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Carlos Sisí: «I play to break the mental schemes of the reader»

The protagonist of this story wakes up in a room. He doesn’t remember anything. He doesn’t know where he is or who is on the other side. In addition, the image of a skull torments him without being able to relate it to any memory. He then decides to run away, although the jump from him to the abyss of him will only make things worse, right? He will end up running into Alone at the Top, the organization responsible for his amnesia, which, however, will not provide him with the answers he needs. Alone at the Top is the new novel by Carlos Sisí, a reference in the world of fantasy and terror. Posted by Obscura Publishing, Carlos gives her a twist to his stories, which seeks to surprise the reader.

Carlos Sisí will sign copies this Sant Jordi in Barcelona with Obscura Editorial from 11 to 12, on Mallorca street, between Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla de Catalunya

Are you abandoning classic horror to get into the futuristic?
It’s a thriller. It is the first time that I can define one of my books with a certain genre because in reality my novels contain many things, although the general tone is horror. Since many readers have gone to Netflix, I wanted to get the feeling they get when I hear them talk so excited about a series. For those people I have tried to build a book that is a constant surprise, although it is not futuristic. I think for the first time I have abandoned everything that is paranormal, the revenants and ghosts. It’s a plausible story, fiction, but it could happen.

Can you imagine living a situation of amnesia like the protagonist?
It touches a little on the subject of Alzheimer’s and degenerative diseases. Death in life, which is so hard for the relatives of the patients. So, I wanted to start with that terrible situation of not knowing who you are, of not remembering anything. Because we, who are we? We are what we have lived, our experiences, our relationships, we are not only our partners, but our exes as well. Because they have trained us, they have educated us to learn things, positively and negatively. And starting from scratch, not even knowing your name, gave rise, without a doubt, to an interesting story.

As in the novel, what is reality and what is fiction?
My family, who reads the books I write, recognizes many anecdotes. The reader better perceives everything that is true, everything that has a real basis. He absorbs it, believes it, buys it. Therefore, I always try to build the stories with as many true elements as possible. My father gave me some advice, he told me: Never write about anything you don’t know about. Don’t even think about writing about being in love if you haven’t been in love because you can watch movies, passionate kisses and burning eyes, but you have no idea what love is. I have always kept that in mind and use as much truth and as many true facts as possible. But fiction has its pitfalls, it is dangerous even because it is inevitable to express intimate thoughts, what you believe, what is true for you. And you get caught in many things. Writing is dangerous because you get so naked.

One of the characters says that the vote is that illusion that is given to us adults to have control…
See, that’s what I meant. Personally, I have always thought that voting is a hoax, a scam, especially in the United States with those controversies that they always have with voting machines, with fraudulent votes, as happened with Bush, for example. If there is only one candidate, there is only one choice. And this two-party system that we have doesn’t seem like a solution to me. I think that the system in general would have to be reinvented because we all know that both the left and the right are lies and corrupt, but since there are no more, we have to vote for one. But why?

“We, who are we? We are what we have lived, our experiences, our relationships, we are not only our partners, but our exes as well»

In the novel, his bipartisanship is culinary. Are you more of the tortilla with onion or without?
With onion. I really like to eat and for me, more is always more.

In ‘Alone at the Top’, a skull runs through the plot…
It is part of the mystery. Above all, I have tried to dismantle the theories that the reader can assemble. I have tried very hard to think of something that dismantles all the wickers that the reader builds in his head and that is a surprise. I tried to break those mental schemes that we built without falling into the fraud of the lying screenwriter because he is very ugly. Let’s see what the readers say, if I have succeeded or not.

That is why it is not known if it is a novel, a dream, thoughts… Is the protagonist crazy?
The poor man is in a very difficult situation. Each theory that is mounted, in reality then is something else. Continually, when he takes a step in some direction, it turns out that no, it is double deception. One of my favorite movies is Argentina queens game, which I love because it is the deception of deception, of double deception. I am fascinated by the construction of that film because in the end nothing is what it seems. And I wanted to achieve that, that the reader reaches the end, closes the book and says, wham!

Everything is lived against the clock, they not only handle number codes, but also letters.
Statistics, combinations of numbers, mathematics… you can always do the math to convince yourself of any fact. When you play with numbers it is very easy to confuse. It is also something everyday with which people communicate because, as soon as you look at number 12, if it is your obsession, you go down the street and see the number 12 of a doorway; you buy a product and it has 12 different types of vitamins; you see it everywhere. Your head has been trained to detect this common pattern and it confuses us, it makes reality seem more strange. And I play with it in the book. In fact, I play with everything I have been able to play, which, in a certain way, are our faults. They are there.

«What happens in the book is impossible to happen in Spain. We don’t have the infrastructure for that. It’s 100 percent American madness.”

I perceive a criticism or, if you want, a reflection on the publishing sector.
Oh yeah? I have been delighted with Obscura Editorial, with whom I had never worked before, because the meticulous work they have done on proofreading and paying attention to details, the design, has been very important… What can I say about Minotauro, I have published a lot with them and I have no complaints or Planet, they are absolutely professional and wonderful. It is also true that I have had ugly stories with publishers and some have been stories to keep you awake.

Like yours, not to sleep.
Exactly. But it was not my intention. It’s part of the game, my criticisms are always of a political nature or of the media, which I have criticized a lot because I don’t like them to be ideological pamphlets of the left and right, so that each one consumes their advertising. And the worst thing is that they believe it.

If you had to choose to have selective amnesia, what would you do?
It would be a prodigious advance to be able to forget fragments of what you have experienced. We learn from everything and it is said that nothing is learned from happiness, that we must be very grateful for the bad moments because they are great teachers. But we agree that more than one would forget certain things, some passages of our life, above all. I am a big fan of the Star WarsSo, imagine being able to forget the knowledge that I’ve seen that movie. It would really be an incredible thing to be able to go to an office and ask them to make me forget this detail and the other and return to enjoy certain things again.

What other things?
Life is full of wonderful miracles that we no longer enjoy because we have gotten used to them. But imagine observing the clouds again, it is an impressive landscape with evolutions and chiaroscuros that would make you overwhelmed because being the first time you see it, we would be surprised. You would stay an hour looking at the sky. Unfortunately, everyday life makes us not pay attention to those little wonders that surround us.

«We agree that more than one would forget certain things, some passages of our life»

Why does he take his characters so far?
I started with The walkers, which was set in Malaga, again thanks to my father. What did I know? So Malaga. I was there for many years and a long time, there are five books set here and the symbology of the characters varies a lot according to nationality. It is not the same to take Finnish, Swiss or American characters.

That changes?
The psychology of Americans is totally different. They react differently, they think differently and the culture that we have absorbed from America is great and I cannot avoid being part of it. I grew up with Rambo, with thousands of American films, so it is already part of our deck of cards to build stories. And, on the other hand, what happens in the book is impossible to happen in Spain. We don’t have the infrastructure for that. It’s 100% American madness. It can’t be done here.

Would you say your character does the right thing?
There came a point where I identified a lot. I always try to make it as natural as possible, I don’t force things, in some novels characters have died because I haven’t realized it and since I’m a writer who improvises while writing, I haven’t been able to prevent them from dying, even though he didn’t want to. Well, it’s the same with this. I was wondering, now what would this man do? I think it’s inevitably a bit me, it’s my reactions. If I plan, it becomes work and it doesn’t work out the same for me, it doesn’t work for me. Because of the structure of my brain, planning things doesn’t work for me in any aspect of life.

With what intention did you write ‘Alone at the Top’?
I try to get readers to go back to books because I know Netflix is ​​very tempting, but I want them to remember that reading is a very nice habit. I choose literature as a creative tool because it offers you multiple simultaneous perspectives of the situation, what the reader thinks, what he is seeing and what he believed it to be. Please don’t lose it, don’t leave our friends the books.

  • literature
  • Carlos Sisi
  • Dark Publisher
  • thriller
  • Sant Jordi 2022
  • Alone at the top
  • Alzheimer’s
  • memory
  • amnesia

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