In January 2013 Salla Simukka was awarded with the Topelius Prize for her novels Without a Trace (2012) and Elsewhere (2012) in recognition of the best Finnish youth novel.
What was it about the fairytale of Snow White that made you want to write a crime trilogy?
Actually it was the title. Or all the three titles. I first began thinking about writing a crime novel for young adults and then it hit me: As Red as Blood would be a perfect title for such a novel. After that I instantly knew that I would also have to have a book called As White as Snow and a third one called As Black as Ebony.
So the titles came first and then I wanted to use fairytale elements also. It was clear for me from the very beginning that I wouldn’t be rewriting the story of Snow White or adding anything supernatural into the novel. But what I did want to do was to play a little game with the reader: Use bits and pieces the reader would recognize from the fairytale. Play with the common knowledge. Take advantage of the associations.
And let’s face it: most fairytales are quite dark. Snow White is no exception. It is a story about fear and growing up and attempted murder and death. I think it is more of a crime story than a love story. I also believe that fairytales were the YA literature of their time. They deal with the same issues YA literature deals with today: becoming an adult, choosing your path, standing up against cruelness of the world, falling in love, finding your place, death and sorrow.
I was of course also intrigued about the possibility to use strong colours: red, white and black. They appear in many forms in the trilogy.