Hi and welcome to my blog, Jenny Twist. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake
Q: What genre do you write and for what publisher(s)?
I write horror, SciFi, romance and historical. So far everything I have written has been published (or is contracted to be published) by Melange Books.
Q: Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
My most recent release is a historical novel, Domingo’s Angel. It began as a short story which told of an English woman who came to Southern Spain the early 1950s. Tourism had barely touched the country at that time and the people were only just beginning to recover from the deprivations of the war. She arrived in a remote mountain village and caused some consternation amongst the inhabitants, who had never met a foreigner before. But Domingo, the goatherd, fell in love with her. When she introduced herself, he believed she was saying she was an angel (‘Soy Ángela’ in Spanish can either mean ‘I am Angela’ or ‘I am an angel’). Hence the title of the story.
I found, however, that I was so intrigued by one of the characters that I wanted to write more and the short story eventually grew into a novel.
Q: How do you build characters and their personalities and looks?
Actually, I don’t feel as if I have very much to do with it. The characters seem to just happen by themselves. I often think about something I’m writing when I’m in that state half-way between waking and sleeping just before I doze off, and I wake up with the whole thing formed, including the characters.
Q: Tell me about some of your heroes/heroines:
I think my favourite from Domingo’s Angel is Rosalba, the shopkeeper. When you first meet her she seems to be a typical Spanish granny who dominates her little village and knows everything that goes on, but it gradually transpires that she is considerably more than that. She is doctor, midwife and wise woman. And she is ‘fey.’ She sometimes knows about things before they happen.
Domingo himself is a lot of fun. He is an uneducated peasant, but is immensely practical and has an innate knowledge of how to build things. He has all the joyfulness and exuberance of an Andalusian and is a delightful lover.
Q: What do you do when the muse decides to take a holiday or become really difficult? How do you try to coax them/she/it/he back to the drawing board?
So far it has never happened. I live in dread that it will one day.
Q: Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?
I think out everything before I write anything down and when I do come to write it, I feel as if I’m just downloading a finished product. I very rarely stop for breath, so to speak. If I ever can’t quite get the next sentence right, I say something roughly along the right lines and change it when I read it back after it’s finished.
Q: If the world was to end tomorrow, what three things would be on your bucket list?
If the world was actually going to end tomorrow, I’d download the latest Stephen King and lose myself in it, have drinks on the terrace in the sun with Mr T and then go out for a slap-up meal, all of which I’d pay for on my credit card. Ha ha!
If I had a few weeks, I’d visit Santorini In Greece (they had an eruption there in ancient times and there is a whole city preserved – not unlike Pompeii in Italy) and Mexico – I want to see the ancient temples.
Q: Are there any authors who have influenced your work?
Stephen King, John Wyndham, M R James, Mary Stewart, Mary Wesley, Robert B Parker….actually I think I ought to stop now, or we’ll be here all day.
Q: What comes first for you: Setting? Storyline? Characters?
Definitely storyline. My stories always start with ‘What if?’ and then the idea grows into a plot and the characters come along by themselves.
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your main characters?
I would have liked the young Meryl Streep as Angela. She has the right appearance – tall, slender, very fair-skinned, with red hair – and she’s a superb actress.
Q: What do you have coming next? Anything you want to tell us?
My novella, Doppelganger, came out at the end of last month. It’s about a young woman who is suddenly pitched into a parallel existence.
Another novella Uncle Vernon, is coming out in the anthology Halloween Treats in October. Therefs something very peculiar about Uncle Vernon. Nobody knows what he does in the cellar.
I have just finished a short story, Mantequero, which I have entered in the Just One Bite competition hosted by All Romance Books in October. It’s a very spooky story about what happens to a young schoolmistress who comes to Spain for a holiday.
I have 2 other novels and several short stories in the pipeline. The first, tentatively titled eThe Cradle of the Godsf is a science fiction work which retells the Greek myths from the point of view of the ship-wrecked spacemen who perpetrated them. The second, eAll in the Mindf is about an old woman who mysteriously begins to get younger. Wishful thinking?The short stories are more of the same as in eTake One at Bedtimef. Every so often I have an idea for one and eventually there will be enough, I hope, for another collection.
Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Me? Or my books? My anthology ‘Take One At Bedtime,’ which contains some horror stories, comes with the warning Do not exceed the stated dose. But me? I’m a pussycat.
Q: What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
I write about subjects that are often rather scary and sometimes violent, but most of my stories have a happy ending and I don’t indulge in extreme violence or explicit sex scenes.
Q: Where can we find you on the web?
You can find me on this site:
When Angela turns up in a remote Spanish mountain village, she is so tall and so thin and so pale that everyone thinks she is a ghost or a fairy or the dreadful mantequero that comes in the night and sucks the fat from your bones.
But Domingo knows better. “Soy Angela,” she said to him when they met – “I am an angel.” Only later did he realise that she was telling him her name and by then it was too late and everyone knew her as Domingo’s Angel.
This is the story of their love affair. But it is also the story of the people of the tiny mountain village – the indomitable Rosalba – shopkeeper, doctor, midwife and wise woman, who makes it her business to know everything that goes on in the village; Guillermo, the mayor, whose delusions of grandeur are rooted in his impoverished childhood; and Salva the Baker, who risked his life and liberty to give bread to the starving children.
The events in this story are based on the real experiences of the people of the White Villages in Southern Spain and their struggle to keep their communities alive through the years of war and the oppression of Franco’s rule.
Published by Melange Books 10th July 2011
Available on Amazon and Kindle
Thank you so much for having me, Raine. And thank you, Zeke and Jake, for the delightful cocktails.