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The Birth of a Novel: Becquer Eternal

November 29, 2011

Last fall, Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban visited this blog and told us about her then work in progress. I’ve been following the progress of that manuscript and thought you might be interested in an update so I asked Carmen if she would visit us again. She very graciously agreed, so … here’s Carmen:

As the title of this blog reminds us, how a book is born is a story in itself.

Last year in my conversation with Sandy Cody (in the blog archives November 8, 2010), I explained where the ideas from my YA fantasies came from. Today I wanted to share the serendipitous way in which my most recent novel, the adult paranormal, Becquer Eternal came to be.

After I finished my YA fantasy, The Revenge of the Wolf King, I started sending letters to agents introducing my manuscript and asking whether they would like to represent me. This process, called querying in the writers’ world, is both tedious and humbling, and once the letters are sent, totally beyond our control.

To fight the urge to check my e-mail box every few seconds, I started a new project. The kernel of my new project was, according to my blog post of last November, to write a paranormal story with “a wise older woman as the protagonist. Something like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer with the mother as the slayer.”

In the tradition of Dickens and Conan Doyle, I planned to publish my story in weekly installments at my blog (

Because I had no outline, a first for me, my story evolved as the current events of my life intruded into my writing. And so it was that my desire to find the perfect agent was realized in my dream world, in just my second post. Of course, this perfect agent was not perfect or there would have been no story. His flaw? He was not really human, for he was Becquer, the XIX century Spanish poet every single girl in Spain has a crush on the first time she reads his poems.

Having broken the rules of reality once, by bringing Becquer to life, why not, I thought, break them again and make Lorca–another Spanish poet I love–a character in the story as well? And so I did.

The interaction of my protagonist, Carla–a contemporary single mother of two teenagers–with these two charismatic poets created a story quite different from the one I had planned to write.

In this new story, Carla has no ‘Buffysque’ powers, and the introduction I wrote as my first post ( does not fit the plot anymore, so I had to cut it in the final draft.

In the meantime, I found a wonderful agent to represent my YA novel. As for Becquer Eternal, following on the footsteps of my gracious host, Sandy Cody, I have decided to self-publish it as an e-book.

Wish me luck.

We do wish you luck, Carmen. Thanks for the update. 

NOTE: There’s an excerpt from Carmen’s YA novel, Two Moon Princess, on the Guest Excerpt page of my website:

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