We recently spoke with Alberto Hernando Castillo (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1974), a man whom some of our colleagues will already know because he has been working as Purchasing Manager at Iberspa, a company with which we often collaborate, for the past three years. However, today we take a look at another side of Alberto: the writer.
This consummate professional has (pleasantly) surprised us with the publication of Holo. Los viajes de Àinos De Belle (Holo. The Travels of Àinos De Belle), his debut novel and the first volume of the Holo. Una historia diferente (Holo. A different story) trilogy. Some of us have already begun to enjoy this exciting saga after receiving the book on Sant Jordi (an annual festival held on 23 April in Catalonia to celebrate books and love).
Holo. Los viajes de Àinos De Belle tells the story of a character who discovers that she has the power to make people into holographs, causing them to lose all connection with the real world. Àinos decides to take a period of emotional absence from her familiar social environment and make a new life for herself with seemingly no apparent consequences.
First, congratulations on the publication of your first novel.
Thanks to you all as well for having participated in a Sant Jordi 2016 that was so special for everyone at Fluidra.
The trilogy is based on characters whose lives suddenly take a dramatic turn. What drove you to start this adventure in the world of the fantastic narrative?
I was given the push by the person to whom I dedicated the first book in the series. She ignited a spark that became a latent heat, part of a fire that I apparently carried inside without even knowing it. After this fire came the belief in myself, in the path that I was already on as a person and in my ability to bring projects to fruition. This was the recipe or formula that started this adventure.
In terms of style, fantasy literature offers a wide range of possibilities that other literary disciplines limit and I feel very comfortable within the genre. I’ve got a great imagination that helps me to be visionary and because of this I couldn’t start out with another type of genre.
Who was your inspiration for the character of Àinos De Belle?
More than who, what. Look, imagine a situation where you’re having drinks with friends…something one of them said triggered my inspiration. From there, from that one sentence, I was able to create this character and this first story. When I designed the first strokes of the personality of Àinos De Belle I realised that everyone could somehow identify with her. Many of us, in one way or another, on occasion, have thought about how our lives would be if they were different than the ones we are living.
If you had the power of the book’s protagonist and could pause your life and dedicate yourself to new experiences, what would you like to do?
I would like to really get to know different aspects of the world we live in, travel as much as possible, interact with people, traditions and new cultures. The answer may be unoriginal, but travelling to other countries and immersing yourself in other cultures is something we are fortunate enough to do only a few times in our lives.
What can readers expect from the Holo trilogy? What would you like to convey with your work?
My intention is to entertain readers; I want them to get wrapped up in the three stories. The freshness and adventure of this first book will be transformed into new and much more exciting and complicated efforts to discover all the secrets hidden behind this power of turning people into holographs.
Beyond entertainment, with this novel I would like to offer a legacy, a memory and a style. We’ll see how it turns out.
On a professional level, what are your plans for the future? Do you want to be a writer, do you want to continue with your career or perhaps surprise us with something new?
Out of modesty and respect for literature’s outstanding professionals I prefer to say I’m more a storyteller than a writer. But I really enjoyed this experience and I have especially fond memories of presenting this first book in Barcelona, as well as of the plans, preparations, presenters, and some of the bonds of friendship that have been strengthened tremendously, along with the incombustible help of Marc Sellares, Marketing Manager, a colleague at Iberspa and close friend in life. Everything that I experienced a few months ago means that I’ll continue writing for sure. Although, if you had told me three years ago that a publisher would publish a story that I hadn’t even thought of yet, I would have had a hard time believing you. So, nothing is really certain and it’s obvious that talking about future plans is delicate and we also run the risk of being slaves to our words, but I see myself developing my career abroad, on some foreign continent like Australia, Asia or the Americas.
Finally, are you planning to translate the novel into other languages?
I’m sure the first language will be English and a particular concern I have is whether to translate it into Chinese. I think that this trilogy would really catch on in Asia. There may be some surprises in this regard.
Thank you very much, Alberto. We eagerly look forward to the release of the second volume!
We leave you with the trailer for the book and a link to the trilogy’s official website (in Spanish). Are you ready to discover the world of Holo?
- A colour: Blue
- A place for the perfect getaway: Zanzibar
- A book or film: Any that has adventure and/or mystery
- I couldn’t live without: Passion