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Sandra Bruna Literary Agency

LONDON, A CITY WITH MAGIC

Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 16 March 2017

This week I’m writing from London, a city that I like more each time I come. It was the first city where I travelled alone, to do an internship in the Blake Friedmann agency when I was just 19 years old and it was, truthfully, an experience that helped me a lot, although at nineteen it was hard for me to know that, and I could never imagine I’d get to where I am today. It made me grow up suddenly, as I had to get out of my comfort zone and sharpen my wits. I was fearful, but I had to do it to improve my English and travel to Frankfurt, my first Book Fair, in 1993. It was intense, I missed my family, my friends, but I don’t regret it and, with time, I see that there are moments in life that come as challenges you must overcome, and that was one of them.

Today, unfortunately, Carole Blake is no longer with us, but I’ll always be grateful to her for having taken me in with such kindness, and for having been able to see live the work of a foreign literary agency. The literary world is fascinating, but difficult, and agencies have a difficult role in its inner workings. As years go by, I understand much better some of the attitudes my predecessors had, because the road ahead is not easy, and you need a certain kind of character to succeed -and a little bit of magic, I can assure you. I’ve been lucky to have met lots and different agents from whom I’ve learnt, and still there’s much to do and magic to discover.

This week I’ll leave you with the link of our London Book Fair catalogue, with all the novelties that we believe can travel more easily to other countries. As always, our selling team is in London with tons of excitement and illusion to get as many translations as possible, so I send you lots of positive energy to live another fair with a smile so we can achieve those dreams. And let’s not forget our motto: “There’s a book for every publisher, and a publisher for every book”. Our mission is to find them and connect them. The magic comes with us, and it’s in our pockets.

Have a good fair everyone!

KNOWING HOW TO FORGIVE AND ASK FOR FORGIVENESS

Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 9 March 2017

January the 6th was a special day, as it is the Epiphany, a day we really like to celebrate at home. This year it was even more special, because the Nadal Prize was awarded to Care Santos, author and friend of mine, with a novel that has made me think a lot about its main topics: forgiveness and guilt. When Care told me that the quote that had inspired the book was from Joan-Carles Mèlich –“You can only forgive the unforgivable”, I knew this novel would be brilliant, and I wasn’t wrong.

MEDIA VIDA is a novel that, through the life of five friends throughout thirty years, portrays a generation of women that had to build their destinies in the Spain of the dictatorship and the Transition. It’s a homage to these women, who lived in a moment in which the hypocrisy of those who wanted to keep up appearances at any cost confronted love and freedom. Five different lives, some successful, others not so much, but all of them scarred forever because of a terrible event that happened when they were teens. The main topic of this novel is how to deal with guilt and forgiveness, and many readers will mull over that once they finish it. Have you ever forgiven the unforgivable? Asking for forgiveness isn’t easy, but as I’ve gotten older, I think it’s not worth it not to forgive, and is way better to know how to apologise, so you can live at ease and happily with everyone. This novel is the perfect example that life is unpredictable and the best thing you can do is feeling good about yourself so that you can make others happy.

I started the year in a great way, but I also ended it recovering a very important friendship for me, which I’m not going to let go ever again. Maybe there are still some unfinished conversations, but I live with the illusion of having recovered something as valuable as one of my best friends from my youth. Reading is a great partner in this journey that we call life, and when it is a part of it, everything fits, like a magical puzzle. Without realising, you understand many things and you’re aware that nothing happens without a reason, just like another good friend has taught me.

Thank you, Care Santos, for such a wonderful novel, for this homage to friendship that won’t ever leave us. A high-end Nadal Prize that won’t disappoint anyone.

IF IT DOESN’T ADD UP, BETTER PUT IT AWAY

Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 2 March 2017

A friend once told me that her mother always said to her: “Anything that doesn’t add up in your life, it detracts from it”. And ever since it’s been one of my mottos. However, one can add up in many ways and areas. Most people may think only this regarding our professional life, which can also be true, but for me adding up means to provide, to give, to help, and that, besides achieving it in the workplace, it’s really important in your personal life. If you try to live with this attitude, you’re going to do everything without thinking and you’ll manage to be happy, which is what we all must try: to be happy and do what we love so we can enjoy this life, which goes by so quickly. We must squeeze each second with smiles, share it with our friends, and listen to ourselves more so we can do what we really want to do.

Nika Vázquez’s book, APORTA O APARTA, is a pleasant book where the author will give you guidelines to be an ‘adder’ or a ‘provider’ and thus, manage to live happily, which is not that easy because she thinks that some people fear that. It causes them a kind of dizziness to enter the bubble of happiness and start enjoying life and seeing all the positive aspects in each situation. Therefore, with clear and simple exercises, this book provides us the do’s and dont’s rules to enjoy our life without double-thinking too much. A useful book for everyone, because we’ll feel identified in several of the cases that Nika explains.

Life is a rollercoaster, but we can’t get off it, we must learn to control it and enjoy the ride. So, like everyone, we all have moments of doubt, of panic, because we see a slope too steep or one without brakes. I’m sure this book will help you put everything into place and live a life in which there’s no need for complicated things; you just have to trust yourself and what is that you can add up, so that everything is easier. The good thing is that YES YOU CAN.

MEMORIES IN A PICTURE

Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 23 February 2017

Every time I go to my parents’ house I have the urge to grab the family albums from when we were kids, and I could spend hours going through them and remembering each moment. Nowadays we carry our phones everywhere and we take pictures that are never where they should be, as some of them are lost, some stay in the computer, classified by dates, and almost no one has the time to organize them, like we did before, and we don’t have these albums that are great memories of a life, and that we would all love to have in our shelves, just like my parents do. The power of new technologies doesn’t help us to move ahead in many things, but we’re the ones that should maintain and keep this most nostalgic part that we all have, and it’s hard, because days and months fly by. I’ve got the feeling that someone is stealing the hours of my day because I’ve got so many things left to do from the long lists that I do on the weekends and that I should follow through from Monday to Friday, that I laugh at myself when Saturday arrives once again and I start the list of everything that I’d love to do, while the thief of time looks at me square in the eye and starts running ahead of me.

In literature, there are few novels that talk about photography, another art, and EL OBJETIVO DEL CRIMEN, the novel that Xulio Ricardo Trigo has just published with Ediciones B, both in Catalan and in Spanish, is one of those novels that hook you not only because they’re well written by an author with a great profession, but because Xulio has created a character, Erika, with such charisma, so interesting, that you’ll want to know more and more about this woman. At only twelve-years-old, right when the II World War ended, Erika was kidnapped along with her mother and two hundred more people by the Russian army, because they were working in the Contax camera factory and the soviets thought that only with technicians and German workers they’d manage to set in motion the manufacturing of a Contax replica, the Kiev camera. Many years later, in 1961, when the world shudders with the first news about the making of the Berlin Wall, Erika travels to Barcelona as a member of the German police to help with the investigation of the murder of two of her compatriots. These remind her about the methods of her kidnappers and the terrible moments she lived as a teen. With the help of inspector Casajoana, she’ll try to find out the reason why everything has begun again and what lies behind these murdered young woman, that bring her once again to her most hostile past, which she’d really want to forget.

An inspiring crime story based on the life of photographer Erika Ernemann and set in the world of classical photographic cameras. A literary work that hooks you because of the story and the beauty of the union of two wonderful worlds, such as literature and photography. Perfect for all readers of the mystery/historical genre and for those who aren’t, because with an astonishing voice, Xulio tells a story that is appealing however you look at it and that will hardly disappoint anyone. Congratulations for this novel that has managed a clear goal: to give a step forward.

THE DIFFERENT COLORS OF FRIENDSHIP

Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 16 February 2017

Today the sun’s risen with a very special color in the sky, such an intense pink mixed with the blue of the beginning of the day that I can’t help thinking of you. It’s been five years this month since you’ve been gone, but this sky shows me that you’re in a beautiful place where we’ll meet once again, I’m sure of it. It’s been many years since I lost the religious faith, but I’ve won faith in people, in trusting the people that believe, in enjoying the present and giving affection to those you love and to the world in general; no yelling when there’s traffic, no getting angry in a traffic jam, and smiling even though they’re honking the horn because you’re going too slow. This is what you did: smiling. I haven’t forgotten that every time we saw each other, as you were taller than me, you gave me a kiss on my forehead with such affection that it got to my soul, and you made my day happier, as bad as it was. You made my siblings happy, your best friends, and you were just like one of the family. But the color of this sky tells me that, wherever you are, you are well, and that you paint it yourself to guide us and remind us that everything’s good, that we should enjoy what we have, we should believe in nice things, even when there are many other that don’t work as we want them to ­- although if we believe we can change them, we’ll make it through. We miss you, and for as long as time goes on, you’ll always be there, in the best of my memories, as an excellent person that left when it wasn’t your time.

That’s why Silvia Soler’s novel, LOS VIEJOS AMIGOS, published by Destino and Columna, has reminded me of so many things from my past, of the value that true friendship really has. Its story, as do all of Silvia’s, makes you reflect upon human relationships and how complicated they might be or, sometimes, how we’re the ones that complicate things. Throughout five students of Fine arts, who travel to Paris to visit the big exposition about Paul Gauguin in the Grand Palais at the end of the 80s, we enter a story of a trip that should have been the typical end of the course trip, and that will end up being the greatest trip of their lives. From there it will be born a very strong friendship between the five of them, one that all of them think that will last forever, that it will be an unbreakable bond, one of those that nothing or no one can break. But life happens, time goes on, and the main characters will have to understand that not everything is that easy, that the artistic call that brought them together doesn’t treat everyone the same, and that they must accept it. And as life goes on and it becomes more demanding, new people will come in their lives and change them, and they will make decisions that they wouldn’t have made otherwise. There are moments in life, several, where you must choose, and it’s when you’re standing in front of these decisions when you discover the truth, when life tests you.

A novel that will please a wide public and, surely, Sílvia Soler’s fans, who are many. But I encourage a younger public to read it, because they can relate to it and discover, in my opinion, one of the best Catalan writers of the moment.

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