A chance encounter on the beach, a spontaneous question from a boy, and thus begins the engaging narrative of the most recent book by author Alberto Dal Molin Filho. Entitled “Do you want to be my father?”, the novel weaves a story full of emotions and twists, capable of touching readers deeply.
Through a fluid prose that intertwines dialogues with the internal reflections of the characters, the author traces the journey of a family that forms almost by chance. Ronei, a lonely man and owner of an insurance company, meets a boy on the beach who changes the course of his life. This encounter leads him to fall in love with the boy’s mother, Márnei. However, they need to confront their own pasts marked by loneliness and frustrated relationships in order to build a solid love.
The book unfolds in eight parts, traversing time and following the maturation of this peculiar relationship. As the years go by, the children grow up and go their own ways. But it is the central character, endowed with extrasensory abilities and precognitive dreams, who faces a tragedy when she is diagnosed with leukemia. From that crucial point on, the family members are challenged to deal with the loss of the woman who has always occupied a fundamental place in their lives.
“Want to be my dad?” it’s not just a story; it is a deep exploration of meanings. The book emphasizes the importance of listening to children’s voices and, at the same time, deals with coping with emotional voids. In this context, it deals with universal human experiences, such as family ties, the small achievements of everyday life, the search for purpose and the need for genuine connections.
The author, born in Rio Grande do Sul, Alberto Dal Molin Filho, is a Master in Mechanical Engineering and has postgraduate degrees in Human Ecology, as well as degrees in Natural History and Legal and Social Sciences. Furthermore, he is a master of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. With five books already published, including “Want to be my father?”, Dal Molin Filho is a storyteller committed to exploring the deepest aspects of human relationships and emotions.
The title of your book “Do you want to be my father?” draws attention right from the start. Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind this intriguing title?
As I did every morning in the summer, I went for a run along the beach in Xangri-lá, RS, to the Atlantic Platform, a journey of around 10 km. The day was sunny and pleasant. On the way back, I passed a blond boy of about 5, who smiled at me. His mother, very young, blonde and very beautiful, too, smiled, following her son’s gesture. At that moment, as I walked back, I had the insignia of the title and all the chapters in the book. I got home and wrote them. In the days that followed, I went on to develop each one of them.
The book’s narrative balances dialogues with internal reflections of the characters. How did you develop that narrative style and what was the challenge in creating that balance?
In reality, when I write a book, I live the character, I feel what he feels and I describe his attitudes, always taking into account his values and his desire to overcome. In this way, the characters act and reflect their most intimate intentions within the reality in which they are living.
The story of “Want to be my dad?” revolves around the formation of a family almost by chance. What led you to choose this topic and explore this approach?
What made me choose this theme was the look on the boy’s face, as I’ve already mentioned, who was saying to me: do you want to be my father? And, for the moment we are going through in our society, that question mobilized my feelings, in order to make it possible for that request to be satisfied and a new family to be formed.
One of the plot elements is the extrasensory ability of the main character. How did you approach this most fantastical aspect of the story?
Faced with any fact in our lives, our imagination fluctuates in all directions. In this way, I transferred to the characters this ability to let their imagination run free. However, even among us, many people have the ability to envision the events of the future and, these, come true – extrasensory ability. So, I put in the character something that is possible for us to happen, and which was suitable for her profile.
The work addresses several complex themes, such as relationships, coping with emotional voids and loss. What message do you hope to convey to readers through these themes?
The book shows how people can get out of the emotional void in which they find themselves, if they are open to the flow of appeals from the universe that surrounds them: to gestures, smiles, words, caresses and emotions. It shows that a relationship, just like a seed sprouts and becomes a beautiful flower, needs to be taken care of, accompanied and nourished with words, caresses and a lot of dialogue. It shows that the couple needs to know the rules that each one has established for themselves, so that each one can respect them. It shows that loss is inherent to its humanity and that it is possible to re-signify it, and thus transform it into a memory that edifies, that illuminates and that encourages people to go through life with a beautiful memory.
“Want to be my dad?” it is divided into eight parts that go through the time and maturation of the characters. How did you structure the narrative to encompass this evolution over the years?
I brought to the narrative of the book: Quer Ser Meu Pai?, the sequence of moments that happen in a family. From the moment of the birth of love between people, who had promised themselves that they would not be in another relationship, as well as the fruit of that love, which becomes one of the focuses of attention of the whole family. Without, however, forgetting the context involving the two children, who were also part of this family. The book shows that the evolution of time can allow for an ever-increasing link, if everyone is committed to contributing to make it happen.
The main character of the book faces leukemia, a tragic moment in history. How did you approach the delicacy of this topic, keeping the balance between drama and hope?
To that dedicated mother, who accompanied her with smiles, gestures and beautiful words at every moment when everyone was by her side; to that mother, who she listened to, who dedicated herself, who was beside each of her children or her husband; to that mother, who lit up any environment where she was, with her delicacy, her affection, towards everyone who was by her side. The family came to love this mother under any circumstances: whether when she invited everyone to a beautiful dinner by candlelight, and dancing with her husband, or when she put on makeup to prevent her son, who was studying in the USA, from discovering that she was seriously ill. This mother, who everyone loved so much, when stricken with a serious illness, continued to be loved as before, however, a love that takes into account that she can leave them, without, however, ceasing to love her, as it happened.
In addition to the emotional story, her book also touches on topics such as the importance of listening to children and forming deep relationships. How do you think these themes might resonate with readers?
Children, in their innocence and spontaneity, feel, but cannot express their feelings. All the people who live with these children, from parents, kindergarten teachers, nannies, doctors, have to interpret what they would like to say. The book Quer Ser Meu Pai seeks to give voice to this call from children to be better understood. It does show that we should listen to them more; that we have to take into account what they say in half words, or in gestures, or in crying and tears. The child, who was the protagonist of this book, shows how much it was necessary for her to have a father. And more, that she, in her innocence, was responsible for the formation of a family that brought her much love and affection.
As the author of five books, you have a variety of topics in your bibliography. How do you choose the topics you want to explore in your stories?
I don’t choose a topic in advance to write a book. I have the inspiration for a certain theme because of the moment and the feeling that this fact generates in me. However, once the theme is chosen, I write books, such as: 1. THE FACES OF GRATITUDE – with facts from my family’s life – in which in 1918, due to the Spanish flu, thousands of people died, including my grandparents, leaving only five orphans, one of them being my mother. 2. A BOX OF BOMBONS – in which a homeless and drug addict wins a box of chocolates and a mission, and, by fulfilling the mission, manages to overcome himself, being able to overcome his difficulties and become a great businessman. 3. DO YOU WANT TO BE MY FATHER? – in which a boy’s words to a stranger transform his life, create bonds of love and form a new family. 4. MANI. THE SCIENCE OF TOMORROW – in which the protagonist commits his fortune to create an institute capable of developing a science capable of discovering his father’s kidnappers and murderers and shows that science is capable of solving most problems. 5. HOW I FELT WHEN YOU LEFT – in which a businessman, who dedicated himself a lot to his foliage, at a certain point in his life, when he was affected by a serious illness, starts to have his confidants in these plants, who describe the businessman’s life .
In addition to being a writer, you have a background in several areas, including Mechanical Engineering and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. How do these experiences influence your approach to writing and character creation?
Undoubtedly, my training helped, both in the perception of the profiles that the characters have, as well as in the positions they take in certain situations. However, the great idea for a writer is fundamental. And both the idea and the originality it represents are the precious pearls that writers seek. On the other hand, my experience in different areas of knowledge, as well as my personal experience, are bringing me great benefits, as they allow me to write about different topics, which are so significant at the moment.
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