Nieves Muñoz. Interview with the author of The Silenced Battles

Photography: Nieves Muñoz, author file of the Edhasa publishing house.

Nieves MunozA Valladolid woman and a nurse by profession, she has always been related to literature, as a short story writer, columnist or contributor to literary magazines. With The silenced battles has made the leap to the novel. Thank you so much your time, kindness and dedication to this interview where he talks about her and many other topics.

Nieves Munoz - Interview

  • LITERATURE CURRENT: Your novel is titled The silenced battles. What do you tell us about it and where did the idea come from?

NIEVES MUÑOZ: There is a anecdote regarding the title. Daniel Fernández, editor of Edhasa, commented to Penelope Acero, my editor, that why didn't we change it for The silent battles, which was better, and both we refuse because it completely changes the sense. They are not battles that are fought in silence (which there are also), but those that are silenced for some reason. And that is the crux of the novel. 

On the one hand, there are those internal wars that in an extreme situation they fight each other and are not counted. I am convinced (and I show it this way) that human beings are capable of the best and the worst when their survival is at stake. 

And on the other, there are the battles that have never been told in history books, as happens in my novel, the vision and experiences of the women who participated in the First World War. Not everything is trenches, the fight reached every corner. 

The original idea was to write a tribute to the first professional nurses who participated in the contest. Looking for information about them I came to Marie Curie and her participation as a volunteer nurse and as a teacher for radiology surgeons. It is she who leads the reader by the hand to get to know a field hospital and its experiences, and gives rise to the entrance of the true protagonists, ordinary women, nurses, volunteers, peasant women and even a prostitute. Is a choral novel, so the different plots come together in a single one in the second half of the story.

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

NM: I was an early reader, but the first ones I remember were from the Hollister collection, which I read all of them. From there I went to The five, The Seven Secrets, The Three Investigators, the collection of Steamboat… I remember this last one with special affection Scarecrow's daughter y Behind the wire

I have a Bittersweet memory of one of my first stories. I wrote a story for school, a fantasy about a hunter who shot a deer and the forest fairy turned the hunter into a deer so that he would realize the damage he had done. The teacher asked me if they had helped me and I answered no. I was all day facing the coat rack, punished for lying.

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

NM: Actually, I have no a head writer. I read of all subgenres and it is difficult that way. But I will name some of my references.

—In fantasy, Tolkien of course, but also End or more recent China Miéville

-Science fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Atwood they are fantastic. 

—Horror, I really like a Spanish writer, David jaso. And then the classics, Poe or Guy from Maupassant

—In a historical novel, Amin Maalouf, Mika Waltari, Noah gordon, Toti Martínez de Lezea o Angels of Irisarri. 

—Contemporary novel, Sándor Marai, Donna Tarto a contemporary of mine not yet well known but who will give a lot to talk about: Antonio Tocornal

—About crime novels, I'll take Stieg Larsson, Dennis Lehane y John connolly

—And romantic with Paulina Simmons y Diana Gabaldon.

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

NM: What a difficult question. I'm going to shoot for nostalgia. I read the books of Anne of Green Gables in adolescence and from time to time, on gray days, I read them again. They bring me calm. So I keep Ana Shirley.

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

NM: Am off-road writer by force, because if I don't take advantage of any space and time to write, I would never finish anything. The only thing is that I suffer from tinnitus (I hear a constant noise) and I prefer not to write silently because it bothers me. So I put on the TV, music, or if I'm outside, the ambient noise from the street.

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

NM: Basically as in the previous question, when they leave me and I can take the laptop, anywhere and anytime.

  • AL: Are there other genres that you like?

NM: I have anticipated this question. I like to change of reading genre, otherwise I would get bored of reading.

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

NM: I am with Toletum, de Mireia Gimenez Higón after finishing Resurrected, from my partner Vic echegoyen. The first is an adventure set in Toledo in the 1755th century and the second narrates the events during the Lisbon earthquake of XNUMX. 

Fair-Poor just finished the first draft of my second novel, which is already in the hands of my editor, so I take a few days off from writing, because the process has been intense.

  • AL: How do you think the publishing scene is? 

NM: I have just arrived in this world and I don't know if I can comment on something. It seems to me that there is one brutal offer of editorial news and not many sales. Staying interested in a novel for a while is difficult with so many publications. On the other hand, the piracy problem It is an unsolved scourge. With the work involved in writing a good novel, it is a pity that it is not valued properly. 

I sent the manuscript without any expectations, the fact that I had finished writing a 540-page novel was already an achievement for me. So everything that came after has been wonderful, especially the opinions of readers who have endorsed the characters and their stories. I don't change that for anything in the world.

  • 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?

NM: I always get something out of every experience, even the hardest ones. I live daily with illness, death and tragedy. And even from the toughest situations, beautiful stories come out. It depends on the accompaniment, on what you get involved with others, what you contribute from yourself. As I said at the beginning of the interview, each of us is capable of the best and the worst, I always try to look for the good. 


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