The first book in Olga Núñez‘ Angelic Business trilogy is available now for pre-order on Amazon. I was given an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Pink Matters is a lighthearted look at what happens when an angel and a demon (fallen angel) each vie for manipulative control of a 17-year-old girl named Pink. Well, O.K., her real name is Petra because her father was into archaeology, but she prefers Pink and everyone, including her teachers, call her that. Pink and her two best friends, Lorna and Sylvia, are fairly ordinary, average girls who happen to be excellent students and therefore are not part of the “in” crowd, made up of cheer leaders and other gorgeous girls, and football players and other sports heroes. But the most popular member of the “in” crowd is Seth, who happens to live next door to Pink, is gorgeous, but thinks of Pink as a sister and has an unfortunate habit of putting her down with thoughtless remarks. The night he called Pink to pick him up from a party because he was too drunk to drive home was the worst. This time, she’s determined not to let it slip by; she’s going to get revenge. The best way? To get a pretend boyfriend and show Seth that she’s not pathetic. The new boy in town, G, looks like he’ll fill the bill. But when he tells Pink he’s really an angel, it’s just a little too much for Pink to swallow. Matters become even more complicated when another angel, Azrael, shows up and claims that G is not an angel at all. He’s a demon. When Pink thinks that G has saved her mother’s life, has she sold her soul?
Núñez’ characters are totally believable and diverse. The story deals with many areas of teenage angst which always seem larger than life when you’re in the middle of them: stress of getting a date for the ball, fear of pregnancy, moral issues, jealousy, and concern for who to trust. Despite some tense life and death moments, the theme is actually full of lots of humour as Pink tries to sort all the new information she’s being bombarded with and the strange situations she finds herself in.
I was interested in finding out more about how Ms.Núñez came up with her ideas so I contacted her and she graciously answered all my questions.
- This is a very lighthearted look at angels and demons (not like Dan Brown at all), although it does get a bit heavy at times. What inspired you to take this theme and use it to complicate the lives of some teenagers?
I might misremember it, because I wrote the first book a few years back, but many of my books (and definitely all my short-stories) start with a flash of an idea, a what if? moment. My office at home is upstairs, and as happens with Pink, the character in my novel, I tend to look out of my window often. And the thought just popped into my head. What if once a character looked outside and saw somebody just floating there? How that got me onto angels, I can´t remember, although I´ve always found the stories in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, interesting. I recall discussing some similar themes when writing about Moby Dick whilst I was completing my BA in American Studies.
With regards to the young protagonists, I always thought if anybody was likely to listen if angels (and demons) came down to earth it would be a young person, even if Pink is not precisely easy to convince. It’s a time of life when everything is happening and everything feels odd and we seek for alliances and friendships different and more interesting than what we’re used to. And then I started thinking about the protagonist and her friends, and…
- I found the demon in your story much more appealing than the angel. Did you set out to create them that way?
I must confess to always having a bit of a problem with characters that are perfect. We know we should like the good characters more but… they can spoil the fun for everybody else. I did think much more about G than I thought of Azrael to being with, because he had to live on Earth and be accepted as a teenager. But things do change a fair bit during the series and there are a few surprises.
- Is this your first series (Pink Matters being the first part of a trilogy) aimed at the young adult audience?
I have published a novella called ‘Twin Evils?’ that I’ve classed as young adult, although some people who’ve read it have told me it works for adults as well. That story starts with the characters being a big younger than the ones in the Angelic Business series but it follows them until adulthood.
I have written a number of stories that I haven’t published yet that I’m wondering about at the moment. Some of them start with the characters in their teens and most of the action takes place as they grow up, but I didn’t write them with a YA market in mind. To be honest, I was writing them for myself and at the time I wasn’t thinking about publishing them, so… One of my future projects is to look at them again after the series is published and see what I think. Even if I decide to publish them they’ll need a fair amount of work, but sometimes it’s difficult to guess what might hit a cord.
- Your late-teen characters are very real. Do you have a lot of contact with young people? Children, nieces, nephews, community center activities?
I’m pleased you think that. I have no children and no nephews or nieces although I have two goddaughters, one now 20 already (time flies!) and one who is fourteen and although they don’t live in the UK I see them as often as I can. I have friends with children of all ages too. Although I haven’t worked with children as such, I have spent a fair amount of time with our younger patients (I don’t work as a psychiatrist at the moment but I’ve never had a problem communicating with them). And I do enjoy programmes, movies and books for young people. And for some reason I guess it’s a part of my life that I remember particularly clearly.
- I understand parts 2 & 3 of Angelic Business will be available this summer. Do you have plans already to create another teen trilogy?
I always have a number of projects on the go and ideas in my head. As I mentioned above I’m thinking of revisiting some of my finished works, and I have quite a few that are just in embryonic stage. There is one that would be for young adults, but it’s only a very vague idea. I enjoyed writing the books, but it might depend on what idea grabs hold of me next, and also on how people like the series.
Thanks so much for reading my book and for the interview.
Ms Núñez is a writer, translator, reader, psychiatrist, I love movies, plays, fitness, owls and recently have taken up meditation (mindfulness). She was born in Barcelona, Spain but now lives in the U.K. She publishes a blog and writes in both Spanish and English. Angelic Business: Pink Matters will be available on Amazon beginning June 26th and is available now for pre-order. The second book in the series, Shapes of Greg, will publish July 15th, and the third, Pink, Angel or Demon, on July 30th. Don’t take the theology too seriously, and you’ll really enjoy this fun fantasy. * * * *
Here is a video about the series: