The World of Torak, Renn and Wolf

Noora writes…

Dear Michelle Paver,
I am a 19-year-old reader and fan from Finland. It might be quite late to express my adoration for your novels, considering the fact that your latest ones have been published over a year ago, but I would still like to try. I first stumbled upon your beautiful writing style and compelling storytelling when one of my close friends recommended Wolf Brother to me back in November 2018. I originally read the first six parts of Wolf Brother in Finnish and briefly said, I fell in love with every single page of them. Just this spring I got Viper's Daughter, Skin Taker and Wolfbane, and after life had interfered quite a few times, I finally finished reading Wolfbane this autumn. Closing the last part of what has become a favorite series of mine felt like saying goodbye to a dear friend. There isn't many words that I am able to put together to describe the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions your books have brought up in my mind during these years, but one thing is sure: I will be back to visit the world of Torak, Renn and Wolf many, many times in the future. I won't make this statement any longer, so I'll just leave it to this: thank you for writing something so authentic, original and inspiring as Wolf Brother. Your work (everything from your researches to worldbuilding and storytelling) is something one of a kind.

And if this isn't something you have already answered to somewhere, I would like to ask you the following:
Was there a certain moment or a specific reason that you become intrigued by the Arctic wilderness and the Nordic historical aspects which you write about?

Kind regards, and wish you all the best!

Michelle Replies…

Dear Noora, Thank you so much for such a beautiful and heartfelt message – and in perfect English!  I’m delighted that you enjoyed your return to Torak’s world after so many years away, and even more that you intend to return.  Your question about what drew me to the Arctic and all things Nordic isn’t, as I recall, something I’ve been asked before; at least, not that I can remember. But it’s a good question, albeit one that’s hard to answer, as it goes back a long way.  When I was a child, I read a brilliant English version of the Norse myths, and fell in love with them.  My favourite god was Odin (who, incidentally, had wolf and raven companions, like Torak) – but above all, my imagination was fired by the thought of the vast forests, mountains and fjords.  From then on, I was drawn to all things Nordic – and thence to the Arctic.  Perhaps too it was a reaction against my background: I was born in central Africa and my father was South African, and although I loved him, maybe unconsciously I wanted to head north, to find somewhere for myself.  But this is all after-the-fact rationalisation, and the truth is probably buried unreachably in my unconscious!  Thank you again for getting in touch, and may you spend many more happy times in Torak’s world.  With very best wishes, Michelle