I hate lists. Especially I strongly dislike lists that have to do with literature. Surely you have seen them. They are the ones that announce, "The ten best novels of the year" or "Ten tips that will help your writing" or "Ten rules to create a good plot". I wonder why there are always ten? Don’t you think it would be more interesting if they were "The Eight Best Novels" or "The Six Tips"? It just seems that the use (or abuse) of the word “ten” shows little creativity. Still, I’ve heard that that “ten” is a number that helps to "sell well". They say it's like the word "love" or the word "dog." Apparently more novels are sold when the title contains one of those words. And thus you have "Amores Perros" (not sure how to translate that one) by Guillermo Arriaga, "The City and the Dogs" by Vargas Llosa and "The Hungry Dogs" by Ciro Alegría, to name a few. Somehow or other we have all had something to do with that animal. And what about love? Not even God is saved from that cupid. The number ten is the same. Counting by tens is one of the oldest methods in the history of mankind. Not for nothing we have ten fingers in the hands.
But there is another reason why I hate those lists. I think about everything that was eliminated. Which novels or authors were rejected? I need to know because those are, precisely, the ones I want to buy. The "less favored" authors and books seduce me. I like to support those who struggle against all odds. Let's say I feel some loyalty (or affinity) with them. Maybe that's why when I profile my characters I make sure they are "a seven" or " a five." I “flunk” them on purpose. I want them to be lacking or to have too much or something. So there is Gabino, for example, the protagonist of “La casa de los secretos”: he is handsome but rebellious, or Ramón, who is a stud but has an ager problem. And then there is Don Lencho, the gardener, who is as good as bread but is one-eyed and Patricia who is a woman of strong character but too soft with matters of the heart.
It is very possible that neither my novels, nor my characters, will ever occupy a space in those famous lists of "ten". Besides, think about it, how how many Latin American women authors are included in those lists? Ah! But that is a subject to write about another time ... Here I just want to celebrate those authors who were excluded and to suggest to you, my dear readers, that you must be wary of those lists. "Seemingly perfect" characters (and people) are like those who do not drink coffee. They are not to be trusted. Don't you agree?