Meet The Author: Tapio Saarelainen

 We thought our readers would like to get to know more about Tapio Saarelainen, who brought us WHITE SNIPER.  See how 005_hayhamuch you know about Simo Häyhä here 

Why did you decide to write this book? What prompted you to put this story down on paper?

Simo Häyhä was and continues to be the best military sniper of all times. His personality is one of a kind in how he always remained focused and humble.

 How much research did you do for the book?  Can you give us some tips on this?

  • Over the period of five years I interviewed Simo Häyhä for dozens of hours and recorded the discussions. I also interviewed his relatives several times. In addition, I did research in relevant archives, although the archival work didn’t materialize in a great deal of usable material.
  • If possible, interview the persons concerned and their close ones. Be prepared to use a considerable amount of time for doing research.


How long did it take you to write it?

The writing process took a couple of months but the data collecting procedure consumed five years.

What do you like most about your book? Why should we read it?

  • The book gives room for Simo Häyhä and his personality and highlights what military sniping requires.
  • To get an understanding what it takes to operate as a military sniper in war and what type of personality this requires.


Where and when do you usually write?

Since I nowadays produce mostly academic papers, I tend to write in my study when off duty. During the summer break I write at the summer cottage 1.7 kilometers from the eastern border zone.

Thanks for chatting with us, and don’t forget to take our quiz!


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