Is the award-winning novel the first of your works of mystery and intrigue?
No, it is the fifth. The first four are already published and all contain elements of mystery. Three of them are police and this one also includes intrigue and mystery and is, in part, police.
What is it about?
It is a novel that has two narrative axes. On the one hand, it is a love story of a man in his seventies, a writer who left his girlfriend when they were just teenagers in Salamanca, which he regretted for the rest of his life. Over the years he tried to meet her and since he did not know how to contact her, he proposed dates through the novels he was writing. In the axis of suspense when he leaves that first adolescent girlfriend, he does so as a result of the violent death of the girl’s father. Throughout the book’s plot the narrative suspense is resolved on the one hand and then, the causes of said violent death are resolved.
Whose absence is biographed, the character who writes it or who is biographed?
Biography of your absence is the title of the novel and in turn that of the novel by this septuagenarian man who is presenting it in public in Salamanca. The absence is that of his beloved, Celia. The entire biography of the writer refers to that absence, that lack of love from his first girlfriend.
Such a lyrical title seems to allude to a less mysterious and intriguing genre …
In fact, there are two narrative axes, as I have said. One more classic suspense and another, romantic. One genre is not at odds with the other, although I know that usually we do not find them combined in the most commercial books, but it is not such an exceptional circumstance either.
Describe your literary career to this day.
The first novel I wrote was The Inspector Who Milked Cows, a police book with elements of informative psychology, a debut that is not the best I have written. The second also touched on the romantic theme and adolescent loves and is entitled Life against the ropes narrated in a boxing environment. The third was purely police, The river was silent, set in Zaragoza. The fourth is called Monoloco and it deals with the police’s fight against drug trafficking and then comes the last one that will see the light in January, probably, and is the winner.
“The winning work, ‘Biography of your absence’ is a story that unites love and suspense”
Mystery and intrigue have always stimulated literature. To which of the famous authors do you feel the most indebted, and why?
It is difficult to say because I also read unsystematically, without a reading plan. I read a lot in seasons when my family and professional obligations as a police commissioner allow it. One author that I particularly like is Pierre Lemaitre, who does not always write detective literature, but has several novels in which he combines these aspects with those of life such as romanticism, depression and other circumstances. As a writer of intrigue and mystery books, he is the one I like the most.
And to what do you attribute the fact that in Spain we do not have a top-notch author?
I do not know if we do not have it or to those who are in the second line we do not give them the commercial opportunity. Scandinavian authors are very fashionable in black, mystery or police literature, but they leave me cold. I think there are very good storytellers here too.
The jury rates his original as “well written and well resolved”, and this rates his culture and style. What work would you like to create as a highlight of your catalog?
I like to write something that arouses emotion, makes the reader think and entertains, three keys to literature. If I achieve one of these three objectives, I am satisfied.