Entrevista a Helen Davis

Helen DavisEntrevista a Helen Davis, autora de Evita.

How much time have you been writing? Why did you start writing?

I have been writing since I was a child and I started writing because I felt that many of my creative ideas needed to be expressed and shared with others, not kept to myself.

Why are all your novels based on a female character?

I identify with females and I feel that often the women in history are defined as their relations to the men in their lives. Whose wife or daughter or mother they were. I try to give voices to these women as complex characters and not merely attached to the men in their lives. They say behind every great man is a great woman and I like to bring these great women out of the shadows.

Who are the writers that inspire you? And why?

Jean Plaidy’s ‘Queens of England’ series was the inspiration for me telling my stories in the first person and trying to get inside their heads as though they are confidantes. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis have inspired me both in terms of fantasy and faith. Philippa Gregory gave me some much needed inspiration at the start of my career. Michelle Moran intrigued my desire to research ancient Egypt and pursue my passion for France. Margaret George’s ‘The Memoirs of Cleopatra’ inspired my desire for my CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED series.

You wrote a book about Isabella the Catholic before. Now you have written about Eva Perón. Why have you chosen these protagonists?

Evita and Isabella are probably the two most famous women in the Hispanic world. Much of Spanish and Latin American history is unknown in the United States.  Many people in the UK and US relegate Isabella to the sponsor of Columbus and Eva Peron to the musical Evita. There was so much more to both of these women than sponsoring Columbus or a musical. I wanted to bring their histories to light and show them as the movers and shakers they were.

Did you identify with Evita?

No. My cultural background and childhood were completely the opposite of hers, so she was indeed a challenge! Of all my protagonists, I have the least in common with her, which is ironic, as she is the closest to my time period. But her story was fascinating and there is a reason she continues to fascinate even today. I related to her more when I was a young teenager researching the book than as a grown woman publishing and marketing it. To get a picture for this, the only part I enjoyed writing was Evita’s trip to Paris, a part of Evita’s life that she did not enjoy. Still, she was a strong woman in a time and culture where that was an anomaly. I give her credit for that.

What is the most important thing for you in a book?

I want a book to be a work of art, to transport me to the time and place and also challenge me to think.

Why should we read Evita?

Evita is more than just Eva Perón’s story or her own declaration of her life.  It is a story of sometimes how getting what you want can corrupt and destroy your soul in the process and destroy those around you. It is the story of how fame and fortune cannot satisfy a soul that is truly empty and how good intentions do not outweigh bad outcomes. Evita and her husband likely did not set out to destroy the Argentine economy and genuinely believed they were helping the poor. But that did not change the fact that, for the most part, the sad story of the Argentine downfall can be mostly traced to the Peróns, and tragic mismanagements and neglect of women and the poor that led to their rise.  While the Peróns responded to real needs in Argentina at the time, their rule was still disastrous and the negatives outweighed the positives. If one offers a solution, it cannot be worse than the problem. Also, we should never tell ourselves ‘it can’t happen here.’ Argentina at the time of the Peron’s was a wealthy nation, second only to the US at the time. A sobering warning indeed.

Do you have any new projects?

I am working with a friend and business woman, MJ Michael, to tell a story about a special needs couple that met each other and found love and to reach out and help the special needs community in the United States. We are also planning to turn this into a movie and benefit charities and groups that reach out to this community. am also intrigued by Helen of Troy. She was mythical but could have been real, but beyond that, there is more to her than her legendary beauty. Helen’s story is one of survival mixed with tragedy, a potent allegory for real life. We will all face tragedies, but how we respond to them is what makes our character strong or weak. Helen, according to the myths, was a woman who picked up the pieces even when her life was destroyed and shattered– when she was taken from Sparta to Troy and after Troy’s destruction, when she had to return to her old life. It is easy to see her as a victim, but the legend shows a woman who reacted and made the best of it.

How would you define your experience with Calíope editorial?

I am very pleased with them. I enjoy the help and distribution.


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