Sunday, May 03, 2009

Branding Myself: Finnish

I'm trying to think about several angles for the "branding" idea, which I must admit still makes me a tad uncomfortable. I revile the forces of capitalist consumption in its may destructive forms, so I rebel at the idea of turning myself or my book into a product. However, I am well aware of the monumental task of finding the readers that are out there for any book, so I steel myself for the task and dive into this project with all the enthusiasm I can muster -- which for this book is a lot.

I'm very proud of my Finnish heritage and the reconnection with my roots that gave birth to this book. The problem, of course, as folks have pointed out, is that most people don't know much about Finland or the people who came from there in the 19th and 20th to settle the northern Midwest. What's the likely thing people think of?

Saunas!

Yes, that's why I chose this picture, which I found hilarious. Saunas are healthy. They're great ways to keep yourself clean. Before modern hospitals, they were the usual place for women to give birth. All kinds of traditions rose up around the sauna, from proper etiquette to magic.

What's that? Magic? Yep -- one of my stories in Unikirja, "Raising Lempi" a group of women practice an old ritual one learned from her grandmother for increasing their sexual attractiveness. I learned about this from my research and was quite intrigued with all the old magic connected with the sauna.

What else do you associate with Finland? Nokia? Lordi? President Halonen looking like Conan O'Brien? (My pal Ulla Suokko was in one of his fake ads!)

11 comments:

Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama said...

Funny thing, I always think of Norwegian Fjord Ponies when I think of Finland, but I am pretty sure they are associated with Norway. Oh well!

Alan Latchley said...

I visited an all male sauna during what I call my 'curious'
phase , I can confirm as you say the experience was magic !

K. A. Laity said...

Somehow I imagine a film I am Curious...Latchley.

Jennifer, LOL -- you are correct. I love Norwegian Fjord Horses and Icelandic Horses, but they are further west indeed.

Enid Wilson said...

It's great to know sauna may have a correlation with sexual attractiveness! I guess with the steam openning up the pores, your skin gest better and smoother, thus increasing your attractiveness...

What are the topics you covered in the book? Maybe you can put up a poll to ask people how to brand it.

htt://steamyfantasy.blogspot.com

N A Sharpe said...

Looking forward to learning more about Finland and its mythology. I'm intrigued!

NA Sharpe
http://nancysharpe.blogspot.com

Dr.Mani said...

Saunas and magic! Who woulda thought it?! There's fodder for many blog posts right there - and grandma's secret sounds pretty intriguing as well ;-)

All success
Dr.Mani
Author: "Think, Write & RETIRE!"
http://ThinkWriteRetire.com

Karen Walker said...

Branding is an awful word - it makes me think of branding cattle (and I was in marketing for 30+ years). Perhaps you can reframe this for yourself and think about what is is about your subject that will touch your readers. Your post about "magic" touched me, since I am quite interested in ceremony and ritual. Just relax and imagine the people who might find your book interesting - who are they, where are they, what do they do, etc. Good luck!

Karen Walker
http://www.karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com

K. A. Laity said...

Thanks for all the positive feedback on magic -- it is an intriguing topic!

Nancy, you're right. Maybe I'm getting hung up on the cynical vocabulary when what I really want is to find the readers who will love this book, but don't know it yet.

Cranky Yankee said...

When I think of Finland, I think of....death metal!!!

And you, of course. ;-)

Did an all-women sauna once, it was suppose to be part therapy and part " spiritual women's ritual." It was interesting, but I didn't get out of it what it originally was for.

Later, my old coven (mixed-gender group) did a sauna for magickal reasons. But I came away from it with the same feelings I had with the first sauna.

If there was a sauna just for relaxing/cleanliness reasons, I would highly recommend it.

K. A. Laity said...

Heya, Cranky -- long time no see! Yeah, I think the relaxing must be done to really appreciate the sauna. When you're focused on other things, it tends to be less present.

Todd Mason said...

Well, much like CY, I now think of the Finn-Ams (and Finns) I know, ahead of a Sampo or Nokia or TO THE FINLAND STATION or BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN.

And how the Finnish word for "Reunion" seems to have twelve syllables among its twenty-five letters...