The key points for me came when he focused on how to pull together all that historical research he gathered throughout five long years and put together a fictional novel. His points:
- Respect historical moments when writing the fictional aspect of the story.
- Construct fiction as logically as possible while combining it with history.
- Characterization is key, especially that of the fictional characters in the book. In El Hombre Que Amaba a Los Perros that would be Ivan, a seemingly insignificant secondary character, but the very important narrator of the story.
- Take into consideration that in a historical fiction novel there is no mystery as the end is usually well known.
- The narrative, making it fast paced and constructing the plot into a novel instead of a historical piece, is key.
Mr. Padura was quite gracious and the question and answer session, where not only this book but his other works were discussed, lasted quite a long time, and he and his beautiful wife gave of their time afterward as well. I took the opportunity to speak to him personally and he signed my book. Meeting him was an unexpected pleasure.
The Inspector Mario Conde Series:
- Pasado perfecto (1991). Havana Blue (2007)
- Vientos de cuaresma (1994). Havana Gold (2008)
- Mascaras (1997). Havana Red (2005)
- Paisaje de otoño (1998). Havana Black (2006)
- La Neblina de Ayer. Havana Fever (2009)
- Adiós Hemingway (2005, novella); published with same title in English in 2006 - the first of his books to be translated into English.