BY ELENA TEROL SABINO
I’m a bilingual English/Spanish writer of prose and theatre.
I moved to Newcastle around three years ago. My husband, who is Australian, and I had just spent a year living in Carboneras, a tiny village in the southern coast of Spain, my home country. We had left our jobs in London and moved to Carboneras in order to write full-time.
A lot of people thought we were just enjoying the sunshine and nice wine but it was a really tough experience. On the positive side, being completely responsible for how I used my time made me gain a lot of self-discipline with my writing.
When I moved to Australia I started my blog www.othersidesun.blogspot.com.au to talk about the aspects of Australian life that I found interestingly different to what I have experienced in Spain.
One of the things that caught my attention when I moved to Newcastle is how empty the streets are in comparison to Europe. I still find it a little bit unsettling. When I moved into my house, I didn’t see any neighbors for at least a week. It was only on the third day after moving in that I heard my neighbor’s TV and I felt relieved knowing there were other people around.
One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of since arriving in Newcastle is having written my first novel, ‘Time Bank.’ It is the story of Alicia Silva, a young Spanish woman whose older sister, Lara, disappeared years ago. Upon discovering that her mother has been secretly in contact with Lara, Alicia goes to London looking for her. It is a story of family, love and politics.
I think my writing has both humanistic and misanthropic components and a great deal of my efforts is geared towards balancing both parts.
Newcastle is a good place to write. There are lots of creative people living here and there are elements of the lifestyle that I find intriguing.
One day I may try to write something about the guys who go out punching people in town.
I would like to find out what moves someone to behave like that.
It puzzles me a little bit that Australia is a wealthy country, with an overall good quality of life but we still see this kind of behavior.
Nature would also feature strongly in any fiction work I set in Newcastle. The way it is constantly trying to take over the man-made world is unique. Having experienced the hostility of Novocastrian seagulls and magpies, Hitchcock’s film ‘The Birds’ makes a lot more sense to me now.
Recent examples of my writing can be found in The Daily Review and The Hoopla.
You can also follow me on Twitter: @eterolsabino