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“The Man Who Never Was” is a humorous take on family sagas and political intrigue, populated with unforgettable characters and extraordinary events.
The protagonist, Jesús, is ugly. Extraordinarily ugly. He is so ugly that his friends and relatives are convinced that behind that ugliness there must be something else. A malefic power or possibly a momentous fate. The truth is that fairly special things happen wherever Jesús is. His biological father is a mystery. He only manages to discover that he seems to have fathered quite a few other extremely ugly boys like him during his career. His sister (half-sister) is a child-prodigy who excels at everything she does (writing, career in foreign relations, acting…), his mother becomes the president of the country, his own bank is successful, his best-friend Vero is a computer tycoon, his brother-in-law also makes it in politics…But for all the success and money around him he still feels unsettled. He tries sports, banking, cinema but nothing provides the answers he wants. Who was his father? This is a family saga where everything goes: from politics to retirement homes, from sport to cinema, from adultery to incest but nothing is taken too seriously.
This is one of a kind book, a true original that defies easy definition or categorisation. It is a unique read, that will make you laugh, touch you, and will have you engaged and guessing. And let’s not forget the mystery at its heart.
If the characters of ‘The Simpsons’ walked into the set of ‘The West Wing’ their adventures would be right at home in this novel. With its mixture of Magic Realism and Political Satire this is a novel you won’t easily forget.
Dare to break conventions! Read outside of the box! You won’t regret it.
TR: Olgaaaa! Good morning! Man, it’s great to get you on here…how are things?
ONM: Hi Thomas…things are great! Thanks so much for having me…
TR: It’s certainly my pleasure. Well, let’s roll with this…tell our readers how old you were when you wrote your first piece.
ONM: I was writing fairy tales and short-stories since I was a child, probably 8 or 9.
TR: Very cute. What made you decide to write them?
ONM: I’ve always loved books and stories and I wanted to make my own. I was an only child and reading and writing make my life much more interesting.
TR: And you could make your own worlds, too. Fantastic. Well, what have you written since then?
ONM: All kinds of stuff…short stories, novellas, novels in a variety of genres, a couple of plays (one a fairly short one), articles reviewing books and films, a PhD, a Masters dissertation and I write a lot of reports for work. (I’m a forensic psychiatrist).
TR: So, the whole gambit, from light fiction to some very heavy stuff. We’ll have to have a separate conversation about your work some time. So tell me, what was the inspiration for “The Man Who Never Was”?
ONM: I was in my late teens at the time I wrote the original story and I had been reading novels by Magic Realist authors, and particularly enjoyed The House of the Spirits. I wrote a novella The Man Who Never Was with peculiar characters (in Spanish) and showed it to some members of the family. I rediscovered it a few years back and decided it deserved to become a full length book. I translated it to English and expanded it and then re-translated it back to Spanish.
TR: Tell us a little about it, and where it’s available.
ONM: The novel is about a boy who is born of unknown father to a very pretty and popular girl in a small town. He’s so ugly that everybody who sees him believes there must something awful connected with him and his evil face must mean something. His family and friends are slightly peculiar. His mother marries the mayor’s son and ends up doing very well in politics. His sister is a child prodigy and has some peculiar talents (can tell the future). His best friend becomes one of the most successful businesswomen in the country…But he is always trying to find out who was his father. There is a bit of all, politics, movies, writing, cinema, foreign affairs, sports, quirky family dynamics and secrets and mystery. And humor, lots of humor.
It’s available in Amazon.com and all Amazon stores.
The Man Who Never Was
And in Spanish, El hombre que nunca existió
TR: That’s something I don’t see often enough – books made available in Spanish. Very nice. Okay, so is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
ONM: No. Over time I think I’ve written everywhere. Back home in Barcelona, here in the UK in many places (I did locum work as a doctor so I moved around a fair bit), in the US whilst I was studying. And ideas can come at any time. When I’m at the gym (that’s always a good place), going for a walk, driving, waiting to watch a play or a movie…or reading.
TR: Very good. What made you choose independent publishing?
ONM: Due to my career and full time job in psychiatry I’ve never had much time to explore traditional publishing. I’d sent some of my stories to competitions many years back but with little success. At the moment I’m approaching agents with a Young Adult novel I’ve completed but I know it’s difficult to get people interested. As I had so much written material I started investigating the possibility of self-publishing, particularly e-publishing, and realized it was an avenue worth exploring. The worst thing that could happen would be that nobody liked them, but at least they’d have a chance at readership.
TR: I agree – they can’t read it if it’s not on the shelf, can they? Now, if you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
ONM: It’s too early for me to say. So far I’m trying as many things as I can but the problem is having enough time. My suspicion so far is that having several books to your name will eventually help raise your profile.
TR: I’ve been told that. One acts as a magnet for the other. What mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?
ONM: Again it is very early days as I only published my first novel in October 2012. Time management is challenging and I’ve realized the more I read about publishing and marketing the more confused I get. I think one of the problems with my book so far is that it does not sit in well within standard categories of books. It is not a crime novel, it is not a horror book, or a romance, or a paranormal book. I call it a family saga, but it is not the standard idea people have about it. It is humorous, but not your usual comedy. It is about politics but not a political thriller.
TR: Actually, you’ve named one of the major reasons authors don’t get accepted by publishers, having a book that doesn’t fit neatly into some category or another. Okay, tell me about your author platform. Where are you?
ONM: I have an author page in Facebook, I have a blog where I share posts twice a week (although in Spanish and English most of the time) and that includes posts for guest authors, that I find very rewarding, therapeutic and also open up the site to exposure to readers from other genres.
I am on Goodreads and I’m only sorry I can’t spend more time there. I also enjoy reviewing other people’s work, but it’s difficult to fit everything in.
I have published a series of novellas within the series Escaping Psychiatry and I’m going to try and use them to promote my book and each other. I’ll organize giveaways and I’ll try to join them in more websites.
Cannon Fodder http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AKWO8Z6
TR: Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it. As you say, time is the enemy. Do you have an idea for your next book?
ONM: I have completed a young adult book Pink Matters part of a series about a young not too attractive girl who suddenly meets a dark stranger who tells her he’s an angel and they should ‘work’ together. Of course, things are not as they seem…I have ideas for at least two other books in the series (Angelic Business) maybe more…
Thank you for having me as guest in your blog Thomas!
TR: It was fun, and I appreciate your stopping by, Olga. The best of luck with all your writing, and come by any time.
There you are, folks. I bit of a peek into Olga Nunez Miret and “The Man Who Never Was”. It sounds fantastic…why not trip on over to Amazon and grab one?
Thursday I talk with Lisa Lewis Moon and her thriller, “House on Butcher Harbor”…be there!