The winning authors of the last Planeta Prize: “Carmen Mola has no limits”


The writers Jorge Díaz, Antonio Mercero and Agustín Martínez pose with the author Paloma Sánchez-Garnica Martínez during the presentation of the Planeta Awards winners at the Instituto Cervantes.

The writers Jorge Díaz, Antonio Mercero and Agustín Martínez pose with the author Paloma Sánchez-Garnica Martínez during the presentation of the Planeta Awards winners at the Instituto Cervantes.
Eduardo Parra / EP

Jorge Díaz, Antonio Mercero and Agustín Martínez, the three authors behind the pseudonym Carmen Mola who have won the last Planeta Award for his novel ‘The Beast’, have affirmed this Thursday, November 4, that the character created to write novels “has no limits.”

“Any barbarity that occurs to you, you are going to do it”, Diaz has told during the presentation of the winner and finalist of the Planeta Prize in Madrid, in a ceremony held at the Cervantes Institute. Thus, the screenwriter has recalled how already in his first book, the opening scene was that of a corpse eaten by worms.

Without addressing the controversy that arose after the awarding of the award -when it was known that there were three men behind a woman’s name, which led to criticism from various sectors-, The three authors have revealed part of the creative process that they carry out under this pseudonym.

“From the beginning we set out to do a novel with a hundred chapterss and each one of them will finish high. It is our ambitious project of a fast-paced novel and page flipping, although we know that it is very difficult, “said Mercero.

For his part, Martínez has admitted that one of the keys during the creation process is “humility”, leven bequeathing to “end up not really knowing what each one has written”. “In the process, a mysterious style has been created that is already that of Carmen Mola and not that of Antonio, Jorge or myself,” he pointed out.

“This arises from a matter of humility, because we want to put the novel first. We are screenwriters before we are writers and we are already used to getting beaten up, so we don’t mind giving this up because what we want is the best novel possible. “Martinez has joked.

For the first time in the saga created by Carmen Mola, it is a historical thriller and a trip to the past instead of a current case. ‘The beast’ is set in Madrid in 1834, besieged by a cholera epidemic that turns the Spanish capital into “a barrier to enter and exit.”

“Madrid is a city we love and we are lucky enough to be able to say that we are all Madrilenians. It is one more character in the novel at a very wild moment and, in the end, the result is a distorted portrait of what we are living now “Diaz has remarked.

In fact, Martínez has revealed that the story of this book began with the confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We did not know what was going to happen in the present, so we looked at the past,” he stressed.

The last days of Berlin

For her part, the author Paloma Sánchez-Garnica, finalist for her novela ‘Last days in Berlin’, he recalled that rescuing these episodes from our recent history can serve current societyl to “be on the alert”, because “the evils of the past may also return.”

“We are wrong if we think that this will never come back. A Hitler was born, a Stalin was born and another may be born again. All totalitarianism the first thing it does is persecute and try to silence writers and journalists and this, therefore, is a vindication of freedom “, the writer pointed out.

‘Last Days in Berlin’ traces the years when the Russian Revolution began until reaching the last moments of Nazism in Germany. “The question is, how is it possible that a society as civilized as the German one enthusiastically supported Nazism or preferred to look the other way?”, it is finished.

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