1827 – Inferno

April 3, 2012 at 6:48 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

My next novel 1827 – Inferno comes out in the fall in Finnish! It’s about the Great Fire of Turku and last year’s heavy metal musical 1827 – Infernal Musical is based on the same story. Become a Facebook supporter of the book, and stay updated on the latest developments.

Today we published the book’s cover, designed by the fabulous Tuomo Parikka!

Usually one should never judge a book by its cover, but I’ll let you make an exception in this case 🙂

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Stand By Me meets The Life of Brian

August 15, 2011 at 9:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Pitching a movie in Hollywood you start with a pitch and move on to a one-pager, a synopsis, a treatment, a step outline, and then a screenplay. This is the one-pager for the novel Son of Man. (The movie rights were optioned to actor/producer Ron Gilbert.)

SON OF MAN

An autobiographical Jesus novel by Mike Pohjola

 ”It’s Stand By Me meets The Life of Brian.”

I grew up in a religious family where everyone was sure I would one day be something great. I agreed.

I’m five years old when I decide to climb a tree with my best friend. It had just stopped raining and the forest is slippery, but my friend is very persuasive. He climbs first and I follow. Then maybe twenty feet up my rubber boot slips on the branch, and I fall. There are rocks down below, and my head will hit them any moment and I will die. Then at five feet above ground, I stop. I’m hanging upside down in mid-air. I look up, and see that the bootstrap on my rubber boot is caught in a branch. I climb down gently.

I walk back home with my friend, and he tells me the branches have scarred my face. My mother is horrified as she cleans the wounds. ”Your guardian angel saved your life,” she says.

That’s right, I think. God told my guardian angel to save my life. But why? He doesn’t save everyone’s life. Why am I special? What plan does God have in store for me?

Five or six years later, after carefully examining the Bible with a child-like furor, I realize that it’s possible – maybe not probable, but possible – that I’m the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I’m proud that I’ve figured out God’s plan, but I also fear His punishment. What if He didn’t want me to know yet? I decide not to tell anyone, but try to be as good a Jesus as possible. I can’t smoke or drink or swear or disobey my parents or go around kissing girls. What kind of Jesus would I be?

The novel follows Julius, my alter ego, as he grows up in the shadow of his own Messianity. In the B plot we follow the Reverend Farfors who first baptizes little Julius as a young priest, and then goes on to become a sort of Pontius Pilate character later on.

The book follows Julius’ life from birth to until his about twenty-four. Despite all the Jesus stuff, he manages to experience many of the things that unite all those who grew up in the 80s and 90s. He plays Dungeons&Dragons, he loses his religion, he has several girlfriends, goes to demonstrations, he listens to metal music, he envies his friend’s Commodore-64, watches 9/11 on tv, makes graffiti, falls in love and fights with his parents. [SPOILERS OMITTED.]

The book ends with [SPOILERS OMITTED].

Publisher: Gummerus, 2011.
Language: Finnish, translations upcoming
Pages: about 500
Reference books: The Buddha of Suburbia, The Catcher in the Rye

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Son of Man finished

August 8, 2011 at 9:50 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’ve finished the manuscript for my autobiographical Jesus novel, and sent it to the lay out people. Son of Man will be printed this month and published in Finnish in September 2011. Translations will follow soon, I hope. The first words I wrote for this made their way from my fingertips to the keyboard in 2006, so it’s taken a while.

While waiting for more information, come Like the book on Facebook! http://facebook.com/ihmisenpoika I’ll be adding pictures, the latest news and other fun stuff. 🙂

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Ashterdam

April 20, 2010 at 10:24 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Because of the ash cloud I’m stuck in Amsterdam with my wife. The sun is shining and we don’t have to pay for the expenses, so it could be worse. But I’m still missing on lots of cool stuff.

A week ago I flew to London for a short work gig with The company P. On Wednesday evening I took a plane from Heathrow to Amsterdam, where my wife Elina and I took part in the EU-funded Languages Through Lenses short film workshop. Later this summer we’re going to make a short film based on our plans presented here, and we met some filmmakers from around the continent with similar plans.

On Thursday we found out about Eyjafjallajökull erupting, and on Friday the workshop was degenerating into chaos since everyone’s flights had to be reorganized. Our return trip was supposed to be on Saturday evening.

My intent was to leave Helsinki on Sunday morning and take the train to Turku, where they were rehearsing 1827 – Infernal Musical. I admit, the week was packed quite tight. This mandatory vacation has certainly taught me something about both flying on aeroplanes and being so damn busy all the time.

On Sunday the troupe in Turku read the book of the heavy metal musical for the first time, with what I assume was the final cast. Something like this is always a magical moment, and I hated to miss it. Especially since I’d only finished the script a few days before. The comments from actors and the rest of the crew have been very positive, and the project became much more concrete for everyone. I can’t wait to attend some of the reading rehearsals myself.

Funnily enough, while I was writing the text that eponymously takes place in the Turku Fire of 1827, I was thinking whether or not to mention the huge vulcanic eruption of 1815. It covered the entire planet in an ash cloud that resulted in a ”Year Without a Summer”. It was cold, crops were ruined, people were starving, European cities had food riots.

As a side note, four writers were summer vacationing in Switzerland in that year of 1816, but because of the vulcanic winter the weather was so bad they just stayed inside and held a horror story contest. Thus was born Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – A Modern Prometheus, and John Polidori’s ur-Dracula The Vampyre. Two of popular culture’s central figures were born vecause of the summerless year. Lord Byron taking part in the same contenst later wrote the apocalyptic poem Darkness about the that year.

I left the vulcano out of the dialogue, since I thought nobody would believe a vulcanic eruption could have such global consequences. Now I’m stuck in Amsterdam because Eyjafjallajökull is spewing ash into the atmosphere. From Facebook and cell phone I’ve managed to soak in some of the mood of the reading. Here’s a picture of the event. (The reading, not the eruption.)

On this weekend Sweden hosts Knutpunkt, where I was going to hold three programme items. A Jesus-themed larp called Messiah, a ritual workshop with Erlend Eidsem and assisting Martin Elricsson in the presentation. The first I canceled and the two latter will be taken over by the others.

Right now it looks like we’ll leave ’Dam on a night train to Copenhagen, change trains there or in Malmö, and arrive in Katrineholm near where Knutpunkt is being held. We’d take part in the Punkt’s last evening, continue from there with bus to Stockholm and take the ferry to Helsinki. If nothing goes wrong…

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Kalevala fans, unite!

January 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

I made a Facebook fan group for Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. I can’t believe there wasn’t one before. Join it!

I also tested out Wordlea and created an abridged version of Kalevala. The common words are bigger. I’d say this is pretty accurate. The central characters have the big words, then there’s lots of saying and speaking.

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Year in Status

December 19, 2009 at 11:23 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A fun Facebook app made a collage of the status updates I’ve had over the year. Quite a nice collection, excluding the fact that I also got married somewhere in there 🙂

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