love in lowercase
Audio Interview With the Author
Audio Length: 15 minutes
Can a cat change your life? In the romantic comedy, LOVE IN LOWERCASE, bestselling author Francesc Miralles proves it is possible.
Miralles, who lives and works in his native Spain, is an internationally bestselling author who has written numerous novels and non-fiction works. In this phone conversation with Authorlink, he talks about the inspiration for his book, his multi-layered career and his own life as a writer.
LOVE IN LOWERCASE, (A Penguin Original; January 26, 2016; ISBN; 9780143128212; $16.00) is Miralles’s latest work. In the story, Samuel de Juan, a brainy 37-year-old German literature lecturer lives a quiet, boring life in a dreary Barcelona apartment until a stray cat scratches at his door. Reluctantly, Samuel pours the cat a saucer of milk—and from then on his life will never be the same.
Mishima, as the cat comes to be known, leads Samuel from the comforts of his favorite books, foreign films, and classical music to places he’s never been—like next door—and to people he might never have met, like Titus, his enigmatic but affable neighbor. Even better, Mishima leads Samuel to mysterious Gabriela, a childhood friend whom he thought he’d never see again. As his childhood love is reignited and unexpected relationships bloom with fellow word-lovers, the secluded world that Samuel has built around himself slowly opens up. And thanks to a persistent cat, Samuel awakens to the importance of the little things in life, and discovers that sometimes love is hiding in the smallest characters.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
“Genuinely charming…A romance that involves meddlesome cats, fate, and lots of musings on Goethe, Kafka, and Rilke . . . [It] highlight[s] the magic in the ordinary…Samuel, full of awkwardness and good intentions, is an easy protagonist to root for.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A delightfully absurd, life-affirming celebration. I literally stood up and cheered as I read the last page.” —Matthew Quick, New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook
“A charming and linguistically witty story about love, language, Barcelona, and cats (!) that will resonate for all of us who agree that life’s journey is one that we must never take alone. Funny and touching, LOVE IN LOWERCASE is proof that the Butterfly Effect can work on a decidedly human scale. I’ve been asked to blurb a lot of books over the last dozen years or so, and few have I enjoyed as much as this one.” —Mark Dunn, bestselling author of Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters
“If you don’t like cats, Mishima will change your worldview. If you do like cats, this book is a gift. Read it and fall in love!” —Gwen Cooper, New York Times bestselling author of Homer’s Odyssey
The book is perfect for Valentine’s Day; a warm-hearted escapade of love and language that will have you rooting for life’s under-cats. A feel good story in the bestselling tradition of The Rosie Project, The Guest Cat, and the movie Amélie LOVE IN LOWERCASE announces in ALL CAPS the U.S. arrival of a novel that has captured the hearts of readers in twenty languages. He will be appearing Febuary 3, 2016 at 7 p.m. at WORD bookstore in Brooklyn, NY.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Francesc Miralles (born 27 August 1968) is an award-winning author who has written a number of bestselling books. Born in Barcelona, he studied journalism, English literature, and German, and has worked as an editor, a translator, a ghost-writer, and a musician.
Miralles, son of a dressmaker and an erudite office clerk, was born on 27 August 1968 in Barcelona, Spain. Having studied for eight years at a Catholic school in La Ribera, next to the Palau de la Música, he decided to continue his education by attending secondary school at the now defunct Almi Academy and at Montserrat High School.
Despite his bad high-school records he was admitted to the faculty of Journalism at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), but dropped out after four months. That year he worked as a waiter in Les Puces del Barri Gótic, a bar located on Montsió Street, where he learnt to play the piano.
The following year he returned to university, to study for a degree in English, and he worked as a language teacher in a primary school at the same time. After 5 years of apathy, at a standstill in the third year of his university course, he once again abandoned his studies.
Having been bitten by the travel bug since the age of 17, he decided to leave it all and travel the world. He lived in Croatia and Slovenia during the Balkan Wars, an experience that, years later, would be the basis for his book Cafè Balcànic (Balkan Café).
When he returned to Barcelona, he went back to university once again, this time studying for a degree in German at the University of Barcelona. After finishing his degree, he did a post-graduate course in editorial studies. His entry into the editorial world had started the previous year, as a translator of books about spirituality and alternative therapies, from German to English.
After finishing his degree, he was hired as an editor by a publishing house specialised in self-help books. There he was in charge of different collections and wrote all kind of works under a pseudonym. His thirteen months working for the publishing house were so full of incidents that they might, in some ways, be considered equivalent to the military service he hadn’t done; in his first novel written in Spanish, Barcelona Blues, he recounts this experience.
After leaving the publisher, he promised himself never to work for a company again. He decided to try his luck with the young-adult novel Un haiku per l’Alícia (A Haiku for Alice), for which he was awarded the 2001/02 Gran Angular prize. Since then he has been making a living mainly as a writer, but also as a literary consultant for several publishers and an agency.
Other young-adult literature he has published are El Quinto Mago (The Fifth Wizard), with a backdrop of fine magic, Alison Blix, El Cuaderno de Aroha (Aroha’s Notebook), as well as Retrum, a young-adult novel that has been translated into eight languages and which is linked to his later trilogy called Øbliviøn by the presence of the Gothic-inspired urban tribe known as Los Pálidos (The Pale Beings).
In autumn 2009, he and his co-author and friend Alex Rovira received the Torrevieja Prize for the novel La última respuesta (The Last Answer), and the two have also jointly published El Laberinto de la Felicidad (The Labyrinth of Happiness), Un Corazón lleno de Estrellas (A Heart Full of Stars) and El Bosque de la Sabiduría (The Forest of Wisdom), which have been translated into more than twelve languages.
The novel El mejor lugar del mundo es aquí mismo (The Best Place in the World is Right Here) (2008), co-authored by Care Santos, has been translated into a similar number of languages.
Among the adult novels written by him, a highlight is Ojalá estuvieras aquí (Wish You Were Here) (2009), a melancholic story full of love and mystery. This novel tells of Miralles’s experiences in a band called Hotel Guru, and it is redolent of the artistic atmosphere of l’Astorbari, a bar in the Barcelona district of Gràcia where live concerts are performed .
Wabi-Sabi, a story about the beauty of imperfection and the ephemeral, will appear this coming spring; it is the long-awaited sequel to Amor en minúscula (Love in Lower-Case Letters), which has already been translated into twenty languages.
Since 2012, he has been working on the novel La luz de Alejandría (The Light of Alexandria), which he is writing together with Álex Rovira.
List of novels
In addition to having written a number of self-help books, Miralles is a prolific novelist; his literary works include Perdut a Bombai (Lost in Bombay) (2001), Un haiku per l’Alícia (A Haiku for Alice) (2002) for which he was awarded the Gran Angular Prize, El somni d’Occident (The Dream of the West) (2002), Café balcànic (Balkan Café) (2004), Jet Lag(2006), Barcelona Blues (2004), Amor en minúscula (Love in Lower-Case Letters) (2006), Interrail (2007) for which he was awarded the Columna Jove Prize, El viaje de Índigo(Indigo’s Journey) (2007), El cuarto reino (The Fourth Kingdom) (2008), La profecía 2013 (The 2013 Prophecy) (2008), “Ojalá estuvieras aquí” (Wish You Were Here) (2009),Retrum (2009), and El llegat de Judes (The Legacy of Judas), written in collaboration with Joan Bruna (2010).