About the Book:
Alongside a plot of international intrigue and scientific conspiracy, the characters The Midas Effect must answer to themselves those key questions. They leave us a trace of reflection throughout this story that grips the reader until its round ending.
Miguel Le Fablec, a young European university professor, appears to have the ability to turn his imagination into reality – the so-called Midas Effect. Unaware of his power, Miguel attracts the attention of the CIA and NASA, which take him to the US and draw him into international intrigues, scientific projects and secret services operations that overwhelm his reaction capacity. Everyone wants to control and use him. But how do you control a power such as this?
★ NOVEL FINALIST/SELECTED at the literary section of SITGES INTERNATIONAL FANTASTIC FILM FESTIVAL 2017
★ One year at #1 in the Crime Thriller and Adventure category on amazon.es
★ BEST OUTSTANDING BOOK 2017 on “Ni un día sin libro” Spanish Literary Website.
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing.
I am an aerospace engineer and writer. Engineering and literature are primarily creative pursuits. I am an engineer by vocation, and I am fortunate to be able to develop my work in my area, and I am a writer by vocation as well.
My writing vocation has always been there, although I did not always want to dedicate myself to writing professionally. I also painted when I was a child, and I composed music when I was a teenager. I also entered inventor competitions, so my creativity has always driven me. One day, being an engineer, I decided that my vocation as a writer should not remain as just one of my hobbies. I felt that I could and should materialize writing in a professional way, so I jumped into it. I think that every profession requires education and training, including writing. And, as a good, square-headed engineer, I decided I needed training. I wrote and attended narrative classes for several years. I was trained at the Madrid School of Writers. I was published in literary magazines in Spain and Mexico, I won some international literary contests, and my stories have been published in several countries. My first novel, The Midas Effect, has been quite successful in Spanish and was selected in the literary section of the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, which brought it closer to the world of cinema. I then decided to translate and publish it in English, since the story takes place mainly in the USA and many characters are North American. I think that its technothriller genre will be appreciated among English-speaking readers.
I am very systematic, and that is an essential skill for an engineer as well as for the novelist. I am very serious when I take something seriously.
2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?
Not at all. My time is occupied by my full-time job and by taking care of my two children, my father, and my partner. So any place and any free time is good for writing. A few years ago, I used to travel a lot all over Europe, and I used to write on the plane, in the hotel, and while waiting at airports. The longer the flight delay was, the better for me because it meant more time to write. I don’t care about the noise or how uncomfortable a place is; I just need a laptop. I’m the airport terminal novelist.
Of course, I also have a very small table where I write when I find time at home, which is usually in the evening or at night.
I also really like writing in public libraries. Thinking and writing surrounded by disheveled students who are focused on their exams… Yes, that encourages and inspires me. So, I’m also the library novelist.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
I have technical and scientific training. I read essays and scientific dissemination magazines as a hobby. When technology or science advances towards some limit that falls outside the conventional or social approaches that we all have, and they do so continuously, a technological-moral dilemma arises. For a technothriller writer, this is fertile ground. Later, I build the argument at the service of the idea, with the intention that the reader lives it and the dilemma is his.
4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing, or do you let it carry you along as you go?
When I write a novel, I am very clear about where the story is going. It is not an exact point but it is a direction to point to. Then, before starting to write, I also decide the narrator or narrators, the narrative voices they will have, the tone, and many details. Then I write an outline where I begin to describe each chapter or scene, what will happen there, how the characters feel, what turning points there are, where, when, etc. Not all the scenes end up as planned; some are eliminated and others added, but this process helps me to define the plot well.
When I write short stories, on the other hand, I usually experiment with different narrative techniques, genres, and textures. I leave my comfort zone and among the many things I risk is the end. Sometimes I write by letting the characters move themselves towards an ending that I do not know. I have even tried automatic writing.
But for a novel, I always have a plan and a storyboard.
5: What genre are your books, and what drew you to that genre?
My main genre is technothriller. I like to write it, and I already have sketches for several more novels in this genre (actually, I have already finished one of them in Spanish; English will take a while, I am afraid).
Going back to the question, I like technothriller because it allows me to develop divergent, annoying ideas, contrary to common feelings, and that attracts me a lot in literature. Of course, I have tried more literary genres, and I have published them, such as surrealism, dirty realism, and comedy. I have also tried narrators who break the fourth wall, ambiguous narrators, symbolism… I think that experimentation and a foray into other genres and techniques provides narrative authority, and that’s good for any writer. All in all, I’m afraid I’m a genre author.
I have also finished a short story book. Although I use various narrative techniques and textures for each story, all of them tend to my bedside genres: light science fiction, dystopia, and technothriller, or a mix of all of them. I think the stories in this book fall perfectly within the attention span of my novel readers. So, yes, my preference is within plots mixing international intrigue with technology.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
I wrote the first draft of The Midas Effect in Spanish in 2004, so my dream cast has changed a lot since then. At that time, I saw Johnny Depp as Miguel le Fablec, the main character, a European university professor. The co-star of the novel, a young American scientist of Italian descent, could be Penelope Cruz. For the antagonist, a CIA agent of Cuban descent, I imagined Andy Garcia. And in the role of Gorlov, the Russian scientist and former KGB agent, I saw Michael Caine.
It’s been a long time now, although I think some of these actors would still fall into my dream of seeing The Midas Effect in a movie.
7: Do you read much, and if so, who are your favourite authors?
As Cervantes, Chekov, Flaubert, Faulkner and many other of these giants are or should be a reference for any writer, I will not dwell on them. They are my literary base, like anyone else’s. But let’s go to my references at the time of writing my novels. By proximity to the genre and to mention just a few: Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Stanislaw Lem, Michael Crichton, and Stephen King. They have direct, efficient prose and a great ability to develop suggestive ideas mixed with entertaining plots. Two whom I admire and have greatly influenced me are Cormac McCarthy (I love modern American writers) and Dino Buzzati (also Italians). And I can’t resist mentioning Orwell, who opened my eyes to literature when I was a teenager.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
In the thriller genre, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides and The Silence of the White City by Eva García Sáenz de Urturi (an excellent Spanish thriller writer). Today, it is difficult to surprise in thrillers, and they both have succeeded. In non-fiction, Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari manages to awaken and maintain interest. He reminds me of Carl Sagan, but with less sarcasm. And in more literary narrative, A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin, who had been slow to fall into my hands and is, in my opinion, a writer by right of the golden age of North American literature.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
Ever since I read it, when I was a teenager, my favorite has been the novel by Orwell, 1984. I think it opened my eyes to literature. It was also the first book I read in Spanish and in English.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
I am an aerospace engineer. I was trained at university and obtained my master’s degree before starting to work in the aviation world. One question: would you board and fly in a plane built by an aviation enthusiast? No, right? Maybe you would prefer a plane built by a well-trained and skilled professional, wouldn’t you? Well, why do many people think that one can write without having received training in literature? I do not want to say it must be academic training; I know it is not the only kind, but I believe that training for any job is essential. In Spain, there is no university training for creative writing; I know that in the United States there are. In any case, anywhere in the world one can be trained in any discipline.
The first thing I did was to consider learning literary techniques as an academic training. I looked for professors with reputations and seriousness. At the School of Writers, they taught me the techniques and invited me to write everything that, by technique, genre or subject, I had never considered writing or even reading. I read a lot of diverse authors. I read books on literary technique, novels that have nothing to do with my style, others that do, short stories, great classics, avant-garde, poetry. Everything contributes and shapes the writer.
Trying to master the techniques and to define and work the appropriate technique for each story is fundamental in my work.
Without a doubt, I advise anyone wanting to become a writer to look for a school, workshop, teacher, literary gathering, or place where they teach literature and creative writing. Writing is a very serious profession that requires training and practice. You also must read a lot of diverse authors.
Then it comes the writing itself, and that that is hard work. Very hard. And there is no muse who skips it or redeems you from doing it. Without hard work and technique, there are no happy ideas or muses that are worthy.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
You can find me at the following:
My author web site: www.manueldorado.es/english
My author Facebook: www.facebook.com/manueldorado.escritor
My Goodreads profile:
My Twitter profile (in English): @MM__Dorado
My Instagram profile: www.instagram.com/manuel_dorado_escritor
About the Author:
Manuel Dorado was born in La Mancha, Spain. He is an aerospace engineer and a writer. His short stories have been included in books such as the anthologies “La carne despierta” (Gens Ediciones, 2013), “Segunda parabola de los talentos” (Gens Ediciones, 2011), “Plaza de Oriente” (COPSA, 2009), as well as literature magazines “THELunes” and “La Gran Belleza” in Spain and “Interpretextos” in Mexico.
Dorado has been awarded several literary prizes, such as “Vila de Mislata” Literary Award; “Patricia Sánchez Cuevas” International Short Story Award; honourable mention at “Julio Cortázar” Montevideo, Uruguay International Award; Finalist at Museum of Words International Literary Contest.
“The Midas Effect” is his first novel. It was selected and awarded as finalist at the literary section of the Sitges international Fantastic Film Festival in 2017.
Manuel has finished two more novels and a short stories book, all of them on their way to being published.