Monday, March 28, 2011

An Interview with Author Jenny Twist

It's another Monday, but hopefully spring is headed your way if you're lucky. If not, put a little spring in your step today by reading author interview #17, with Ms. Jenny Twist.  Jenny joins the ranks of the many Melange Books authors I've enjoyed here, with her soon-to-be-released anthology, Take One at Bedtime.

See Jenny's author page HERE
Welcome to Unwritten, Jenny! From your author page, it looks like you hail from sunny Spain. Tell us about your life there. What do you do when you're not writing?

Yes, I’ve lived in Spain for ten years now. My husband and I retired early and moved out here to a lovely area in the mountains of Southern Spain, overlooking the sea. Our house is out in the countryside, near the famous Los Pueblos Blancos, very pretty little villages with white houses and steep, winding streets.

When we first moved here I taught Spanish to English people and I also did some property management for vacation homes, which sounds important, but mainly consists of cleaning houses and greeting guests. Now I just do that for my own place- we have a studio apartment we rent – and for a friend who has a villa nearby.

Otherwise, I spend my time enjoying my family – my son and his wife and my 2 grandsons live nearby in Granada – and I have a highly entertaining dog and cat, not to mention Mr Twist, who is not only the world’s best cook but the most amusing companion. 

Now, fill us in on your upcoming release, Take One at Bedtime. When will it be released? What's it all about? Is it a book one would want to pick up and read by their bedside lamp?

Take One at Bedtime is my first book, a collection of short stories, due to be released next month by Melange Books. I don’t have an exact publication date yet. The stories consist mainly of horror and science fiction, ranging from a classic gothic tale – Jack Trevellyn – to the Wyndhamesque Victim of Fortune, and the modern Waiting for Daddy, with its spine-chilling twist.

There is also the occasional excursion into romance with A Castle in Spain and Jess’s Girl. Despite the title, I’m not sure whether I would recommend them as bed-time reading. Certainly not if you are of a nervous disposition.

I've found that writers are always either writing something or thinking about writing something. Can you tell us if you have another work in progress or plans for one?

I actually have a completed novel, which is due for publication in June, also by Melange Books. It is rather different from the short stories, being set in Spain in the 1950s under Franco’s rule. It is essentially a love story, but as the plot develops, we relive the terrible atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and the deprivations under Franco’s dictatorship through the stories of the villagers who survived. 

I have 2 other novels and several short stories in the pipeline. The first, tentatively titled ‘The Cradle of the Gods’ 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, tentatively titled ‘All in the Mind’ is about an old woman who mysteriously begins to get younger. The short stories are more of the same as in ‘Take One at Bedtime’. Every so often I have an idea for one and eventually there will be enough, I hope, for another collection.

Who have been your favorite authors over the years? What genres do you like to read?

My favourite authors are mainly horror and science fiction writers, the great Stephen King, who is always readable and sometimes sublime; John Wyndham, the British author (when he died I cried as if I had lost a dear friend, which, of course, I had); M R James, in my opinion the greatest writer of ghost stories ever. 

I also love everything Robert B Parker ever wrote, another really readable writer. Recently I discovered Kate Atkins and I just devour her books. I’ve read all of them several times and can’t wait for the next one to come out.

Although I love horror and science fiction, I’m quite picky about what I read. I prefer ghost stories to gory horror. I like spooky and thought-provoking stuff better than fast-paced adventure. I love good detective fiction, although I’ve never tried to write any myself. 

Mainly, I’m more interested in quality of writing than genre and I’ll read  nearly anything. 

Let's all stand as the random question enters the stadium--What was the last movie you watched and what did you think of it?

I can’t remember the last movie I watched; maybe it was ‘American Beauty’, which I loved. 

I think the best movie I’ve ever seen was ‘Angel Heart’ which not only had a great plot, beautiful photography and an all-star cast, but had me on the edge of my seat throughout. I LOVED the twist at the end.

Finally, Ms. Twist, could you share an excerpt from your upcoming release or a work in progress?



      It was a simple glass globe on a wooden stand, but she gazed at it reverently as if it were a holy relic. 
      Passing her hands over the top of it several times and crooning under her breath, her face bloodied by the red light, she could have been some ancient priestess communing with her dreadful gods.  Gradually, he began to get the impression that her face was under-lit, that the globe itself was giving out a milky luminescence. She closed her eyes and swayed slightly, then opened them wider than before and peered into the globe. 
      “I can see a strange land,” she declared in a sonorous chant, her voice suddenly taking on a deep and powerful note. “It is a dreadful place, all red desert and black rocks. And it is hot.” She drew her hands back from the globe as if she could feel the heat scorching her flesh. “So hot.” She moaned.
      She seemed to have forgotten the presence of the young man and he leaned forward, trying to see into the globe.  It remained clear and empty, bland and innocuous.
      “There are terrible storms here. The winds rage over the surface and rains fall on the black rocks. A terrible place.” She drew her breath in a long whistle. “The rain is poisonous. Nobody could live here. How could anyone live in this desolate place?”
      She lifted her eyes and looked at him, but it was clear that she wasn’t really seeing him. In a daze, she returned to the crystal. 
      “Yet there are people here. There are buildings, and I can see people walking amongst them. I think they are people.”
      She uttered a low moan, closed her eyes and shuddered, then her eyes snapped open and she looked directly at him, seeing him. 
      “You!” she cried. “You come from this place!”

Thanks so much for stopping by Jenny! I wish you much success!


  1. I want to read on.......

  2. and read the Franco stuff too

  3. Hi Jenny
    Stop enjoying the sunshine and hurry up and get it finished.
    I'm reading latest Kate Atkinson 'Started Early, Took My Dog' which is brilliant.

  4. HI JENNY!


  5. Super excerpt! I enjoyed the interview, and Take One at Bedtime sounds like a good read. :)
    Living in Spain must be quite the adventure!


  7. Andy HetheringtonApril 2, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    Great extract can't wait to read on! Thank goodness the asbestos didn't affect Ms Twist too badly!

  8. This is what they want! Make 'em have it! If you had a day job you should give it up!

    Where can we buy it?

  9. Great excerpt! Certainly whets the appetite, can't wait to read the whole thing...

  10. "Bazzing"....."Give up your day job"....."This is what they want!"

  11. Very difficult to stick to the dosage of one at bedtime! Great read! I recommend everyone go out and buy it now!


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