When I heard about the anthology When I heard about the anthology ¡Que entre la luz! that author and translator Olga Núñez Miret is involved in to raise awareness for domestic violence, I knew it was a project I wanted to help get the word out about. As many of you know, I was in an abusive relationship and realize the toll it can take on mental health in additional to physical health. I approached Olga about a guest post, as well as renowned blogger and author Sally Cronin, who contributes her short story Diana to the Spanish book. The anthology is in aid of a few Spanish charities that work with survivors of domestic violence and raise awareness of the problem. Thank you again to Olga and Sally for sharing about the project in the joint guest post that follows here.
Can you please explain about the anthology, Olga?
Hi, Christy. Thanks so much for your kindness in inviting us to your blog and for your interest in ¡Que entre la luz!, a collection of short stories, poems, and articles published in aid of two Spanish charitable organisations that support the survivors of domestic violence and violence against children, Fundación Ana Bella and Asociación Bekoz Beko.
I am a member of a cooperative of Spanish writers called Ediciones Proust, created a couple of years ago to offer support and a variety of publishing services to independent authors. We have a couple of groups on Twitter where we share tweets that we think deserve to be promoted and shared, mostly about books or cultural events, but also about important issues. Several of the writers in the group, and the CEO, Lusa Guerrero, had personal connections and had worked to help organisations against domestic violence, and would regularly share news about initiatives and events taking place. Several authors suggested that we could publish an anthology and donate all the profit to relevant projects.
After some discussion and a fair deal of organising, we made a call, not only to members of the cooperative but also to other writers, for their contributions. The stories, poems, or essays had to be about the subject of domestic violence and there was a length limit, but otherwise, each author was free to approach the subject as s/he wished. We were overwhelmed by the response. We had well-known authors like Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa (whose work has been adapted to screen many times), Blanca Miosi (Amazon’s number one best-selling author in Spanish), Enrique Laso (an Spanish author well known both for his fiction and for his non-fiction books), sending their work, but also less known independent authors, and even members of international organisations, like Alok Dixit founder of Sheroes Hangout, from Stop Acid Attack, in Agra.
I had not written any stories that could be included in the anthology, but I have long been a fan of Sally’s blog and her stories. I knew Sally felt strongly about domestic violence and was also aware that she had lived in Spain and felt a strong connection to the place and the people there. I’ll let Sally tell you more about her involvement, but let me add that although trying to organise and edit so many contributions (in the end we had more than 40 separate pieces included in the book) and to get the funds for publishing the initial paper copies took longer than expected, we are very happy and with the results and by the initial response of the public and media.
Sally, how did you get involved in this project to aid domestic violence?
Olga and I have been connected online for the last four years and she has always been very supportive of the blog and the stories that I have posted. At the same time as the anthology was being proposed in the middle of 2017, Olga was translating one of my books Tales from the Garden into Spanish, and having read the story Diana on my blog, asked if I would like to submit it for inclusion in the collection; offering to translate it into Spanish for me. I was delighted to do so as it is a cause close to my heart.
My own experience in my first marriage over forty years ago, had been both traumatic and life changing, and without support from close friends I might not have had the courage to walk away. In my years of working with women who suffer from eating disorders and weight issues, it was clear that my own experience was not unique. Domestic violence takes many forms, and non-violent abuse can be just as damaging. I hope that the story of Diana might encourage others who read it seek help.
Now I’m curious, Sally… Can you tell us a bit about your short story Diana?
Diana meets and marries a charismatic man who gradually isolates her from family and friends, whilst exerting control over all aspects of her life. When Diana announces that she is pregnant, this insidious form of abuse becomes far more dangerous, putting both her life and the life of her unborn child at risk. She must make a choice and soon.
Thank you so much Christy for highlighting this major issue that impacts millions of men, women and children globally and for helping promote this collection of stories and articles.
Olga, how does ¡Que entre la luz! raise awareness for domestic violence?
All the contributors have kindly donated their copyright for two years to further the project, and we hope this might be the first of many similar initiatives undertaken by this group of authors. We have used all the stages of the production of the book to raise awareness and get people interested in the project, posting regular updates on Facebook and Twitter, and asking for people’s opinions on a variety of things, like the title of the book and the book cover, and that has helped raise the book’s profile. As I mentioned before, the revenue for the sales of the book will go to two organisations fighting domestic violence, one in Andalusia and one in the Basque Country, and will help them in their efforts.
Apart from the topic of the stories (which cover a variety of points of views on the subject: abuse survivors, relatives, professionals, children…), the essays (from experts on the subject), and the individual contributions contained in the book, there are a number of promotional activities organised, including radio interviews, book presentations in several Spanish cities, attendance at book fairs… where the book will take pride of place and will serve as a starting point for discussions and debates to continue to raise social awareness.
We are also approaching a number of large companies and organisations and hope they will purchase copies of the book for distribution among their employees and will further support the effort of the charities and help us spread the word about the important tasks these charities do and what needs to be done in the future.
Thank you kindly Olga and Sally for taking time to chat with us today about ¡Que entre la luz! and the issue of domestic violence. How can readers get a copy of the book?
¡QUE ENTRE LA LUZ! is currently available internationally online.
You can also request it within Spain too for only €15 by sending a WhatsApp message to 652612641.
Update from Olga:
There is talk about the possibility of translating the book into English. One of the daughters of the CEO of the cooperative that has published the anthology has gone to India to deliver copies of the books to Sheroes Hangout, for their two shops, and they talked about how many books they sell there, and what a good idea it would be to translate the book into English. It’s just a suggestion and it would depend on possible sponsorship and funding. While it’s unlikely to happen this year, it is a future possibility. If the English version of the book goes ahead, we will update you here.
Great! Find out more too about Sally and Olga below. They’re both very welcoming so don’t hesitate to connect with them online.
About Sally Cronin
In 1996, after a long and very happy career, Sally Cronin took the step to retrain as a nutritional therapist, and to write her first book. Size Matters was a health and weight loss book, based on her own experiences of losing 70kilo. Since then she has published another ten books on health and also fiction including three collections of short stories. Her Smorgasbord blog has daily updates on authors, health tips, and more. Find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Olga Núñez Miret
Olga Núñez Miret is a writer, a translator (English-Spanish, Spanish-English), a psychiatrist, originally from Barcelona, who after living for over 25 years in the UK has recently returned to Barcelona. She writes in a variety of genres (romance, literary fiction, YA, psychological thrillers), is an avid reader and regularly shares her reviews on her blog. She is a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team.