Jeremy Holland is an American expat from Los Angeles living in Barcelona. Arriving in 2002 with a blanket, a laptop and just enough Spanish to order a beer, he set out to make a new life in his adoptive home where he continues to live and speak the language more or less – the city and its people inspiring a collection of short stories From Barcelona Vol. 1. He is also a regular contributor to the leading online expatriate news paper Expatica.com and a short story of his can be found in the inaugural edition of Barcelona INK.
Tell us about your book?
From Barcelona is a collection of ten short stories inspired by the jewel of the Mediterranean and the capital of Catalunya – Barcelona.
In a bit more detail, it’s a contemporary collection of short stories inspired by Barcelona, its history, its legends and its people including: First Impressions: Exploring the metro, Las Ramblas and the labyrinthine alleys of the Barrio Gotico you go in search of an elusive Spanish beauty in a white dress and meet a gruff book seller who introduces you to the legend behind the city. Senyor Jordi i el Drac: In this quirky retelling of the classic story of Saint George, an old knight and his squire battle a bat-winged beast, saving a village and a princess, on their way from to the kingdom of Barcelona where their friend, Don Quixote, awaits. A Book for A Rose: Meet Johnny – a long term American expat who wonders if it will be the first Sant Jordi the sun doesn’t shine – and Elena – the Spanish beauty who breaks his heart, giving him something more valuable than romance in the process. CSI Barcelona: The death of an English man has Dr. Josep Caldet searching for the killer. His investigation uncovers a hidden underworld that lurks beneath the beautiful city as he discovers the price some are willing to pay to live in Barcelona. Running the Gauntlet: A motley crew of locals and expats decide to take back Barcelona’s streets from the pickpockets and thieves. They grab a drink or two along the way, in some of the city’s most famous bars, before the night ends with a bang. The Crypt of Colonia Güell: Barcelona’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudí, is being crushed by his designs for La Sagrada Familia until his benefactor, Eusebio Güell, offers him a commission that challenges their friendship. Barcelona Gothic: Based on true events, Urquinaona 4 is a mysterious building located in the famed L’Eixample district of the city where its newest tenant, Alex, soon discovers that the cheap rent and great room comes at a terrifying price.
…From Barcelona offers a fresh and unique literary perspective on this popular Catalan city, while fulfilling the interested visitor’s desire for information about places to go and things to see.
You invented a new genre – City Lit – tell us what that means?
City-lit makes the city the focal point of the book by using fiction to describe the place, people and life. It’s been done before but usually in novel form. However, I thought using the short story format offered the reader a more varied and interesting perspective while requiring less commitment. The goal of this book is to entertain, inform and inspire you to live and breathe your own Barcelona adventure.
Who should read your book?
Obviously anyone interested in Barcelona, whether you’re planning to visit or have been here before or are contemplating living here. And, I hope for anyone who enjoys entertaining fiction.
Why did you write your book?
To be published. An editor mentioned once that after an author’s name, the second most important aspect of a book for the reader is location. And I thought, no one knows me but I live in Barcelona and millions come here every year. I also figured if the book is successful enough, it could provide a template for aspiring writers in other locations.
With hindsight, what one thing do you wish you knew when you started out writing your book?
I don’ really do hindsight, which isn’t to say lessons weren’t learned. They mostly had to do with the writing process, settling on a grammar / punctuation standard, different literary techniques etc.
What was the most challenging part in going from book idea to getting published?
As a first time author, the submission process is really key. I recommend after your fifth draft investing money in your book by contacting an editor on Linked-In or another website to critique it. Then be creative in who you send it to. Location and city-lit is an example. Try to avoid the whole agent – major publisher paradigm.
What’s next for you? Other books?
Right now, the marketing of “From Barcelona” is my main focus. The articles in the publishing academy and the ebooks provide a great template for making a name for the book and yourself in the process, even for fiction writers. But I also enjoy writing and have a few ideas. Maybe a short story collection called “Booze.”
Is there anything else you want to tell people?
Persistence is important but so is knowing when to let go. If your first idea isn’t successful, don’t keep at it – think of another one.
Contact Details & A Special Offer
You can contact Jeremy at www.frombarcelona.com where you can read more at his blog.
He is also offering a free PDF of his book for anyone interested in providing a review and then a free signed hard copy for those who actually post a review on Amazon or one of the sites.
Buy Jeremy’s Book