Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guest Blogger Angela Hunt

A few years ago I was tucked into my hotel room after spending a delightful day in two schools--Cumberland Christian Academy in Austell and Whitefield Academy in Vinings, Georgia. I had reserved the evening for last minute polishing of The Elevator, which was due in less than twenty-four hours.

I had sent my manuscript to my friend Michael, who not only checked my elevator accuracy, but proved himself to be an excellent editor. One of his queries puzzled me: "Does te quiero mean I love you or I want you--an important distinction if one's Mexican character is speaking to her mother."

So I left my hotel room (in my stocking feet) and padded down to housekeeping, where I could hear several women speaking Spanish. I walked into the room and announced that I was working on a book, and asked what I thought was a polite and unassuming question: "Habla espanol?"

Two of the less-startled maids nodded.

I smiled. "If you want to say I love you, mama, es te quiero Mama or te llamo Mama o que?"

They gave me blank looks, but a couple of other ladies saw their predicament and came to their aid. About that time I realized I should have asked, "Habla Engles?"

When the other ladies approached, I mentioned my book. One of them said, "El libro?"

I jumped on this sign of progress and said, "Si, es para mi libro. Es te quiero Mama or te llamo Mama? Como dice que?"

I, of course, had no idea if I was saying the right thing, having spoken very little Spanish since the tenth grade.

The women looked at each other, then one of them gave me a stock answer and told me to go to the office.

I was halfway there--still in my stocking feet--when I realized that the folks at the Wingate front desk would have no idea how to help me.

So I hurried to my room, grabbed my laptop, and then ran into two of the housekeepers in the hallway. I pointed to the computer. "Este es mi libro. Isabel dice que Adios, Mama. Te quiero, mama, vaya con Dios."

I looked at the bewildered women, hoping that words on the screen would be more effective that my babble. "Es bueno?"

Fortunately, they looked at the computer, then nodded. And after returning to my room, I realized I had been confusing "te amo" (I love you ) with "te llamo" (I name you ).

Still later, at dinner, I realized what those poor women must have seen: a mad redhead in socks running around saying, Book, I want you mama, I name you Mama, I love you mama?

I can only hope my readers appreciate the lengths to which I'm willing to go to get the details right.

Hasta luego!
A trailer for Angela Hunt's May release The Art of Insincerity. buy it HERE

Angela's Web Site

Angela's Blog


Helen Gray said...

Have a cuppa!! There's coffee and tea.

No habla espanol muy bien. Si?

Enjoyed the story. Thanks.


Jan Drexler said...

Made me laugh! I can just hear the conversation during the maids' lunch break!

CarolM said...


How funny!

I've got minidonuts to go with Helen's coffee =D.


Virginia said...

Mi esposo es de Mexico y hablamos Espanol en la casa.

So, I really laughed at your vision through their eyes- especially since I'm a redhead, too! I've found really the best way to get a native speaker to tell you how to say somethign is to say 'do YOU say...'. becuase I used to ask my husband 'Do you understand me when I say...'
I was talking like Tarzan and he would nod, becuase he COULD understand me. It was wrong, but he got it. :P
Cute post!

Renee Ann said...

This post made me smile! I love Angela's books and am so looking forward to receiving my review copy of this latest one. What a nice surprise to pop in to one of my favorite places and find her here :)

Pam Hillman said...

Too funny! Great having Angie here. She's a wonderful speaker.

I'll never forget the POD people from one of the ACFW conferences. Hmmm, I imagine the maids thought Angie WAS one of the POD peole!


Julie Lessman said...

A redhead running barefoot through a hotel mumbling Spanish??? My kind of person, Angie, and your new book definitely sounds like my kind of novel. LOVED the trailer and the premise and absolutely LOVE LOVE the title!!

Thanks for coming to Seekerville and making our weekend fun!


Rose said...

That scene belongs in a book!

Your story made me smile this morning. Thanks for sharing.

RRossZediker at yahoo dot com.

Joanne Sher said...

Tooo funny! Loved this little story. Thanks a TON for sharing it.

Tina Radcliffe said...

What a great anecdote. Thank you for sharing this peek into your writing life, Angela.

Jackie S. said...

Funny, funny, Angela....makes me want to read your book so much!!!

Jackie said...

I remember reading The Elevator and still remember parts of it. Who would have guessed what goes on behind the scenes.
I love Vinings, I imagine it'd be a great place to hole up
and finish a book.
Thanks for sharing!

Vince said...

Hi Angela:

Your video is so good it not only makes me want to read your book but also get a video just like yours for my WIP!

Were the photos in the video your real family?


Nancy Kimball said...

Angela, that's such a great story, thanks for sharing!
I enjoyed your trailer too (which I'm beginning to see more and more for books and I LOVE it) and noticed the copyright was 2009.
Was it made before or after your manuscript was complete?
P.S. LOVE the title too.

Angela said...

Hola! mis amigos!

Great to be with you on a Saturday afternoon/morning, depending on where you are. I'm in the midst of cleaning house and trying to figure out which neighbors should get some of my chocolate biscuit cake, made in honor of the royal wedding yesterday. It's delicious, but at 120 calories per tiny piece, I'm getting the rest of it out of my house!

Love to answer some of your queries:

No, Vince, the folks in the trailer aren't my real family. We're all either blondes or redheads. :-) But my real sisters are featured in my "Share it with a Sister" video that's up on my website.

And Nancy, I actually made this trailer before I even wrote the book! It's generic enough that it didn't really affect any plot changes I might make, so I whipped it together so my publisher could have something to show their marketing committee (they get the ball rolling REALLY early for new releases.) That reminds me--I need do to one for my current WIP, too.

Thanks for the comments and questions. Anyone else?

Oh--one more funny story. Last night the hubs and I went to a Tampa Rays baseball game (we have a friend who plays on the team). Anyway, as we were getting into bed, I said, "Don't you think it's really odd that we pay people millions of dollars to play a game for our enjoyment?"

He said, "Well, you enjoyed the game."

"Yeah, but I went to cheer on our friend. I really don't care much about baseball per se. So why don't we pay writers millions of dollars and have people pay to sit around and watch THEM work, and cheer them on, 'You can reach that deadline, you can untangle that plot . . ."

And hubby said, "You're tired and you're delirious. Go to bed."

And so I did. :-)

Have a great day!


Tina Radcliffe said...

OMGEEEEEEEEEEEE the real Angela Hunt stopped by.

Thank you for taking time in your busy (writing and cake sharing ) day to visit!!

What a treat!

Glynna Kaye said...

Welcome, Angela! Ah, the lengths a writer has to do to get it right!! :)

Linnette R Mullin said...

Love it, Angela! :D Thanks for sharing your story with us. It's nice to know we're not alone in our madness. :D

Mary Connealy said...

I was in Mexico with my husband...this is about four? Five? Years ago. My mother in law is a winter Texan so we often go down, then go into Mexico for a day.

My husband bought two T-Shirts. One is very obvious and nice and no one would doubt what it says.
It's the name of the town, I think. But they didn't have another one in his size so the guy selling them convinced him to buy another one that is a cartoon Mexican guy sitting next to a cactus, but the words on the shirt made no sense.
So my husband was wearing it and we went through a check out line someone in Texas and he said to the hispanic looking check out girl, "What does this mean, the words on my shirt."
She looked at it for a few seconds, then started to laugh. Then she wouldn't tell us what it mean. She did say, "It's no cussing it's just sort of a play on words."
But she refused to tell us what it meant. She might've said, "I can't say that." Like it was too bad.
So now he won't wear it. In fact it's become his pajamas.

I'd type it here but I'm afraid.

Casey said...

Oh funny! What writer's will do. :)

Linnette R Mullin said...

LOL, Angela! Just read your baseball story. That's too funny! :D

Richard Mabry said...

Angie, Angie, Angie. (Organ playing "Tah dah dah dah dah dah.") Great idea, but unfortunately the non-writing public won't buy it.
Thanks for sharing the story of trying to get the wording just right. I hope your readers appreciate it.

Missy Tippens said...

Oh, how funny!! Yes, we do a lot for the books we love to write! :)

Thanks for being with us, Angie!! And for the laugh. :)

Virginia said...

Mary, type it and I'll have my hubby translate it, but I have to warn you...

It's probably funnier and scarier as an unknown!

SmilingSally said...

I'd love to have a review copy.

Mary Connealy said...

Virginia, I"m afraid. What if it's some odd racial slur or something?

Debby Giusti said...

Don't type the words, Mary! Seekerville is G-rated! :)

Angela, what a fun story! And your book sounds wonderful. Loved the trailer. St. Simons and Vinings. You're not a Georgia girl, are you?

A number of us live in the Atlanta area. Who knew you were so close!

Thanks for being with us in Seekerville.

You published a story with MIRA. Could you talk about that experiece and whether you plan to publish with them again?

Angela said...

Debby, I'm not in Georgia (one must travel to research--ah, the suffering!).

And I published three books with Mira--THE ELEVATOR, THE FACE, and LET DARKNESS COME. I enjoyed the experience and would happily do it again if they want me. But I'm not sure the typical Mira reader knew what to do with me . . . ;-)

My philosophy is that I live in the world, so I can write to anyone--the Christian market, the general market, whoever--as long as I know who I'm talking to. Makes a huge difference in my approach.


Tina Radcliffe said...

I like that answer. In fact I'm going to quote you when necessary.

"My philosophy is that I live in the world, so I can write to anyone--the Christian market, the general market, whoever--as long as I know who I'm talking to. Makes a huge difference in my approach."


Debby Giusti said...

Shame on me for not knowing about your other MIRA books! I have Let Darkness Come and thought it was your first with MIRA. I was at ACFW when you spoke and loved what you had to say. Bought the book, hmmmm? Probably the next year.

Didn't you mention at ACFW that you have a degree in theology? I often marvel at that. There doesn't seem to be time in my life to do it all, yet you have accomplished so, so much. You're an inspiration!

Now I see in your bio that you and hubby live in Florida. Well, heck, that's not far from GA! And your pup was featured on LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY as the second-largest canine in the U.S. Now that is amazing!

See! As I mentioned, you've done it all! Thanks for being with us!

Leigh said...

Hi, everyone! Angela, it's so nice to have you here today and get a glimpse into your writing and final polishing. The average reader has no idea what lengths a thorough author will go to for accuracy's sake. :-)

I was fortunate enough to be in your novelist continuing class at Blue Ridge a couple of years ago. Loved, loved it and learned so much! Timing and logistics are keeping me away from Blue Ridge this year or I'd be right back in there with you. Maybe another time ...

Did anyone bring food after the morning coffee and mini-donuts? The kids want to settle in with a movie so I've got lots of popcorn and M&Ms to go around. Enjoy!


Pam K. said...

Angela's story made me laugh! I can just see her running around bewildering the maids with her faulty Spanish. I do appreciate her making sure the details were correct in her book (not that I would have known the difference, but others might have). "The Elevator" is a great book.
I also enjoyed the trailer for "The Art of Insincerity."

Walt Mussell said...

I've had some days like that. My first year in Japan, I had a job teaching English. I was visiting a school and the principal said in Japanese "Mr. Mussell is from North Carolina in the southern U.S."

When I introduced myself, I tried to say "...and as the principal has said, I'm from North Carolina."

WHat I actually said was "...and as principal has said, he used to live in North Carolina with me."

Faye said...

Thanks so much Angela for sharing your story with us! I loved it. You were very brave to share that with us.

Great trailer. Sounds like an interesting book.

CatMom said...

Welcome Angie!! LOVED your story (and had a good visual image in my head *grin*). I was thrilled to meet you (in the gift shop!) in MN when I attended my very first ACFW conference (and thoroughly enjoyed hearing you as our keynote speaker). ~ Your post today reminded me of an attempt to speak Spanish to one of my kindergarten students several years ago (my own kiddos have never let me live this one down). ~ It was the first week of school and my little students were adjusting to our class routine. Every afternoon we had a rest time, and the children were to lie down on their mats and rest (many would go to sleep). One little girl refused to stay on her mat and rest, and was disturbing the other children. Knowing the family spoke Spanish in their home, I decided to tell the child to "close her eyes" in Spanish. As soon as I spoke, the child looked startled, but I never had another problem with her at rest time. ~ A few weeks later I found my English-Spanish dictionary, and to my horror discovered that I'd actually told the child to "close her GRAPES"!!!! The poor little girl probably decided her teacher was *nuts* and she'd be better off just doing what I said!! ;)
Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

Barbara Parentini said...

Your cake sounds wonderful, love wedding desserts! Looking forward to reading your book. Thanks for the smiles this morning.


Leanne109 said...

Great post lol I liked the story, sounds like something I would have done and with the same gusto :D lol
Thanks for sharing!

Bev Schwind said...

I love it, I have had some embarrassing conversations in sign language with my deaf friends.Thanks Angie-

Ruth and Lacey said...

Oh, I know I'm late, but I'm dying laughing here, Angela! I can so see that, relate to it, and yes...


Probably do it.

Oh my stars, that was wonderful! Sorry I missed yesterday, life interfered, but thank you so much for coming by and hanging with us.

That's truly going to make me laugh all day.

"I name you Mama..."

spew alert needed!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oops, that was the dog kennel account.

That only adds to the fun, LOL!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina said you're brilliant.

Or that what you said was brilliant.

I do believe that's a first hereabouts.