“Novels have to defend themselves, what does it matter if the author is male or female?”

Barcelona“What do you play that we give to the Planeta Award? In this way, Jorge Díaz explains the spontaneity that the three co-authors of The beast, that yesterday evening they took home the millions of euros of the world’s most prestigious literary prize. The surprise was threefold, because not only was the winner a pseudonym for the first time in seventy years in the history of the award, but behind the name Carmen Mola there were also three scriptwriters and men: Jorge Díaz, Antonio Mercero and Agustín Martínez, who has already published in Alfaguara a best-selling black novel trilogy. Why they used a pseudonym when they published in 2018 The gypsy bride? “Everything is planned much less than it seems,” says Martínez. “Aside from the fact that our three names would have occupied the entire cover, that seemed strange to us. Mola!” It’s so silly and easy. We thought we avoided tours and press conferences. “This goal is now being forgotten during the extensive tour to promote the Planeta Prize, which will hit bookshops on November 4th with a circulation of 210,000 copies. The final work, the love triangle in the Second World War in Germany Last days in Berlin, by Paloma Sánchez-Garnica, will have a print run of 90,000 copies.

And why the name of a woman to sell Inspector Elena Blanco’s unruly stories? “Novels have to fight back. What does it do if the author is male or female? There is a lot of importance attached to it and it doesn’t matter that much. It could have been Daniel Cervera. If you like the story, you like it and that’s it “, says Díaz when asked about this historically more typical gender change for women who took refuge behind a male pseudonym in order to publish. Martinez adds that the very success shows that “it is the stories that work”. “We think about actions a lot, but we don’t care too much about everyday things,” says Díaz. “Success pulled us down and we reacted to what happened without thinking too much about it.” In the case of the The beast, the challenge was to “break with the narrowness of the detective novel, which has very strict rules” and add the genre of the historical novel with the replica of Madrid full of mud, immersed in the violence of the Carlist War in mid-1834, “explains Mercero, who “sees echoes of Charles Dickens, but retains the identities of Carmen Mola.” Here an orphan girl searches for her sister with the help of a journalist and a monk, and the trio has also revealed his Modus operandi of cooperative work. In one Writer’s room they throw away the ideas and solutions of the plot and “the one who convinces the other two triumphs,” describes Diaz, who claims that in the end he cannot see who wrote what.

After four years of keeping the secret and even inventing a biography for this Madrid teacher with three children, it was inevitable to come to light: “We felt like we were going to be caught any moment and thought about it, choose the moment and do it through the big door “. “Because we knew it was going to happen, we had to make the decision,” says Jorge Diaz. There have been too many leaks. In addition to her literary agent Justyna Rzewska, Atresmedia (from Grupo Planeta) produced an adaptation of The gypsy bride which will be shot and published in the next year and which has Antonio Mercero himself at the helm of the script and Paco Cabezas as director. In fact, the three TV scriptwriters knew each other because they were in series like. have come together Central hospital I Monteperdido. The adaptation of the second novel is also planned, The purple net.

Although Carmen Mola makes the leap to Planet, the title slated for this spring at Penguin Random House, The mothers, will be published soon. They didn’t answer whether all of Inspector Elena Blanco’s work ends up going to Planeta or what Carmen Mola will do in the future. “She’s in the Hamptons. She enjoyed the anonymity and no one asked her why she wrote such nasty things. Now she must be disappointed, but the award deserves it,” says Martinez.

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