When you think of Spain, what springs to mind? Whatever mental image you conjure, it is bound to include at least one of this trio:
* Bullfighting: the fever of the crowds at the corrida, the toreros in their costumes, the furious bull. (See my blog post ‘The Running of the Bulls’: https://hannahfielding.net/staging/1129/the-running-of-the-bulls/)
* Flamenco: the beautiful attire, the sensual dancing, the soulful music and vocals. (See my blog post ‘Duende: the artistic flamenco spirit’: https://hannahfielding.net/staging/1129/duende/)
* Hispano-Moorish architecture: nowhere is this more stunning than at the Alcázar of Seville and the Alhambra, Granada. (See my blog posts ‘The Alcázar, Seville: a setting for indiscretion’: https://hannahfielding.net/staging/1129/the-alcazar-seville-a-setting-for-indiscretion; and ‘The Hall of the Abencerrages’: https://hannahfielding.net/staging/1129/the-hall-of-the-abencerrages/)
Did you know that each of these three important parts of Spanish culture originated either wholly or in large part in Andalucía? For me, Andalucía is the most inspiring cultural and historical hub in Spain, which is why I chose to set my trilogy – Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy – there.
Omne trium perfectum: a Latin phrase which translates to ‘everything that comes in threes is perfect’ or ‘every set of three is complete’. Bullfighting, flamenco, Moorish-inspired architecture: a perfect three at the foundation of Andalucían culture.
One also finds omne trium perfectum in writing. According to ‘the rule of three’, writing that incorporates threes is more powerful, engaging, satisfying and memorable to the reader. There were three little pigs, not four. There was a lion, a witch and a wardrobe – not merely a lion and a witch. Julius Caesar came, saw and conquered. The cry of the French Republic was for liberté, égalité, fraternité.
Three is a magic number. There is a rhythm to it – one, two, three – and a pleasing feeling of wholeness, completion: the three form a neat set. It was the need for that rhythm and that sense of completion that drove me to write not one or two books set in Andalucía, but three, a trilogy.
In fact, when I began writing Indiscretion I did not have in mind that this would be the first of a three-book series; I was simply immersed in the story world. But when I completed the book, it did not feel complete: there was so much more to write. So I began plotting a second book, Masquerade – and as I did so, I realised very quickly that I could not merely write a sequel. Two, for me, is not a magic number, and it did not fit with the Andalucían setting. I needed three books, and hence Legacy would follow, the book that would complete the set and take the wheel full circle.
Writing and publishing a trilogy has been a learning experience for me. Three individual books, and yet one entity, in a sense. Each of my books stands alone, and yet it is also intrinsically part of the three. The voice, the style, the tone, the artwork for the cover: all had to bind the three together.
I confess, I was only truly settled once Legacy was published and I had all three books, the set, on my shelf. But this month, I am even happier, because my publisher, London Wall, has brought out an all-in-one edition of the Andalucían Nights trilogy in ebook format: three books, one fluid read.
If you have not already discovered the Andalucían Nights trilogy, you can read a sample to see whether this epic, romantic family saga is up your street. Simply visit Amazon and click the book cover for the ‘Look Inside’ feature: http://www.amazon.com/Andalucian-Nights-Trilogy-Award-winning-Romantic-ebook/dp/B06XKZ2XKC/