#Interviews-in-Translation. @ElExpecial (Roberto López-Herrero). Nothing Normal about ‘Normal’ and a humorous take on Twitter and murders

Hi all:

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…”

Normal by Roberto López Herrero
Normal by Roberto López Herrero

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 Luís in the kitchen...
Antonio killed Luís in the kitchen…

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.

Or what do I know.



Just in case you read in Spanish, here is the link to «Normal» (I’ll keep you posted when it becomes available in English).



Thanks to Roberto López Herrero for being my guest, thank you to all of you for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret





The Legacy of Fear Q&A with Vanessa A. Ryan @vryan333

RW: I’m reading The Legacy of Fear now and enjoying it. The entire idea is right up my alley. How do you come up with the titles of your books?

VANESSA: Sometimes the title just comes to me. Other times, I ask my family, friends, the publisher, or even strangers I might see on the street to help me choose the best wording of a preliminary title. They’ll all haHorrorAtTheLakebooksve different opinions, and then the hard part is making the final decision.

RW: I am getting the whole the feel of, well, spooky, are you a sunshine weather writer or rainy day type?

VANESSA: I like overcast days. In fact, I love overcast weather. I feel more creative when the sky is gray and the atmosphere is a little foggy. Sunny days are just for enjoying the warmth of the sun, smiling a lot and not thinking much.

RW: Tell us about how writing regime, if you have one that is?

VANESSA: My writing schedule is to write at least a thousand words a day, seven days a week, for the first draft. Most of that happens late at night, when the phone is least likely to ring. I may stay up until two in the morning to get in those thousand words, especially when I’ve had a busy day doing something else. I know if I don’t persevere, I won’t get that first draft written. As for revisions and rewrites, I like those the best. The hard work is already done. Cutting, revising and adding is the fun part.

RW: Do you jump out of bed with coffee in hand or are you an afternoon writer?

I never jump out of bed for anything, unless the house is on fire––which has happened to me. I like coffee and breakfast in the morning, and reading the Los Angeles Times. Three days a week I read it online, and four days a week I get it delivered. It’s an important part of my daily routine. I never turn on the TV or radio for the news in the morning. I’m the type who wakes up slowly. I like to know what’s going on in the world, but without someone barking at me. If I can, I will write in the afternoon for a while. I might finish what I started writing in the afternoon later that night, if I didn’t get enough done.

RW: What do you have to avoid when writing a book?

VANESSA: I have to avoid too many other activities, or cut the time I devote to them. And since I’ve always got ideas in my head for new stories, I have to stop thinking of them so I can write the book I’ve already started.

RW: Do you ever get burned out?

VANESSA: Sure. Writing is work. It’s putting in the time. Since December, I have been taking a break. But the holidays are over, and tomorrow, I will begin looking at the edits of the last book in my trilogy, Horror At The Lake, A Vampire Tale. However, even when I’m not writing, I’m thinking of my next book or series of books.

RW: How do you start to write a book? What is the first step?V.Ryan

VANESSA: The first step is to decide which book floating around in my head I am going to commit to writing down. I usually know who the main character is and whether I’m going to write in the first person or in the third, but I will have to rough out the secondary characters. The next most important thing is to figure out the ending. The challenge then, is how to get from the beginning to the end. Sometimes I write plot points on three by five cards, and sometimes I just wing it and start writing. I try to write chapters that are about ten pages long, and I read over what I wrote yesterday, before I begin writing again.

RW: What books have most influenced your life most?

VANESSA: I think the books of Carlos Castaneda, Curt Vonnegut, Jerzy Kosinsky, and the mystery writers of the twentieth century, such Agatha Christie and Ross MacDonald. Also the noir writers, such as Cornell Woolrich, Charles Willeford and Dorothy B. Hughes. But one of the most important influences in my life was meeting Ray Bradbury after a lecture he gave. I had read Death Is A Lonely Business, and although not one of his most famous books, it is set in Venice, CA, where I once lived. It inspired me to write my paranormal novel A Blue Moon, which also takes place in Venice, CA. It was thrilling to meet the writer who inspired me to write the book.

RW: Recently one of our Team here on LWI wrote an article about being a writer versus being an author. Do you see writing as a career?

VANESSA: I do see writing as a career. Of course, every writer hopes to have a best seller, but regardless, I will keep at it as long as I have stories I feel impelled to write.

RW: Do you recall how your interest in writing first came to life?

VANESSA: I started writing in the third grade. My teacher allotted a portion of her lessons to creative writing every week. In the sixth grade, we put on a school play and I wrote the script.

RW: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

VANESSA: No. I’ll just write another book.

RW: What are you working on now?

palette-for-murderVANESSA: I am currently working on another traditional mystery, the second in the Lana Davis series, titled A Date For Murder. The first, A Palette For Murder, will be released this May by Five Star Publishing.

RW: How do you de-stress from those moments of word overload or word weary?

VANESSA: I don’t know that I get tired of looking at words, but I do need to take time off. I love walking in a park near my house, watching my favorite TV shows, traveling and socializing with friends.

RW: Book covers are more important than people think. I mean an author knows but I like how yours in a series almost brand the series. What’s the book cover process for you?

VANESSA: The publishers of my books have designers and they create covers from settings in the books that I describe to them.

RW: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

VANESSA: That first draft is always the hardest part.

RW: I agree with you there. Although my gazillionth draft seems to be hard too. Now what did you learn during the writing of The Legacy of Fear and really any book you write?

VANESSA: I have learned to be more forgiving. All my characters have flaws, some worse than others, but they have some redeeming or humanizing characteristics as well.

RW: What is one piece of advice you would give another writer?

VANESSA: Talk less and listen more. I get many of my ideas for stories from what people say.

RW: And now, what last thought for our friends today?

VANESSA: I hope you enjoy my books and the journeys they take you on.


Vanessa A. Ryan is the author of:

Horror At The Lake, A Vampire Tale (mystery trilogy):

Book 1, The Legacy Of Fear: http://vanessaaryan.com/TheLegacyOfFear.html#buy

Book 2, The Trail Of Terrorhttp://vanessaaryan.com/TheTrailofTerror.html#buy

Book 3, The Blood Of Redemptioncoming in April
A Palette For Murder pre-order now: http://vanessaaryan.com/APaletteForMurder.html#buycoming in April


Follow Vanessa A. Ryan at:


 There you have readers. By the way, you’ve seen Vanessa before. You may not realize it but I know many of you have. Snoop around and you’ll discover from where. By her books. I’m enjoying The Legacy of Fear now.~@RonovanWrites


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Singer, Actress, Teacher and Author Anne JohnstonBrown Q&A @AJohnstonbrown

Author actor comedianRW: Anne, Fitness Video Queen, Vocal Diva, Comedic Legend and author. Is there anything you can’t do?

ANNE: Haha. Well, Diva maybe… but Legend? Not so much. Actually, everything I do is “performance” related, so you could say I really DO just one thing… a lot!

RW: Okay, I’ll behave and we can get down to the serious questions. Your name came up while I was interviewing Becky Due. How did you get into the audio book line of the Lit World?

ANNE: It’s a rather impersonal business, audio book narration. I actually never met Becky. In fact, with most of my authors, we rarely speak after the first email. Of course, I always ask for information about their expectations as to character voices, but after that, it’s all on me. I got into audio book narration only after becoming a professional actor. I was working on a show with Ted Lange (you probably know him best as Isaac Poster_20Washington of Love Boat fame). Anyway, one of my co-actors was working in the audio book narration business and recommended I get into it. The next day, I had three contracts and the rest is history. I’ve done over 60 projects as of this interview, and last year Audible gave me the wonderful distinction of Best Female Audiobook Narrator. I was overwhelmed!

RW: Wow! Okay, geeked moment there. But I’ve heard THE VOICE so I understand the why the honor bestowed upon you. I would think you have to develop a certain mood for reading a book aloud for others, to be able to convey the levels of emotions and set a scene with your voice. How many times do you read a book before you do the audio for it? What kind of preparation goes into it? I would think it would be like any other acting performance in a way.

ANNE: Every narrator has their “method.” I shock people when I tell them that I never read the books ahead of time. I am one of those “in-the-moment” actors, who simply cannot know what is about to happen or else my performance is compromised. Since I get all the information I need from the author ahead of time regarding vocal qualities for the main characters, I need no other information in order to start the project. Occasionally, I will find that there was a piece of information the author failed to give me that is contradicted later by a choice I made for the character, but in those cases, I just mark for edit and re-do those parts later. It’s really worth that risk to me, since I know my process and what works best for me.

RW: How does one connect with you to do audio book work? For example if I ever needed someone, what all would I need to do to convince you to do it? Money? Pizza? New kick boxing gloves?

ANNE: Actually, I just got some new gloves for Christmas, so that wouldn’t impress me much, and I’m gluten-free, so pizza is out… money, however, always talks! Haha. Seriously, to book me for a project, you would simply go to my ACX.com profile page (by searching my name) and let me know you’re interested. I’m very quick to respond. Narrators have their price range, so it’s important to evaluate how much you are willing to spend on narration before contacting a narrator. For instance, I never do royalty work; my rate is $300.00 per finished hour. However, I often get offers from authors who think they can convince me to do their projects on royalty anyway. That just won’t happen. If I didn’t have rent to pay, maybe so, but as it is….

 RW: I think that’s actually pretty fair. You do more than audio books in the Lit World, you’ve actually written several books and that’s one of the main reasons I begged you to be here today. Tell us about your newest book.anne johnston-brown

ANNE: I’ve actually written several books in several different genres. I have a children’s book that I self-published in 2007, entitled The Chronicles of Pleasant Grove. I also self-published a mainstream fiction BookCoverPreviewpiece, entitled The Lives of Lyman Liri, which follows several life scenarios of a man as he makes life-altering choices and how those choices impact his destiny. It was inspired by my father and his experience in Viet Nam. But it is my theatre arts work with Smith & Kraus Publishers that has been the most successful. They published my book, The 10 Commandments of Theater, and it is now a required text in dozens of theatre arts universities. Theatre Topics Magazine gave it a great review, which I wasn’t expecting… It’s just a little theatre arts handbook, taking the actor from casting to curtain and specializing in method acting. My latest work, True to archeType: A Guide to Characterization in Comedy, is due out in the spring of 2015. We are currently in the editing process. I’m really excited about this one! I wrote my master’s thesis on comedy, and as I’ve been working with Fred Willard for over 10 years as a member of his sketch-comedy group, The MoHos, this book is long overdue. I’ll send you a copy when it comes out, of course!

RW: Okay, geeking again. Books are always welcomed. And from a celebrity as well. And yes you are a celebrity so no arguing. Tell our readers about your acting/theater background.

ANNE: I didn’t start acting until I was in my late 20s. I was raised in… I guess you could call it a cult… so when I left home and started “living,” I realized I had a knack for theatre. But instead of just diving into Hollywood without training, I went straight to college and majored in theatre. I got my master’s degree and started my acting career immediately upon leaving school. I’ve worked with some great actors, toured and taught as a Theatre Arts Professor at several Southern California universities, as well as The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. My favorite theatre experience was playing the Narrator at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. We performed to sold-out houses… absolutely the most exciting time of my life!

RW: How did you get into comedy?

ANNE: I didn’t start “doing” comedy until I met Fred (Willard). His wife, Mary, had cast me in one of her plays (she is a fabulous playwright), and the minute Fred and I met, it was magic! He invited me to join his comedy group, and from there, I wrote my one-woman show, The Wicked Fairytales, and recorded my album of song parodies, Touched in the Head. I still perform with the group, but with writing, acting and audiobook narration, I’m not as faithful as I once was.

RW: I think acting does a lot more for authors than they realize. An example is there is always a purpose for movement on stage. I use that in my books. What other techniques in acting would help authors with storytelling?

ANNE: Public Solitude!!! Thanks to Stanislavski, we as actors are encouraged to shrink our circle of attention down to its smallest point, only allowing in that which encompasses the world of the scene. As authors, we usually work in solitude and must create out of nothing more than our imaginations… in other words, we are not necessarily reflecting back anything we have actually seen. An actor who chooses to write usually has a greater benefit of drawing from their creative imagination, since that is how we find truth on stage. We merely extrapolate and assimilate those skills over into our writing process… if we can!

RW: What is your creative/writing process for something like this type of book as opposed to a work of fiction?

ANNE: Non-fiction is infinitely easier to write than fiction! With non-fiction, I just write of which I know and in my own words. With fiction, I must first create the “life” of the character and then write in his/her words. Before I wrote Lyman Liri, I had had an encounter with a transient who resembled my Papa (grandfather). I thought, “Wow! What if my Papa had made one change in choice? Would the direction of his life led to this?” Then, on inspiration, I decided to make the main character a person who lived (at least in one of his life scenarios) the same life as my father. Every time he made a different choice than the one before, his life went off in a strange direction. It basically shows how every choice we make is capable of determining the direction of our lives and dramatically altering our destinies.

RW: Are there any upcoming dates where people could possibly go and see you, meet you, get an autograph, bow down and kiss the ground your talent has walked upon?

ANNE: Well, I could tell you where I shop and you’re welcome to follow me around there… But I think there will be some autograph signings with this new book, so stay tuned to my website: www.annejohnstonbrown.com. If you’re in Los Angeles, my comedy group, The MoHos, performs once a month at the Second City theatre on Hollwood Blvd. I’m usually in the show.

RW: As an actor, give us the one piece of advice you would give a young actor, let’s say in New York right now trying to break into the business? (I ask because there is an incredibly wonderful young lady that has moved from small town USA to NYC and is doing that now.)

ANNE: Since I teach up-and-coming actors every day at the Academy, I am asked this question often! When parents of young children ask me this question, my first and most definitive response is: “Get them into dance school!!!!!!” I can’t stress this enough. Dance will not only help them become the triple threat we hope they can potentially become, but is enhances rhythm and coordination – two things so desperately needed by the actor! For adults branching off into their acting careers, my response is twofold: “Network and Hone.” This means, as soon as you get to New York or Hollywood, join a theatre group or an acting class or an improv group, etc. And I mean do this immediately. Don’t put this off until you feel inspired… it is a MUST! This is because you will not only be able to keep training and get feedback from classmates and teachers (known as “honing”), but you will also be in an atmosphere to begin the most crucial part of an actor’s process: networking. Get out there and meet people, get noticed, make a name for yourself. When you hone and network (especially if you can do both at the same time), you will be well on your way to “making it.”

RW: When can we expect your next work of fiction?

ANNE: Fiction? Hmmm… that’s a good question. I would say that I’m not planning on writing any more fiction, but if history has proven anything, it is the minute you say something like that, you immediately get inspired to write a book, and BOOM, there it is!

RW: When is Anne The Album coming out?

ANNE: Anne has released several albums over the years. I started recording as a teenager and haven’t stopped. However, much of my work has been archived. I used to record a lot of gospel music, and I may have a few boxes of cassette tapes leftover in the garage. But they would be pretty dusty by now! As for a new album, I can honestly say nothing is planned. But if you want to hear some of my cover work, go to my ReverbNation page: www.reverbnation.com/annejohnstonbrown.

RW: Whoa. Just went and listened. Awesome. Little Anne Wonder going on with Superstition. What has been your favorite musical role to date?

ANNE: Again, playing the Narrator at the Kodak Theatre was an amazing experience. However, my favorite musical role would definitely be a tie: Annie in Annie Get Your Gun and Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.

Anne and BillRW: I have to ask this, as I have a 10 year old son and well, even I love a bit of the Disney life. Tell us about your Goofy friend.

ANNE: Ahhhh…. the wonderful Bill Farmer. Again, networking is the key. I met Bill Farmer through Fred Willard. In fact, Bill is a member of the MoHos. He is the most gentle, kind, delightful man I have ever met! So often, actors play characters they “wish” they could be, but their true nature’s are indeed the antitheses of those characters. Well, Bill IS Goofy! He is so sweet and kind, just like Goofy, and is so versatile on stage. He plays so many characters, all of which are unique and equally devine!

RW: Where can people purchase your books now?9

ANNE: Amazon – the go-to bookstore! My theatre arts books used to be at some of the main bookstore chains, but now they are exclusively sold online.

RW: What are your hobbies?

ANNE: Well, of course, I teach kickboxing, so I guess you could say that is a hobby. I love to do karaoke. I was a contestant on ABC’s Karaoke Battle USA a few years ago, and I just got the itch! Now, I can’t get enough of it!



This was a fun interview. As you can see there were a lot of different things to talk about and learn about. I really enjoyed this. Some of the pictures above will take you to videos of her work, including her work with “Goofy” himself.


Much Respect








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