10 Questions: Melissa Georgiou
- What is a perfect morning to you?
Any morning that doesn’t start with the sound of an alarm.
- Have you adopted any new habits or interests since moving to Finland from Australia?
Of course, I have become a massive fan of the sauna. What’s not to love about getting naked in a hot climate? I also love it because it is one of the last phone-free places where you can really become present with others (or yourself) without a device getting in the way.
- Where do you go to write – what is your creative space?
Any sparks of creativity arise when I am in a quiet space both mentally and environmentally. So, I would say my home is my creative space.
- Why did you choose a meatball as the main character for your books?
My husband is Finnish. When he was a child, his father used to tell him bedtime stories about a meatball. Many years later, my husband started telling similar bedtime stories to my son. How could I resist carrying on this tradition? Finns love this character (known here as Lari Lihapulla) and they have really taken these stories about emotions to heart. I’m so happy about that!
- What was your favourite children’s book when growing up?
Anything and everything by Roald Dahl.
- What is a typical family time activity in your home?
We go to the sauna together. My son has loved it since he was a baby.
- What is the main lesson you want children to learn from your stories?
I want children (and parents) to understand that all emotions are acceptable, but not all behaviours are. Also, that it is good to practice sitting with our emotions, getting to know them and treating them kindly – rather than running away from them.
- You have said that throwing the biggest tantrum can turn into a competition in your house – who usually wins and why?
Haha! This is true. I did say this. Sometimes, my son will be having a tantrum, and I get so worked up that I end up throwing a tantrum as well and the whole thing turns into a circus. So the truth is, nobody ever wins. And that’s why I wrote these books about emotions. To help both parents and their children navigate these sometimes tough moments. Parenting is my greatest challenge and best practice. I feel it is the same for many.
- What would be the number one item you would choose to take with you to a deserted island?
My coffee machine!
- What is the funniest stereotype Australians have of Finns?
I think Finland seems like such an exotic place for Australians, so the first stereotypical thing that comes to mind is the darkness, the snow and the silence. As for Finns, I think Australians might see them as rugged and strong, competing in those famous wife-carrying competitions and so on… pretty funny. Still waiting for my husband to suggest we compete…