Archives for category: My novel. The Man who Never Was

Hi all:

As you’ll remember, a few weeks ago I shared the previous versions of the cover for my first novel ‘The Man Who Never Was‘. Thanks so much for the replies that gave Lourdes (my friend and cover designer) and I plenty to go on and to think about.

Following on from that post, the book has a new cover, I have decided to change the categories (I don’t think it’ll ever easily fit anywhere, but as a friend and author [hi Martie!] said, we’ll have to keep waiting for the category for odd books to come alive). And looking back I remembered a series of posts that had a few of the characters of the book talking about themselves and the story. As at the time I didn’t know most of you, I thought I could leave you with the first one in the series, where Jesús, the main character, introduces us to… well his big entrance.

First, the cover:

The Man Who Never Was (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

The Man Who Never Was (cover by Lourdes Vidal)

Here, Jesús:

Have you ever wondered how your life would be if everybody judged you by the way you look? My name is Jesús and that’s the stuff my life is made of. I was born ugly. Extremely ugly. (Well, I guess I’m still ugly, but I’ve been seeing myself like this for so long that I no longer notice the ugliness. I’ve probably grown immune to it. On the other hand most of the people I meet notice…a lot. Double take and all).

My birth is the stuff of legend. The story is repeated like a mantra in all family occasions. You know: weddings, birthdays, christenings, burials…My mother, Adelina, who’ve never wanted to do things like everybody else, decided not to go to hospital. She wanted a home birth. She wasn’t married and was staying with her parents. No, I never met my father, but that’s a long story…Anyway, it seems that my mother was screaming like a banshee (the doctor was very late. He was a busy man, poor guy) and when I was finally born and my grandmother took me in her arms I gave her a big fright. I’ve never seen any pictures of that moment  (it seems nobody dared to take any considering my looks) but I’ve been reliably informed that I was all covered in black hair, head to toe.(At this point my grandmother always said: ‘like little monkey’ but she has to add, after the all important pause, ‘but uglier’) I didn’t cry and just opened my eyes, that have always been a bit special. My grandmother shouted ‘Jesús’ in her fright. She said I looked like the devil (not sure how many encounters she’d had with the devil, but she seemed very confident on that matter).

Nobody came up with a better name, and I was left with the name ‘Jesús’. It seems my mother liked it, and all agreed it might give me some protection.

I’ve lived all my life with people looking at me and expecting something malefic and special to manifest. It has been hard and it has made my life very complicated. All things considered, I don’t think that even if I had looked like Johnny Depp, my life would have been any less complicated.

The book is available in Amazon and a few  other places (I hope it will be available more widely. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time).

http://bit.ly/1vHKIz7

Page Foundry:

http://bit.ly/1D6Ce6n

Scribd:

http://bit.ly/1be50dT

Apple:

http://apple.co/1bm2GlY

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1zDn4nT

And just in case you want to keep abreast of any updates and other places where it will become available, I will be updating my website:

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Thanks so much for your help coming up with the cover, thanks for reading, and you know, like, share, comment, and if you want, CLICK!

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As promised over Christmas I’ve decided to bring a selection of recent posts. First I decided to remind you of Jesús’s take on his own life, as described in my novel The Man Who Never Was. Here he is:

Have you ever wondered how your life would be if everybody judged you by the way you look? My name is Jesús and that’s the stuff my life is made of. I was born ugly. Extremely ugly. (Well, I guess I’m still ugly, but I’ve been seeing myself like this for so long that I no longer notice the ugliness. I’ve probably grown immune to it. On the other hand most of the people I meet notice…a lot. Double take and all).

My birth is the stuff of legend. The story is repeated like a mantra in all family occasions. You know: weddings, birthdays, christenings, burials…My mother, Adelina, who’ve never wanted to do things like everybody else, decided not to go to hospital. She wanted a home birth. She wasn’t married and was staying with her parents. No, I never met my father, but that’s a long story…Anyway, it seems that my mother was screaming like a banshee (the doctor was very late. He was a busy man, poor guy) and when I was finally born and my grandmother took me in her arms I gave her a big fright. I’ve never seen any pictures of that moment  (it seems nobody dared to take any considering my looks) but I’ve been reliably informed that I was all covered in black hair, head to toe.(At this point my grandmother always said: ‘like a little monkey’ but she has to add, after the all important pause, ‘but uglier’) I didn’t cry and just opened my eyes, that have always been a bit special. My grandmother shouted ‘Jesús’ in her fright. She said I looked like the devil (not sure how many encounters she’d had with the devil, but she seemed very confident on that matter).

Nobody came up with a better name, and I was left with the name ‘Jesús’. It seems my mother liked it, and all agreed it might give me some protection.

I’ve lived all my life with people looking at me and expecting something malefic and special to manifest. It has been hard and it has made my life very complicated. All things considered, I don’t think that even if I had looked like Johnny Depp, my life would have been any less complicated.

My mother, Adelina, got married when I was about 5 or so, to the mayor’s son. Senén. Handsome man, not too complicated…Kind enough to me and all. No complaints. He decided to move to the city and get into politics. You can read more details of the campaign and things in the book. I only know what they’ve told me later and the few things I remember, but I’ve never been much into politics…I’ve always left that to others in the family.

No, more interesting than that was…I had a sister…Stephanie, although we always called her Stephie…Half-sister, really, but that’s never made a difference. She was a beautiful baby and everybody thought that we were like the beauty and the beast (or angel and demon). I could live with that. Girls are always expected to be prettier anyway.

On the day of the elections (Senén was candidate to mayor for the capital) after the voting (that was rather funny too…Senén was wearing his slippers, forgot his ID, had to go to the toilet…we had to go back home 3 times!) my mother went to a spa and left Senén with Carmen. Carmen was a lawyer he knew from years back and was looking after his political career…Or so I thought at the time. Carmen and Senén locked themselves in the office, to ‘work’ and I was in the lounge, when suddenly Stephie, who was a toddler, not yet 1, said ‘Hello!’ and then started talking fluently. I nearly fell off my chair! She’d only babbled a bit and had said ‘papa’ earlier that day, but nothing like a full conversation…She told me she had to start talking because things were a mess. I went to tell the cook (my nanny was out and there was nobody else in the house. Thinking about it Senén and Carmen should have been looking after us, but…) and rather than telling her I grabbed her hand and took her to the lounge. When Stephie started talking to her, she fainted…Luckily she didn’t hurt herself. Now there was nobody else I could tell, as Senén and Carmen hadn’t come out of the office, so I had a chat with my sister. She was very clever and showed lots of common sense. She told me I was too young to tell me what was really going on (the cheek!) and comforted me about my problems at school, telling me things would change and I wouldn’t have to play the baddy in all the games for much longer. She was right…She would be right ever since…

When Senén and Carmen finally came out of the office they were surprised, but also embarrassed when my sister started talking to them. I didn’t get the meaning of what she was telling them, something about Carmen riding Senén and things…It didn’t make sense to me at the time. When our mother came back and she told her about their meetings in the office, it seemed it was something really bad, as Adelina kicked Carmen out and started sleeping alone. Senén looked sad after that, but Stephie became a star. TV, magazines, everybody wanted a piece of her! And by association I became more popular, because I was the brother of the ‘fantastic girl’.

And how fantastic she was!

 If you want to read more about Jesús and his family’s adventures, check this:

Mancover(EnAmaz)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWRT22

And don’t forget my new series of novellas, Escaping Psychiatry about a psychiatrist and writer and her adventures.

‘Cannon Fodder’ (Escaping Psychiatry part 1)

CannonFoddertitle

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AKWO8Z6

‘Teamwork’ (Escaping Psychiatry part 2)

Teamwork2 V 0065

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AKWSQJA

And ‘Memory’ (Escaping Psychiatry Part 3)

Memorycover

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AKWVRCS

Thank you for reading and Merry Chrismas!

Today it’s Stephie’s turn to talk about her brother Jesús and his adventures in The Man Who Never Was. She’s decided to send us a recording instead.

Here it goes. I hope you enjoy it!

The Man Who Never Was. Blog (audio post 5)

If you’re interested in what you’ve heard, here is more information:

The Man Who Never Was

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWRT22

And in Spanish: El hombre que nunca existió

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWEGC8

If you want to watch the book trailer, here is the link:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/qvUitFG2D20

 

Check this great review page The Man Who Never Was Don’t forget to leave your reviews and comments. Thank you!

 

And now, a very important ANNOUNCEMENT. I’m extremely happy to tell you that this Friday, 30th November, my friend and great writer Deborah Palumbo will be my guest and will talk about her writing and her newest novel in the series of The Undeparted. Miss it at your peril!

Nice to meet you. My name is Adelina and I am Jesús’s mother. Yes, he’s been talking to you about himself. A bit narcissistic, I know, but what do you expect? In a family like ours, you need to promote yourself. We’ve always been under the public eye for one reason or another. First my husband political career (no, not Jesús’s father, that’s another story), then Stephie, my daughter, a child prodigy, then my own political career when my husband Senén died…there was no escaping it, really. And despite my son’s looks (I know he’s told you quite a few times he’s ugly. Really ugly. Well, he’s not exaggerating at all. He’s scarily ugly, but, he’s my son anyway) he was still part of the family.

Yes, I am…that Adelina, the one who was in the government for years…and then…Sure, I was a pretty girl and everybody underestimated me and thought that I had no brains or talents other than looking good and increasing the kudos of any guys I was with. But boy, were they mistaken or what? I showed them to take me seriously. OK, you know the story. I won’t bore it with it. You’ve probably even read my authorised biography. Or even the unauthorised one. Lots of lies. Or watched the movie…

So what am I here for? Good question! It’s the same I asked Jesús. And he told me: ‘They’ll want to know what you think about me and you can tell them…you know…things.’ Sure… ‘things’. I know what he wants me to tell you. He’s always had this fascination with his father, his biological father, and regularly asks me who he was. I understand it must have been difficult when he was very young and realised that he was not like the other children in the village and he did not have a dad to play with him and go to pick him up and burn the sausages at the barbecue and all that. But later on, when I got married…Senén was quite happy to play the part. He wasn’t good for much, but he was a kind father. And he’s never wanted for anything…OK, he’s wanted his father, but I’m sure that wouldn’t have helped him much…Anyway, as I told him, having a mother like me and a sister like Stephie should be enough for anybody.

Why don’t I tell him? Because…No, no, you won’t catch me like that. I’m a politician, don’t forget. I’m a master at giving evasive answers and going with the reply that will score best in the media. The important thing is that Jesús is a great man, without any assistance from that father of him that he’s so interested in. How much credit I can take for it is a different matter. I’ve always been very busy but I’d say that overall we’ve got on well and I’ve left him follow his own path without interfering with his natural gifts. I’ve been very lucky with my children. It was definitely luck and not design, but who is complaining?

If you want to know more, read ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’. I don’t know why but everybody seems to think it’s very funny. I didn’t think our life was funny at the time, but I guess, it’s a matter of opinion.

Follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWRT22

And if you want to watch a fantastic book trailer (don’t click on the links though! The one above is the business!) check this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qvUitFG2D20

Thanks!

Adelina

 

*********************************************************************I (Olga this time) have a special announcement. This Friday, the 16th, author Gem Thomas will be the guest in my blog and will talk about his writing and his exciting new project, direct from Alaka!

Can’t wait!

Hello! I’m Vero. I’m a good friend, well, best friend (maybe I shouldn’t say it, but you don’t get anywhere by being modest, other than being buried under a nice gravestone) of Jesús. Yes, the guy who’s been talking about his life here.

What am I doing here? He’s asked me to come and talk about how we first met, at school. What has that got to do with the title of the post? Well, I’m a businesswoman (fairly successful if I might say so. I’ve already shared my opinion on modesty) and know about marketing. Offer advice, have a catchy title, how to, use capital letters, bold…There you have it!

I met Jesús at school. His step-dad, the Mayor, Senén, had decided to shake things up a bit in the education sector and had insisted that all, even private (and very exclusive) schools should be mixed gender. My dad was the District Attorney and very friendly with the Headmaster of Jesús school (no, I’m not going to advertise the school here, but you know the type, very expensive, very exclusive, very stiff, very good for contacts) and of course I was one of the first girls to attend. It was a bit eerie being a girl in a school full of boys, and on the first days all us new girls (we were not that many, only about 8 in the class) huddled together for support. I knew a couple of the girls going to school with me, Claire and Jennifer, as we had been transferred from the same school (a boring and expensive place, again I won’t advertise. I only advertise myself, good friends and associates), but even at 9 years old, they were into boys and flirting, and pink and fluffy and being girly-girly, and this would never be me. Yes, of course I’d get to like boys, but at that point I wasn’t that bothered. And pink…it’s never done it for me. Too conventional. Red, on the other hand…

We girls sat all together in a row in class and felt like aliens. All the boys were looking at us as if we were specimens under a microscope or animals in a zoo. At lunch time, in the canteen, we sat together at the same table too, and some of the older girls joined us. I hadn’t noticed Jesús till then, but a couple of the girls started talking about a boy who was so ugly he should be in a scary movie. And he wouldn’t need makeup. They ended up yelping little laughs behind their hands and behaving like idiots. I looked at the boy. He was sitting by himself in the corner of one of the big tables. OK, yes, he wasn’t conventionally attractive. He had a fairly peculiar face. Like one of Picasso’s painting from the Cubist phase, that I’ve always found quite fetching. And his hair was very straight and stuck up, like if he were a hedgehog. But, come on…He was by far the most interesting looking boy around. I knew people also thought I was ugly, and tended to try to be kind by saying: ‘Oh, you’re so clever, you’re so good at Maths, you have a very technical brain, you’re a whiz with computers…’ and all those blah, blahs, that were true, but it was clear what they actually meant was ‘Poor you, you aren’t pretty, in fact you’re really ugly, but to compensate, you’re clever,….’ I got it. I’ve never been slow on the uptake. Although he was a boy, I thought we probably had more in common than I did with all the girls I was sitting with.

I stood up and moved to his table, sitting by him. He looked at me, surprised.

“Hi! I’m Vero. Well, my name is Verónica, but I prefer Vero. What’s your name?”

“Jesús. Plain Jesús.”

“Plain is something  you definitely aren’t.”

“If this is a dare or you’ve just come to laugh at me in front of your friends…”

I smiled at him.

“Don’t worry. They aren’t my friends. I just thought you and I seem to have lots in common and I’d like to get to know you better.”

“How would you know?”

“People consider you…ugly, don’t they? They always want you to play bad guys in games. You can never be the central character or the hero…”

He looked at me with expression of growing interest.

“Yes…”

“Same here. Listen, do you like computers?”

“Sure!”

“I’ll talk to my parents tonight. Maybe you would like to come home.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, why not?”

Yes, I’ve always liked computers. In my opinion, computers are much easier to get on with than people. And you can always switch them off if they give you too much hassle.

I later heard about his famous sister, Stephanie, the girl prodigy. I found her spooky then, although grew to love her in time…

My father had to investigate who he was and was fairly critical of his family’s politics, but didn’t create too much fuss. My mother loved his mother and sister, who were celebrities in their own right. I just enjoyed Jesús company and we became best friends. Over the years we’ve been through a lot of things together…

If you want to read more, check:

‘The Man Who Never Was’ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWRT22

*****************************************************************************************************************************************

Hi, I’m Olga, author and blogger:

I have a couple of things to announce. First is that as part of my series of blogs on helpers, colleagues and good eggs in general I’m working on bringing a number of guest authors to talk about their trade, work, projects…anything they like really. I have a few names lined up and I’m hoping other colleagues will join in the future. It should be exciting!

The second announcement is that I’m planning to give away a PDF of one of my stories (‘Cannon Fodder’, one in a series of 3 stories with a central character called Mary, a psychiatrist, and her adventures and cases) to people visiting my website:

http://www.olganm.com/

and signing up the guestbook or sending me an e-mail expressing an interest (contact e-mail available also at website).

The GIVEAWAY will be live from the time of publishing this post (although I’m DIY so if the response is huge, it might take me some time to get through to everybody).

 

Hi! It’s me again. Jesús. I’m still extremely ugly and surviving it. Thankfully ugliness doesn’t kill you and beauty doesn’t make you eternal (that’s a scary thought!). I thought I’d come back to tell you a bit of some of the slightly ‘alternative’ things that have happened in my life…I told  you about my birth and my name and all those things…Well, my mother, Adelina, got married when I was about 5 or so, to the mayor’s son. Senén. Handsome man, not too complicated…Kind enough to me and all. No complaints. He decided to move to the city and get into politics. You can read more details of the campaign and things in the book. I only know what they’ve told me later and the few things I remember, but I’ve never been much into politics…I’ve always left that to others in the family.

No, more interesting than that was…I had a sister…Stephanie, although we always called her Stephie…Half-sister, really, but that’s never made a difference. She was a beautiful baby and everybody thought that we were like the beauty and the beast (or angel and demon). I could live with that. Girls are always expected to be prettier anyway.

On the day of the elections (Senén was candidate to mayor for the capital) after the voting (that was rather funny too…Senén was wearing his slippers, forgot his ID, had to go to the toilet…we had to go back home 3 times!) my mother went to a spa and left Senén with Carmen. Carmen was a lawyer he knew from years back and was looking after his political career…Or so I thought at the time. Carmen and Senén locked themselves in the office, to ‘work’ and I was in the lounge, when suddenly Stephie, who was a toddler, not yet 1, said ‘Hello!’ and then started talking fluently. I nearly fell off! She’d only babbled a bit and had said ‘papa’ earlier that day, but nothing like a full conversation…She told me she had to start talking because things were a mess. I went to tell the cook (my nanny was out and there was nobody else in the house. Thinking about it Senén and Carmen should have been looking after us, but…) and rather than telling her I grabbed her hand and took her to the lounge. When Stephie started talking to her, she fainted…Luckily she didn’t hurt herself. Now there was nobody else I could tell, as Senén and Carmen hadn’t come out of the office, so I had a chat with my sister. She was very clever and showed lots of common sense. She told me I was too young to tell me what was really going on (the cheek!) and comforted me about my problems at school, telling me things would change and I wouldn’t have to play the baddy in all the games for much longer. She was right…She would be right ever since…

When Senén and Carmen finally came out of the office they were surprised, but also embarrassed when my sister started talking to them. I didn’t get the meaning of what she was telling them, something about Carmen riding Senén and things…It didn’t make sense to me at the time. When our mother came back and she told her about their meetings in the office, it seemed it was something really bad, as Adelina kicked Carmen out and started sleeping alone. Senén looked sad after that, but Stephie became a star. TV, magazines, everybody wanted a piece of her! And by association I became more popular, because I was the brother of the ‘fantastic girl’.

And how fantastic she was!

If you want to read more, check:

‘The Man Who Never Was’ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWRT22

http://askdavid.com/free-book-promotion

Have you ever wondered how your life would be if everybody judged you by the way you look? My name is Jesús and that’s the stuff my life is made of. I was born ugly. Extremely ugly. (Well, I guess I’m still ugly, but I’ve been seeing myself like this for so long that I no longer notice the ugliness. I’ve probably grown immune to it. On the other hand most of the people I meet notice…a lot. Double take and all).

My birth is the stuff of legend. The story is repeated like a mantra in all family occasions. You know: weddings, birthdays, christenings, burials…My mother, Adelina, who’ve never wanted to do things like everybody else, decided not to go to hospital. She wanted a home birth. She wasn’t married and was staying with her parents. No, I never met my father, but that’s a long story…Anyway, it seems that my mother was screaming like a banshee (the doctor was very late. He was a busy man, poor guy) and when I was finally born and my grandmother took me in her arms I gave her a big fright. I’ve never seen any pictures of that moment  (it seems nobody dared to take any considering my looks) but I’ve been reliably informed that I was all covered in black hair, head to toe.(At this point my grandmother always said: ‘like little monkey’ but she has to add, after the all important pause, ‘but uglier’) I didn’t cry and just opened my eyes, that have always been a bit special. My grandmother shouted ‘Jesús’ in her fright. She said I looked like the devil (not sure how many encounters she’d had with the devil, but she seemed very confident on that matter).

Nobody came up with a better name, and I was left with the name ‘Jesús’. It seems my mother liked it, and all agreed it might give me some protection.

I’ve lived all my life with people looking at me and expecting something malefic and special to manifest. It has been hard and it has made my life very complicated. All things considered, I don’t think that even if I had looked like Johnny Depp, my life would have been any less complicated.

If you want to read more:

: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TWRT22

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