as I can) and pick buckets and buckets
of berries. Lapland is my home.
picture of me at the top of this page was taken a few years ago by
my oldest daughter Emily on the last day of our family's five-day hike on
the Bear Trail in Eastern Finland. I'm holding up the first cloudberry I found
that summer. Ironically, you can see a mosquito on my forehead; I didn't
notice it till after the picture was developed, so I guess it had plenty of
time to get a good meal!