The brutal murders of “First Father” return, the novel by Joan Llensa that Grijalbo will publish on July 18.

By Eva Fraile.

There is an important date on our July calendar, the 18th which, if I’m not mistaken, falls on a Thursday. This day, we will have back the incomparable writer of crime novel, Joan LlensaAnd I don’t intend to be an exaggeration with that of unmatched, but rather to affirm the obvious, because Llensa’s creations are different from all the others, demonstrating that rawness and talent can go hand in hand.

The publishing group Penguin Random House, under its Grijalbo label, has bet heavily on this author and will publish his novel on July 18 First father This means that the author is arriving in bookstores for the first time. And let them all tremble!

1– Joan, let’s talk about the new publication of First father under the Grijalbo label, which is just around the corner. What are we going to find in this novel?

The first course is some brutal murders and some very peculiar characters with very differentiated characters. I really like that they have their chiaroscuros, actually, like any of us; a past, suffering, fears, family… in short, a story behind what you read now and that has led them to be the way they are and act the way they do. As I tell you, they are more than characters, they are normal people who, even doing or committing the cruelest acts, the reader can empathize in a certain way with them and come to “understand” what is happening. Certainly and regardless of what happens, I want the reader to be left thinking about what the story has made them experience at the end of the book, what they would do in a situation like this (for better and for worse) and, if possible, , which can be a topic of conversation with other readers.

2– Tell me about the setting.

The story takes place in Los Álamos, a fictional town in the northeast of Spain. Specifically in Catalonia. Despite this, each place actually exists, they are tangible scenarios in which you can walk without problems, but which gives me the license to be able to put them together without problem and at will as the plot requires. The town is large and has many peculiarities, but despite this the atmosphere is oppressive and claustrophobic. Imagine a town in a crystal ball. It’s almost hard to breathe. This is Los Alamos.

3- Are you more into dialogue or narrative, descriptions, etc.?

I like to use each of the techniques. I always try to make it the most effective and appropriate for what needs to be conveyed in each situation and how I want the reader to feel. Many times a dialogue between characters with practically no description can be more disturbing than if I start to detail the room where they are gathered. At that moment, the focus falls on what they say and what they don’t say. However, on other occasions the detail of that room takes precedence because it has a weight in the story.

I will reiterate what I have said many times, that I do not like filler pages or unimportant details. I prefer the reader to have a fast-paced pulse from beginning to end than to have pauses in between without any contribution. Everything has its reason and maybe until the end you won’t know why. And then… I need you to ask me for more.

4– How do you build the personality of your characters?

I try to create real people. As much as possible. I make them feel like they could be the neighbor on the second floor or the fruit seller at the market. I give them a childhood, an adolescence, a way of thinking and an evolution that explains their current behavior. Nothing is the result of chance and some of those lived details remain unexposed and are just a shadow that surrounds them, but they are there and if necessary I show them to the reader.

The current arc of evolution is also in complete flux and I make a lot of use of moral dilemmas, fears and concerns just like you and I may have.

5– First father It already had a long journey, as it was submitted for the 2022 Amazon Literary Award. What reception did it have then?

Better than I expected. After the “brutality” of The butcher shop and the framework of Our darkest secretit was clear that readers were asking me for something strong that would leave a taste in their body after reading it. The moral game was very popular The butcher shop y First father I wanted it to be the fruit of my learning, to make it shocking, brutal and at the same time emotional, understandable and with the moral game that I like to imprint so much in my work.

The reception was very good from both readers and bloggers. Even an article from Cartagena Negra echoed her, giving her an article and some of the first labels of my writer self.

6– Later you continued betting on it, as well as on the rest of your novels, but with a change of image. Why did you decide to change his covers?

I always bet on them. They are a very important part of my being and my life. I cannot forget what they are and represent. The change of covers was due to two very important factors. First, my designer could not continue doing the work and I was left hanging by a thread with continuations and new projects. Despite all that, I contacted another great professional that I want to mention, Pedro Tarancón, who has become a friend and whose work is excellent. He was in charge of giving them all a new, more appropriate image. And that was the second reason. I needed to feel that they were all part of a single universe with “my stamp” characteristic of someone who understood it immediately.

7 – And now, it is being reissued in style. How did it happen? How did this event take place?

It has been the most unthinkable thing you can imagine since I was in the midst of a personal crisis and in new projects to finish and that I cannot tell you about. I had to pinch myself several times to know that I wasn’t dreaming it, but they contacted me (beyond that I can’t say) that they wanted to acquire the rights to First father for different reasons that left me stunned. My answer was obvious; If it didn’t get lost or I had to cut my scenes, we would move forward. They didn’t hesitate at all and made a place for me on their list of authors. Imagine how it felt to me that after the refusal of all the publishers and representatives to take over The butcher shop Because it was considered “too hard for readers”, they will now contribute First father uncensored.

We will now see how the public responds and if First father manages to earn a little place in their hearts.

First father of Joan Llensa hits bookstores on July 18 and is already available for pre-order.


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