Spanglish

I love writing novels because it’s the opportunity to truly step into someone else’s shoes for a few months of your life. My second passion after writing fiction has always been learning languages. As my native language is English, it’s not easy to learn languages because everyone speaks my language better than I speak theirs. I spent many long years learning German and had the opportunity to pick up basic French while in France a few years back. But I’ve never learned any Spanish and it’s one of those languages which just yells out to be learned. Lucky for me my hero is Spanish.

I’ve immersed myself to write him and it has been wonderful. His accent features a lot (the way he says the heroine’s name: Tess, with the ‘T’ somewhere between a breathy ‘t’ and a voiced ‘d’). I’ve put Google search and translate to the test for a few snippets of dialogue. I’ve kept a page of Spanish endearments bookmarked for the writing duration. Those endearments have been the backbone of my inspiration. The final scene is a lovely wrap-up with a whole lot of really passionate endearments and then a funny one.

I’ve also gone looking for the soundtrack, which, of course, had to be Latin. Listening to music in Spanish has been a huge inspiration. It started with discovering a band called Yerba Buena who haven’t been active in over ten years, which I find disappointing because their music is AMAZING! I love an ensemble. I love brass. I love multiple percussionists. From Yerba Buena, the pop music machine moved me onto Alvaro Soler. His music is Latin pop and not as complex as the Cuban-influenced Yerba Buena, but OMG is it catchy. I may have even sat down at my piano and attempted a version of Puebla, one of his new songs… And I’ve learned a lot of Spanish from listening to his songs! Then from Alvaro Soler I’ve discovered a Colombian band called Morat who are so cute they are going to inspire a whole new romance novel. They could inspire a whole series.

It will be hard to resist another Spanish/Latin hero or heroine because it has been such fun learning and I now have a whole catalogue of inspiration from Seville. But it’s looking more like my next hero will be German… There aren’t many German heroes out there!

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