Archives for posts with tag: Angelic Business 1: Pink Matters

Hi all:

Yes, the last novel in my YA trilogy Angelic BusinessAngelic Business 3. Pink, Angel or Demon? is out on the 30th of July, this Thursday.

Angelic Business 3: Pink, Angel or Demon?

Angelic Business 3: Pink, Angel or Demon?

I’ve been bringing you samples of the books and songs, but as we’re so close to the end, and I don’t want to reveal any vital information, I’ve decided to bring you an interview with one of the characters, G.

G

G

Hi G. It’s very kind of you to agree to come and talk to us about Angelic Business. Life must be very busy for you.

For me? You mean for a demon.

Well, yes, but I know you don’t like being called a demon.

It’s not so much the name, as the connotation. Once people start talking about demons they imagine silly things. Red skin, horns, hoofs, a tail… All that.

You don’t look anything like that. At all. Although, is that your real appearance?

No. I thought I’d appear as G. The boy Pink meets in the first book.

Yes, you go through a few changes in the series. Do you think you are the one who changes the most?

(G shakes his head.)

No. I guess if we talk about physical appearance, yes, I go through quite a few incarnations. But with regards to changing…in what matters most, I think most of the characters do. Pink becomes much more determined, her friends Lorna and Sylvia change, Seth does, even Azrael changes.

Azrael. The angel. You two have a very strange relationship. And although some readers find you more interesting, you seem to…

Yes?

Be somewhat jealous of him.

And what makes you think that?

You seem to take it to heart when Pink talks about how gorgeous Azrael is.

She exaggerates. A fair bit.

I don’t think so. He’s gorgeous.

Have you met him too?

Yes.

Perhaps it’s a human thing. I don’t think he’s that beautiful. Anyway, I thought you wanted to talk about me.

Yes, of course. Do you enjoy taking up the role of a human being?

It depends on the human being. Being a child and having to go to school and all that can get a bit tedious, and if I’m in an older person’s body, sometimes life is very difficult, but it can be a great experience. It surely provides one with a very different perspective on things.

Doesn’t becoming a human make you feel bad about some of the things you do? To humans, I mean.

I’m only inhabiting a human body. It’s like an actor. However convincing I might be, I’m not really human. And when I’m in somebody’s body it is because I have a mission to fulfil.

But you didn’t like it when Pink was upset with you because of what you did in book one. You seemed to have become quite close to Pink.

Well, Pink is different. I don’t take to heart everything any human being says. Heart? What heart, anyway? But she is not your standard human being. Although she would not agree.

That is true. Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. I am funnier than Azrael. And he’s not that handsome either. Ah, and read the stories, they are worth it. And let us know if you’d like to read more adventures.

Thank you G. Gregorious.

Thank you.

And now, so you don’t complain that I only bring you demons, in case you missed it, here is the link to an interview with Azrael, the angel, featured in N.N. Light fabulous blog:

http://wp.me/p327dV-1jP

A bit about the book:

OK, OK, OK. Pink gets it. She’s the Elected, whether she likes it or not. Heaven and Hell are closing in, and their envoys are closer home than ever. So close she can’t ignore them. And she’ll do everything but.

However long she has, she’s determined to make it count. She’ll sort her friends out, she’ll help her family and, she’ll live a bit. And then, she’ll take charge. Because no one will say that Pink went down without a fight. However big and bad the enemy.

Gender benders, romances, old loves that come to fruition, new challenges, divine interventions, tears, laughter and magic. All of that and more. Because, if you‘re gonna go, you might as well go with a bang.

Links:

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YHZHUYS

Apple:

http://apple.co/1HUtE1M

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1Fl7IH9

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1M4YK5j

It will also be available in other places but I won’t get those links until after the publication. You can always check my website  as I try to keep it updated.

Of course, I’ve also made a video for this book, here it is:

Ah, and to celebrate and to encourage people to give the series a go, I’ve made the first book in the series, Angelic Business 1. Pink MattersFREE! 

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

I discovered through a post a thing called Book Launch, that allows you to create a page for your book, with all the links, information about you, etc. It’s free for one book only, after that you have to pay a subscription, but I thought I’d give it a go. So here it is:

https://booklaunch.io/olganm/angelicbusiness1

As it does not include all of the Amazon links, I’m adding the international one, just in case:

http://rxe.me/YIHTW96

And Page Foundry:

http://bit.ly/1eMLfN9

Thanks so much for reading, I hope you’ve find it interesting, please share, like, comment, and especially, CLICK! Spread the word! Ah, and if you read in Spanish, the Spanish version is also free. 

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Hi all:

Yes! Today is really the day! Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters should be alive and kicking in Amazon and a few other places.

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

To celebrate… yes, I’d like to have a party or something, but I have the other two books to get ready too, so not much time. But still, I thought we should celebrate somehow.

First, I’d given you a bit of the conversation between Pink and G before, in a chapter called ‘Liar, liar’, for good reason, but I thought I’d give you a bit more:

“OK. You know the angel thing?” I said.

“You mean the thing you’ve never believed despite all evidence I’ve showed you? What about it?”

“Somebody told me it’s not exactly true.”

“You’ve told somebody? After I had to make your friends forget all about it and then…I thought we had a deal.”

“Calm down. I didn’t tell anybody. Somebody came to me. We were coming out of Lorna’s house yesterday and this guy…”

“You stop to talk to somebody you’ve never met before?” he asked, serious.

“I couldn’t do much else. He performed your favourite trick. The time-out thing. You know what I mean. Everybody stopped but me and him. He told me…”

“Azrael…” G had stopped pacing but instead of looking at me he was looking at the floor.

“Yep. That’s him. So you know him.”

“We’re a relatively small community.”

“Anyway, he told me…you’re not really an angel. Or not any longer. You’re a fallen angel. Or, to put it in another way, a demon. You’ve ever so slightly misrepresented yourself. If that’s true that is.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Same difference.”

“Come on, now. You rebelled against God following Lucifer that as far as I understand was his favourite. If one is to believe the stories…You lost and were cast down to hell.”

G looked up now, directly into my eyes.

“Well, God likes these casting outs. After all, if we’re to believe the story of Adam and Eve, humans have also been cast out.”

“Lucifer had something to do with it…If we do believe the stories, that is..…” For some unknown reason to me I wanted to laugh. Instead of feeling angry I was starting to think it was all rather funny. And it probably was, from an observer’s point of view, but that was exactly how I felt. As if all of that had nothing whatsoever to do with me. As if I was watching it all from a distance. I couldn’t help myself. “Does that mean your boss is a snake?”

“What?…” G looked genuinely surprised, but finally caught on. “Oh, the Bible is just a fiction, maybe faction is a better word…or an interpretation of facts. If he wanted to attract a woman, a snake isn’t necessarily the best option.”

“No. Maybe a nice pair of shoes or a handbag.”

“Or Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp,” G added also getting into the same slightly jokey mood.

We both laughed. If nothing else, G seemed lighter, more humorous and less ponderous than Azrael.

“So, does that change anything?” G asked.

“I don’t know. For one it makes you not very trustworthy. And I don’t mean because you’re a demon, that might not help, but because you’re a liar.”

“I just don’t think one should put too much stock on that kind of stuff. I see myself more as an anti-hero. Or a morally ambiguous hero. Maybe.”

And a few couple of songs with angels on them…

Here, Erasure ‘Send Me an Angel’ (This is the funniest, I was thinking of Eurythmics and I wrote Erasure, and hop, they have a song with angels too that I didn’t remember. I think angels are at play here…)

Eurythmics ‘There Must Be an Angel’ (This is a super video!)

Antonio Machín. ‘Angelitos Negros’ (Antonio Machín was a singer from Cuba who lived and sang in Spain for many years and was very popular when I was a child. This song, that is one of his most famous, it’s called ‘Little Black Angels’ and in it, he basically is asking a painter why he never paints black angels when everybody knows they also go to heaven. He has a very personal style but it’s a wonderful song).


Here are the links to the book, before I forget:

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YIHTW96

Apple:

http://apple.co/1Kuzdl8

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1LU77jt

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1eLMTOG

Thanks so much for reading and you know… like, comment, share and if you fancy it, CLICK!

Hi all:

I’m sure I’ve told you I’m back in the UK (although I don’t know how long for, my life is in flux at the moment), and it seems Christmas is coming. I know I’ve told you many times I’m terrible at taking pictures, but I’m not sure you believe me yet, so I thought…I’d show you.

I was in Sheffield last week and I saw a Christmas pudding on wheels. Hey, photo opportunity!

Christmas pudding on wheels in front of Sheffield's City Hall

Christmas pudding on wheels in front of Sheffield’s City Hall

As you can see everybody decided it was the time to walk by the pudding/van. I thought I’d wait a bit…And this happened!

No so many people but blurry phot

No so many people but blurry photo

And I’m sure I was wearing glasses!

In Penistone itself (where I live) there is the tradition of having an arts & craft fair inside of St. John’s Church (parts of the church go back to Norman times, as does the town, that is listed in the Doomsday [or Domesday] Book), showcasing an art group called Hens Teeth. I always try and see what original gifts I can find there.

Hen's Teeth Art Group advert

Hens Teeth Art Group advert

I thought I’d take a picture inside of the church to show you, but again…

Inside of St John's Church during the fair

Inside of St John’s Church during the fair

Yes, a bit blurry. This time maybe it was because I wasn’t wearing the glasses. I did buy a few things. Here, the knitted angel…

Hand-knitted angel

Hand-knitted angel

I’m not a very Christmassy person but you know I’m writing a series about angels…

And as I was walking around, I thought I’d let you know that the local cinema, The Penistone Paramount (I’d mentioned it before. It’s one of the loves of my life) celebrates its 100th anniversary and they’ve painted it to celebrate.

The Penistone Paramount. 100 years old. Looking Good!

The Penistone Paramount. 100 years old. Looking Good!

As you know I’ve told you (only a few times) that I was taking part in NaNoWriMo. The idea is to write a novel of at least 50000 words (the draft of a novel) in a month. And guess what! I won! (The draft ended up being over 60000 and I had a bit of time spare).

I won!

I won!

I’d love to share some of what I wrote, but it was book 3 of my Angelic Business series (that for the time being I’m calling Pink, Angel or Demon?) but I thought it would be difficult not to give too much of the other books away or to follow it without knowing much about the other two. Instead, as I had shared chapter 1 of the first one, I thought I’d share Chapter 2. I hope that’s OK.

As you’ll remember, the novel is called (if I don’t change my mind) Pink Matters.

Chapter 2. The Meeting (Part 1)

I wasn’t much of a dreamer or a romantic…All right, sure, I like romantic stories and one can’t help but dream, but I didn’t really believe in them or put any stock or faith in any of those things ever happening to me. I didn’t expect the perfect guy to just turn up, snatch me and take me to paradise. (For one I was pretty convinced that we would not have the same opinion on what paradise might consist of.) Even in fairy tales such things only happened to princesses and the like. Normal, run of the mill girls like me were hardly the protagonists of those kind of stories. Of course feminism and an increase in social and diversity awareness had broadened the subject and modern stories were a bit more “equal” and “fair”. But if I had to put my hand in my heart I still preferred the old-fashioned ones.

Due to my realistic (rather than pessimistic) view of life, I was not expecting the perfect candidate to my pretend boyfriend to just turn up. If this had been one of those stories, not only would he have turned up and be perfect, but he’d have fallen in love with me and eventually I’d have realised that the pretence had become reality. I know, you’ve also read that story. And watched the movie. So have I. Still…

A new boy did come to school. He wasn’t handsome in any typical way, but he had “something”. Dark hair, grey eyes, tall, strong features…Not standard pretty/cute boy (Zac Effron style), but rather the brooding, attractive in a no-nonsense kind of way guy (maybe Robert Pattinson, although I don’t really like him that much, but hey, I can see why many others do). And he had a lot of style. Leather jacket, always dressed in black, and seemed surrounded by a slight air of mystery…possibly even menace and danger.

As usual the popular girls took the initiative to try and get as much information as possible from him. They tried their best, including batting their eyelashes, unbuttoning the top of their uniforms, laughing at his non-jokes…But he seemed tight-lipped and resistive.

Lorna, Sylvia and I overheard Chloe (the head cheerleader, you know the type, blonde, tall, blue eyes, toned and well proportioned…) talking to her best friend Zoe (similar type but dark haired) after spending some time with the stranger:

“What do you think it’s up with him? He’ll only answer in monosyllabic. And he says his name is “G”. “G”? What kind of a name is “G”?”

“Don’t get upset…He’s probably gay.”

“I need to know. I’ll ask Scott to talk to him after training this afternoon. Blokes sometimes can be shy with girls they don’t know.”

Chloe had been going out with Scott for a few months, whilst Zoe was dating Chris. I doubted this G guy was particularly shy though. He had a very intense gaze and a knowing smile. Sylvia said:

“I think he’s looking at us.”

Our first reaction in those cases always was to look around us because guys didn’t look at us. But there wasn’t anybody else around. Yes, he seemed to be looking at us.

“I think you’re right” Lorna said.

“I wonder why” I added.

The three of us worked at the library for a while. By the time we left, football practice had finished. We were all intrigued about G, but none of the popular girls were around and it seemed unlikely we’d get any information that day. I accompanied Sylvia and Lorna to the bus stop and walked home. When I was halfway, Seth came by in his old and battered car. His father had promised him a new one if he did well and got into a good college, so he’d been working fairly hard for his usual standard.

“Hey Pink! Come over! I’ll give you a ride.”

I climbed on by his side. He had been playing very loud music but lowered the volume.

“How was practice?”

“Same old, same old. If coach doesn’t get some new ideas we’re never going to beat anybody this year.”

“I thought you’d said you had a strong team.” I didn’t really pay much attention to his football patter, but every so often something stuck.

“Yeah, but we could do with a couple more guys…maybe a strong defence…a kicker…”

“Well, it’s unlikely you’ll get new players this late in the season, isn’t it?”

“Tony thought that new guy…G he goes by, might be a player, although he doesn’t seem strong enough to be a defence but…you never know what talents people might hide, but no. He told the coach he’s not interested in football. It seems he likes to run…and, you won’t believe this “gymnastics”! Isn’t it the weirdest thing?”

I’d always liked gymnastics…Not to practice…I could work hard but had neither style nor much sense of equilibrium, but I loved to watch gymnastics. One of the few sports I had any time for.

“What’s wrong with gymnastics? You need to be pretty fit and strong…”

“Sure, a bit girly though, don’t you think? Scott was telling me Chloe had been trying to talk to him… “talk”, you know? You know what I mean…”

“Flirt and show him her bra, you mean…”

He laughed and made a claw-like gesture.

“Grhhhhhh! Bitchy, bitchy! You’re too serious. But I guess that’s what I mean…And he’d just ignored her. Well, not ignored her, but just answered yes or no…There must be something wrong with him if Chloe can’t get him going.”

“Maybe he likes a different type of girl…”

“Really? What bloke doesn’t like Chloe? One might not like her as a person, but she’s a babe. Who do you think would be more his type then? You, maybe?” And he laughed. And kept laughing…My determination to get my own back grew stronger than before.

As soon as he dropped me home and I got to my room I went online with Lorna and Sylvia. They were both at Lorna’s house. I told them what I’d found out.

“Honest, Pink, Seth is an absolute idiot!” Lorna growled. “Maybe you should just send him to hell.”

“He wouldn’t understand what it was all about and I wouldn’t get much satisfaction from it. No, I’m more determined than before to carry on with the plan.”

“It would serve him right if you went out with that G guy” Sylvia said.

“Yes, I was thinking the same, but he’s such an unknown quantity. Nobody seems to know anything at all about him, not even where he’s come from. He might be a nasty piece of work for all we know. And also, I doubt that he’s interested.”

“Well, the few bits of info we have about him are encouraging” Lorna summarised. “He doesn’t like football, so he’s unlikely to hang out with Seth and his bunch. He likes gymnastics and you like that sport, so you should have something to talk about. And he seems impervious to the charms of Chloe and her band of pretty girls…”

“And don’t forget he was looking at us” Sylvia added.

“I’m not sure about what that means. He might think we’re weird or something…We’ll have to see what happens in the next few days and if anything at all develops…” I said.

“It would be quite a thing if you managed to go out with him…he’s completely new in the market and not from these areas…as objective and fresh a guy as you’ll ever find around here.” Lorna said.

“We’ll see.”

For the next week or so G was the centre of attention although he didn’t seem to return the interest and appeared to be trying to become invisible most of the time. However he had a way of appearing wherever Lorna, Sylvia and I were, even when he wasn’t attending the same class.

“I’m telling you he’s looking at us!” Sylvia said for the millionth time.

“Yes, but which one of us is he looking at?” Lorna asked.

I was a bit bored having the same conversation at least once every day, when not several times a day. This time we’d just come out of the library and he was on the pavement on the other side of the street, leaning on the wall, seemingly looking at us.

“Who knows?” Sylvia replied once more.

I’d had enough. It wasn’t really that difficult.

“If you really want to know it’s quite simple. OK, Sylvia, come with me. Lorna, you stay there.”

I grabbed Sylvia’s arm and dragged her with me to the window of the shop at the corner of the street. No, G wasn’t looking at Lorna; his gaze had followed us.

“Now, you stay here.”

I left Sylvia by the shop and I crossed to the side of the street where G was standing. Now there was no possible doubt. Difficult as it might have been to believe, he was looking at me. Both Sylvia and Lorna joined me, very excited, but trying to keep their voices low (although I didn’t think they were succeeding). At least I could be grateful because they were not jumping up and down. We weren’t particularly bouncy girls.

“Oh my God! He’s definitely looking at you.!” Sylvia said, trying not to squeal.

“Yes, yes, he is. That’s it. He’s the guy for your plan!” Lorna concluded.

“What are you going to do?” Sylvia asked.

“Get out of here first.”

This time we went to my house and chatted for ages. Sylvia and Lorna suggested all kind of hare-brained schemes and plans to get G’s attention. Or “channel” his attention, as it seemed that for unknown reasons I already had his attention.  All their suggestions involved a fair amount of flirting and taking up roles that I didn’t feel particularly familiar with, like the damsel in distress or the adoring fan. I wasn’t sure what strategy I’d try, but, yes, it seemed worth trying to get him to go out with me. And I was quite curious about him and his interest in me. What was that all about?

How to go about it was another question. Not my area of expertise, boys, you see? Although I was determined, assignments, studying, and similar pressing matters put it all on hold and pushed it to the back of my mind. I kept putting it off, trying to find a good moment to act, and ignoring Sylvia and Lorna’s “advice” (pressure, to be honest).

One Saturday about a month after G’s appearance, Lorna, Sylvia and I had arranged to meet at the Atlantis (the local independent bookstore). I was a bit early and went in to have a look at the second hand books. I was looking at a beautiful illustrated copy of The Great Gatsby when somebody touched my shoulder. I turned around, and there he was, G.

“Hi.”

“Hi.”

OK, neither one of us was going to win a contest for originality or get recorded in a book compiling famous conversation opening lines.

“I’ve been wondering when I’d have a chance to catch you by yourself. You always seem to be with your friends…Lorna and Sylvia, isn’t it?”

“Yes. We…we’d noticed you were looking at us.”

“You mean at you. Interesting way of scientifically testing it. Although I expected after that you might follow through and approach me, but you didn’t” he said.

“Well, I didn’t know what it meant, but we were just wondering and I was bored of speculation…I wasn’t expecting you were looking at me.”

“Were you hoping I was looking at you at least?”

“No.”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I’ve already told you I’m not good with boys and I can’t flirt to save my life, so there.

“Oh, all right.”

“I don’t mean…Sorry, I’m no good at these things…”

“What things?”

“You know, flirting and all that…Relationships with guys aren’t my strong point.”

“I wouldn’t worry too much about that…Let’s start again. Hi Pink, I’m G. I assume Pink isn’t your real name. What’s your real name?”

“Petra”.

“Where does the name come from?”

“I’ve always liked Pink. And I don’t like my real name, so…”

“No, I meant your real name.”

“My father was an amateur archaeologist when he was younger and he really liked Petra.”

“I guess it could have been worse.”

“Like what Abu Simbel or the hanging gardens of Babylon?”

He laughed. Short but full-hearted laughter. Then he smiled. He had the weirdest and more mysterious smile I’d seen, all inclusive (men and women). Imagine the Mona Lisa, but in young man. Knowing, complicit and secretive all at the same time…

“And you? What does G stand for?”

At that moment Lorna and Sylvia turned up and stopped on their tracks when they saw me talking to G.

“We’ll carry on with the conversation at some other point. Maybe in a couple of days during Lake Day. By the little church on the North shore. After lunch.”

“Why are you so sure it will be in a couple of days?”

“I know things…”

He left. Lake Day was a St Mary’s School Tradition. The Headmistress, Mrs Langston, studied at Mount Holyoke and loved their Mountain Day, particularly the idea that suddenly, with no notice, the whole school would take to the buses and go on an excursion and have a day out. As there were no mountains or even hills deserving of the name close to St Mary’s, but there was Lake Swallow, she instituted Lake Day instead. The exact date when it would take place was a well-guarded secret, surrounded by speculation, so I had no idea how G would know, if he was right, when it would be.

Sylvia and Lorna interrogated me for ages about my encounter with G, but I had little to tell them.

“Do you think he really knows when Lake Day will be?” Sylvia asked.

“He seemed very confident, but how could he know? He hasn’t been here for two minutes and doesn’t know the teaching staff…as far as we know. Why should they tell him?”

“Maybe his family are very rich and they’ve made an important donation…” Lorna suggested.

“I’m sure if anybody had made a huge donation we’d had heard about it, it would have been published in the local newspaper and advertised everywhere. And I’m sure any donors would have more important things they’d want to know than when is the next Lake Day” I said. We shouldn’t get carried away with our theories, because otherwise G would end up not only being James Dean, but also Rockefeller. His reference to the little church was correct, but that only meant he must have visited the lake at some point and it was a fairly popular spot in that area. Nothing terribly mysterious about that.

Eventually I managed to get the girls off the subject of G onto other matters. Although I have to admit I waited with curiosity to see if he was right and Lake Day would really be in two days’ time. That was not the only reason for my curiosity, of course. I also wanted to see what he’d tell me next time we met. He’d appeared very determined, but I had no idea what his goals or intentions might be.

If I was pretending to be cool I’d say that two days later I had already forgotten G’s predictions and went to school with no expectations whatsoever. The truth is that I was quite excited that day, and Sylvia and Lorna hadn’t stopped talking about that in the intervening period. So when after 5 minutes or so of the first class the bells rang and Lake Day was announced we all got really agitated.

“But he’s not here!” Sylvia said. “He should have been in class with us, but he wasn’t.”

“Oh well, I guess if he really knew there wasn’t going to be a class he must have found something else better to do than come on an excursion” I said, pretending not to care.

“But he arranged to meet you!” Lorna said.

“I’ll survive”.

Still, I could not resist and left Sylvia and Lorna after lunch and walked around the shore of the lake to the little church. And there he was. G was all dressed in black, as usual, wearing a black leather jacket, standing by the side of what looked to me like a rather large motorbike for his age. Triumph? Black, shiny, impressive is as good as I can do to describe it. Motorbikes are again not one of my specialist subjects.

“Wow! Is that yours?”

“Yes.”

“Nice! A little bit Hells Angels, isn’t it?”

His reply was an even weirder smile than usual. What on earth was up with him?

“So, you were right. About Lake Day, I mean. How did you know?”

“I told you I know things…”

“OK. So you’re being mysterious…fine. You asked me about my name, the other day, but never replied about yours. What does G stand for?”

“Nothing…I just…decided to leave my old lifestyle behind and take up a new name. I go now by G.”

“Like Ali?”

“Very funny. I’ve heard it before.”

“At least it’s not the G point. And yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that one too.”

“It could be G force.”

“Yes…but it’s not a religious thing, like Malcolm X?”

“No. Nothing at all to do with religion.”

Not sure why, but I didn’t believe him, and he seemed to have become quite tense when I mentioned religion, but it was probably too soon to go probing. It was slightly bizarre as guys these days didn’t seem to be bothered about religion one way or another and it would be unlikely that its mere mention would have any effect…Maybe that had something to do with his reference to his old lifestyle. Maybe he had been in a sect or something…Or maybe I should stop making things up. He was just being discreet and not offering much personal information about himself, but that was fair enough. We’d known each other for all of five minutes, but these days everybody friended everybody and published intimate details of their lives at the drop of a hat, so his attitude was quite old-fashioned, although I found it refreshing. When people went around advertising the last little detail about themselves that could only mean that there was nothing worth knowing about them. Still, I couldn’t help but keep asking questions, even if less intimate.

“Why do you always wear black?”

“I got tired of white.”

His smile again. He was quite puzzling. I had no idea what he was talking about, but somehow I felt I wouldn’t get much further with that line of questioning.

“Can we talk now or do you have any more questions before we can proceed?” he asked me, still smiling.

“Just one more. Why me? You aren’t from here and I assume you don’t know anybody local” I looked at him and he shook his head in the negative “so, why me? It can’t be my looks, that’s for sure. Not a great beauty. Run of the mill.” I wasn’t being modest. I am not very tall, brown short hair and brown eyes (little green), plump…

“That was part of the attraction” smile again.

“Girls like Chloe have tried and talk to you with no results, and as far as I’ve been told they’re irresistible to guys your age.”

“That’s an unfair generalisation. Not all of us have the same taste.”

“Really? Are you weird then? Are you attracted to people who aren’t attractive?”

“Oh, no, I’m not going to fall for that. I’m not as stupid as your friend Seth. I know you’re angry at him because of the way he patronises you and treats you as if you were a charity case, worse than something at the bottom of his shoe. I didn’t say you weren’t attractive. You said that.”

Now he’d gone too far. Right or not, that was no way of talking about a friend of mine. And, how on Earth would he presume to know how I felt?

“Listen, Mr G or whatever your name is, leave my friends out of this. I don’t know who you think you are or what you think you know, but that does not give you right to make comments and criticise people I know and like. Have a nice life.”

I turned around and started walking as fast as I could back to the rest of the group. This had been a mistake. Go out with him! Not in a thousand years.

He must have run because he was again by my side.

“Don’t get mad. Come on, I know you’d been thinking about getting your own back on the type of comments he makes about you by going out with a suitable candidate. And I know you and your friends had been thinking about me for the role.”

I must have looked really shocked because he added:

“Don’t worry, your friends haven’t told me and nobody else knows about it.”

“And if I ask you how you know you’re going to tell me that you know things…”

He nodded and smiled.

“You’re so full of it…I don’t really care how you know or even what you know. You can keep all your knowledge and your secrets to yourself.  Life is too short for this, if you ask me. I’m sure you can find another equally non-attractive girl for whatever you were thinking about. Good luck with it.”

No bloke was worth putting up with all that in my opinion. He could stuff it. I set off even faster than before. And I had no intention of stopping or being stopped.

This time he came after me motorised and skidded on the gravel to a stop a few metres in front of me.

“I’m volunteering to play the part with Seth. I’m happy to be your official date. I know you don’t really want a relationship. That’s fine with me. I don’t want one either. I feel like you that too much time is invested in relationships with the opposite sex at our age. But I also understand that you find Seth’s attitude annoying and you’re right. Plenty of guys would be happy to be your boyfriends if you really wanted one.”

“Now flattery…Don’t we learn quickly?” I replied trying to be ironic.

“Come on, Pink. I’m not from here. As you’ve said some of the girls that are rated as the prettiest and most desirable by all guys have approached me with no success. You’d score a big hit if you managed where they’d failed. And I’m not high maintenance. I’ll play my part in public well. You don’t need to worry.”

“Why are you so insistent? What’s in it for you?”

“Oh, don’t worry. I have no dark designs. I’ve already told you that I’m not interested in relationships…any kind of relationships…”

When somebody says don’t worry twice in a row, one should definitely worry. I had no ready reply and I just looked at him. I don’t know what my expression must have been like, because he blushed and quickly added:

“I know Chloe and Zoe and all those girls were wondering…But they’re just too convinced they’re irresistible. I’m not gay. I just have other priorities at this point in time. But that will remain between you and me. Everybody else will believe we’re an item. We’ll be convincing.”

I didn’t say anything. Was he gay, was he straight, or was he just not-interested? Did I really care about any of that? Yes, he was right. If I turned up at school hanging of his arm and officially his girlfriend people would stop and pay attention. And Seth’s opinion of me would receive a well-deserved shake. But what did he want in return? Why was he so reluctant to tell me?

“That’s all very well and good, and don’t worry, I’m not interested in your sexuality. You can keep that to yourself. You were right about my attitude towards relationships. But you still haven’t told me what made you approach me in the first place. And don’t tell me you’re just a Good Samaritan helping girls in need. What’s this all about?”

He gave me one of his fixed stares, no smile this time. After what felt like hours he finally said:

“I think we might be able to work together.”

“Work? Do you mean classwork? An assignment?”

“Not exactly.”

 

Thank you all for reading, and you know what to do, like, comment, share and…you can still CLICK the link to the post with the first chapter or click elsewhere in the page (links to books, other blogs….)!

Hola a todos:

Me andaba preguntando sobre qué iba a escribir y tenía varias ideas, pero considerando que este blog es (principalmente) un blog sobre escritura, libros, escritores (con otras cosas mezcladas, como reseñas de películas, comentarios sobre historia familiar, mantenerse en forma, mindfulness…), me pareció que una invitación a visitor Wattpad no estaría de más. Sospecho que la mayoría de vosotros ya la conocéis. Según Wikipedia:

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wattpad

‘Wattpad es un comunidad en línea en torno a temas de escritura y la narración.’ La comunidad reúne a lectores y escritores y es gratis para ambos. El cuartel general de Wattpad está en Toronto, y nación en el 2006 de la colaboración entre Allen Lau e Ivan Yuen. Desde entonces han conseguido financiación, han incluido clásicos del proyecto Gutenberg, se les ha acusado de ignorar la piratería, han introducido premios…

Según Wikipedia, 5 de cada 10 usuarios están en los Estados Unidos aunque su uso está muy extendido.

Yo la descubrí gracias a mi colega el escritor Frank Spoiler, a quien le gusta mucho Wattpad (así que evidentemente la usan en España también) y me intrigó.

¿Cómo la usan los escritores?

Eso depende de la persona.  Por lo que he visto cuando la he visitado, algunos autores publican exclusivamente en Wattpad, al menos de momento. Hay autores que publican fragmentos de su obra, un par de capítulos, o ficción corta (historias cortas, micro-ficción) para que la gente se interese en su obra. Algunos autores publican obras completas, pero por entregas, como Charles Dickens y muchos novelistas victorianos solían hacer. Usan Wattpad como una forma de poner a prueba su escritura, observar las reacciones de los lectores y recoger comentarios. También se puede utilizar como un empujón a seguir escribiendo, especialmente si recibes muchos comentarios y la gente te dice que están esperando el siguiente capítulo. Frank, por ejemplo, publicó su última novela, ‘Soy un asesino… sin serie’ por entregas en Wattpad, y recibió muchos comentarios muy positivos. Ahora el libro está publicado en Amazon y por eso no está ya disponible en Wattpad.Y si sois escritores podéis enviarles mensajes a todos vuestros seguidores y también le podéis dedicar un capítulo o todo un libro a alguien. Podéis sugerir el repertorio y los actores que podría interpretar a los personajes, subir fotos o vídeos (hay mucha fan-fiction). También hay concursos y premios varios, pero no he tenido tiempo de investigar mucho.

Como lector puedes seguir la obra de un autor y entonces recibes avisos cuando publican algo nuevo. Además de poder dejar comentarios sobre la obra de otros y votar si os gusta, también podéis enviar mensajes directamente al autor. Como lectora he descubierto a escritores muy interesantes, aunque tengo que reconocer que lo de leer historias por entregas se me hace difícil a veces, especialmente porque a menudo descubro a alguien que lleva medio libro publicado, y no consigo encontrar el tiempo para empezar a leer la historia desde el principio. Pero de todas formas me lo paso bien. Y la variedad que se puede encontrar allí es alucinante. Si os interesan géneros de lectura específicos podéis haceros miembros de clubes que los sigan, e incluso hay clubes para gente a la que le interesa más la tecnología y hay muchos artistas que se dedican a practicar creando portadas para escritores.

En cuanto a mi experiencia como escritora, no sé qué decir. No conozco muy bien el formato, y no me di cuenta hasta hace poco de que para publicar una historia por entregas tienes que añadir partes nuevas a la historia inicial en lugar de publicar los capítulos por separado (que es lo que empecé  a hacer con un libro que escribí hace muchos años. Lo he republicado ahora como es debido pero he perdido los datos de los números de lectores. Sigo sin saber por qué hubo mucha más gente que leyó el capítulo 2 que el resto, pero…Por cierto, gracias Frank, que si no ni me entero).  Como me llevó bastante tiempo el traducir mi último libro Una vez psiquiatra… (ahora publicado) al español, decidí que podría intentar que la gente se interesara publicando la primera historia en Wattpad. De hecho empecé con la idea de publicar el principio de las tres historias, pero la gente se interesó y me pareció justo publicarla toda. Os dejo el enlace por si no la habéis leído. La mayoría de los comentarios fueron de autores a los que conozco, pero de vez en cuando apareció algún comentario de algún lector al que no conocía de nada.

Ahora estoy escribiendo el segundo libro en una serie juvenil, ‘Asuntos Angélicos’ (probablemente. El título en español no está completamente decidido). He empezado a publicar la primera novela de la serie, ‘Alerta Pink’ (la protagonista principal se llama Petra pero no le gusta su nombre y prefiere Pink… y ya os contaré el resto más adelante), de momento solo en inglés, para animarme a seguir escribiendo, y darme la oportunidad de ver qué reacción obtengo (si hay alguna). De momento (ando por el capítulo 5), tengo algunos votos y lectores, pero no hay comentarios. Ya veremos. Por si acaso leéis inglés y os apetece, aquí está:

Draft cover for Pink Matters (Angelic Business 1)

Draft cover for Pink Matters (Angelic Business 1)

Enlace a Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters in Wattpad

http://www.wattpad.com/story/12042085-angelic-business-1-pink-matters

Una vez psiquiatra... Diseño de Ernesto Valdés

Una vez psiquiatra… Diseño de Ernesto Valdés

Y el enlace a  la primera historia de ‘Una vez psiquiatra…’ ‘Carne de cañón’

http://www.wattpad.com/28235987-una-vez-psiquiatra-carne-de-ca%C3%B1%C3%B3n

Gracias por leer, y ya sabéis, si os ha gustado, dadle al me gusta, compartid, comentad y haced CLIC!

La imágen del esbozo de portada de Pink Matters es cortesía de farconville / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is translating an art? I would say it depends on what you’re translating, but it can be. Is it curious? I find it so.

I’m from Barcelona and speak (and write) Spanish and Catalan (Catalan although I’ve always spoken it was not officially taught when I was very young due to…politics and the government of General Franco. That’s not terribly relevant to the post, but I’m gifted, or plagued, with lateral thinking processes). I studied French at school for a few years and then English at High School. I moved to the UK in 1992 and since I’ve spent most of my life speaking, reading and writing in English (although of course Spanish and Catalan are also there). Even my fiction, that I started writing in one form or another when I was very young, moved from strictly Spanish (less often Catalan) to English.

Now as you know I’ve taken up self-publishing some of my stories, and as part of the process I’m doing some translating. Sometimes in either direction, mostly from English to Spanish. I decided to have guest authors in my blog and as I had been posting in both Spanish and English, I’d also translated the guest posts from either Spanish to English or the other way round, depending on the main language of the guest.

It is a rewarding and sometimes difficult task. I’ve come to love the fact that you get to know the original material much better than you would do otherwise. You go through it with a fine toothcomb, trying to find expressions that might mean the same or something equivalent in the other language, and sometimes you need to determine what’s exactly being said.

Interviews in general I don’t find too difficult. Actual samples of a book are much more precious, as not only content but style come into play and some of the author’s decisions you might not agree with, or might not be easily (if at all) translatable into the other language. And what about the titles? I find titles particularly challenging. Sometimes I give up and leave the original, but even then, if it’s not just a name, I’ll try to provide a translation (in order to at least give some information to the reader). But how to know if that would be the other person’s choice?

I have written a Young Adult novel, the first in a (somewhat) planned series and decided I was going to translate it from English to Spanish. Well, it’s not that difficult when it’s your own book, because at least you know what you’re trying to say. Or so I thought. And of course, I started with the title. Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. 1 is easy. Does not need translation. Angelic pretty straight forward too (Angélico or Angélicos if plural). But Business. Several meanings. Did I want business as an enterprise, the world of business, or as a matter (“none of your business”) kind of thing? Negocios Angélicos? I finally decided (so far) to go with Asuntos Angélicos.

English: rose bunch, Rosa sp. cultivars, flowe...

English: rose bunch, Rosa sp. cultivars, flower market, Place Monge, Paris Français : bouquet de roses, Rosa sp. horticoles, marché aux fleurs, Place Monge, Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But that was nothing compare with ‘Pink Matters’. Pink is the name of the main character (she’s named Petra but hates her name and as she likes the pink colour, she goes by Pink). Pink (the colour) in Spanish is rosa (as a colour). But Rosa is also a name (Rose). But I didn’t want Rosa, so I decided to stick with Pink. No reason why children reading this book (I’m not specific about the setting but it’s a world with High Schools and football players, so)  would not know enough English to know what Pink is, and of course there’s also the singer. And ‘matters’? Matter again could be a thing to talk about…(sort of ‘related’ to Pink) but I like the possible double meaning, as in, the girl, Pink, matters, is important. She’s the centre of the novel. I could not think of any word similar in Spanish and I wanted to keep the symmetry. I didn’t fancy using several words and making it a really long title. So far I’m working with ‘Alerta Pink’ (yes, Pink Alert) that’s fairly different, but I like the interplay with red alert. (Alerta Roja in Spanish). And all this for only 4 words and a number. Can you imagine the whole process? Of course, the title is very important and I hope I won’t agonise so much over the rest of the book but…(so far I’ve only translated a chapter and a bit, but I’m currently translating a book from Spanish to English for somebody else. Challenging indeed!)

Yes, I would say it is a curious art, don’t you think?

Thanks for reading!

¿Es la traducción un arte? Yo diría que depende de lo que estés traduciendo. ¿Es curioso? A mí me lo parece.

Soy de Barcelona y hablo (y escribo) en castellano y catalán (el catalán, aunque siempre lo he hablado no se enseñaba oficialmente cuando yo era pequeña debido a …la política y al gobierno del general Franco, pero eso no es relevante al post. Por suerte o por desgracia estoy dotada (o castigada) con pensar lateralmente.) Estudié francés en la escuela unos años y luego inglés en el bachillerato. Emigré al Reino Unido en el 1992 y desde entonces me he pasado la mayor parte del tiempo leyendo y escribiendo en inglés (y naturalmente hablándolo también). Por supuesto el castellano y el catalán siempre están ahí. Incluso mi ficción, que empecé a escribir en un género u otro cuando era muy joven, pasó de ser estrictamente en castellano (y catalán) a inglés.

Como sabéis he empezado a autopublicar algunas de mis historias hace unos meses, y como parte de ese proceso estoy haciendo algunas traducciones. A veces en ambas direcciones, pero muchas más del inglés al castellano. Decidí tener a autores invitados en mi blog y como había decidido tener posts en castellano e inglés, también me puse a traducir los posts de mis invitados de español a inglés o vicerversa, dependiendo de la lengua madre del autor.

Es una tarea difícil pero muy agradecida. Lo que más me gusta es el conocimiento en detalle que adquieres del material original, que es mucho más a fondo que si solo lo leyeras, incluso con detenimiento. Analizas el texto bajo microscopio, intentando encontrar expresiones que signifiquen lo mismo o sean equivalentes en la otra lengua, y a veces la cuestión es determinar exactamente qué dice el texto.

Las entrevistas, por lo general, no las encuentro demasiado difíciles. Muestras y fragmentos de un libro son mucho más complicadas, ya que no es solo cuestión del contenido sino del estilo usado. A veces puedes estar más o menos de acuerdo con las decisiones artísticas de otros, pero en muchas ocasiones la dificultad es que las expresiones no tienen traducción directa a la otra lengua. Y no hablemos de los títulos. Son mi reto particular. A veces abandono y dejo el original, pero incluso entonces, si no es solo un nombre, intento sugerir una traducción (para al menos dar una idea de la intención del autor). ¿Pero cómo sabes si esa sería le elección del autor al que estás traduciendo?

He escrito una novela juvenil, la primera en una serie (más o menos) planeada y decidí traducirla del inglés al castellano. Bueno, no es tan difícil cuando es tu propio libro, porque al menos estás seguro de lo que estás intentando decir. O eso es lo que yo me pensaba. Y por supuesto, empecé por el título. Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. 1 es fácil. No necesita traducción. Angelic también bastante fácil. Angélico o Angélicos si es en plural. Pero Business…Varios posibles significados. ¿Me refería a ‘negocios’, como el mundo de los negocios o a asuntos?  ¿Negocios Angélicos o Asuntos Angélicos? Al final (de momento) me dicidí por Asuntos Angélicos.

English: P!nk performing at a secret London gi...

English: P!nk performing at a secret London gig to promote the Funhouse Album. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A pink rose. Photographed in Bristol.

A pink rose. Photographed in Bristol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pero eso no es nada comparado con la faena que me dio ‘Pink Matters’. Pink es el nombre de la protagonista principal (que se llama Petra pero odia su nombre y como le gusta el rosa, pink en inglés, la llaman Pink). El color pink, es rosa, en castellano. Pero como sabéis, Rosa es un nombre propio. Pero yo no quería el nombre Rosa, precisamente porque ya es un nombre, así que decidí seguir con Pink. No me pareció que hubiera razón alguna por la que chicos de esta edad no vayan a saber lo que quiere decir Pink en inglés (la novela no la he localizado en un lugar determinado, aunque con High Schools y animadoras suena vagamente americano) , y por supuesto siempre está la cantante. ¿Y ‘Matters’? Matter de nuevo como business puede ser asuntos, cosas…(algo relacionado con Pink) pero a mí me gustaba el posible doble significado, ya que en inglés el verbo ‘matter’ es importar, que significaría que Pink, la chica, importa, es el centro de la historia y es importante. No se me ocurrió ninguna palabra que tuviera ese doble significado en castellano y estaba empeñada en mantener la simetría entre el título en las dos lenguas y no usar más palabra en la versión en castellano, que resultarían en un título larguísimo. De momento me he decidido por ‘Alerta Pink’ que es muy diferente al título en inglés, pero me gusta el juego con Alerta Roja. Y este complicado proceso solo por 4 palabras y un número. ¿Os podéis imaginar la complicación de hacerlo con toda la novela? Por supuesto, el título es muy importante y confío en no sufrir tanto con el resto del libro, pero…(De momento solo he traducido un capítulo y un poco, pero estoy traduciendo un libro de otro autor del castellano al inglés, así que no es que me esté tomando un descando precisamente).

Sí, yo sigo diciendo que es un curioso arte, ¿no os parece?

Gracias por leer!

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/me-podeis-ayudar-necesito-opiniones-honestas-alerta-pink-asuntos-angelicos-1/

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