It’s been a long time coming, but finally my fingers were taken over by the characters of my novel. There I was, bashing away at the last chapter, heading for the ending that I’d planned, when something totally unexpected happened.
It was something I’d read about on a writing course, and also from self-help books about writing. The characters started to choose their own paths, their own destiny, right as I was coming to the end. It was a weirdly powerful moment, curious to both my mind and soul, but a new end just sprung up out of nowhere.
Of course, I had an idea what was going to happen. While I wrote my first draft I knew from the start how it was going to end. During the second, a lot of changes took place randomly, and the whole act of writing was so much more emotional. Not only because I could see what the characters wanted to do, but also because all those hours of writing, editing, thinking, changing, were finally coming towards the end product. My first novel is almost ready to be published. Continue reading “Finally the writing magic has come”→
Hence the reason I stopped blogging properly for about a year. I’ve been busy, not only bringing up two kids and updating my other blog Baztefl.com, but also bashing out my first contemporary romance fiction novel, Falling for Flamenco, which should be ready to publish at the start of 2017.
I’ve just finished a 2nd draft and sent it to a few family members and colleagues to have a read. Then I plan to get it professionally edited, get a cover designed, and then self-publish it.
What’s Falling for Flamenco about?
It starts off in the eyes of Charlie, a genius guitarist, who desperately needs to close a deal in his crappy sales job in order to get enough of a bonus to move out and impress Cass, his potential girlfriend. But after everything, and I mean everything, goes wrong, he stumbles across a flamenco joint in Camden and decides it’s time to start a new life in Sevilla, where he can focus on learning the flamenco guitar (and not get distracted by any gorgeous Spanish flamenco dancers) .
Meanwhile, in Sevilla, Mercedes, a shy, but passionate flamenco dancer, has had enough of the ridiculous Sevillano Mummy’s boys she’s been dating recently. She needs to find someone more special, less macho, and who can make his own decision without consulting his bloody Mama.Continue reading “A Novel Spain is nothing without a novel…”→
It’s hard to live in Seville and not be influenced by flamenco. While working on my novel I’ve been doing some research and these are the websites I’ve found most useful, informative and entertaining. Hope they come in handy to you as well.
It’s impossible to live in Andalucía and not be affected by the power of flamenco. Before I came here I knew that flamenco existed, but never realised its real beauty. Over time it has become an important part of my life here.
The first time I saw live flamenco was at La Carboneria with my wife (girlfriend at the time) on our first date. I guess it was a strange place to go for a first date, especially as it was Halloween and I was wearing a monster mask (she made me take it off before we entered). I felt the power of flamenco immediately though and soon became a fan.
“Are you ready to see flamenco?” she asked as we sat on the long white wooden benches near the front of the stage.
“I guess so,” I said, taking a sip of manzanilla, sweet sherry. Two men wearing all black entered, one carrying a guitar, and they sat on the red chairs on the wooden stage.
I looked up for the dancer, expecting a slender pretty lady to glide towards the stage, but a chunky aggressive woman barged through the crowd and clonked over instead. I turned to my wife, raised my eyebrows, and smirked. She put her finger to her lips and hushed.
“Respect,” she whispered, smiling. The guitarist began to strum. I was immediately mesmerized by the beauty of the sound that emerged. Drawn in by how quickly he moved his nimble fingers. He was fantastic to watch and made playing look so easy, so natural, and so perfect.
The dancer was equally as impressive. The speed she moved her feet and slammed on the floor was outstanding. The emotion in her face seemed so real. She actually looked as though she was suffering about something. If only I could have understood the lyrics, but it wasn’t essential to appreciate that flamenco was a powerful, emotional, and romantic art. I’d been touched by its beauty.
Over the years I’ve seen a few flamenco shows. A great place is Los Gallos. I only went because my parents treated me. The venue was a lot more upmarket than the free Carboneria. The carpets were cleaner, the spectators were dressed up, and the performers were better groomed (still no slender pretty dancers though). For €25 (now €35) I thought it was a tad expensive, but if you want to splash out then it’s worth it. My parents also went to Auditorio Alvarez Quintero recently and had a great time. I prefer La Carboneria though as it’s more underground and rugged, like real flamenco should be.
The flamenco guitarists around Plaza de Truinfo have also had a big impact on me. I love sitting on the benches and listening to them play while I write my novel, read, or just sit and people watch. It’s a romantic setting and the guitar music provides inspiration. There are a couple of guitarists who normally perform at about mid day and also in the evenings. It can get quite busy with tourists and guiris walking about, but it’s still one of my favourite things to do when I get a chance in Seville.
Flamenco nights out remind me of a lot of great moments: nights out with my wife as we were getting to know each other, fun times with mates and family, who always insist on seeing flamenco while they are here, and even our wedding because we hired a guitarist for the reception.
I miss seeing live flamenco dancing at times, especially now as we can’t go out that much. But living in Seville will always provide opportunities for seeing flamenco. Instead I listen to it a lot at home, when I’m walking about Seville, or writing. I’d still like to learn how to play the guitar, but that’s one for the future.
Are you a flamenco fan or maybe a musician? Where’s your favourite place to go and watch a live flamenco show?
Author of From Something Old, The Road to Zoe, You Then Me Now, Things We Never Said, The Bottle of Tears, The Other Son, The Photographer's Wife, The Half-Life of Hannah, the 50 Reasons Series. And more...