– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Stealing The Spanish Princess’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Bea Green has had a somewhat roving life as the daughter of a British diplomat. Her mother is Spanish and growing up Bea spent every summer at her grandfather’s olive tree farm in Andalusia. This olive tree farm was the inspiration for her contemporary romance book, La Finca.
Bea studied Art throughout school and then did Art History for two of her four years at St Andrews University, where she met her husband. She graduated with an MA in English Literature.
Her interest in art was fostered by her father and her Spanish grandmother. Her Spanish grandmother accompanied her to many of Madrid’s art galleries and several of El Prado’s paintings are fondly remembered in Bea’s art crime book, Stealing the Spanish Princess.
Stealing the Spanish Princess was inspired by a Spanish painting, Lady in a Fur Wrap, at Pollok House, Glasgow. When Bea wrote Stealing the Spanish Princess there was a huge debate among art experts about the painting, with some claiming it was painted by El Greco. Some experts thought the painting was of Princess Catalina Micaela, daughter of the Spanish King, Philip II.
Bea Green has lived in Edinburgh since leaving St Andrews University, with her Glaswegian husband and two daughters. She also maintains close links with her family in Spain.
In this captivating and dazzling art crime mystery, eccentric detective Richard Langley hunts for a 16th-century masterpiece by the artist El Greco. The thief stole the priceless painting from an apartment in Kensington, London, and in the process knifed to death a Russian woman.
DCI Richard Langley from Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiquities Unit joins colleagues from Homicide as they pursue a trail that leads them to St Petersburg and then to Madrid. Following closely in their footsteps is a maverick private investigator hired by the painting’s owner. Knowing how hard it is to sell on stolen artworks of that calibre, Richard wonders what the motive behind its theft might be.
The answer, when it comes, takes everyone by surprise.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I spent many happy years during my childhood living in Brazil and Mexico, as my father was a British diplomat. My mother is Spanish and we also spent every summer catching up with family in Spain. My love of art and literature came from my father, who was a kindred spirit.
I’ve always wanted to write but never had the discipline to do so, until I had an operation and was then tied to the house for a while. The road to publication was an odd one. James, my publisher and editor, phoned me when me and my brother were on a train from Cadiz to Madrid, taking my mother to a residential home! I had sent an email query to him. He made me rewrite my first book (which I hated doing) but when I wrote La Finca, he absolutely loved it and that gave me the confidence to carry on writing. One of my daughters was also very ill with mental health issues and during those difficult years writing provided me with another world to escape into.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child I loved The Lord of the Rings and books by Gerald Durrell. My copy of Lord of the Rings was so used the spine was broken and it had loose pages. For my birthday, my father had it leather-bound into three books, which sit on my bookshelf to this day. As a result of your question, I’ve now started rereading The Lord of the Rings!
As an adult I collect little piles of books from second hand shops and bookshops, before working my way through them. I love many books but especially those that enable me to escape somewhere else. Italy is on my bucket list so I’ve devoured Donna Leon mysteries (Venice) and Inspector Montalbano mysteries by Andrea Camilleri (Sicily).
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
This is a tricky one. I don’t really know many authors and I’ve only just started following Matt Haig on Instagram. All struggling authors are told about J.K. Rowling and how much rejection her books had before she became famous. My editor has said that even when submitting as Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling found it very difficult, with one publisher suggesting she go on a creative writing course. I don’t know how true that is or whether it’s all part of the magical myth surrounding J. K. Rowling. The best advice I’ve had is from a fellow author at Conrad Press, Mark Edmondson, who has given me a kick up the backside in terms of using social media.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Truthfully, I would love to have Sebastián from La Finca around for tea because I miss speaking the Spanish language! My mother has bad vascular dementia now and I only chat to my Spanish aunts on the phone from time to time. I would relish, after a year of lockdowns, to be able to communicate for a while with a Spaniard!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I always have my phone nearby as I often find I want to look things up without leaving the document.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I’m a little worried about my ideas at times because there are so many and I wonder how feasible they are. I’ve ideas in my head already for my next three books. Mostly, the trigger or seed of an idea comes from real life stories, some of them in newspapers. Other ideas just pop into my head, I suppose, because I’m a very creative person. Like many writers!
Only two characters in my books are based on real people but I describe them visually very differently to the real people. Nuria in La Finca is a complete tomboy like my Dutch friend, Jessie. Nuria is dark-haired in the book, not blonde, and she looks very different to Jessie. Lionel, the Superintendent in Stealing the Spanish Princess, is very much based on my editor, who is very temperamental. I don’t think he would be offended!
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Stealing the Spanish Princess is the only one of my books that has been plotted and it was designed over the kitchen table! I drew a plan out on a poster as I’m very visual in my thinking. Trenouth and La Finca just evolved as I wrote.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
As a writer it seems you have to be fully engaged in self-promotion (something that I’m not terribly good at) but I also believe that as long as novice writers have a passion for writing, they’ll do just fine.
What are your future plans as an author?
My future plans are to build up a series of three Inspector Langley art crime books. I’ve just sent off the second book to my copy editor and friend, so will soon start planning the third!
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
In Stealing the Spanish Princess, a private investigator (Mike Telford) and an off-duty detective from Scotland Yard (Eilidh Simmons) are arrested in Madrid.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Bea Green.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!