Jenny Osborne catches up with Madrid icon Nina Valdez to talk about her upcoming book – The Black Pearls
What do you like about living in Madrid?
I think the typical response would be the weather, the food, transportation, good travel location. etc. However, without a hint of doubt, and the sincere desire that I don´t sound hokey, what has affected my quality of life in Madrid has been the caliber of friendships I´ve forged which have sustained me for over fifteen years. Three weeks after my husband and I arrived, our re-locator suggested I join one of the English clubs, to which I replied, “No way, that´s not my thing.” But, he convinced me to check out the American Women´s Club, the American Club, and INC. The rest is history…they are an integral part of my life today
Where is your favourite place to eat?
My home. I´m a foodie, a chef, an avid socializer and experiment with every spice imaginable. There´s no cuisine I couldn´t tackle in my shoebox kitchen.
How do you relax? Do you have a hobby?
Actually reading, and cooking are my methods for total relaxation. It used to be sewing, but I no longer have the need or space required for a sewing machine. However, I was a seamstress for years until I became good enough to design clothes for other people. It was a tremendous high for me at that time. However, I am inspired by learning new things. I´ve had seven or eight career changes, and never had a job I didn’t like.
What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
Nothing I couldn’´t live without. But, please don´t take away my copa de vino.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could only have one item, what would it be?
Battery powered Ipad and sufficient batteries. Then I could get YouTube and learn how to construct any necessary item to sustain life, plus, have a bit of entertainment. I could also ask Google pertinent questions regarding my chance of survival.
What inspired you to start writing?
Many life experiences. For a time, the negative overshadowed the positive, and I was desperate to find an outlet to express myself. It became a compulsion, for which I did not seek therapy. I spent a year writing the first book, and published it anonymously, because of the extreme uncomfortable sexual content. However, it became apparent to me that the more I exposed my pain, the better I felt. Although it forced me to relive agonizing, painful incidents; when completed, it was the ultimate catharsis. When I write, I´m totally disciplined and focused. I start early in the morning and do not stop until I´m hungry.
How long did it take to write ‘The Black Pearls’?
This last book took about 6 months because it was basically an interview that delved into the lives of two people, and I transformed it into a book. It was a poignant story that moved me a great deal, and I felt a need to share it.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Since the most recent book, The Black Pearls, is about a couple´s relationship that spanned many years, I think the relevant actors should be senior citizens. I could feasibly cast Sean Connery in the role of Colin, and Rita Moreno, a timeless beauty, would portray Maria. I believe both of them were characters of the same names in previous films. I don´t know about the younger version of this couple. I´d have to think long and hard. Perhaps because I believe their older years have more substance.
How many half-finished books do you have?
I don´t leave anything unfinished. Give me a deadline, and I meet it. Give me a task, and I complete it.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Readers can find out about me….. Website. So easy. www.ninavaldes.com