For ‘The Beast’
In a spectacular coup, the award brings to light the identities of Antonio Mercero, Agustín Martínez and Jorge Díaz
Carmen Mola are the narrators, filmmakers and screenwriters Antonio Mercero, Agustín Martínez and Jorge Díaz, who last night made history and became the first winners of the Planet of the million euros, the best-endowed literary award in the world, already ahead of the Nobel and to be distributed. On the award’s 70th birthday and with its galactic bag, the award revealed the mystery of the Spanish Elena Ferrante who has published her three novels under a pseudonym. They were awarded with ‘The beast’ a fiction halfway between history and the ‘thriller’ that they presented under the identity of Sergio López and with the provisional title of ‘City of fire’.
Paloma Sánchez-Garnica (Madrid, 1962) became, in turn, the first finalist of the award who took a check for 200,000 euros (50,000 more than before) for ‘Last days in Berlin’, an epic story with the curtain steel background that he presented with the working title of ‘Sons of Wrath’ and the pseudonym of Yuri Zivago. It is the story of a young man who dreams of reuniting with his mother and brother after his escape from the Leninist regime.
Mercero, Martínez and Díaz narrate in ‘The beast’ in a black key, very black, as in their previous novels. It is a story about a city that is ravaged by a wave of crimes with girls from the poorest classes as victims. A journalist, a policeman and a girl will try to unravel the secrets of such heinous murders.
Paloma Sánchez-Garnica is the finalist on the 70th anniversary of the award, becoming the best gifted in the world
Under the identity of Mola, the scriptwriters and filmmakers have starred in one of the great editorial phenomena of recent years. Hundreds of thousands of readers have devoured ‘The gypsy bride’ (2018), ‘The purple network’ (2019) and ‘La nena’ (2020), a trilogy published by Alfaguara, today the label of Random House, a fierce competitor of Planeta, to that steal one of its stars that from the anonymity broken last night revolutionized the Spanish ‘noir’.
Labeled as the Spanish Elena Ferrante, Mola preserved her identity with both zeal and equivocation. But a bag of one million euros can do everything and blew up a secret that until now the most daring hounds had not been able to reveal. Atresmedia, the audiovisual arm of Planeta, is also preparing the series that will star the atypical inspector Elena Blanco.
The protagonist of the fast-paced Mola saga is addicted to grappa and karaoke, and the daughter of a family more than well. A woman about to turn 50 who heads the Case Analysis Brigade (BAC), an elite group of the Police that faces the most complex crimes. In addition to leading his team with a firm hand, Blanco carries a painful past that makes him unable to commit himself in the field of affection.
According to the discoverer and first editor, María Fasce, Mola “demonstrates a unique talent for describing mental violence.” Moral pain and mental horror are conjugated in his stories that cover the most monstrous that can be imagined. “Nobody in the crime novel reaches such a degree of horror, not even Pierre Lemaitre”, maintains Fasce.
Translated into a dozen languages, more than 500,000 copies of the saga have been sold worldwide. ‘The Gypsy Bride’ was an unusual bestseller without its publishers spending a penny on promotion. ‘The purple network’ and ‘La nena’ enlarged the phenomenon.
Journalist, screenwriter and writer, Antonio Mercero (Madrid, 1969) is the son of the filmmaker Antonio Mercero. He started as a screenwriter in the series ‘Farmacia de Guardia’ and has participated in the scripts of ‘Hospital Central’, ‘Lobos’, ‘MIR’, ‘El pacto’ or ‘El Rey’. He is the author of the novels ‘The fourth death’, ‘The inattentive life’, ‘The end of man’ or ‘The case of the dead Japanese women’.
Agustín Martínez made his debut in advertising, before dedicating himself to screenwriting. She has participated in productions such as ‘Sin tits no hay paraíso’, ‘La chica de yesterday’, ‘Crematorio’ or ‘El don de Alba’. He has published the novel ‘Monteperdido’ (2015).
Jorge Díaz Cortés, also a journalist, has alternated narrative and script writing and has stood out on television thanks to series such as ‘Hospital Central’, ‘Cita a ciegas’, ‘Víctor Ros’ or ‘Acacias 38’. He is a script teacher and author of novels such as ‘The Elephant Numbers’, ‘Letters to the Palace’ or ‘I have in me all the dreams in the world’.
Presence of the Kings
A Planeta writer, the finalist Paloma Sánchez-Garnica studied Geography and graduated in Law. She worked as a lawyer, but left the robe for literature. A historical genre author with notes of ‘thriller’ and mystery, she devises complex plots in which she mixes past and present. His first novel was’ El gran arcano ‘(2006), which was followed by’ La brisa del oriente (2009), ‘La sonata del silencio’ (2015) and ‘My memory is stronger than your forgetfulness’ (2016). Fernando Lara award.
Winners and finalist received their prizes in the presence of Kings Felipe and Letizia and at an evening held at the National Museum of Art of Catalonia. The Ministers of Culture and Education, Miquel Iceta and Pilar Alegría, respectively, and the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, also attended.