Carmen Mola was a popular Spanish novelist. Three male writers made her up

Carmen Mola was a popular Spanish novelist. Three male writers made her up

3:14pm Oct 18, 2021
The writer Carmen Mola, pseudonym of the writers Jorge Diaz, Agustin Martinez and Antonio Mercero, winner of the 70th edition of the Planeta Novel Prize, gives a press conference after the award ceremony, at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, on 15 Oc
The writer Carmen Mola, pseudonym of the writers Jorge Diaz, Agustin Martinez and Antonio Mercero, winner of the 70th edition of the Planeta Novel Prize, gives a press conference after the award ceremony, at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, on 15 Oc
Europa Press News / Europa Press via Getty Images

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. It certainly was in Spain last week.

During an event to award the country's prestigious Planeta literary prize, the famed but reclusive crime novelist Carmen Mola was actually revealed to be the creation of three male writers.

Antonio Mercero, Agustín Martínez and Jorge Díaz not only created a series of highly successful novels in Mora's name, but also invented the author herself.

Mola — or rather the trio behind the pseudonym — won the prize for the novel The Beast, though the author is perhaps best known for the Inspector Elena Blanco series. The award for first prize was 1 million euros, or roughly $1.2 million.

Mola had been called the "Spanish Elena Ferrante," a reference to the pseudonymous and highly popular Italian author behind My Brilliant Friend and other novels. The publisher Penguin Random House described Mola as "crime literature's boldest and most enigmatic author."

But the three writers decided it was time to come clean that Mola was a fiction herself.

"Carmen Mola is not, like all the lies we've been telling, a university professor," Díaz said, according to a report in the Financial Times. "We are three friends who one day four years ago decided to combine our talent to tell a story."

Mercero, Martínez and Díaz are TV screenwriters, the Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported.

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