Latest Book: Domingo's Angel
Buy Link: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/jennytwist/twistdomingosangel.html
Jenny Twist was born in York and brought up in the West Yorkshire mill town of Heckmondwike, the eldest grandchild of a huge extended family.
She left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant, she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.
She stayed in Oxford working as a recruitment consultant for many years and it was there that she met and married her husband, Vic.
In 2001 they retired and moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat.
Her first book, Take One At Bedtime, was published in April 2011 and the second, Domingo’s Angel, was published in July 2011. Her novella, Doppelganger, was published in the anthology Curious Hearts in July 2011, Uncle Vernon, was published in Spellbound, in September 2011, Jamey and the Alien and Uncle Albert's Christmas were published in Warm Christmas Wishes in December 2011 and Mantequero was published in December 2011 in the anthology Winter Wonders.
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: The first book I sold was Take One At Bedtime, an anthology of all the short stories I had written up to that point.
I had sent the stories to magazines and publishers and agents before and nobody had been interested, so I had more or less decided short stories were not commercial and just about given up on it. Then I sent my novel to a new publisher, Melange Books, and noticed they seemed to specialise in anthologies, but they wanted much longer word counts than any of my stories. So I wrote and asked whether they would accept shorter stories if there were enough for a whole book. They asked me to send them, but I didn't hold out much hope.
I was still flogging away several weeks later sending the novel to everyone I could think of, when I got the email from Melange accepting the stories. I don't think I believed it at first. I just sat staring stupidly at the computer in a kind of trance. And then I shouted to my husband that I'd sold the book and we just about danced for joy.
I was in a state of euphoria for weeks afterwards.
Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Rosalba. The story is set in Spain in the 1950s and Rosalba is the village shopkeeper. She has lived through the Spanish Civil War and Franco's dictatorship. She has survived famine and epidemics. And it has made her incredibly strong. She is not only the shopkeeper, but the doctor and wise woman. She has a fearsome exterior but is enormously compassionate and understanding. I wish she were a real person. I'd love to be her friend.
Q: Do all your heroes and all heroines look the same in your mind as you “head write”?
A: I believe every character I write about is distinct. They not only have completely different personalities but are physically different. I don't feel as if this is anything to do with me. They just happen. I always have the whole story more or less mapped out in my mind before I start writing anything down and by that point the characters have become real to me and fixed.
Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: I know this sounds really boring, but I like to knit – really complicated things – and do logic puzzles.
Something I love to do, but I don't know whether you could class it as a hobby, is to explore. My husband and I often just go out for the day, visiting a village we haven't seen before, looking at ancient churches, trying new restaurants.
We once spent a whole day trying to track down the Phoenician remains that are supposed to exist in a nearby town. We followed the signs and found: A field with some rocks in it, which did not resemble any archaeological site we'd ever seen before; and at the end of the trail, following the signs for the information centre, we ended up in somebody's garden where there was a builder's skip and some old plant pots. Spanish signing is not the most accurate in the world.
Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: My favourite romance book of all time is Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières. It is absolutely riveting from cover to cover. I've read it several times and will read it again. It makes me laugh and cry every time. One excerpt, where the doctor is explaining the meaning of love to his daughter, is one of the most moving pieces I have ever read.
I was once asked to do a reading at my best friend's wedding and we chose this excerpt. I had to read it over and over again and learn by heart before I could be sure I wouldn't cry when I was reading it for the service.
Q: You’re on a remote island with a handsome man, a computer, and a “mysterious” source of electricity to power your computer. What do you do?
A: If the handsome man in question is my husband, we will take turns on the computer and in between explore the island. If it's anyone else he can go and find his own computer.
Q: What genre would you like to try writing in but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I am sorely tempted to write mystery and suspense, which is the genre I most like to read, but I'm not at all sure I have the right approach for it. I love mysteries and puzzles but I don't know whether I could create my own. So far no idea for a plot has presented itself to me. If I could think of one, I would certainly have a go.
Where can we find you?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/jennytwist
Melange Books: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/jennytwist/jennytwist.html
Goodreads Blog: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4848320.Jenny_Twist/blog
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenny-Twist-Author/291166404240446
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.
The next day he took his goats to the top of the ridge near the pass and looked down on the smallest casita of Guillermo the mayor. There was a mule tethered outside and a string of washing had been hung between two almond trees. Otherwise there was no sign of life. Halfway down the slope was a large algarrobo tree. He decided it would be an ideal place for lunch.
But although he sat and watched the little house all the time as he ate his bread and cheese and olives and drank his wine, nobody came out and nothing happened. Only the mule moved along the side of the house to keep in the shade as the sun moved round. So he went to sleep.
When he woke up, someone was calling him. “Hola, goatherd!”
He squinted up into the sun and there, standing before him was an angel. It was very tall and thin and there was a fiery halo round its head. “Hello,” it said, "Soy Ángela - I am angel. I am delighted to meet you! Who are you?”
In absolute panic, Domingo shot up into a sitting position and shuffled backwards into the algarrobo tree. His head hit the hard trunk with a resounding crack and he subsided and slumped back down, feeling a little stunned.
The angel came forward into the shadow of the algarrobo tree and he realised that the halo was, in fact, hair - very long hair - falling in waves down beyond her shoulders and almost to her waist. It was exactly the colour of oranges that have dried on the tree. Her skin was so white it was almost blue and her eyes were so pale they had no colour at all. “How could they think she was a dead person?” he thought in a confused fashion. “She is obviously an angel.”
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