“Mesmo se a Tempestade Chegar” emerges as an intriguing science fiction, weaving deep reflections on burning themes in Brazilian society. The author, Paulo Pera , weaves an engaging narrative, exploring issues such as fanaticism, the consequences of hate speech, abuses of power and philosophical reflections on the essence of the fight for humanity. The plot follows Soulfly, a protagonist who awakens without memory in a hospital, triggering a journey marked by twists and turns and reflections on his past linked to the group Salvadores da Terra. In a fragmented narrative, with brief chapters and flashbacks, the author keeps readers eager to unravel the enigmas that surround this main character.
What inspired you to address themes such as bigotry, hate speech and abuses of power in “Mesmo se a Tempestade Chegar”?
The book began to be written when I was still a teenager, with a romantic novel premise and a touch of fantasy, but it ended up sitting idle for about ten years. When I resumed writing, I already had a different view of society, with expanded experiences and perspectives. When reflecting on past societies that submitted to tyrannical leaders, I questioned how this was possible and realized that these events often repeat themselves in our own time. I was motivated to explore this topic because I believe it deserves attention, especially as it unfolds amid alienation caused by the media, overwork, and, more recently, social media. The book’s initial approach may seem simple, but as the pages progress, readers begin to notice similarities with historical tyrannies and how initially seemingly harmless feelings can evolve into a tragic outcome.
Can you tell us a little more about the protagonist Soulfly? How did you develop this character throughout the story?
Soulfly is one of those people who admits they have lost hope in humanity. He grew up in a problematic family, always on the margins of society and far from any family support, with a worldview limited to the social problems that surrounded him. When he finds a group of people with similar experiences and the power to effect changes he felt were necessary, he joined them without question. Although he notices misconduct within the group and feels that its objectives favor success to the detriment of other groups, Soulfly only understands that he is on the wrong side when he meets Sara, who makes him question the group even more and realize that he was supporting a tyrannical leader. . It’s like when we live in social bubbles and someone from the outside presents us with a different perspective on events.
The work seems to mix science fiction, romance and fantasy. How did you balance these elements to create a cohesive narrative?
It was a mix facilitated by the contemporary setting in which the story takes place. We currently live in a reality that was previously considered science fiction, and the elements of science fiction and fantasy that underlie the plot are not so far from the current reality. The biggest speculation I make when using these elements is to explore how humanity would react in the face of a revolution as significant as the one presented in the book.
There are influences from anime and manga, such as Dragon Ball and Knights of the Zodiac, in his work. How do these references integrate with the story and the audience you want to reach?
These animes were a fundamental part of my childhood and adolescence, and brought up important themes, such as the importance of friendship and the determination to protect those who cannot defend themselves. In addition to these themes, I used these influences to create the fantasy environment where energies can be manipulated outside the body, something that is also explored in “Knights of the Zodiac” and “Dragon Ball” with the concepts of “Cosmo” and “Ki “. These elements, combined with action, humor and moments of violence, attract the attention of all readers who also consumed this content on TV in the 90s and 2000s.
Fun fact: the title of the book was taken from the song that ends the episodes of Dragon Ball GT, and the narrative structure involving the characters Soulfly and Sara was inspired by the lyrics of the same song.
What was the creative process like when exploring ethics, morality and the defense of human life in the context of the plot?
Exploring ethical, moral issues and the defense of human life in the context of the plot was a challenge, as it involves complex and controversial topics that we frequently encounter in our lives. The idea of overpopulation, for example, is a common reflection when we discuss the future of humanity, something that was also addressed in an impactful way in Dan Brown’s book “Inferno” and in Marvel’s film “Avengers”. However, it is alarming how some people adopt simplistic solutions, such as mass destruction, when faced with these dilemmas. This lazy solution, unfortunately, resonates with some individuals who prefer not to engage in deeper reflections, or to seek sustainable, more complex, more labor-intensive solutions, with long-term investments, that could benefit society and the world as a whole.
Even if the Storm Comes” was the winner in the “Romance” category of the Curitiba Cultural Foundation’s public notice. How did this achievement impact you as an author?
It was an achievement I didn’t expect. For an author who has not yet published a novel, the opportunity to have their book published free of charge is rare and valuable. This achievement made me realize that what I write has an impact and that even beginning authors have space to share their stories on pages and shelves throughout Brazil.
You mentioned that the book will be donated to libraries and reading centers in Curitiba. How do you see the importance of disseminating the work in cultural institutions?
As a writer, my main goal is for my work to be read and reach as many people as possible. Placing the book in libraries and reading houses is an effective way of sharing a single copy with several people, saving resources and reaching new readers looking for new literary experiences. This is important for the dissemination of literature and to encourage reading, especially among younger audiences.
You are also an actor, writer and screenwriter. How do these different artistic expressions complement each other or influence your creative work?
Like every artist, I also seek inspiration from various sources for my work. Literature has always been a big influence, both in terms of narrative and writing styles, but my work as an actor and screenwriter also plays an important role. “Even if the Storm Comes” not only has inspirations from anime, but also references to the cinematic world, especially with superhero themes. I am an enthusiast of this type of content, and this consumption ends up spilling over into everything I write.
Who is the central message you hope to convey to the readers of Even If the Storm Comes to?
I believe it is a message to all of us, that we must be constantly careful not to fall into hate speech and not support harmful actions in the name of the greater good. Often, those who initiate these speeches do not understand the consequences they can generate, and we can create traps ourselves when accepting these ideas. We are all susceptible to falling into these traps, and reading a book like this can help us recognize similar situations that may arise in our lives or those of those around us.
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