I’d been promising you more interviews and here is a very special one for me. I loved the novel Carta a Charo when I first read it in Spanish and I was lucky enough to be asked to translate it. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to a Spanish writer, Estrella Cardona Gamio, and her novel Letter to Charo.
First, the author tells us a bit about herself.
I have a BA in Fine Arts and I’m an author of novels, stories and children’s tales, I have also been a member of the Spanish Association of Journalists and Correspondents, and I’ve contributed editorials and short tales to different publications. I have also collaborated in radio with my own featured programmes. My first novel was self-published in paper years back, El otro jardín (The Other Garden). In March 2006, I published a book of short stories, La dependienta (The Shop Girl), with a publishing company in Madrid, hybrid publishing. In 1999, my sister, María Concepción, registered the publishing company C. CARDONA GAMIO EDICIONES (that started as an online publishing company that same year). From 2006 we started publishing books in paperback format and from the 28th April 2012 we are on Amazon, in Kindle format, broadening our horizons.
Here are the questions:
When and how did you start writing? I started writing novels when I was eight years old, instinctively copying others. I was an avid reader and wanted to imitate the writers I read. It was a game to start with but with time it stopped being one.
Describe for us your experience as an independent (self-published) writer: Very satisfying. Like many first-time writers, I went through the litany of sending inquiries to publishing companies and finally when Amazon reached Spain, I found what I was looking for, a serious and honest company. My official baptism of fire in the indie world couldn’t have been better.
Is there a moment that you remember with particular affection from your career as a writer, up to now? For me, the experience of writing is already the best of all moments.
What made you decide to translate your novel Carta a Charo (now available in English as Letter to Charo)? The fact that the action of this novel, now Letter to Charo, develops through the exchange of letters, between London and Barcelona, and I thought it would be very appropriate to translate it, and as you are an excellent translator (her words, not mine) I approached you with the project.
Tell us a bit more about your novel. It’s a novel written with plenty of love and I enjoyed the possibilities the interaction between the protagonists all immersed in the same novel, but so different between them, gave me, as they progressively share with us their thoughts and their personality. Charo’s character is a jewel, a true finding, as without her there would be no novel.
Do you have any advice for your writer colleagues (and especially for new writers)? Not to feel disappointed if they are not successful from the very beginning. Writing is a beautiful but thankless profession. We shouldn’t look for millions of sales, or for becoming one of the top ten writers, we should try to write well and not lose our patience in the process. All the writers who persevered triumphed in the end and that’s the important thing.
Here a review, written by a publisher, Marlene Moleon:
“Epistolary novels allow us to get close and personal with the intimacy of a character in a way not possible through any other narrative form. It is like entering the world of a person as she is, without embellishments or interpretations on behalf of the narrator. Estrella Cardona Gamio shows us her mastery of the genre with LETTER TO CHARO.
A short novel where rich human feelings and passions fit perfectly in the short number of pages given.”
Thanks so much to Estrella for her interview and on my behalf for her words and to her and her sister Concha for the opportunity to translate this great novel, thanks to all of you for reading and don’t forget to like, share, comment and CLICK!
I’ve been promising you for a while that I’d be back with some more interviews to writers who had had their books translated to English. But summer can be a very busy season, not only in the writing department but also with school holidays, personal things, etc, so there has been some understandable delay.
Finally today I bring you Mo de la Fuente. My confession… I was the one to translate her book. I have appended my review at the end, although this is my review of the novel in Spanish (I don’t comment on the quality of the translation. Mo has been kind enough to tell me that she has enjoyed the English version too, and I recommend the story wholeheartedly).
Mo told me she couldn’t find any pictures she liked of herself (although I can tell you I like all her pictures), so….
When and how did you start writing?
I had always written short stories because I didn’t have the patience required for a novel. When I got the idea for my first book Ojalá Paula (Hopefully, Paula) I realised that it was time to sit down quietly in front of the computer and dedicate to the story a bit longer than just a few hours.
Describe briefly your experience as an independent author:
I imagine that my story is that of most independent writers. After sending my manuscript to many publishing companies and having it rejected, Amazon seemed to be a good way to share what I do. The main problem I’ve had is promoting the novel, because sometimes one has to make hard choices between carrying on writing or dedicating one’s time to marketing and selling the books. The advantage: the freedom to write what you want within the deadline you choose for yourself. Zero pressure.
The moment that I remember with the most affection (until now) in all my experience as a writer is the first positive review of my book and, of course, the many hours I spend writing.
I don’t have a favourite genre. I’m a compulsive and eclectic reader. I read almost everything.
What made you decide to translate your work? And what process did you follow to find a translator?
I decided to translate the novel because my sales were increasing day by day in the United Kingdom. When it was time to choose a translator I chose Olga Núñez Miret because she had the characteristics I was looking for: a writer in her own right and one who lived in the United Kingdom.
Tell us a little bit about your novel.
The Quiet Island is a police procedural story with a very singular backdrop, a magnificent island close to Alicante, and I think the profile of the protagonists is pretty unique too. The public have particularly liked the character of Mónica Esteller, sub inspector in the case, with a troubled past that is slowly uncovered throughout the novel.
Any advice for fellow writers (especially new writers).
I don’t think I’m the best person to give any advice other than to enjoy writing and to keep your feet firmly on the ground at the moment of publishing. What I mean is: it’s difficult to live of your writing. It’s likely that one’s favourite book struggles to find any readers but, what does it matter? Apart from any success of sales, a true writer will never be able to stop writing, so, let’s enjoy it!
And here, the description of the novel and my own review:
As dawn breaks, the usual calm of a tiny quiet Mediterranean island is shattered by the news. A teenage girl has gone missing. Inspector Villanueva, temporarily transferred to the island, and sub-inspector Esteller must fight against the elements, the lack of resources, and their own demons to solve the mystery of what happened in a place where nothing ever does.
My review. An island, a Mystery and Unforgettable Characters.
I don’t read exclusively a single genre, although I freely admit that I like thrillers and I read quite a few of them. In part because they are like a puzzle we try to solve thanks to the clues the text gives us, in part because I like to see how the writer manages to bring something new to the genre. And for me, no matter what type of story I’m reading, finding interesting characters I can connect with it’s the most important thing.
This novel takes place in the in the small island of Tabarca, in the Mediterranean, off the shore of Alicante. As several of the reviews of the book note, reading the novel makes one want to visit it, because of the wonderful descriptions of the peace and quiet, the thought of a place with no cars, without pollution, and calm. In such a small place, where everybody knows everybody else (apart from the tourists, of course) and where nothing ever happens, a girl’s disappearance is an event that upsets everyone. And when Clara turns up dead, things only take a turn for the worse. The combination of the place and the setting with the investigators: Hernán, an inspector sent there god knows why, Mónica, who had been sub-inspector in Barcelona but decided to quit due to personal reasons, and Raúl, the only one not hiding from something and who is totally happy there, works beautifully.
The investigation is hindered by circumstances (even with the arrival of the inspector, there are only three police officers in the island, there’s no lab, and now way of following correct protocol) and the lack of resources (an excellent commentary on the budget cuts Spain is suffering) and little by little we discover more details about the island’s inhabitants and about the members of the police. I really enjoyed the ending (that I won’t talk about in detail as I don’t want to spoil the surprise) and it rounds up a novel that although short is long enough to intrigue and touch us.
I found Mónica’s personal story, closely related to the case, fascinating, and it would make a great novel (or more than one) on its own. Apart from the details, for me the author manages to portray complex psychological aspects and the reactions of the characters in a very accurate manner, by using several points of view, that help the reader get under the skin of the characters, sharing in their emotions and their life experiences. For me, Mónica, María (the victim’s mother) and the island of Tabarca stand out in the narration and I’m sure I won’t forget them in a hurry.
I recommend this book to readers who love mystery novels that go beyond the usual, psychological thrillers and extraordinary settings.
Thanks so much to Mo for the interview and for her novel, thanks to you all for reading, and remember, like, share, comment and CLICK!
Meet YA Sci Fi author Jonas Lee and watch as he reads from A TIME TO REAP, Book one in The Legend of Carter Gabel. Then get to know him as he shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win one of two signed paperback of A Time to Reap. The contest is open internationally.
Summary: Pemberton Academy is not just a school, it’s a gathering place for the children of the future that are afflicted with Temporal Displacement and Telepathy; in short, time travelers and mind readers who have been diagnosed with this “disease.” The Academy is not all as it seems after an explosion nearly takes one of its classmates, but not before Carter Gabel rescues her by using an unknown symptom related to his described illness. An unsanctioned group called the Program begins taking notice as the two classmates exhibit stronger abilities when they are together. Carter’s sense of reality begins to unwind as he learns more about his estranged father’s involvement with it all.
Carter will have to overcome the past of his father leaving, the present of an unknown adversary hunting him down and a future that seems to change with each decision he makes. He will have to learn who to trust out of the people in his life if he wants to conquer the looming notion that the government may be hunting him down because of his developing abilities.
Interview by Book Nerd Paradise
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GET TWO FREE EBOOKS – Power of the Heir’s Passion (Prequel) and Blast of the Dragon’s Fury (Book One) in the award-winning Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series are available for free download. Just tell L. R. W. Lee where to send them.
Meet YA Fantasy author D Nichole King and watch as she reads from THE SPIRIT, Book one in The Spirit trilogy. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter to win a signed paperback of The Spirit, book one in The Spirit trilogy by d. Nichole King. The contest is open internationally although an international winner will receive an ebook, rather than the paperback.
Summary: While seventeen year-old Carrie Reese’s parents were working out the details of their divorce, she headed to Villisca, Iowa to stay with her grandparents.
Villisca was home to the infamous Axe Murder House… It’s known to be haunted by the ghosts of the victims and their killer. Carrie doesn’t believe in ghosts, but the moving curtains and red flashes of light in the windows of Lot 310 were starting to give her reason to watch her back.
Then in walked Lucas… Within days, Carrie knew she was in love. But Lucas seemed strange: his hands were cool and hollow, he barely touched his food, and there was sadness behind his brilliant green eyes. Lucas was falling for Carrie but knowing that loving her puts her in grave danger, he reluctantly slips out of her life…. He struggles between staying away and telling Carrie his darkest secret. Unable to stand being apart from her any longer, he decides she must know.
Interview by Book Nerd Paradise
Be sure to leave a comment
GET TWO FREE EBOOKS – Power of the Heir’s Passion (Prequel) and Blast of the Dragon’s Fury (Book One) in the award-winning Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series are available for free download. Just tell L. R. W. Lee where to send them.
Meet YA Fantasy author Ali Cross and watch as she reads from BECOME, Book one in the Desolation series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two signed paperbacks of Become. Giveaway is open to domestic & international entrants.
Summary: The battle over Midgard begins with just one girl …
Earth has been without a Guardian since its creation, but Loki means to take it for himself. His daughter, sixteen-year-old Desolation, wants nothing more than to stay in Hel where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent to Midgard to make her choice–and what she chooses will determine not only her own future but the fate of all the worlds.
Interview by Book Nerd Paradise
Be sure to leave a comment 🙂
GET TWO FREE EBOOKS of the award-winning Prequel and Blast of the Dragon’s Fury, the complete Book One in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series. Just tell L. R. W. Lee where to send them.
Meet YA Fantasy author R.K. Ryals and watch as she reads from MARK OF THE MAGE, Book one in the Scribes of Medeisia series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two signed paperbacks of Mark of the Mage. Giveaway is open to domestic & international entrants.
Summary: Books never die, but they can be forbidden.
Medeisia is a country in turmoil ruled by a blood thirsty king who has outlawed the use of magic and anything pertaining to knowledge. Magery and scribery are forbidden. All who practice are marked with a tattoo branded onto their wrists, their futures precarious.
Sixteen year-old Drastona Consta-Mayria lives secluded, spending her spare time in the Archives of her father’s manor surrounded by scribes. She wants nothing more than to become one of them, but when the scribes are royally disbanded, she is thrust into a harsh world where the marked must survive or die.
Meet YA Fantasy author Danielle Jensen and watch as she reads from STOLEN SONGBIRD, Book one in the Malediction Trilogy. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a signed paperback of any one of the three books in the Malediction Trilogy. Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.
Summary: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
Meet YA Fantasy author Jenna Nelson and watch as she reads from THE SNOW GLOBE, Book one in The Winterhaven Chronicles. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two ebook copies of The Snow Globe. Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.
Summary: By day, Sondrine Renfrew works at Cimmerian’s Curio Emporium, her aunt’s apothecary and antique shop in London, 1875. By night, she weaves fire, water, and air into both inanimate objects and living creatures. When a hooded stranger offers Sondrine a snow globe in trade for medicinal herbs, she accepts, enchanted by the castle, forest, and sea encapsulated under the glass. Her enchantment fades, however, when her deceitful aunt betroths her to one of London’s wealthiest men—a complete stranger.
Determined to escape the marriage, Sondrine trades her corset for trousers and decides to run away. With one foot out the door, she falls down a veritable rabbit hole into Winterhaven, the haunting world inside the snow globe. Sondrine soon discovers her arrival in Winterhaven is no accident. There, she meets Shán, a man who broods more than the darkened sky above. Turns out Shán is not to be trusted. Not only is he the man who sold Sondrine the snow globe, he is a bounty hunter employed by the king. The beginnings of a sovereign war have been set in motion and an Immortal queen, one who uses fire as a weapon, is set on destroying Winterhaven. Because of her Elemental gifts, only Sondrine has the means to stop the queen. If Sondrine refuses the king’s request, he will behead her. If she rises to the challenge of killing the Immortal queen, her death is just as imminent. After all, an Immortal queen cannot be killed. Or can she?
Welcome back YA Fantasy author Michelle Madow and enjoy the baby shower for her brand new release ELEMENTALS 2: THE BLOOD OF THE HYDRA. Watch as she reads a portion from it, and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a an ebook copy of the book!
Summary: A demigod who can kill with a touch. It’s an ability that must be kept secret, even from those trusted most.
Finding out that she was a witch was strange enough, but now Nicole must face the realization that she has the rare power to kill with just a touch. No one can know her secret — not even Blake, who she’s had undeniable chemistry with since first moving to town.
Now Nicole, Blake, and the three others with elemental powers must journey abroad to stop a series of monsters that they previously believed to be dead from rising once again and destroying the mortal world. Will they all survive the quest? And how long will it be until Nicole is forced to use her ability to kill in front of everyone, revealing the true darkness of her powers?
Meet YA Fantasy/Dystopian author Aria Michaels and watch as she reads from KILLSHOT, Book one in the Icarus series. Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two ebook copies of Killshot, book one in the Icarus series by Aria Michaels. She may also give away a paperback if there’s lots of entries. She is also reserving the last slot of beta readers for book two in the series that’s releasing June 1st for one lucky winner!!Giveaway open to domestic & international entrants.
SUMMARY: After the death of their parents, seventeen year old Liv Larson and her younger brother are separated by the foster care system. Her grades slip, her friends drift away, and she gives up on her plans for college. The only thing that matters is keeping the promise to get back to her brother. After months of solitude and anti-social behavior, Liv’s best friend Riley drags her to their high school’s rooftop solar flare party. Despite the beautiful lights dancing in the sky, Liv finds herself captivated by Zander, a mysterious boy with a crooked smile. For a few hours, she allows herself to feel normal again.
That is until what should have been a small flare erupts into a massive solar storm. Cut off from the rest of the world with no sign of rescue, fear and paranoia begin to take their toll on the group. Battle lines are drawn and their ranks are divided. Soon, those left behind must embark on a perilous journey to save one of their own…but, something sinister awaits them in the shadows and it’s undeniably connected to Liv.
Can she keep her promise to reunite with her brother? What are Liv and her friends willing to do to survive? Will their bravery and determination be enough to save them all from a rogue military unit, a terrifying virus, and the things that go bump in the night?
Meet YA Sci Fi author Jo Michaels and watch as she reads from M. Then get to know her as she poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two prizes: a signed paperback or an ebook of the same.
Summary: In 2026, it finally arrives, the drug promising to make life easier for the masses. One dose of M and anyone can gain an ability. There are no promises made as to what the power could manifest as, but people are crawling over one another to take a chance.
There’s a problem: One pill costs a million dollars. Only those with extraordinary wealth are afforded the luxury of cleaning house with a click of their diamond-adorned fingers or solving a puzzle by talking to it.
A knockoff begins circulating in 2038 that does the same thing as M. Hundreds of thousands of people have mutated for a mere one hundred dollars.
Enter the year 2042.
Seventeen-year-old Griffin is a normal kid, who has a regular job, and dreams of going to college someday. When his girlfriend of three years succumbs to peer pressure, they break up. He believes the body is a temple not to be messed with outside of nature, and she wants to fit in. Once he meets the supplier, things take a turn for the worse.
He’s left with nothing but pain in his heart and the desire to make them suffer when his plans for payback blow up in his face.
Thirst for revenge consumes him, and he finds himself locked in a battle he never anticipated with a merciless kingpin as they struggle to gain the advantage.
Meet YA Fantasy author Kelly Martin and watch as she reads from HEARTLESS, book one in the Heartless series Then get to know her as she shares a favorite quote and poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a signed paperback of the same.
For thirteen years, Gracen Sullivan dreamed about a red-eyed demon named Hart Blackwell who tortured her every night. Her mother freaked when she found out about her daughter’s “hallucinations” and forced Gracen to go to the doctor, who prescribed some very powerful medication which kept Hart out of her head for five years.
A week ago, Hart came back and brought a friend.
But something has changed, and Gracen is seeing Hart when she’s awake too. And the other “friends” in her dreams? They have been found dead.
The police want to talk to her.
Her boyfriend has become distant.
Her dreams are becoming more and more intense.
Hell wants her.
Heaven has to stop her.
When push comes shoving, can Gracen fight the evil eating away inside her or will she be forced to embrace it and destroy the world?
Meet YA Fantasy author Michelle Madow and watch as she reads from ELEMENTALS 1: THE PROPHECY OF SHADOWS. Then get to know her as she poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a signed paperback of the same.
Summary: Witches are real. They’re descendants of the Olympian gods. And now, five witches gifted with elemental powers must fight to stop a war against the Titans.
When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly… she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers — and, to her dismay, by Blake — the school’s notorious bad-boy.
Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.
When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious elemental powers. But the comet has another effect — it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town… and possibly the world.
Meet YA Fantasy author Lindsay Brambles and watch as he reads from BECOMING DARKNESS. Then get to know him as he poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a signed hardback of the same.
Summary: Like everyone else living in Haven, seventeen-year-old Sophie Harkness is an Immune – a carrier of the genetic mutation that protects her from the virus Hitler unleashed upon the world more than half a century ago. A virus that wiped out most of humanity and turned two-hundred million people into vamps. But after her best friend is brutally murdered and several attempts are made on her own life, Sophie becomes determined to find answers to what seems to be a conspiracy running generations deep. And when she questions the peace treaty that keeps her small community protected, Sophie begins to discover terrible truths about herself and what it means to be human in a world ruled by darkness.
Meet YA Fantasy author Cheryl Carpinello and watch as she reads from SONS OF THE SPHINX. Then get to know her as she poses a fun trivia question. Be sure to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for one of two prizes: (1) eBook copy of Sons of teh Sphinx for an international winner AND (1) a paperback of the same for a US-based winner.
When 15-year-old Rosa agrees to help the ghost of King Tut find his lost queen Hesena, she doesn’t count on falling for him. Once back in Ancient Egypt, Rosa discovers that finding Hesena is not all she must do and is not as easy as she thought it would be, even though she carries part of that lost queen in her soul. She must also keep out of the reach of the living Horemheb–who crosses mortal boundaries using Seth’s evil magic–if she is to stay alive to make it back home.
As you know I try to bring you writers who mainly publish in Spanish and whose works have been translated to English to help you discover their wonderful offerings. Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you Carmen Grau, a writer from Barcelona (like me) who after travelling widely (and she keeps travelling) now lives in Australia. Therefore the interview title is a bit of a misnomer as she has written it in English, but I thought you’d find it fascinating. And it’s a topic fairly different to the fiction I usually bring you. If you have children you’ll find her take on children’s education pretty interesting too.
And here, without further ado, I introduce you to Carmen.
Carmen Grau was born and grew up in Barcelona, Spain. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Barcelona and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Providence College, R.I. She writes in English, Spanish, and Catalan. She has traveled extensively and lived in different countries like the USA, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. In the year 2000 she set out on an unplanned journey around several Southeast Asian countries, and a year later she wrote “Amanecer en el Sudeste Asiático” (Sunrise in Southeast Asia), the number one ebook in all travel categories on Amazon Spain in 2012 and 2013. In 2004, she wrote the novel “Trabajo temporal”. In 2013, she published a second travelogue, “Hacia tierra austral”, which tells her journey on board some of the most legendary trains in the world, from Barcelona, Spain to Perth, Australia. The novel “Nunca dejes de bailar” is her most recent work, published in February 2015. She writes regularly in her blogs: elblogdecarmengrau.blogspot.com, in Spanish, and raisingchildreninfreedom.blogspot.com, in English. Apart from writing and traveling, Carmen has many other passions like cooking, walking, and reading; most of all, spending time with her two unschooled sons, Dave and Alex. She is a child advocate and a firm believer in the right of children to self-education. When not traveling, Carmen and her two sons live in Dunsborough, a small town in the South West of Australia.
When and where did you start writing?
I started writing when I was little. I remember writing my first book when I was eight. I don’t know what happened to it, but I still keep the journals I started when I was ten or eleven. I never stopped, but I did burn some of the later journals so that my siblings would stop wanting to read everything I wrote. I find this very ironic now because they are not interested in reading my books. I don’t mind and we still get along great.
Tell us about your experience as an independent writer
I published my first book Amanecer en el Sudeste Asiático (now available in English as Sunrise in Southeast Asia) on Amazon in 2012. I wrote it in 2001, right after my seven-month journey around Southeast Asia. I tried to get it published in Spain with no success. In the meantime, I kept travelling and living life. I also got distracted with marriage and kids. One day it dawned on me that the book had been sitting in a drawer for ten years. I only gave it to read to friends who knew about it and asked for it. One day a writer contacted me. She had heard about my book through a common friend and wanted to read it. She liked it and encouraged me to do something about it. So I decided to try again to get it published in the traditional way. I sent it to over thirty literary agents in Spain. Four of them replied and one said they loved it and would be happy to represent me. However, they did not manage to find me a publisher and blamed it on the current economic crisis in Spain. It was then, at the end of 2011, when I decided to self-publish my book using my small second-hand book business name, Dunsborough Books. The book finally came out in April 2012 and started selling on Amazon straight away. Soon it became number one in all travelling categories on Amazon and has remained at the top since its publication. After that, I was encouraged to keep self-publishing and, of course, writing, which I had never stopped doing. Since then, I have been contacted by traditional publishers who are interested in my work, and I might consider trying this other way, but for the moment I am happy as an independent author and publisher.
Do you have a particular moment about your experience as a writer that you remember with particular affection?
I can’t think of one precise moment. I have lots of anecdotes regarding my readers which I cherish. Once a reader found one of my books on a bench. He picked it up, read it, loved it, and wrote to me to let me know all this. Another time, my sister went to Thailand for a month and she met a couple who started telling her about this great book they had just read. It was my book!
Do you have a favourite genre (as a reader and as a writer)
As a reader, I don’t have a favourite genre, but there are genres I wouldn’t read even if they paid me. I read a lot of non-fiction. I love travel books, but also psychology and science books. And I love reading fiction too, mainly literary fiction. As an author, I aspire to write good quality contemporary fiction and also non-fiction about the things that interest me, like education and travelling.
What made you decide to translate your book? And how did you go about it?
The Spanish version of my first book was so successful that I thought I should try to have it translated into English. Besides, all my English speaking friends asked me for it. At the time, I didn’t think I would have the patience or skill to translate it myself, so I looked for a professional translator. Someone recommended me one that turned out to be quite unprofessional. I saw that straight away, so nothing was lost. Then I did some research myself, through Linkedin. I found a translator that seemed very talented and professional and started working with him. It was a great experience and I will be recommending him to a lot of people.
Any advice for other writers?
Have your book read, proofread and revised by as many people as you can, prior to publication. You’ll be surprised at how disparaging your friends’ opinions will be. In the end, though, you decide what changes to make. Write for yourself, you’re the first one who has to like it. If you like it, many other people will like it too, because you’re not that unique. That’s what I do, anyway.
Links to follow Carmen and read more about her book:
Book in paperback (and you can also get the e-version matched for price if you get the paperback)
As promised, today I bring you an interview. If you remember, I brought you Lola Mariné’s book, Havana Jazz Club when it was in pre-order and being shared in Net Galley for early reviews. Now that it has been published, it’s a great chance to have a chat with the author. First, a little information about her:
Lola Mariné is a writer and has a degree in Psychology.
She has taken part in four anthologies of short-stories: Tiempo de Recreo (2008), Dejad que os cuenta algo (2009), Atmósferas (2009) in aid of the Foundation Vicente Ferrer, and Tardes del Laberinto (2011).
Nunca fuimos a Katmandú (We Never Went to Katmandú), her first novel, was published by Viceversa in 2010. Two years later, the author published the e-book herself in Amazon and it became one of the bestselling books in Amazon Spain in 2012.
Gatos por los tejados (Cats on the roof), a book of short stories on varied subjects, was published in 2012 through Amazon.
Habana Jazz Club (Havana Jazz Club) , her second novel, was published in Amazon in 2013 and has been recently translated by AmazonCrossing to English and German.
In 2014 Parnass Publishers launched her book on travel Nepal, cerca de las estrellas (Nepal, close to the stars), also translated to English.
And in 2015 she published a children’s book called Aburrilandia, el país sin libros (Boredomland, the country with no books). She has also recently entered the second Amazon contest for independent books written in Spanish with a thriller El caparazón de la tortuga (The tortoiseshell) that is one of the five finalists. The winner will be announced on the 15th of October.
She is hard at work on a new novel and teaches courses on Creative Writing.
I started writing when I was eight years old, more or less. Before that I would always tell stories out loud that I would invent them as I went along according to the requests of my listeners: love stories, horror, adventures… My audience used to be my friends and the other girls in the same class in school. The nuns (it was a religious school) would always ask me to tell stories to keep the class under control and quiet when we were doing sewing, crafts and those kinds of things.
I wrote my first novel when I was 12.
How have you found your experience as an independent writer?
The truth is that my first novel, Nunca fuimos a Katmandú, was first published in paper through a traditional publishing company (Viceversa). Luckily I hadn’t sold them the digital rights, and a year after its publication I decided to upload it to Amazon. It became a bestseller and it was one of the books that sold more copies in Spain in 2012. That encouraged me to carry on writing and publishing books and up to now I’ve already published seven. The last one, El caparazón de la tortuga, is a finalist in the 2015 Contest for Independent Writers in Spanish organised by Amazon.
Is there a moment you remember with special affection from your experience as a writer?
Without a doubt when I saw my first novel, Nunca fuimos a Katmandú, published. The day when it reached the bookshops we celebrated it with cava, and afterwards we went to visit the biggest bookshops in Barcelona to enjoy seeing it among the new books in the shelves and take pictures. It was one of the happiest days of my life: a dream come true.
There have also been wonderful moments in my interaction with readers: letters, comments, messages that moved me, where they explained to me their thoughts after reading the novel, their feelings and they also told me they admired my work. Writing is a lonely and uncertain job and obtaining that feedback from the readers is the best reward.
What’s your favourite genre (both as a reader and as a writer)?
I like to write the types of books I enjoy reading: basically stories about women, actual, real, what is called Women’s Fiction. Although in fact, among the seven books I’ve read there have appeared other genres; I have written a travel book (also translated to English), a children’s book and even an erotic novel, and now my last novel is a psychological thriller.
What made you decide to translate your book? And how did you find a translator?
Well, in my case it wasn’t my own decision but Amazon’s. They offered (as a publishing company) to translate Habana Jazz Club to English and German. And with that I also reply to your second question: they found me and they took care of everything.
Tell us something about your book
Habana Jazz Club (Havana Jazz Club, in English) is a love story, but it’s not a romantic novel. Love is force that drive the protagonist throughout her life, but it’s not only romantic love, it’s also the love she feels for her family, for her parents, her son, and her friends, and even for somebody who cannot return her love in the same way. It’s a story of fighting against the odds and courage and a little homage to the great Billie Holliday, whose name is shared by the protagonist.
Any advice for your peer writers (especially for new writers)?
The best advice I can give them is that they should be self-critical and humble. A lot has been said about the ego of the writers and probably there’s some truth in that. We all believe we have written the great work of art the world had been waiting for. But there are many and very good writers. If a publishing company (or several) rejects you, it isn’t because they know nothing about literature or they don’t like you; probably your work isn’t as good as it should be. Carry on working and never give up.
I’ve had the pleasure of reading Havana Jazz Club and I leave you my review:
Love doesn’t conquer everything but art is a great consolation
The novel Havana Jazz Club by Lola Mariné narrates the adventures of Billie, a Cuban girl, daughter of a woman who adores jazz and decides to call her Billie as an homage to Billie Holiday, despite everybody telling her that ‘it’s a boy’s name’. Billie inherits her mother’s love for music, particularly jazz music, and luckily for her, that love never disappoints her. Unfortunately, the rest…
I’ve never been to Cuba and I only know about it what I’ve read in books or watched in movies. I wouldn’t dare to comment on how realistic or not the description of Billie’s life before leaving Cuba is, but her home life is endearing and loving and shows us a close and happy family. Although we all know mothers’ are always right, unfortunately Billie ignores her mother’s advice and her mistrust, and marries a boy, who isn’t only handsome but also knows it, Orlando. Billie leaves Cuba and a big chunk of her heart there, and follows her husband, and things don’t work well for them. Billie’s story once they arrive in Spain becomes one of domestic violence and exploitation. And things only go from bad to worse, to the point when she ends up living in the streets of Barcelona, where she is rescued by her guardian angel, Armando. And when things start to look up, the men in her life continue making her miserable. And I won’t tell you anything else because you must read the novel.
Lola Mariné has written a masterful melodrama. There are irredeemable baddies, goodies as sweet as sugar, terrible suffering, and talent and music, plenty of music. There were moments when I couldn’t help reading ahead convinced of what would happen, and that it would be bad, but the same as when we’re dragged by a fast current, I couldn’t do anything else but let myself go and see if I came up, unscathed, at the other side. And despite her trials and tribulations, and the disasters that pepper her journey, or perhaps because of them, the protagonist makes her dreams come true (in a small-scale but…), and creates a family made up of people who love her because she is who she is, and not because she’s been born here or there, or because it is their duty.
The part I enjoyed the most (and I loved it all) was when towards the end, the author, first through Gerardo and later through Billie herself, reflects upon the nature of creativity, about what the really important things in life are, and the tranquillity of feeling happy and comfortable in one’s own skin, without pretending or having to worry about appearances. I hope we can all reach such a state at some point in our lives.
If you enjoy novels with a heart, with unforgettable protagonists, and the stories about self-improvement and personal achievement, I wholeheartedly recommend it to you.
Thanks so much to Lola Mariné for bringing us her novel and answering our questions. Thanks to all for you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment and CLICK!
As you know I’ve been sharing interviews with writers who usually publish their books in Spanish but who have now had one or several or their novels translated to English. Today I have as a guest Armando Rodera one of the authors who first discovered the possibilities of self-publishing his work, and who has lived through many changes in publishing. But I’ll let him tell us all about it.
I was born in Madrid in 1972, and I became a voracious reader from a very young age. I studied Telecommunications and IT, and worked for a decade in the technological sector until I decided to go into literature.
Pioneer of digital publishing in Spain, I landed in Amazon in 2011. Since then and in the last four years, I’ve become the published author of El color de la maldad (Color of Evil), a bestseller police-thriller that was my first publication, La rebeldía del alma (The Rebellion of the Soul), an intimate thriller that has been global number 1 in Amazon Spain, Juego de Identidades (Game of Identities), novel of action and adventures, and Caos absoluto (Absolute Chaos), a dystopian police thriller. I also have a non-fiction work, La llave del éxito (The Key to Success). I’ve published all these titles independently in Amazon.
My first traditionally published work was El enigma de los vencidos (The enigma of the defeated), a mystery novel with a historical background that was published by Ediciones B in 2012. In 2014 Thomas & Mercer published the English version of El color de la maldad, which has been very successful in the USA, UK and Canada.
I’m also editorial reader, manager of content and freelance consultor in projects of marketing online and new technologies applied to the publishing sector.
When and how did you start writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a small child, either handwritten letters or short tales. When I was 11 or 12 I won a writing competition at school. After that, once at college, I dared to write some nonsense that was soon forgotten. It wasn’t until the end of 2003, a period with numerous changes in my life, not only personal, but also with regards to my family and my profession, that I decided to take the plunge and I started on my first novel, El enigma de los vencidos. An inflection point that was also greatly influenced by my reading the fantastic La sombra del viento (The Shadow of the Wind), by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I told myself that someday I also wanted to write a great work and if I could ever managed to make one of my possible future readers feel even a tenth of what I had felt when reading that novel I’d be more than satisfied.
Describe your experience as an independent writer.
I wrote my first two novels between 2004 and 2007. After that I went through all the stages that any new writer has tried in order to get his works published: submit to book awards, send the manuscripts to agencies and publishing companies, etc. I even had a contract signed with a company that self-published books in paper, but finally that was rescinded for a variety of reasons. Finally I gave up trying to follow the usual routes of the sector and decided to publish in Amazon in July 2011, when a lot of people didn’t even know of the existence of the KDP platform for authors.
In a few months my life changed completely. El color de la maldadvery soon became a bestseller in America and El enigma de los vencidos did the same in the Brand-new Kindle store in Spain. That novel was then taken up by Ediciones B, but I continued to publish on my own, and I even manage to reach the global number one in Amazon.es with La rebeldía del alma and many successes with my other works.
Then came the launching in the Anglo-Saxon market of Color of Evil and that was the fulfilment of another dream of any writer. Digital technology and Amazon Kindle Store have allowed me to reach dozens of thousands of readers all over the world and this is something that I could never have imagined when I started writing my first book.
What has been the best moment of your career as a writer so far?
At the beginning of 2012, Ediciones B and B de Books pushed for a new model, and trusted authors that were practically unknown to the great public, but who had been successful with their digital novels. That group of authors that I was a part of appeared in several national newspapers and magazines in Spain (El País, El Mundo, El Periódico de Cataluña, Tiempo, Interviú, etc) and we had great media repercusion.
Shortly after that, our novels were presented in an incomparable setting, the Feria del Libro de Madrid (The Book Fair of Madrid), in the well-known Parque del Retiro (Retiro Park) of Madrid. In my case I was lucky enough to be signing books for two days at that Book Fair, some memorable afternoons I’ll remember forever. Also, the book was distributed throughout the whole of Spain and some American countries with a great reception. Of course, it’s a wonderful feeling to find your own novel on the new books exhibits in the bookshops. I’ll always have a wonderful memory of that experience and I hope to repeat it again in the near future.
What’s your favourite genre (both as reader and as writer).
When I was a young child I fell in love with the novels of Alexandre Dumas and Jules Verne, adventures that have marked me forever. After that, already at high school, I became familiar with the works of Stephen King, who has become one of my favourite authors. Among the writers of detective stories I can’t forget Conan Doyle and his wonderful Sherlock Holmes. And much later I lost myself in Daniel Sempere’s stories, and his Cementerio de los libros olvidados (Cemetery of Forgotten Books), a crucial moment in deciding to dedicate myself to writing.
In general I enjoy thrillers, detective and police stories, adventures, intrigue and also historical novels or even horror novels. I’m an avid reader and I devour between 60 and 80 books per year. I love to read. I can mention many names: John Grisham, F. Forsyth, Ken Follet, Preston & Child, S. King, David Baldacci or Dean Koontz, among others. And of course, Spanish authors as popular as: Pérez Reverte, Almudena Grandes or Matilde Asensi, although in the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of personally meeting and enjoying the books of a new batch of Spanish writers creating new works today, in paper as well as in digital formats, that perhaps aren’t quite as well known to the big public.
That as a reader. As a writer I also tend to write in the same genres. Definitely, action and intrigue novels, thrillers, if we want to define them that way, but always with something else: drama, mystery, police procedural elements, some romance, a historical or suspenseful background. I like to fuse genres.
What made you decide to translate your work? And how did you find a translator?
My novels have been very well received in the States from the moment I started on my digital adventure, and that was why I wanted to reach the Anglo-Saxon market. I studied the possibility of getting one of my books translated independently, but the costs were prohibitive for me or the quality of the work offered for me to sample did not convince me, and I parked the project for a while.
Then I heard about the possibility of sending a proposal to Amazon Publishing, the editorial arm of Amazon. That’s what I did with my novel El color de la maldad, and to my surprise, in less than two months they decided to send me a contract for the book. They got it translated and published it in 2014 under Thomas & Mercer’s company, the publisher of the group specialising in thrillers and mystery novels.
Color of Evil has been number 1 for several weeks in the Police procedural category in the Canada Kindle Store, and also Top 20 in the category of International thrillers in the United Kingdom. It was also a prominent thriller in that category in Amazon.com, staying in the podium of ‘Mystery and International Crimes’ for several weeks.
Tell us something about your book
The genesis of this novel came in the spring of 2007, when after visiting as an occasional tourist several rural areas in our country; I had the inspiration that they could be the perfect opening point for an unconventional police procedural novel. From then on I began to build up a plot that became more and more similar to the Anglo-Saxon thriller, becoming somewhat detached from the usual canons of the classical noir Spanish crime novel.
What I found more difficult to create was the character of Jason, the psychopath around whom the whole plot revolves. He was the most complex of all the protagonists, due to the complexity of his psyche. I wanted to narrate what the psychopath felt and thought from his own point of view, and it was hard work, and that was why I also explained his childhood and adolescence, the main triggers, but not the only ones that lead him to become a blood-thirsty assassin.
When I started writing I knew the novel would revolve around a serial killer that leaves a trail of crimes throughout the whole of the Spanish geography, but I didn’t have his leitmotif. I had in mind the film Seven or Harris’s novels with Doctor Hannibal Lecter as protagonist, but I had no idea which path the novel would lead me into until I started writing. Later I found a solution that might surprise readers quite a lot.
In the first draft I didn’t name the assassin and the narration became quite complicated at times, especially during his interactions with other characters. I wanted to give him a name he chose himself, Jason, although we don’t get to know the real one until the end, to help with the plot building and to embody on someone concrete the brutality of those criminal acts.
I would never have imagined the reception my novel got, especially in America. “El color de la maldad” was published on Amazon.com in July 2011 and for over three years it has been the best-selling police procedural in Spanish in the American continent, becoming a longseller in América. The reviews and comments about this novel, in both sides of the Atlantic, have been almost unanimous throughout its trajectory, something I’m very proud of. The icing on the cake was a joint reading organised on the net, where 16 blogs agreed to write very positive reviews about this book.
Any advice for your colleague writers (especially new writers)
I don’t feel qualified to give advice; I’m still fighting and learning every day. But to any new writer I would tell him or her that this is a long-distance race, that one must fight for the things one believes in, but also make sacrifices. Read and write every day, learn from those who know more than us and try and improve every day. And above all, to have a polished and as perfect as possible manuscript if they want to publish it through Amazon, with the right formatting and an attractive cover. After that one can do as much promotion as one likes but the readers have the final word and if they don’t like a work, it will all be in vain. We are all different and so are our challenges, but we have the right to fight for our dreams.
As you know, for the last few weeks I’ve been bringing you the work of some authors who although well known to Spanish-speaking (and reading) audiences, you might not be very familiar with. And I’ve taken the chance to ask them a few questions so you can know them better. Today I’m pleased to bring you a writer from my home city, but who is a citizen of the world. Fernando Gamboa.
Fernando Gamboa (Barcelona, Spain, 1970) has devoted most of his adult life to traveling through Africa, Asia and Latin America. He has lived in several countries and worked as a scuba diver, Spanish teacher, entrepreneur, poker player and adventure guide. In the year 2007 he published his first novel La última cripta (The Last Crypt) and since then he has published five more novels: Ciudad Negra (Black City), La historia de Luz (The Story of Luz), Guinea, Capitán Riley (Captain Riley), and Tierra de nadie (Nobody’s Land) just over a month ago. Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of books he has sold in Amazon, it could be said that he is the independent Spanish author most read in the world.
When and how did you start writing?
I began to write in 2005 as a result of serious back injury that left me practically unable to move for two years and as I had to stop traveling during that time, I had no other option but to travel using my imagination. The Last Crypt was born from that time, and as a consequence, what has become my literary career.
Could you tell us something about your experience as an independent writer?
My first two novels were published by a traditional publishing company but the experience wasn’t a good one, so when Amazon appeared in Spain, I jumped on the train of the self-publishing and I carry on like that, very happy to have taken that step. I strongly believe that self-publishing is the present and will be the future of the literature of the world and I recommend all authors to join that revolution, so beneficial to those of us who want to turn writing into our way of life.
Do you have a moment you remember especially of your experience as writer?
For me the best has always been the affection the readers have shown me. I know it may sound trite but when hundreds of readers write to you to congratulate you personally on a novel and to thank you for making them dream through four hundred pages, it’s very touching.
Do you have a favourite genre (both as a reader and as a writer)?
As a reader, any novel that makes my heart beat faster and fires up the imagination, from sci-fiction to adventure or mystery.
As an author, I’m less worried about the genre than about being able to awaken the same emotions I look for as a reader. I imagine that is part of the trick to “hook” the readers: put yourself in their place and do not write ‘the end’ in a novel until, when you read with the eyes of an anonymous reader, you enjoy it as much as if you were a pig in a pigsty.
What made you get your work translated? And what process did you follow to find a translator?
The big world market of literature is dominated by books in English. According to the figures we are 500 million of people who speak Spanish, but what nobody says is that not many read. Very few people in Spain and even fewer in Latin America, so I think that translating one’s books is the best way to make a living out of writing, on the long term.
My current translator is a friendly woman from the States who lives in Cantabria (Spain) whom I met through the friend, of a friend, of a friend. She has translated two of my books to English (The Last Crypt and Black City, which is still being edited and I hope will be on sale before the end of the year) and the truth is that we have become very good friends.
Tell us something about your book:
The Last Crypt is an adventure novel that has sold over 200000 copies in the world in Spanish, Russian and Italian, as well as being the bestselling book (to date) in Amazon Spain, ahead even of such mega-bestsellers as Fifty Shades of Grey. That made me chose it as the one to get translated to English first, hoping that English readers will also enjoy it.
Any advice to your writer colleagues:
To never give up and to persevere if they want to become professional writers. Tenacity does not guarantee success, but without tenacity it is impossible to achieve it.
MORE THAN 200,000 COPIES SOLD IN EUROPE
– #1 Bestseller in Spanish & Russian
– “Best Action and Adventure novel of 2012 for Kindle” According Amazon Spain
– LAUNCH OFFER -75% OFF
«I could not stop reading it!.»
«I understand why this novel has been so successful.»
«An impressive and surprising ending, which gives you goosebumps.»
«You can´t stop reading. It’s great, spectacular & lots of fun.»
«It is one of the best novels I’ve read in a while.»
«The truth is that I did not imagine this book could make me enjoy as much as it has.»
«A stunning setting, believable characters, a great story and an unexpected ending.»
Diver Ulysses Vidal finds a fourteenth-century bronze bell of Templar origin buried under a reef off the Honduras coast. It turns out it’s been lying there for more than one century, prior to Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America. Driven by curiosity and a sense of adventure, he begins the search for the legendary treasure of the Order of The Temple. Together with a medieval history professor and a daring Mexican archeologist they travel through Spain, the Mali desert, the Caribbean Sea and the Mexican jungle. They face innumerable riddles and dangers, but in the end this search will uncover a much more important mystery. A secret, kept hidden for centuries, which could transform the history of humankind, and the way we understand the universe.
The Last Crypt in Amazon: http://www.relinks.me/1500749303
Thanks so much to Fernando for the interview and for bringing us his book, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK! And I’ll make sure I keep you informed when his next book, Black City become available in English too!
As you know I’ve been bringing you authors who write mostly in Spanish but who’ve been exploring other markets through getting their works translated. They’ve all been special in their own way, and Roberto follows suit, as you’ll see when you read his biography. Here he is, Roberto López-Herrero.
According to Wikipedia: Roberto López-Herrero (born in Madrid in 1970) is a Spanish writer, screenwriter, actor, director and presenter of TV and radio programs.
He has worked in a variety of programs at national and autonomic level amongst the most important Pecado Original (Original Sin), Saturday Night Live, El Método Gonzo (The Gonzo Method), En Antena (On the air), Un paseo por las nubes (A walk in the clouds) and A 3 Bandas (Three Way) on TV. But the piece of work that has brought him public recognition has been the narration of Ninja Warrior, the mythical Japanese programme. He’s working on the new episodes of the programme.
As an actor he has played in some episodes of TV series such as Maneras de Sobrevivir (Ways to survive) or Saturday Night Live.
On the radio he has worked in Te doy mi palabra (I give you my word, Onda Cero), El Jardín de los Bonsais (The garden of the bonsais. Protagonistas – Punto Radio), La Mirada Cítrica (The citric look. En días como hoy – RNE), and he has collaborated in Queremos Hablar (We want to talk, Punto Radio).
In the nineties, Roberto López-Herrero co-founded Ediciones Cronópolis, a publishing company of role games active between 1993 and 1997. Some of the role games published by Ediciones Cronópolis were created by López Herrero himself, for example Superhéroes Inc.1 o Jurasia.
He is the founder of the humor website El Expecial.
He is the author of two humor novels: “Antonio mató a Luis en la cocina con un hacha porque le debía dinero” (Antonio killed Luís in the kitchen with an axe because he owed him money) and “Una conspiración mundial secuestró a mi perro para que yo no contara todo lo que sabía” (A world conspiracy abducted my dog to stop me from telling everything I knew) and of the noir novel “Normal”, but personally, says Roberto, I’m Rober.
When and how did you start writing?
“I’ve always written, in fact in 1993 I created a micro-publishing company with two friends and we published some adventure books, but it was a pre-technological era and it was impossible for us to make it work.
I wrote my first novel, «Antonio mató a Luis en la cocina con un hacha porque le debía dinero» in 2013. How did I start writing? I imagine it came from reading a lot since I was a child and wanting to tell my own stories.
What could you tell us about your experience as an indie writer:
“It has been a fabulous school. I’ve done and learned to do everything: from formatting to marketing, but it is exhausting.
What’s been the best moment (until now) in your experience as a writer?
“When my wife read my first novel and she encouraged me to publish it. Closely followed by the day when I reached number 1 in Amazon.
What are your favourite genres?
“For entertainment, my favourite genre is science-fiction, in its hardest version, the farthest away from the space opera. For my formative reading I choose a bit of everything, from the classics to the latest books as one can learn from everything.”
What made you decide to translate your novel? And how did you go about getting a translator?
“A friend of mine told me that my third novel, Normal was like a film script and Hollywood should become aware of it. That’s how I discovered babelcube.com and I decided to put my books there. The rest just seemed to happen by itself, interested translators started to appear and today they read me in English, Italian, French…”
Tell us something about your book.
“Normal is a police procedural novel where the murderer is absolutely “normal” according to demographics, and the members of the police who are chasing after him are also “normal”, and that makes me think that we don’t really know what being “normal” means.
Any advice for your writer colleagues (especially those starting up)?
Work every day, hard, as if you were working in an office. You must be rigorous with your timetable and at least, produce two thousand words per day. (It isn’t mine, it’s Stephen King’s and I’d say it has served him well.)
I understand that ‘Normal’ should be available in English version shortly, but in the meantime, you can check all his books here:
Personally, I’m fascinated by the title of this one (actually, the dog one too, but this one is a murder in Twitter) so…
Antonio killed Luis in the kitchen with an ax because he owed him money by Roberto López-Herrero (Author), Anca Dora Costa (Translator)
Police officer Pepe Gómez little imagined the troubles he’d get involved in when he was assigned the investigation of Luis`s murder. At first it seemed very simple but as the clever researcher enters the curious world of Twitter to investigate, an international conspiracy comes to light.
Psychopaths with multiple personalities, TV presenters addicted to alternative therapies, beautiful and sexy hackers and a lot of different characters are part of this novel`s author`s universe, Roberto López-Herrero, who, to prove his healthy mental state, made his debut with a plot of intrigue and passion, emulating Agatha Christie herself.