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Coffee, Castanets and Don Quixote


You`ll never know what a triumph the above book cover represents. It represents the publication at last of the print copy of “Coffee, Castanets and Don Quixote”. It was my best-selling e-book and I knew there was at least something of a market for it as a print book. It quickly became a recommended buy on the Spanish books website Books4Spain who commissioned what turned out to be a highly favourable review from Molly Piccavey-Sears. Molly`s own website about living in Spain is a great pleasure to follow. Since she has lived in all the parts of Spain I mention in the book it was quite an accolade to discover she had read my book all at one (long) sitting and had learned from it things she hadn`t known.
The reason the publication is more of a triumph than my other writings is that the e-book cover was professionally designed at some expense, although I was very pleased with the outcome. I was less pleased when I tried to upload the same cover for the print book. You may wish to have an aspirin ready for the next couple of sentences which could provoke a headache. I gathered that the image I had for the cover was a jpeg file (I know. Chinese to me too) whereas what I needed was a PDF file. Also, the image was the wrong size. What really disturbed my sleep patterns was when I cleverly used software to “resize” the image. It had no effect. It still turned out too big by the same amount when I uploaded it. I sought Help from the website. This is the mental equivalent of bunjee jumping. You end up with advice like “For resizing squirt the jpeg onto the screen and establish whether layering is required or not. If so, you may want RBK or grey. Of course a preliminary will be sourcing an alpha layer. You may prefer to “toggle” the presentation tab which gives you the option of feathering. Remember always that the export will always be in the form of XCF files.”
Anyone still out there? I find a quick frontal lobotomy helps greatly with this. I was like these noble scientists in the Iron Man films whose life work is threatened by alien life forms that can for a time seem human. Only Robert Downey Jnr in an improbable tin suit can save him. Well, even Iron Man was not up to this one, but Kris Krug was. Kris is the husband of the American writer Pamela Warren.
Kris has a distinguished background. He is a scientist and engineer. He developed the x-ray based bomb detector that is used in airports today. He has also been commissioned by the Van Gogh Museum and the Getty Museum to authenticate works of art. Currently he is working on a SPECT machine that images the brain. A Chicago doctor is using this to surgically cure epilepsy. He also has played bass guitar in a rock band for forty years. You can see why Iron Man felt like second best. Mercifully, Kris spared me the full detail of preparing the 24 mb of Photoshop files required. While doing so he added touches I could only have dreamt of like replicating the individual front cover script and continuing the coffee stain motif. This was quality work of a jaw-dropping nature.
Pamela Warren is quite heroic herself. She is a Bluegrass musician (I know something of what that is thanks to her books) who was felled by a serious stroke four years ago. While recovering from that she was diagnosed with cancer leading to chemotherapy. While recovering from that she was in a car crash that left her with three herniated discs. She has been unable to leave her house for two years. Instead of giving up she took up writing and has now published four novels. They all have a strong romantic theme of a realistic nature. At the same time they give fascinating, authentic background on the Bluegrass and Cajun music scenes in Louisiana, Georgia and Boston, the music, the personalities, the dangerous glamour. Her latest “Ae Fond Kiss” has a Scottish musician as the main character and I can confirm the Scottish background is very authentic. I`m very glad to say she is now beginning to make real progress on walking again, strengthening muscles which have not been used for a couple of years.
So, you see, this cover has a history all of its own. Heavy duty reinforcements combined to make a very superior product. Sales have already begun i the USA.  If you are good enough to buy a copy I hope you will not be too dazzled by the exceptional cover to enjoy the contents also. There you can learn how I encountered Europe`s most incompetent mugger in Barcelona, wandered down disturbingly dark alleys in Seville to see genuine flamenco and investigated the market for suits of armour in Toledo, all while enjoying the sunshine, the food and the exotic people.

If you click on the book title or the image that will take you to the Amazon page where you can buy or find out more.