Archives for category: Help!

Hi all.

If you’re regular reader of Lit. World Interviews you’ll recognise this post, but although originally I was only going to ask you a question, I thought I my as well share this with you too (especially because Canva proved very temperamental and it took me a great deal of time). But don’t miss the question at the end! Or to check the surprise!  (sorry, things kept piling up!)

Here it goes:
I don’t know you, but I have recently been attending many webinars, on different topics. Recently (22nd October) I attended a free webinar organised by Jane Friedman that had Jerry Jenkins (21 times New York Times best selling author) as guest, on the Secrets of Storytelling.

I’ve read, listened to, and attended courses, lectures and seminars, on writing. And like all advice, some will resonate more with some people than others. Although the seminar seemed geared towards people who were trying to find their confidence writing (if one ever gets there) rather than seasoned scribblers, I enjoyed the personal wisdom and Jerry’s style of delivery, and I thought I’d try and bring you some nuggets from it, especially as I know that quite a few people are going for NaNoWriMo. I decided to try and make it less boring with images, but we shall see if it works…



Although most are self-explanatory, I thought I’d give a few pointers on some.

  1. Jerry Jenkins said that formulas don’t really work, as they make the story seem… well, formulaic, I guess. He referred to Dean Koontz How to Write Best Selling Fiction when talking about the classic structure. His brief summary was: Plunge your character into a terrible situation; everything he tries to do makes the situation worse; things look hopeless, and hero saves the day (by doing what he’s learned on the way).
  2. In reference to his previous point, he said that although you have to put your characters in extreme situations, it’s best not to start the novel at that point, because it’s better to build up the character so that the reader gets to care for him, or her (or them).
  3. I think it’s self-explanatory. Don’t hit the readers in the head with a hammer, although for him, there’s always a message, otherwise there’s no novel.
  4. There isn’t always romance in all novels (or movies, it might depend on genre) but it’s very common. He gave many examples of not very original ways of introducing the love interest (although referring to movies, characters bumping into each other, blind date…), but it all depends on how it’s done.
  5. His advice, that I’ve seen in many places, is that it’s best to get the story down once you get writing, and not try to edit at the same time. He said that he’d edit first thing the next day what he’d written the previous day. In the case of NaNoWriMo, unless your brain goes completely blank and can’t remember what you’ve written, it’s probably best to keep going…
  6. Nothing to add (unless it’s a peculiarity of a character).
  7. I couldn’t find a colour that would show well, so I’m transcribing: Writers are readers. Read in your genre, but also read about the craft of writing. He mentioned quite a few of his favourite books, but the world (or the library) is your oyster.
  8. In discussing point of view of the character he reminded the audience that it’s like the camera we see the action through. He mentioned the most common (first person narrated in past tense, or third person limited), and noted that perhaps for somebody starting to write, first person might be easier. He talked about his own experience of struggling with one of his stories and how he heard a particular character talking in the first person in his head, and that was it.
  9. This is a very personal take on the matter, but he observed that sometimes other characters in the story might take over and run with it.
  10. He didn’t seem to be a big lover of flashbacks explaining the background story, as he felt they slowed down the action. In real life we get to know people gradually.
  11. This one sounds a bit zen, but he referred to himself as a pantser, and said that sometimes you might get to a certain ending through writing the story, and that’s a perfect way to make sure that it’s surprising to the reader, because it’s a surprise to you too.
  12. If you’re worried, you’re in the right track. He referred to this as the ‘Exponential multiplication of emotions’ equation. If you feel sad at some point in your story, the reader will feel the same but magnified. And if you feel bored… well, you get the gist.
  13. You’re not alone. His message was that if you get stuck, there are many places where you can get help, be it virtual or real writers’ groups (his comments were invaluable but…), coaches, books, other writers…

You can check Jerry Jenkins’s page here

He offers courses, including one was promoting seminars later in October, but you can check his page and that of Jane for more information if you’re an interested (I have no connection with them other than attending the webinar, that was free).


And here, the question. I’ve been debating what to do with my website. I have a separate website (apart from this blog), here. I got the domain before I started publishing books, after reading how important it is to have your own website. As I knew nothing about how to create a website, I contracted a programme, also with GoDaddy, that facilitated the creation of one’s own website, without requiring any programming knowledge. Even with that, it’s a bit cumbersome to make many alterations to it, and it’s fairly static. I’ve never had much traffic going through it, and have more people reading my blog (that I also share there, but a lot of the readers come directly from WordPress). I’ve been thinking for a while that I’d be better off getting rid of my separate website and just having my blog/website, here, in WordPress. I investigated, and it’s possible to use your own domain (also to buy your personal one through WordPress, but I already have my own) to host the blog (here some information I found about it). Because of other things that I want to explore in the future, I’m considering moving to one of their premium plans (some info here). Now, the programme I mentioned for creating websites is live for me (I’ve paid for it already) until the end of July 2016. And no, it’s non-refundable. Of course, if I move the blog to my domain at, that site will disappear (I also have the instructions on the Go Daddy side of things, here). Part of my thoughts have to do with changing a few things here (I’ve been adding stuff, but I want to get rid of some too), so I’m not that concerned about what it looks like. I plan on that changing at some point.

What I wanted to ask is if any of you have done this (or part of it) and how have you found it. I’m not the most technical of people, and although I know there’s support available, I want to try and keep it complication free. Any thoughts or personal experience would be greatly appreciated.

And the surprise. Here I’m being interviewed by Freddy Piedrahita. We’ll be running a programme interviewing writers and artists in the future. Have a listen and see if you’d like to join in!

Thanks to Jane Friedman and Jerry Jenkins for the the webinar and thanks to you all for reading, and for your help. Do take care, and good writing. And of course, don’t forget to like, share, comment, and CLICK!


Hi all:

You know I’ve been pestering you all about my new YA series ‘Angelic Business’ and asking questions about marketing to try and put a plan together. OK, I’m not sure it’s a fully-fledged plan, but I’ve decided a few things.  As I’ve written already the three novels, I will put them in Amazon in pre-order this weekend (with about a month in between the releases of each part), at low prices to begin with and then they’ll go up. I might later on make the first one free (either temporarily or permanently, but we shall see). I haven’t yet decided on the KDP Select thing. Might try initially (I haven’t had any of my novels in Select for a while) but…

I want to give a go at having somebody organise a blog tour for me at some point, but I think it’s probably best to wait until  the first novel is out already. So here it goes. I’ve seen people organise an unofficial tour for their books, and I thought I’d ask if any of you could share a post about ‘Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters’ some time in June. I haven’t set a date for the release yet (I’ll do this weekend) but it should be around the 24th or 25th of June. I will create an html post that just needs to be copied into the blog. I am not planning on making it too long or elaborate. If I can manage to get my wits about me I might try and create a book trailer of sorts, but otherwise it will be the cover, description, link, and perhaps a bit of a sample…

I had already asked if anybody would want to have a look at the book and had a couple of replies. If anybody has the time and feels up to it, do let me know and I can provide it in any format (although it will be a draft version and home conversion so…). But if you can just fit the post somewhere…

I’ve been saving a few appearances in blogs to try and time them up with the release, so I’ll be a bit busy but…

Oh, the cover of the first book was featured in this guest post, by the wonderful Sally Ember but of course, I also had to share it with you. Thanks to my friend Lourdes Vidal for her creation.

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

I’ve updated the description so…

You are Pink, not the prettiest girl, but smart and with plenty of resources. What do you do when your best male friend offers to have sex with you, because he thinks you’re a lost cause? You plot your revenge with your two best female friends, of course!

It seems you’re in luck when a new and mysterious student appears. And, to top it all, he seems interested in you too. He could take part in the plan. But then, he seems to have a plan of his own… He insists he’s not just an ordinary boy. And what seemed so easy to begin with, gets more and more complicated when Heaven and Hell come knocking at Pink’s door.

PINK MATTERS is the story of Pink, a 17 year old girl, good student, articulate and smart. What she has never been the centre of attention or made the top ten of the most popular and attractive girls at school. When two guys, both claiming to be angels, insist that she is, indeed, ‘special’, fight for her attention and help and tell her she is the key to the future of the universe, she can’t help but ask: Why me?

And now, as a treat, I thought I’d leave you this:

Thanks so much for reading, if you’re interested in featuring a post, I’d be eternally grateful, so please, just leave me a comment and contact me here or wherever, and of course, if you’d like the book, let me know, and share, like, comment… and may the angels be with you!

Hi all:

I need your help once again. As you know I’ve been thinking about book marketing strategies, looking at what has worked well for me so far (? I enjoy the interaction with other bloggers and I’ve met very interesting people, both fellow authors and non-authors [not many left] but what might make a book sell remains a mystery to me), and what are the things that I haven’t tried.

From the very beginning I heard, and I was advised, to have a newsletter. As I didn’t have many (any?) followers at the time, and I wasn’t sure about my plans, I didn’t, and to this day I haven’t. I’ve read posts about the mechanics of it, possible tools, etc. I understand it is a way to be in touch with your readers (or clients if you do other things) and of collecting an e-mail list.

Angel with book

The reasons why I haven’t yet set up a newsletter are varied. I don’t know how much time I’d be able to dedicate to it. I translate, I blog, I read and review, I write… Life? What’s that? I know frequency can be varied but still… I write in different genres, and many avid readers readmostly within their preferred genre. Would I have to have different newsletters and different lists for different readers? Would I have enough to write in them? Or should I assume that people would read anything I write because it’s mine? (Ja!) Also, most newsletters offer something as a way of enticing people to sign. A PDF of some sort, a story. Many seem to be how to booklets but if one only writes fiction and with so much fiction already available free, what could I offer? (Yes I could translate a page for somebody but that might work for the translating, but not for the books, and it could end up being very labour intensive).

So, once more I’m looking for help from you, authors and anybody else who might have a newsletter. And from people who sign onto newsletters too. Or have an opinion.

To people who have newsletters: How often do you publish them? What kind of content you offer? Do you have a giveaway or special offer as a way of getting people to sign on the dotted line? What tools do you use in relation to it (to reply, to collect e-mail addresses)? If you write in different genres, do you have only one newsletter and mix content or would you publish a different newsletter for different topics? And, as I’m so terrible with designs and visuals, feel free to share yours in the comments, for inspiration (and of course, hopefully some people will sign).

To people who subscribe to newsletters (yes, I do sometimes), what encourages you to sign? What content do you like to see in them? How often is too often? What makes you unsubscribe? And, what do you think about the pop-up boxes? (I must confess I hate them with a passion).

Before I leave, I must make an apology and a confession. I got Sally Cronin’s (don’t miss her blog) invitation to the impromptu writing that is going around. I thought I’d do it over the weekend but still went to her blog to thank her. And being me, I was going to leave a comment and inadvertently read the prompt. So I ruined the experiment. Since then, I’ve seen quite a few people taking part, so I have no idea whom I might be able to invite. So, I’ve decided to file the idea and get it going again at some time in the future, when everybody has forgotten about it (and hopefully I’ve published the series, so I won’t have so many things in my head) and catch everybody unawares.

And, before I leave you today, and on the subject of letters…

Ketty Lester, because I love you all.

Thank you all for reading, and you know, like, share, comment…and if you want to CLICK somewhere, please, do!

Hi all:

Apart from working on my WIP (currently I’m translating the third novel in the series to Spanish) and translating and editing some other books (I’ll tell you about my new translation next week) I’ve been looking at my older books. The Spanish version of my first novel The Man Who Never Was has undergone some revision and as I was thinking of the book, I wondered about the cover, that originally was my own effort. I’ve been talking to my friend Lourdes who has a very good hand with designs (she does interior design) and knows Photoshop in an out and I asked her to have a look at the original covers, with the idea of, at least, changing the text. But, at the time, not sure why now, other than because I liked the two images, I used a different image for each cover, the Spanish and the English one, and I wanted to ask  you which one do you prefer.

To add to the mix, originally I had found another image I really liked, but with my lack of skills I didn’t manage to make it work, but now that might be another possibility.

These are the images:

This is the one I used for the English version:

Man English

Man English

For the Spanish version I used this one:



And this is the other image, that I never used:

Model of businessman standing on leather shoe uid 1171195To help in the decision (or confuse matters more, who knows) I thought I’d leave you the description and the first chapter.


The Man Who Never Was

The protagonist, Jesús, is ugly. Extraordinarily ugly. He is so ugly that his friends and relatives are convinced that behind that ugliness there must be something else. A malefic power or possiblyr a momentous fate. The truth is that fairly special things happen wherever Jesús is. His biological father is a mystery. He only manages to discover that he seems to have fathered quite a few other extremely ugly boys like him during his career. His sister (half-sister) is a child-prodigy who excels at everything she does (writing, career in foreign relations, acting…), his mother becomes the president of the country, his own bank is successful, his best-friend Vero is a computer tycoon, his brother-in-law also makes it in politics…But for all the success and money around him he still feels unsettled. He tries sports, banking, cinema but nothing provides the answers he wants. Who was his father? This is a family saga where everything goes: from politics to retirement homes, from sport to cinema, from adultery to incest but nothing is taken too seriously.

If you enjoyed Isabel Allende’s ‘House of the Spirits’ and love ‘The West Wing’, combined with a touch of comedy, this is your book!

First Chapter:

1. Birth

Adelina (Adele for her posh friends) was the most beautiful girl in the village. Not only that, but she was the heiress of a very well-off and quasi-aristocratic family, and that increased her appeal for prospective beaux. She was beloved by the parents of all her friends; she was fashionable and popular with the girls; she was lusted after by men of a certain age. And she was considered hot-property by guys her own age. Adele was in everybody’s wish list, and her list of Romeos was nearly as long as the Yellow Pages. Some witty person had suggested that her family needed a system of traffic lights to avoid fatal crashes for the men in her life.

With all the comings and goings, her father, Don Severo, who was austere, serious, and not given to frivolities, didn’t have a clue of who the father might be. Because when Adelina started gaining weight, against all the rules and regulations of the fashion magazines and celebrities of the moment, it became quite evident that she was pregnant. Her always having been thin as a stick only accelerated matters, and what initially was gossip amongst the help soon became common knowledge of the best (and worst) of society. Even her father, Don Severo, who was always away, busy with business, and distant from his family and everyday life, finally realised what everybody had noticed ages before. He begged, he threatened, he tried and bribe his daughter, but all to no avail. She refused point blank to reveal the name of the father of the creature. And she didn’t even want to do the decent thing and have an abortion (legal maybe by pulling some strings, or a touristy one) like many of her friends. No, she didn’t care about the shame and embarrassment she might bring upon her parents. She wanted that child, and she’d have it. Nobody had ever said no to Adelina, and she wasn’t prepared to set a precedent in that occasion.

The birth was a big event. Adelina’s stubbornness had won again and she had refused to go to a hospital.

“You’re mad! Why won’t you go to hospital like everybody else?” Doña Remedios, her mother, asked for the millionth time, in desperation, as the birth got closer and closer. Doña Remedios, like her husband, was quite traditional and not trendy enough to understand concepts like natural birth or the importance of a friendly environment for the newborn. Birth might be natural, but she didn’t think it should be a pain for the mother or an inconvenience for the mother’s family. How friendly can it be for a baby to be born to her mother’s screaming her head off and everybody running around like lunatics?

“Precisely because that’s what everybody else would do. That won’t do for me. No.”

She wanted a home-birth. She had counted on their private medical care to provide in case of any problems, but not on how busy doctors were (especially as most of them worked both in the public and the private sector). By the time their physician turned up he was only able to examine the new born. He didn’t look particularly pretty or even wealthy. He was small, thin, very dark, and all covered in black hair, like a tiny werewolf. Doña Remedios was the first one to hold him in her arms. Immediately, the baby, who hadn’t even cried, opened his eyelids. His eyes, green with yellow sparks, and with elongated pupils like a cat’s, made his grandmother gasp and say: ‘Jesus! He has the devil’s eyes!’

That comment became part of the family’s lore and was always mentioned when discussing their choice of names, because Adelina, who was notably fresh and alert after giving birth, told her mother:

“Yes! Jesús! That’s it! Perfect name!”

Remedios looked at her daughter.

“Jesús? But…That’s not one of the traditional names in the family. And what about non-religious or Christian people? They might find it offensive.”

“But why? I’m not calling him God. And people have always used Biblical names, and names of prophets…Anyway, the world is full of Mohammeds, so why should I be that respectful?…Although God…has a ring to it…Or…Satan…Lucifer…”

“Jesús will be fine. Sure.” Remedios agreed to avoid even worse. And she reflected that maybe it would bring the child good luck and protect him from whatever fate those eyes seemed to announce. And unless his looks changed, he would need all the luck he could get. He wasn’t ugly, not in a conventional sense. He didn’t have a bent or big nose, and the eyes, despite their peculiar colour, weren’t either too small or too big, not too close to each other. His hair, that didn’t grow in his head until it fell off the rest of his body, was black, shiny, and growing straight, in spite of the best efforts of nannies, hairdressers, relatives and doctors.

Don Severo observed and waited to see if the boy would grow up to show any resemblance to anybody.

“What do you think, Reme? Don’t you think he looks a bit like that boy she went out with…Charlie? The garage guy?”

“You mean the guy with the noisy cars? No, he was blond. Real blond too.”

“I don’t know…Are you sure you can’t make her tell you?”

“You know Adelina. Nobody can make her do anything she doesn’t have a mind to.”

“You know? I’m not sure she even knows who the father is?”


Adelina knew perfectly well who the father was, but she worked hard to forget it, and by the end of her life she would insist that Jesús was her child and hers only.

However fantastic or mysterious his origins, Jesús grew up, but annoyingly slow for his grandmother and his nanny, because her mother went back to her previous life. She read chick-lit, went for tea or coffee with her friends, and attended balls and parties. It was somewhat peculiar, as the village was quite old-fashioned and normally a scandal like that tainted individuals and families for ever. But Adelina, even after the birth, was still the prettiest of the place, her father was still the wealthiest, and all the inhabitants seemed to reach the conclusion that Jesús’s birth was the result of some evil conspiracy and it had nothing to do with Adelina who was an innocent victim of the situation. And Adelina abandoned her son in the same way she had previously abandoned toys, clothes and accessories when they weren’t fashionable anymore or she grew bored of them. Of course, there was always the matter of the child’s malevolent expression that made him very difficult to fit in or be accepted, as people didn’t want to look at his face for any longer than necessary.

Jesús grew up like any other child, walking and talking at the normal ages, and suffering all the usual illnesses, without demonstrating in any way the evil nature his grandmother had predicted. Because the child didn’t see any other man in the house but his grandfather, he assumed he must be his father. The first time he called him Dad, Don Severo didn’t hear him and nothing happened. On the second occasion, while his grandfather was reading the financial news, he pulled at his trousers. Don Severo looked down at him.

“What’s the matter?”


Don Severo paled and slapped him twice on the cheeks before getting up and storming past him to the kitchen, saying:

“What the hell? I’m not your fucking father!”

Jesús could hear shouting from inside the kitchen. Don Severo was talking to his wife.

“That child called me Dad! Can you believe that! What on earth have people been saying?”

“There’s no need to get so angry. Nobody has been saying such a thing. He’s just confused. He must have noticed other children have a father and he thought…Poor thing.”

“Poor thing? I tell you, if he calls me that again…”

Luckily Jesús was too young to understand the full conversation, but he was old enough to understand that Don Severo wasn’t his father and that wasn’t the solution to the enigma of his birth. It seemed that, in contrast with the other boys, he didn’t have a father.

During the first years of his life, a legend had grown about him. Everybody knew what his grandmother had said when she had first seen him open his eyes, and the people who’d seen him whispered that he looked like the devil’s son indeed. The truth was they were exaggerating somewhat. There was no denying, though, that the child looked like a cartoon or old-Western baddie. Some optimistic people insisted that he could have a profitable career in a TV soap. That is, if he didn’t mind getting typecast.

When Jesús was five years old his mother came home one evening and entered the dining room, where her parents and her son were having tea. She smiled at them and said:

“I have some news! Great news! I’m getting married!”

Don Severo dropped his fork, Doña Remedios nearly chocked, but Jesús carried on playing with his food. He’d never really liked broccoli.

“Who is the lucky  one? Are you marrying his father?” Don Severo asked, looking at Jesús.

“His father? Are you mad? Of course not! Why would I want to do such a thing? No, I’m marrying Senén.”

“Who?” Don Severo had given up on trying to keep up with all the young men she was dating.

“Senén…The mayor’s son?” Doña Remedios, who’d always been better at gossip-related activities, asked. Quite a handsome boy. He’d taken after his mother, because the mayor wasn’t precisely a picture.

Adelina nodded.

“Well…That’s not too bad.” Don Severo said. The mayor, Don Raúl, was also quite rich and from a good family. Not as good as theirs, of course, but considering Adelina’s behaviour, it was quite a good match. Better than he would have dared to hope for.

“We’ll have to organise an engagement party and…” Doña Remedios said, getting up from the table ready to check her magazines.

“I don’t think we’ll have time for all that. What we need to organise, and rather quickly, is the wedding.” Adelina said, beaming, or should we say glowing? Because yes, she was pregnant again.

It was all a bit of a rush. Despite Doña Remedios’s bests efforts due to the notoriety of the two families things took a fair amount of organising, and by the time of the wedding there was no doubt that Adelina was pregnant again. She had the baby, this time in hospital, shortly after their return from the honeymoon. They had decided beforehand that the newlyweds would move in with the mayor, who had lost his wife a few years earlier and wanted some company. Also, Adelina wasn’t that keen on staying at her parents, and Don Raúl, Senén’s father, had a fantastic cook. And they had always kept his nanny, Felisa, in employment, so… The little girl was called Stephanie, because her mother loved women’s magazines and thought the name might bring her good luck. Jesús was really happy with all the events, as he believed Senén might be his father, as he hadn’t paid much attention to Adelina’s comment when she announced her wedding. He decided to ask Senén directly, as Adelina had always been vague in her replies as to his parenthood. One of the many afternoons when Adelina had gone shopping with friends and Senén was watching the Sports Channel Jesús decided to broach the subject. Due to his grandfather’s reaction he felt calling him dad wasn’t a good approach. He went for direct questioning.

“Senén? Are you my dad?”

“Me? Your dad? I never met your mother until after you were born. Quite a long time after, if you want the truth. And how can you imagine I could possibly have a child with a face like yours? Have you looked at me? And at your mother? She must have been very drunk that night. Either that or it was very dark. Mate, in all honesty, if I had a child with such a face I’d kill myself. But…if you want to call me Dad, that’s fine, as far as there’s no one around.”

Jesús understood that Senén was his sister’s father, not his, and that he might never have his own father. Regarding the offer to call him Dad, he decided to think about it. Anyway, father or no father Jesús adored his sister, who had been much luckier in the looks department. She was as pretty as her mother had been at her age, possibly even more, and everybody was saying that Adelina had now given birth to an angel, to balance things out.

Jesús, with his cruel and dangerous-looking face, had to bear jokes and taunts from children and grown-ups. Although he was by nature a pacifist and disliked fights and violence, due to all the persecution and bullying, he got involved in fights quite a few times, and got a reputation of violent and dangerous, although he believed he was only brave. He joined a gang of children from school, amongst the naughtiest and most troublesome, the only ones who accepted him, but he had to quit it, because with his face he was blamed for any misdeeds that happened. Even the ones he had nothing to do with.

In spite of all that, Jesús was an optimist and believed his future would be happy. Senén, whose father had always tried to guide him towards the world of politics, had had an idea. Or “an idea” as he’d say, finger twitching and all. He had decided that he should create a political party. He resolved to tell his father, who had always been his confidant in serious and manly things. He caught him at one of his usual after meals rest periods in the library that he insisted in calling reading, but mostly consisted of napping after some alcohol and smoking.

“It isn’t so complicated. And I think I have all the cards in my hand. I can’t fail. We have a comfortable financial situation.” Senén explained.

“Even better the sad day when your in-laws…are no longer.”

Senén nodded. That had also crossed his mind, although, of course, he really loved Don Severo and Doña Remedios.

“And Adelina, my wife, is beautiful, and has a sense of style, and all, men and women, adore her, and she’ll be a great asset. And Stephanie…she’s gorgeous, and clever, and so advanced for her age! And…I don’t want to talk about me, but…I’ve always been good with people, studied Law and Politics at a good university, and…”

“Yes, and women have always been after you because they find you irresistible. I know, I know. That’s all true. You aren’t wrong. But I think you’ve forgotten a couple of things.”


“First: your politics. I mean, what is your political option? Any particular ideas you want to promote?”

Senén looked at his father, to see if he was joking. No, he was sitting at his favourite sofa, cigar in right hand, brandy on his left, looking terribly serious.

“Politics? Does it really matter? Whatever will get me where I want to be. I don’t think nowadays political ideas are that very important. I can’t myself see any difference between parties professing to be right or left wing. It’s people and personalities who win elections. The packaging is more important than the product in a consumerist society. With the right image I’m sure I’d make it whatever I decide my political tenets are. Liberal, eco-friendly, because green is very popular at the moment and you have to talk environment all the time, but supporting traditional values, although with respect for diversity. And an emphasis on health and education. Of course we’ll remain flexible. If things don’t work well we can always change our ideas mid-way if that will attract more voters.”

“Oh, I see. Wishy-washy. It will do. Flexibility and adaptability are good when there is neither honesty nor principles.”

Senén again looked at his father, perplexed. He’d never noticed his father’s honesty or integrity in business or politics in the past. And there were some ugly rumours about his personal life, but he’d never wanted to ask. Anyway, you can never trust the word of honour of a politician. Just then, Don Raúl started laughing.

“I’m pulling your leg, Senén. Of course you’re right. Your programme sounds great. I imagine you only want to be a senator. Or MEP…No, not that…Or…let’s not stop there. Why not President? If Reagan and Bush Jr. have been presidents in the USA, why not you? You are definitely far more attractive and younger, dynamic and in better health than Reagan ever was, and if you’d tried I’m sure you’d also have been a better actor. No sweat. And Bush…OK,  you aren’t a member of MENSA, but compared to Bush…Einstein ”

Senén laughed and his father did the same. But then he remembered his father had a second but.

“And second?”

“Second?” The mayor looked puzzled, but suddenly remembered. “Oh yes, second. Jesús.”

He’d forgotten Jesús. That was a bit more complicated. A wife with a child out of wedlock, however beautiful, wasn’t much of an ace in a political career, especially one at its very beginning. Particularly in their country that was still a bit…male-centred. Things had improved notably, but…If he’d had a secret son…that would have been different. It would have given him some cache. But Jesús…Maybe if they started a rumour that Jesús was the son of somebody famous, a bullfighter, or a famous singer, or an actor, women would go crazy. But, with such a face nobody would believe it. And, there was the little detail that he didn’t really have any idea whose child he was. Senén had been so taken by Adelina at first that he hadn’t insisted in her telling him who the father was. And now…he needed her and she had the upper hand and knew it. She’d never tell him now. Still…Leaving him with his grandparents at the village was an option, but Adelina would never accept. It wasn’t because of her concern about the child’s welfare. But she wanted to be present if and when his diabolical powers manifested. All mothers complain at some point of their children being little devils, but Adelina wanted full credit if her son was real evil. From the deepest of Senén’s intellectual recesses he extracted a possible solution. Charity. Charity was a good thing for a politician. It showed he had a heart. But one needed to get into the wagon in time, because people’s patience for grand gestures was wearing thin. They could say they had adopted Jesús when his parents, family friends, died. Sorting out the paperwork wouldn’t be that difficult. His father was the mayor after all, and that had some advantages. Of course people in the village knew the truth, but they wouldn’t be staying there once everything was sorted. And people could always be bought. Or silenced, if necessary. He decided to tell Adelina.

“Adelina! Adele!”

“Yes, darling!”

She was wearing one of her sexy numbers. Senén wondered, for a second or two, why she’d be wearing that in the middle of the afternoon, but then his hormones took over and he had problems keeping down to business.

“Adelina…I’ve had an idea.”

“Go on. Is it dirty?” She asked, putting her arms around his waist and wrapping herself around him dangerously close.

“Not that kind of idea.” He said, trying to disentangle himself. “I need something to do…Stop that. I’m trying to be serious. No, politics. I was talking to my father. Why not form a political party? We have money, we are the most attractive couple in town…”

“And we have no scruples. Yes, I see. You have a point.” She stopped her advances towards her husband and sat down on the sofa. “Yes, you have enough brains, not that one needs much on that department and…What did your father say?”

“He thinks it’s a good idea. We talked about politics.”

“Oh, that doesn’t matter much nowadays.”

Senén smiled. Adelina and he were in synch in more ways than one.

“But he mentioned Jesús. You wouldn’t want to leave him behind, would you?”

Adelina shook her head.

“You know my feelings on that. We’ve discussed it enough times. I want him near enough to keep watch on any developments.”

“You can’t really believe he’s going to be…special in any way, can you?”

Adelina smiled in a way that always made Senén feel like an idiot.

“OK. Fine. But I came up with an idea that might work and make us look good rather…”

“Than make me look like a slut. OK, shoot.”

“We could say his parents died, they were our friends, and we adopted him out of the kindness of our hearts.”

“But people here…Of course we wouldn’t stay here…Yes, it could work. Great idea! Travelling, meeting all famous people, TV…Must go shopping!”

“Do you think Jesús will mind?”

“Jesús? No. He’ll be happy to leave this place and have a bit of space. More people, more opportunities to go unnoticed in the looks department. And with that story at least he gets to have a father, even if it’s a dead one.”

Don Raúl smiled when Senén told him his idea about Jesús and said he’d sort the paperwork out. Maybe all the education hadn’t been completely wasted after all!

And he’d get rid of Jesús who gave him a chill every time he saw him. Of course he’d go back to being on his own, but it was a small price to pay to not see Jesús again. And he’d be supporting his son’s career. One had to be generous when it came to one’s family. At least that was his excuse.

Everything went notably smoothly and quickly. A morning about a month later they left with their mountains of luggage towards the big city, or, to be more precise, towards the capital. They were very impressed on arrival. They all had an opinion. How many votes! How chic! How many kids! Guaaaaa! That was the beginning of their great adventure in the city.
Thank  you all for reading, and please like (if you want), but especially, share, and comment. There are a number of posts I wrote including interviews with characters and all manner of things shortly after publication if you want to read more about it, and links to the book on the side, although a new cover might be coming soon. All feedback greatly appreciated! Ah, and suggestions for the choice of font will also be welcome! 


Hi all:

As all of you who read my blog every so often will know, I try to regularly write and publish books. I’ve also mentioned that my next W.I.P. is a series of NA novels Angelic Business. The three novels are now written and I’m in the process of translating them and revising (and let’s not forget the issues of finding covers, descriptions, blurbs…) them. By the way, if closer to the time when the project is ready people are interested in reading the first one of the novels ahead of publication, just let me know and I’ll happily send it to you in exchange for a comment (unless you hate it, then I might have to…not sure what. I’ll ask one of my friends who write horror novels for suggestions).

Angel in Montjuic cemetery, Barcelona

Angel in Montjuic cemetery, Barcelona

Those of you who are authors I’m sure have read tonnes of advice on having a marketing plan ahead of any publishing, the importance of having an author platform, building your presence in social media and all that blah, blah, blah. For what I see most of us try and follow that advice adapting it to our own abilities and personal style.

Although I’ve done quite a few of the things I’ve read about, there are some I have resisted to and I’m wondering about giving them a try (you know, so I can say I’ve tried it). I haven’t really tried paid advertising (I got my first book listed in a book club site and had an ad for a promo, both very low cost, with no results to speak of, and yes, now I know advertising your first book is unlikely to have much of an effect, but one lives and learns. Also tried a very low cost listing of my audio…not much to tell there either) or blog tours, and I was interested in knowing what you, my author friends who have tried them think of them. I’ve read about analytics and all that, so if you want to give me hard data, it will be welcome, but I’m more interested in personal experiences, gut feelings, and the ins and outs of things that only somebody who has tried can give. (I’m also fully aware that book genre, timing, style, and personal circumstances influence results, probably together with the phase of the moon, the energy of the pyramids and the leprechauns at work on that particular day). I have only participated in blog hops as a host, and I guess there will be differences between those the authors organise themselves, more or less informally, and those organised by a tried and tested company (or perhaps not…what is your experience?).

Another angel in Montjuic

Another angel in Montjuic

I know some sites like Bookbub are supposed to be the bees-knees, but I’m also aware of the difficulties in getting into it, the amount of reviews required, the price, and the fact that now big publishing companies are also using the service, so there are even fewer chances for the rest of us. But anything, anecdotal evidence, amazing discoveries, bitter disappointments, so-so results, will be welcome.

And I also would like to hear from readers who aren’t writers. How likely are you to buy books based on advertisements on book sites, blog tour posts or any other marketing strategies by authors not known to you? (And the offer about the book is also open to readers, of course).

If I get a “decent” amount of replies, I will collect them and do a follow-up post to share the collective “wisdom”. That’s a deal.

He's lost his wings. I wonder...

She’s lost her wings. I wonder…

And I thought I’d leave you with a bit of the beginning of the third book in my trilogy (Pink, Angel or Demon?), where the main character, Pink, is wondering why everything that’s going on is happening to her:

All this is very well and good (not really, but you know what I mean), but nobody had bothered to answer why me. There was some kind of prophecy (or what passes for it in celestial and demonic circles) and I fitted in. One had to wonder where would prophecies come from in such spheres. (Or at least I did. I’ve been known to think far too much, and obeying De Bono, to think sideways. Look how far it’s got me!) I imagine somebody must fit in (and they were very insistent that I was the only one) but again, why me? No false modesty, but there isn’t anything that special about me. This is not one of these paranormal young adult books where the protagonist discovers that there’s a long history going back to the Middle-Ages of witches and special powers in her family. There’s no fay blood in my line, nobody I know regularly becomes a wolf or a dog or shifts shapes as far as I’m aware. And although the world is full of bloodsuckers, I’ve met no official vampires yet. I’ve never seen a ghost, and I don’t live in a haunted mansion. And although recently demons and angels wander around as if they were in season, to the best of my knowledge there’s no portal to the other world open in Hope Springs.


This one is a beauty

This one is a beauty

The draft of the first novel in the series Pink Matters is currently available in Wattpad, here. As mentioned in the body of the post, if you fancy getting the ready-to-publish version in a few weeks, just let me know and I’ll send it to you.

Thank you all for reading, and don’t forget to like, share, especially comment, and spread the word. And if you fancy clicking, don’t let me stop you!

I’ve carried on taking pictures of angels and other interesting things in cemeteries, so if you like any of them in particular, let me know. I’m after ideas for the covers!

Not an angel but she's so beautiful

Not an angel but she’s so beautiful

Hi all:

As you will remember (maybe) a few weeks ago I published a sample of my new novella that I hope to publish in the next few weeks, Family, lust and cameras. It is now nearly ready (I must re-read it, add some links and make sure everything is OK), and I’m looking for a cover.

To be precise, as I was going for a walk in Barcelona, I came across a building (a hotel) in Carrer Comtal, that I found very intriguing and suggestive and took a few pictures. The computer I was travelling with didn’t have much in the way of programs for manipulating images, but I managed to turn it into a black and white picture. And here it is:

Possible cover for 'Family, lust and cameras'

Possible cover for ‘Family, lust and cameras’

I shared the picture with a fellow author, blogger and good friend, Teagan Geneviene (thanks Teagan), and she suggested I could add colour to a pair of the eyes/cameras or even superimpose a real eye onto one of them. As I said I didn’t have much to play with there but I have recently downloaded Photoshop to my computer, although I haven’t had time to try and use. It seems and excellent suggestion, although I guess it would be a matter or trying and seeing (I’ll try and find time to play with Photoshop and see) although I also quite like it as it is.

I was wondering if you would have any ideas or suggestions about the color of the font for the title and my name, position, and type of font. I haven’ t done much research and would be grateful for suggestion.

I leave you a link to the previous post so you can get some idea about the story. In short is pretty dark, about obsession, voyeurism and revenge.

Thanks for reading, and you know the usual, if you’ve enjoyed it or found it intriguing, like, share and leave suggestion! 

Valerie Ormond's Thoughts

Writing Tips from Valerie Ormond

Together Let's Promote Horror

To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only Kendall's only Kendall Reviews...'

Live, Love, Laugh & Don't Forget to Breathe!

Gauri the Dreamer

My slice-of-life as child and as parent. Of reading, writing, gardening, and giving back to nature.

A.J.Lyndon - author

Historical fiction - a gateway to war-torn 17th century England

%d bloggers like this: