Spanish author, Milagros Torremocha, shot to overnight fame with her debut novel, El Clan del Lobo, in March 2016. The book made all the right noises, both because of its unique theme and Torremocha’s trademark writing style. After mesmerizing the Spanish-speaking world for six years, the book is about to announce its much-anticipated arrival among English readers as The Wolf Clan.
Ameya had a candid chat with her about what made her take up such an intricate subject matter, where she drew the inspiration for this groundbreaking novel from, and what readers may expect of her in the coming years.
I think it’s fair to say that your novel has an unusual theme. Where did you get the idea or the inspiration for this book?
Well, I was reading about Pangea when it occurred to me what life would have been like on a continent like that. Sure, science wouldn’t approve of me packing that continent with human beings, but that’s one privilege only an author can indulge in – letting their imagination fly high.
When did you start writing this novel? How long did it take you to finish it?
I began in 2011, and it took me about a year to finish it. It was published much later, though. Initially, it was just an enjoyable hobby.
How did you decide on the names of your characters?
I got most of them with some basic wordplay. ‘Haizea’ was the only name I knew beforehand. It has its origins in the Basque language and means ‘wind‘.
If you had to choose one passage or an event from this book that had a profound impact on you, which one would it be and why?
Um, the last few pages, I think. They disclose why the book is titled the way it is and who the members of the Wolf Clan are. I think those are the kind of people who deserve every possible opportunity.
Considering the novel’s ending, readers are likely to look forward to a sequel. Your thoughts on this?
Well, I can’t rule out the possibility of a sequel. I’d love to see the anti-heroes perform feats one wouldn’t expect of them.
For you, who would be the ideal reader of this book?
People of all age groups who will cherish the idea of taking a short trip to an unlikely world.
We know that Anua is the protagonist of this story. Let’s say you see her in person someday. Do you think you will get along and why?
Oh, absolutely. After all, I’m her ‘mother’. (Laughs)
Are there any secrets to this novel that only a few readers will be able to figure out?
I think the reconciliation ritual known as the guilt sacrifice will take some decoding.
Any advice to writers who are about to start writing or are on the cusp of publishing their debut novel?
I grew up reading adventure classics. I reckon that’s the reason why I assign the utmost importance to making sure that both the author and the readers enjoy what they are doing. My advice would be to enjoy one’s work in the midst of all the distractions and challenges.
Your favorite food or drink when you are writing.
The first book that brought tears to your eyes.
The Bible. There is this scene where King David is weeping over the death of his son, Absalom. He says very little, but his words were really touching.
If your novel were to be adapted for the big screen, who do you think would our protagonist, Anua, be?
Um, I think there are many good actresses out there, but I’d prefer an unknown face. I’d leave that choice to the director. (Smiles)
If you could spend a day with your favorite author, who would it be?
Miguel de Cervantes. It’s not just his work, but also his life that I find fascinating. I’m sure he’d have some interesting stories to tell.
Your favorite hobby.
Who would you bet on to win the World Cup this year?
I’m not really into soccer, so I don’t know. I’d like Spain to win, but I’m afraid that’s not an impartial opinion. (Laughs)
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