May 16, 2021

Juan Gómez-Jurado: "The industry is wrong if it does not leave the reader at the center of the publishing market" | Culture

Juan Gómez-Jurado: "The industry is wrong if it does not leave the reader at the center of the publishing market" | Culture



Who is Antonia Scott? This is the question posed by the last novel by Juan Gómez-Jurado, who confesses that writing it It cost a lot, specifically, three years since the last one, Scar (Editions B, 2015). In Red Queen (Editions B) "The problem has been to create a character like Antonia, because it has two characteristics that I do not have: that she is a woman and that she is extraordinarily intelligent," she says. It is curious to hear these words from someone known for his intellect, or for an exaggerated version of himself in the podcasts Here are dragons or All-powerful, which he performs together with Arturo González Campos, Rodrigo Cortés and Javier Cansado. "The character looks like the person but multiplied by fifteen. Yes it is true that I am a smart guy and then we exacerbate all that because it is very funny, "he explains about these programs full of high culture disguised as relaxed talks between friends.

So, the first one to reach her head was Antonia, and she started talking to him, says the author. "And at the beginning she and I did not get along very well, because for me it was very unattainable, very distant." Until Jon Gutiérrez arrived, "who is a much more similar person to me, even if I am not a policeman or Basque or gay, nor is he fat." And from this character that works as a gateway and that, as happened to the author, serves as a link between the reader and Antonia, the action takes place.

It is precisely this element, the action, the most characteristic of his novels. "It is true that I have a very visual writing and yes, that has caught the attention of film people," he says. But, in this matter, Gómez-Jurado points to his agent, Antonia Kerrigan, "The first Antonia", as the architect of this success. "Before my first book was published she had already managed to sell the rights to many countries. I started my international career thanks to her. " But after not having taken any of his novels to the big screen, they change their strategy: "Until now we had looked for ways to adapt my novels to Hollywood cinema, and every time we tried, I have failed, because it has cost a lot to lift the foundership. So now I'm going to do it the other way around, from here to there, because in the rest of the world there is a greater interest in what is Spanish, both in the international literary market, as in the cinema, and in society in general. "

I was very surprised that never, in the history of fiction, had a woman been placed as the most intelligent person in the world

The book was published on November 8 and is now in its sixth edition, with 70,000 copies sold, according to data provided by the publisher. And is that this thriller It has been accompanied by a promotional display full of stars. Celebrities and anonymous people They have turned to social networks, and now in signature sessions, with this author whose maxim is that "the reader has to be at the center of the publishing market."

The career of Gómez-Jurado has been characterized by its proximity to readers, not only in social networks, but also in book signatures, which do not end when the bookstore closes, but extend hours in which it has ended up signing on trash containers, only available on the street to support at that time of night, until no one is left. "It seems to me that it is the readers who have to have the voice, and the publishing industry is wrong if it does not leave the reader at the center of the publishing market," he points out. But everything has a price and the author claims that it has reached a rather complex extreme at this time of the promotional tour. To be able to do the quiet interview, put the phone in airplane mode.

While I'm writing I feel like the worst cockroach on the bottom end of the basement. I think everything is horrible, I'm not doing it right

Do you need all that love from the readers? "Yes, of course, I'm an orphan," he answers without hesitation, "I need love all the time." And this fact is reflected in each of his books. Among all these emails, many women write to say they feel identified with Antonia, "because like her they have also had to hide their intelligence in a world that is designed so that women are in the background," explains Gomez -Jury. "I was very surprised that never, in the history of fiction, had a woman been placed as the most intelligent person in the world. Has it not occurred to anyone? ", He can not help but wonder. And there, he says, the originality of this character begins.

A challenge, he says, to which he has faced ups and downs. "The writer's life is solitary by nature. I'm crossing the Atlantic in a bathtub for three years and I do not know if what I've written is right or wrong, if people are going to like it or I'm going to hit a tremendous cookie. " The writer describes a constant sense of fear that can only be overcome by "pulling forward". However, "while I'm writing I feel like the worst cockroach on the bottom end of the basement. It seems to me that everything is terrible, that everything is horrible, that I'm not doing it right, I write it again. I rewrite and rewrite again and again. " All this constant reflection concludes when the book is published, "when you have already considered that you are the worst in the world, that it gives you what they tell you later". And now that? "Well, now it's yours, it does not belong to me anymore, do whatever you want with it."

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