The Next Big Thing

I was asked the other day to take part in something called ‘The Next Big Thing’ by Victoria Twead, author of the ‘Old Fools’ series of books, and one half of the team behind new digital publishing company Victoria has a blog which will keep you entertained for ages, following the often hilarious antics of her and her husband. You can read her blog here. I am very grateful to Victoria for suggesting this to me and for all her recent help and advice.


What is the working title of your book?

After a lot of deliberation, I have decided on ‘Bloody Hell, What’s An Alpaca?’ It was going to be ‘Into The Frying Pan’ but I changed my mind.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

We have been living in Spain for over four years now, and we have spent many hours with friends talking over the strange and funny things that have happened to us over that time, I have lost count how many times I have been told “you should write a book!” so now I have!

What genre does your book fall under?

I’m not completely sure, I’m a bit of a novice at this. Probably memoir and travel, but maybe also animal.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Well, I think it would probably have to be  Steve Coogan, just because I seem to have hundreds of photos of me looking like Alan Partridge. Lorna even says to me “look, you’re doing your Alan Partridge face again!” Lorna, what can I say without getting hit? Who played Mrs Robinson again….

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Lorna and  Alan decide to change their lives forever by moving to Andalucia and breeding alpacas.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Honestly, not that long. The story was already there. I started writing it down in June and finished it at the end of September. So when it was too hot to be doing anything else, I was writing.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Well, I think everybody would love to have the next ‘Driving Over Lemons’ but who knows? Hopefully this book will stand on its own two feet.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I hope that people will be interested to read about the lives of two people that have decided to do something brave, and away from the norm. I think our adventures with both the alpacas and the locals are amusing yet sometimes, we have also had to deal with some difficult times. Hopefully we have come out the other side better people.


And now I am supposed to pass the torch on to some other writers, so that they can tell us about their Next Big Thing, but I do not know very many writers and some of the people I emailed were not interested in participating so the spotlight is falling on Matthew Hirtes and Mo Dolan.

Matthew is the author of the book, Going Local in Gran Canaria. If you are considering setting up home in Gran Canaria, then surely you would want to get the scoop from a professional expat writer who lives and works there, speaks the language, married a local girl and is raising kids on the island too? To see Matthew’s blog please click here 

Mo lives in Alcalá de Henares, a World Heritage Site half an hour from Madrid. Her blog writing is very opinionated – something she feels entitled to, having spent 17 years studying hispanic culture at university and 15 living in Spain. And after all, it is her blog! A rather tortured soul, Mo wants you to get the best out of Spain, even though she hasn´t quite done it herself yet. But she lives in hope, with a lot of humour and a good dose of cheek thrown in, so get over to and argue the point with her.


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