I was born and raised in Contagem, an industrial town in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Contagem is a developed town, but its only cultural spots are its two shopping malls. Every time I wanted to see a play, go to a library or watch a non-mainstream film on a theatre, I had to take an hour and a half bus ride to Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state. I had to take that same ride everyday for four years to take my degree in Journalism. So I'd always bring a book with me, and must have read a million words during these bus trips. They were a huge part of my education.
You learned English from reading. How difficult was that?
It just came off naturally. We had English classes in school, but they just covered the basics. I didn't have internet at home until I was sixteen, so I liked to rent DVD's and watch English films without subtitles. After internet, it got much easier, as I could read websites and watch a ton of videos in English. Once I was confident enough, I started writing texts and sending them to websites. After a decade of practice, I guess I just got good.
Which authors did you concentrate on in those early days?
Your first novel was written in your native Portuguese. Can you tell us more about it and how it came about?
My first book was "Teorema de Mabel" ("Mabel's Theorem"), a novella about a young girl, Mabel, who dreams of becoming a writer. She gets an invitation to work as a secretary for her favourite writer, Milton Dantas, but finds out that what he really wants is her typewriting machine, which holds a very dark secret. I've always been fascinated by typewriters, and wanted to write a book about them. "Teorema de Mabel" brought me a lot of joy and the chance to appear in local media. I have plans to translate it to English myself.
Your new novel, 'Killing Dr. Watson' was written in English. That must have been a challenge?
My mother has a saying: when you don't know something is impossible, you may have a chance of succeeding on it. That's what I did. Writing in a different language is harsh as it is, but writing literature is simply insane! Plus, I was on my last year in college, doing my monograph on TV series Elementary, and applying for my Masters at the University of Buckingham. In the end it all worked up well: I got my degree, finished my book and was accepted at Buckingham. Only now I see how crazy that was.
Ah, Buckingham...I spent my teenage years there!! Briefly, without giving anything away, what is the novel about?
"Killing Dr. Watson" is a novel about fandom. My main character, Jerry Bellamy, is obsessed with a BBC series called "The Baker Street Sleuth", where Sir Bartholomew Neville played Sherlock Holmes. The book starts at a TV series convention, when Jerry is eager to meet his idol. But after a series of bizarre events, they find out there's a serial killer going after the actors who played Watson in the different seasons of the show. Neville and Jerry team up to solve the mystery, like modern Holmes and Watson, with one major difference: neither of them is that smart, which makes it even harder to catch the killer.
Have you plans for another similar work?
I really enjoy writing crime novels, and will certainly return to the genre. Another thing I'd love to do is a spy thriller, but this isn't my next project yet. I have a great idea for a private detective character that I'll develop throughout 2016.
And what of the future, what are your immediate plans?