Isabel Romero Casas, author of “The echo of my name”, the emerging writer who rescues topics such as the theft of children or the role of women during the Spanish post-war period.

Isabel Romero Casas They have a special sensitivity for writing. Also for inspiration. When he tells us how he got the idea of The echo of my name, it is clear to us that he is capable of empathizing and developing an idea even in the midst of difficult times. Because, although the Echo of my name is pure fiction, the Spanish post-war period existed and so did everything that happened in it. The role of women is now becoming more relevant, but books like Isabel’s are still necessary to put us directly in the shoes of one of them.

  1. What inspired the plot of The echo of my name?

I remember that we were having dinner with the television in the background when a brief report about the post-war period came out which mentioned, in passing, the theft of children during the Franco dictatorship. I stopped to think about how hard that situation must have been for the mothers who lost their children and who never heard from them again and how I would feel if she were one of those stolen girls. From that moment I began to investigate and create the character of Mercedes Quiroga.

  1. What was your research process like to recreate the Spanish post-war period?

Well, I have the advantage that when I was little, many movies from that time were watched in my house, so I already had a slight idea of ​​what the characters must be like.

I looked for a lot of information on the Internet, I watched various documentaries and interviews with those affected and I also consulted the books I have at home and they even lent me some, but the most important thing was to ask my elders and hear firsthand about their experiences.

  1. What aspect of the story or historical period addressed in the novel intrigued you the most?

The one that intrigued me the most and continues to intrigue me is the topic of child theft. I can’t believe that kind of thing happened and I’m sure that many of those children never discovered the truth of where they came from. There were many people involved, important people who got away with everything.

I was also very struck by the treatment given to homosexuals and that sexual orientation was a reason to put them in prison where they were harshly punished.

And of course the issue of abortion and the abuse of women who had to remain silent so that they would not be blamed for what happened.

  1. Are there any characters in the novel who are based on real people or inspired by a specific historical event?

The characters are all fictional except for José María de Llanos who, although he appears very briefly, is a character who shows our protagonist a reality unknown to her until now.

Obviously Mercedes’ scene with Father Llanos did not really happen, but for me it was important to talk about this character who aroused great curiosity in me.

José María de Llanos went from being Franco’s confessor and supporter of the regime to becoming a worker priest with a communist card. I think he is a person with a very interesting story that I would like to know much more about.

  1. What challenges did you face when writing a historical novel and how did you overcome them?

Writing a historical novel is more complicated than it seems, because although I really like History, I am not an expert on the subject. You have to thoroughly investigate the topics you are going to discuss so that the characters are coherent and credible with the historical context. Patience and dedication are required.

The first chapters are when I had the worst time, since they are the foundations of the novel and these must be solid so that it develops fluidly later.

I wanted to tell a story based on real events but that was as neutral as possible.

  1. What message do you want to reach the readers of The echo of my name?

I would like them to understand that in a story there are always two sides of the truth, that it is very important to be authentic with themselves and seek happiness without depending on the judgment of others. You have to forget prejudices and get to know people before forming an opinion; and the most important thing is that we should never allow anyone to direct our lives by depriving us of our freedom

  1. How do you think historical fiction can contribute to our understanding and appreciation of the past?

History is the only way we have to learn from our past mistakes. To empathize, sometimes we need to put a face to some event and in the historical novel that is what is done, events from the past are told from the point of view of the protagonists, making the reader understand better and even want to know more about the subject. of which is spoken.

Picking up a history book and reading it is not the same as having a character tell it to you with their words and emotions.

We could say that the historical novel helps us understand the complexities and contradictions of a historical period,

  1. Is there any detail or curiosity that you would like to tell us?

Regarding the writing process, I faced the challenge of capturing the atmosphere of the time, seeking a balance between historical accuracy and a narrative that captivated the reader, which led me to review every detail.

When I write a story I imagine it in my head as if I were watching it in a movie theater and I play each chapter over and over again before putting it on paper.

Regarding the research, I can only say that I learned a lot about the social changes that occurred and that although sometimes, when I couldn’t find something, I became desperate, I enjoyed the process.

  1. What led you to choose this particular historical period?

As I said before, the idea of The echo of my name It arose from news about the theft of children during the Franco regime, so from the first moment I was clear that the story had to be told from that time to give visibility to what happened to thousands of families.

And if we add to that my innate curiosity about the history of Spain…

  1. Any new novels in mind?

Yes, I just finished a manuscript that I hope will see the light of day very soon and just last week I came up with a new story that I am starting to outline and I think it could come together very well.


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