Tag Archives: travel

#InterviewsInTranslation ‘Sunrise in Southeast Asia’ by Carmen Grau (@CarmenGrauG ) A traveller and writer Down Under.

Hi all:

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.

Author Carmen Grau
Author Carmen Grau

Biography

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.

Sunrise in Southeast Asia by Carmen Grau
Sunrise in Southeast Asia by Carmen Grau. Trans. Brendan Riley

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)

https://www.createspace.com/5706521

E-book

mybook.to/SunriseinSoutheastAsia

Carmen’s page in Amazon:

amazon.com/author/carmen-grau

A post by Brendan Riley, the translator, about the book.

https://brendanriley2015.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/sunrise-in-southeast-asia/

Thanks so much to Carmen for telling us about her book and her writing, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

#Interviews-in-Translation Today Fernando Gamboa @Gamboaescritor A real life adventurer and a gripping mystery

Hi all:

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

Biography

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.

Links:

Mi web page:  http://www.gamboaescritor.com/

Author page in Amazon:  http://www.relinks.me/FernandoGamboaGonzalez

And his novel The Last Crypt:

The Last Crypt by Fernando Gamboa
The Last Crypt by Fernando Gamboa

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.»
«Amazing!!!»

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!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

#Book #Review @OlgaNM7 ‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka’ by Hans Hirschi

Book Title: The Fallen Angels of Karnatakafallen-angels-hans-hirschi-olga-nunez-miret

Author: Hans M. Hirschi

Print Length: 264 pages

Publisher: Yaree AB (September 15, 2014)

Language: English

ASIN: B00MRXVK84

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel that reminded me of a variety of genres. It’s a bildungsroman. Haakon, the protagonist, is a young man from a small Norwegian farm, naïve and not knowledgeable in the ways of life. The book shows us the process of his sexual awakening, how he discovers he is gay, his first experiences, his first rejection and heartbreak, his first love, and his first loss.

At a time when he’s lost everything and he’s been given what he thinks is a death sentence, an Englishman steps in, Charles, and makes him an offer that seems too good to be true. (Yes, we know all about it, but…) Haakon has always dreamt of travelling, and Charles offers him a dream contract to be his travelling companion, acting as a fairy godmother (or godfather) of sorts. He solves all the problems (including finding him medication for his newly diagnosed HIV infection) and does not seem to want anything back other than company and organisational skills. Of course, things aren’t quite as they seem, and the fairy tale turns much seedier and darker later in the book.

We follow Haakon and Charles in their travels, and the book could have become a travelogue. But although the novel provides beautiful vignettes and interesting observations and reflections about the places visited, their travel is described more in terms of an emotional and spiritual experience than a guide book. The journey our hero embarks on allows the readers to follow how the character grows, loses his —at times terribly annoying, at least to me— naïveté and manages to find not only a partner (gorgeous, good and who has suffered too, one of the fallen angels of the title), but also a worthy mission.

Hans Hirschi tackles a difficult subject in this book. One of the most difficult subjects. Paedophilia. The fallen angels of the book title are not really fallen, but rather dragged down by adults who either aid and abate others or are themselves abusers. The author shines a light on some of the least tasteful aspects of an already difficult to deal with topic, by highlighting the plight of children who are abused because they are seen as dispensable. We’ve all heard of sexual tourism and this is an extreme example of it. Although the topic is distasteful and something that plenty of readers would much rather not read about, the author manages to build credible characters that do not completely lose their humanity, even though some of their behaviours might be abhorrent. Haakon acts, in a way, as a foil and reflects the attitude of most readers, who would find it difficult to reconcile how somebody who seems so kind, educated, sophisticated and helpful could also abuse children. It is also a cautionary tale that reminds us appearances can be very deceptive.

The ending is positive, in keeping with the fairy-tale aspect of it, and although not perfect, the hero’s journey shares on universal themes and shows character development and a well-constructed plot and structure. We can’t help but hope that in real life all these kids will find a place and there will be no more fallen angels.

The book is beautifully written and the omniscient narrator allows us to see and understand things from different characters’ point of view (mainly Haakon’s but not exclusively). That helps up share in his experiences but at times puts us in a very uncomfortable position, being party to thoughts or desires and impulses of deeply flawed characters.

I would recommend this book to readers who dare to explore darker subjects. It will be quite a ride but the rewards will be plenty. I don’t know if the writer has thought about revisiting any of the characters again, but I for one would love to hear more of Mahender’s story (hard as it would be). And I will put other works by the author in my list of future reads.

 

Ratings:fallen-angels-hans-hirschi
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon.
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $14.39
Kindle: $6.66

 

Olga Núñez Miret

Olga_Núñez_Miret_author.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

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