Today I am pleased to be holding an interview with Carlos J Server, author of A Lucky Day, a comedy novel which was a finalist in the first Amazon Indie Literary Prize for Spanish Authors. I have already reviewed this very funny madcap comedy and my review can be seen here. Along with the interview there’s also the chance to win one of two paperback copies of A Lucky Day! First the interview.
1. Please tell us about your book A Lucky Day, what is it about and what inspired it?
Years ago I went to Italy, in Florence I bought a local newspaper to entertain myself on the train to Bologna. Among all the news, one caught my attention. In a small town in Calabria with no more than a thousand inhabitants a neighbour had won the Italian lottery but several days later he hadn’t appeared to claim it. That anecdote is a conducting thread to A Lucky Day.
The biggest price in the history of the European Lottery fell in a small town of the French Riviera, the novel starts the day that the prize expires without the winner appearing to claim it. The plot is just an excuse to enter into the lives of a bunch of unique characters with real situations taken to the limit that turn out to be at the same time funny and exciting.
(left) ‘Un Día Con Suerte’ (right) newly released English translation ‘A Lucky Day’
2. The book is extremely funny, do you find it easy to write humour/comedy?
I enjoy writing funny and entertaining stories for the readers. My books are full of characters that chapter by chapter are creating their own personality. So much, that on many occasions, it seems that they are take their own positions and I can only attend as a mere spectator to the development of the story. I find it fun to assign to the character eye catching features that I have observed in different people, that’s why sometimes, the characters do absurd or extravagant things but deep down, I believe that’s why they are so dear you ever get attach to them. Who hasn’t put the foot at one point? Gathering a bunch of characters in this way, in the same story, comedy is inevitable. I only limit myself to tell about their relationships in the most natural way possible.
Carlos J. Server with the American bestselling writer Melody Anne in the First Amazon Academy in Madrid with the TOP 100 Amazon bestselling authors in Spanish.
3. Your book was a finalist in the first indie literary prize for Spanish authors. How did that feel and do you wish you had won ?
The truth is it was a unique experience. I would have never imagine getting so far in the contest, there were many and very good novels. Being the first editions was a novelty and I ended up becoming very good friends with some of the other writers. Of course I would have loved to be the winner, although now with time, I believe in some way, I also won because being a finalist encouraged me to continue writing, something which I enjoy very much.
4. Who, if anyone, inspires your writing?
That question is easy. My wife absolutely. Not only does she inspired me and keep inspiring each day but she also forces me to sit in front of the computer. She always stays till late to read what I have written during the day and seeing her smile or get excited encourages me to continue writing. I owe it all to her.
In the Library of Congress in USA. The largest library in the world.
5. What made you choose to go through the indie rather than the traditional publishing route, and are you happy with your choice?
To begin with, the circumstances. With my first book, before presenting it to the contest, I tried to publish it through the traditional ways but I wasn’t successful. At the end, I decided to present to the contest and self publish it although it was a new world for me. I have continued in that line because it gives me greater control over my work. Besides with new technologies and the digital book, a democratisation of the book has been produced. Anyone can publish without waiting for an editor to decide if your novel is worthy of being published, now it’s the reader who decides what deserves to be read. I think it is an authentic revolution in the history of the literature.
6. How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
I love watching films, especially, classic comedies. Billy Wilder, George Cukor or Woody Allen are some of my favourites directors. I love Monty Python, series like Little Britain and English more modern comedies like Four weddings and a funeral, Death at Funeral or Full Monty.
7. How long have you been writing fiction, is it something you’ve done since childhood?
The truth is that I had never written anything until A Lucky day. I wrote the first paragraph one warm afternoon in August and two years after I restarted it in an attempt to reduce my levels of stress due to work. The experiment was a success, I ended my stress and besides I was able to dedicate my time to something that I enjoy.
8. You certainly have perfected comedy writing :). Would you ever write in a different genre or is comedy your preference?
My second book, A Singular Baptism, will be published in English this summer. It is about a romantic frenetic comedy with a whole repertoire of character based on relatives that for sure all of us have to suffer sometimes.
In the new novel that I am writing now, I change the type of writing, it is a book with suspense but always with doses of humour and very entertaining.
A Singular Baptism – soon to be translated into English.
9. Are you working on anything new right now?
As I was saying before, I am working on a new novel that up to recently I dared to englobe it within no gender. It has suspense, romance, a crime and, obviously, a good dose of humour. Recently I discovered the Cozy Mystery gender and I believe this novel could fit well in it.
10. Any tips you would give to aspiring authors?
Write, write and write. You don’t have to think in wanting to write, you have to do it and be constant, create a routine. There is no other way.
Some fun questions:
11. Dogs, cats, meerkats or something else?
I have had dogs and cats, I love them both. I have never though much in meerkats but after knowing your blog, maybe I will adopt one! I want to take advantage of this question to appreciate the work that you do and, in particular, the good reception that a Lucky Day has had in your blog.
Thank you so much :).
Carlos has a passion for cooking paella.
12. As a British tea drinker I’m always curious what people like to drink: Tea, coffee or something else?
I love good tea but in Spain it is not as popular as coffee so also I drink coffee and now I am discovering infusions.
13. If you could live in any book which would it be and why?
I have always wanted to visit the farm of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Although I wouldn’t care to have a look at Saint Marie d’Azur, the little town of A Lucky day, sit in the Square quietly and see the characters running from one side to the other looking to the winner of the lottery.
Thank you very much for your time Carlos :).
About the Author
Carlos J. Server (Valencia, Spain, 1975) first became a household name in 2014 with his debut novel, Un Día Con Suerte, a finalist in the First Annual Indie Literary Prize Contest cosponsored by Amazon, the prestigious Spanish newspaper El Mundo, and publisher Esfera de los Libros. Contest judges considered more than seven hundred works by authors from thirty-two countries. Un Día Con Suerte became an overnight Internet phenomenon, quickly rising in the charts to become the No. 1 bestselling eBook in Spanish on Amazon in Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany, France, Holland, and Italy. It has maintained its ranking in Europe as the top-selling comic novel in eBook form available in Spanish on Amazon throughout 2015 and 2016.
In 2015 Carlos Server published his second novel, Un Bautizo Singular, a romantic comedy of intrigue peopled by a cast of zany characters. The author is currently at work on his third novel, scheduled for publication at the end of 2017.
The global launch of A Lucky Day, the English version of Mr. Server’s first novel, took place in February 2017, making the novel available to English-speaking readers everywhere. This will be followed in June of the same year by the publication of A Singular Baptism, the English version of his second novel.
In his fast-paced, suspenseful, highly entertaining novels, Carlos Server invites us to enjoy tales reminiscent of Billy Wilder and Woody Allen, two artists much admired by the author.
About the Book
The largest prize ever awarded by the EuroMillions lottery has been won by a lucky someone from a small village on the French Riviera. What starts out as the happiest day in history for the local inhabitants soon turns into a race against the clock to find the lucky winner and cash in the lottery ticket. A priest with verbal incontinence, a sweet little old lady with secret sexual fantasies about the local butcher, a village mayor who’s held power for thirty years, and a mailman in love with the wife of a villainous baker are just a few of the quirky characters who will make you laugh and occasionally bring a tear to your eye as you enjoy everyday situations taken to extremes. A Lucky Day is a heartwarming comedy peopled by a highly entertaining cast of characters.
Truly a novel to be savored slowly, if possible.
You could win one of 2 paperback copies of A Lucky Day! All you have to do is enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter link below. The giveaway is open internationally and to be in with the chance of winning you have to enter by 23.59GMT 19th Marth 2017. There are up to three entries per person and winners will be announced and contacted shortly after. Good luck!!! (please make sure you use a valid email for entry and answer to any email you might get announcing (if) you’ve won – there were problems getting hold of some winners with the last giveaway and I don’t have the time to chase after winners).
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