Local poet and children's author Marcos Antonio López has recently published a book of poetry and short stories about Benalmádena. Known as 'El Escritor de Benalmádena' (the writer of Benalmádena), the author's latest work, Benalmádena from my Heart, contains more than 100 poems in both Spanish and English and includes odes to Mount Calamorro, La Niña de Benalmádena and the Buddhist stupa.
His poetry is based on a variety of subjects, all of which, he explains, were easy to translate into English.
"The poems and stories in the book have a clear message and they were easy to translate because I write from the heart," the 46-year-old writer explains to SUR in English.
One of the poems in the new book is dedicated to Cudeca, an organisation very close to Marcos' heart.
"Cudeca are a wonderful foundation. They looked after my mother when she was dying from cancer. The poem was my way of showing some appreciation for the help and consideration they gave her," he says passionately.
He also dedicated a poem to Cudeca's emblematic sunflower, which he says is "a symbol of care and understanding".
Marcos studied English at Northumbria University in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and it was during this period that he gained a love of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens. His latest book also contains several short stories, one of which is based on a fictional conversation between Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes.
His love of writing poetry developed at the age of 18 (while writing love poems to his girlfriend), although his first published work was a children's book published in 2012.
Inspired by bedtime stories that his grandfather told him as a child, many of Marcos' stories focus on real-life situations and some of his characters are based on his two young daughters and his pet dog. One of his daughters suffers from anorexia and Marcos uses subjects such as this in his stories to help children cope with illness.
"Many children suffer with things like anorexia, but feel they can't talk to anyone about it. I try to send a message to the reader in the hope that it will facilitate their understanding of it," he says.
In 2014, Marcos won the first Torremolinos Short Story Competition with a piece titled I am Andalusian. In 2015, he published his first novel, Maqueronte Year 2030: The Beginning of the End. The following year, the author published his most extensive work to date, Passion in Benalmádena, which he claims is "the most important historical novel written about Benalmádena". The 700-page book is styled on a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.
Marcos gained a degree in English Philology from the University of Malaga and he now works as an English teacher. He belongs to the Hispanic Writers Union (UHE), and he is a member of the Independent Poets of Benalmádena, with whom he is currently working on an anthology of poems titled Memories.
Benalmádena from my Heart is available from Amazon books.