Mario Villén Lucena. Interview with the author of Nazarí

Photography: Mario Villén Lucena. Facebook profile.

Mario Villén Lucena, Granada-born genre writer Historical, has already published a few novels. The last one is Nasrid, a fiction about the founding of the emirate of Granada, which accompanies The shield of Granada y 40 days of fire, also set at the time. I really appreciate your time and kindness for this interview where he talks about them and about everything a little.

Mario Villén Lucena - Interview 

  • LITERATURE NEWS: Nasrid is your new historical genre novel. What do you tell us about it and where did the idea come from?

MARIO VILLÉN LUCENA: The story told in Nazarí I came across it when I was documenting for my first book, more than ten years ago. At that time I did not feel prepared to write it, but several years later, with the filming done, I started working on it. 

In this book the foundation of the Nasrid emirate of Granada and the origin of the dynasty that ruled it for more than two and a half centuries. The first Nasrid emir was Ibn al-Ahmar. After the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, he managed to gather the remains of al-Andalus and form with them a strong emirate. Among many other things, he started construction of the Alhambra

On the other side of the border, the story of Ferdinand III, that definitively unified Castilla and León, and conquered such important places as Córdoba, Jaén and Seville. 

  • AL: Can you remember that first book you read? And the first story you wrote?

MVL: The first book I remember reading is The architect and the emperor of Arabia. It was published in a youth collection, but I don't remember the author. 

The first thing I wrote was a poem about death, with little more than 11 or 12 years. A little gloomy. 

  • AL: A head writer? You can choose more than one and from all eras. 

MVL: I will cite two: Amin maalouf y Tariq Ali. Both have written a very lyrical historical novel, with great attention to the characters and their feelings. I love the way they narrate. They have both written about al-Andalus.  

  • AL: What character in a book would you have liked to meet and create?

MVL: Umar, In the shadow of the pomegranate. I must admit that I took it as a reference to build one of my characters in The shield of Granada. His personality fascinated me. 

  • AL: Any special habits or habits when it comes to writing or reading?

MVL: I usually use music to write, to inspire me and to eliminate annoying noises. Beyond that, I think there is no noteworthy mania. 

About my readings, I usually read in Kindle and I'm controlling the porcentaje Reading. I try to impose a daily rhythm and I try to comply with it, but I am not obsessed with the subject either. 

  • AL: And your preferred place and time to do it?

MVL: I think that the lack of time, an evil so typical of our days, means that I do not have too much squeamishness when it comes to writing or reading. Anywhere and any time they are worth. If they gave me a choice, I prefer write first thing in the morning, just awaken. 

  • AL: Are there other genres that you like?

MVL: The historical one is my favorite, but I also like the contemporary novel. I read almost everything, but at the moment I just want to write a historical novel. In the future I do not rule out trying with others genders. 

  • AL: What are you reading now? And writing?

MVL: Right now i'm reading The horse healer, Gonzalo Giner. I am loving it. 

I'm in proofreading phase of a manuscript and documenting for a new one. I reserve the theme ... 

  • AL: How do you think the publishing scene is? Many authors and few readers?

MVL: We live a delicate moment in the publishing world. Even before the pandemic, the market had changed. The piracy it has done and continues to do a lot of damage. In Spain you read a lot, but you don't buy everything you read. The pandemic has aggravated the situation for publishers. The consequences remain to be seen, but it doesn't look good. In my opinion, they will be made bets more safe, he will take little risk, the runs will be shortened and less will be invested in promotion. 

  • AL: Is the moment of crisis that we are experiencing being difficult for you or will you be able to keep something positive for future stories?

MVL: I published in June 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, with many closed bookstores and with control of the capacity in which they were open. It has been a difficult year, but Nasrid It has not gone bad at all. The positive of all this, what I think we have taken from this situation so that it stays with us, are the virtual events. Presentations, literary meetings, talks ... The restrictions have forced us to a quite interesting alternative path that I would like it to complement the traditional acts when all this happens. 


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