She was one of the most acclaimed authors by the public at the last Seville Book Fair. Her name is Clara Duarte, she was born in Seville in 1996, and with only two novels she has managed to position herself as a solid asset in the changing publishing market. From Madrid, where she studies Hispanic Philology, this 25-year-old fond of illustration and lover of music, cats and the mysteries of the Universe tells elDiario.es Andalucía cHow he started his adventure: “Today there are many ways to reach publishers, and the classic way of sending your manuscript by ordinary mail has stopped working. In fact, it is difficult to access the market without a public profile that gives confidence to the editor, and I had it. ”
“We are the most dedicated ‘fandom’ of youth literature in Spain!”
He claims to always write – “I used to write a lot of shit”, he excuses himself – and at the same time he has moved a lot in networks. “I know how to communicate with that language, and thanks to that I discovered many authors and was able to get in touch with them. But I also thought it would be a good idea to go to events and have them put a face on me, something that is almost more important than having a lot of followers And that I did, “he evokes.
Among the figures he met then, he cites Iria and Selene and Javier Ruescas, also youtuber, “and they seemed to me the most beautiful people.” During a Sant Jordi, in addition, he met the one who would be his editor on the La Galera label, “and when he had a gap to give a new writer a chance, he remembered me”. This is how his debut saw the light, Moon 174, a work related to science fiction that worked wonderfully as a business card. “It’s like an episode of Black mirror, or a Christopher Nolan movie. I like the plot twists, and although apparently it is science fiction mixed with a certain romanticism, I think I manage to surprise the reader, “he says.
Write in Spain
The publisher decided that the gamble had worked well and asked him for a second display of his talent. This was titled Every six months And, despite having gone out of press on May 14 of last year, with bookstores closed due to the pandemic, it was not long before it received the applause of the readers. “I expected a hit due to the circumstances and in the end it seems that it has been the opposite, to the point that it is going to be translated into French by the hand of Hachette Livres”, explains Duarte.
If the protagonist of Moon 174 She lived in Australia, now the author brought her imagination to a geographically closer setting. “A little because of the American influence, sometimes we have the feeling that ours is crappy. And I felt it even more when I wrote the novel when I was 21 years old. But in Every six months I decided to set the action in Madrid, and the new play I’m writing will have Seville as its setting. Furthermore, I think we have a humor that is not easy to find in international youth literature. Every time I like to write about Spain “, he comments.
“Today there are many ways to reach publishers, and the classic way of sending your manuscript by ordinary mail has stopped working. In fact, it is difficult to access the market without a public profile that gives confidence to the editor, and I had it.”
Every six months is, in his words, “an urban fantasy about a girl who only exists six months a year, but has a traditional tone. The fantastic touch is there, but everything else is located in a day-to-day so realistic that it invites you to believe it all. Maybe I am influenced by magical realism and my favorite novel, which is One hundred years of loneliness“.
Despite her youth, Duarte has already gone through different phases as a reader, leaving her favorite writers of the moment to leave some mark on each one. Emphasizes the example that Laura Gallego set for her “who turned the tables on Spanish literature, because until then practically all youth literature was international. She gave rise to people like me who could bet on writing from here and now.”
Gallego’s readings were followed by those of Carlos Ruiz Zafón, especially Marine Y The wind’s shadow. And as a budding philologist, she has been letting herself be carried away by the Borges, García Márquez, Vargas Llosa … And yet she defends that it is necessary to continue searching in the tide of new titles for the jewels that are worth rescuing: “The people of my My career is very exquisite, I tend to despise the juvenile genre or the literature it sells, but I love discovering people like Neal Shusterman or Tamsyn Muir “.
Young people and reading
Perhaps this open-mindedness, added to her experience as a writer, has led her to earn a living as a freelance scriptwriter for giants such as Disney or Amazon, although she is not allowed to talk about the projects in which she is involved due to a confidentiality contract. . “I love the audiovisual world, I had always been a spectator but I never thought I would become a creator. But when you are a novelist you control everything, you are the director, the screenwriter, the producer …”, she says.
“The people in my career are very exquisite, they tend to despise the juvenile genre or the literature it sells, but I love discovering people like Neal Shusterman or Tamsyn Muir.”
She considers herself a highly visual writer, and believes that television and video games, which so many blame for keeping young people away from reading, are instead causing an evolution in literature. “There is no denying that a lot of young people would want to read, but they have attention deficit,” he says. “Today children grow up surrounded by stimuli and perhaps print is not enough to capture their attention, so new narratives are being developed. In any case, as a writer, I assure you that it is very pleasant to write for people between 15 and 25 years old. It is an audience that clings to you, you feel that you can influence their life much more than someone 40, who perhaps has a life made “, he indicates.
Finally, Duarte assures that in the fact that his characters are LGTBI there is no militancy, although he loves that his readers come to tell him that they are reflected in them. “I write lesbian literature because I am a lesbian, but in a natural way, without it being an active struggle. I do not cause it. From the beginning I decided that it would not be a topic in my books, that is why you will not find out of the closet or homophobia , There are no speeches. It is something that defines me and they can reject me for it, but my characters are only human beings, “he explains.