“The Exterminating Angel” is not just a revenge story; it’s the story of a death and a rebirth, of someone who died without dying, in its own mind, and became someone diametrically opposite in order to survive.
I wrote it before “Kill Bill” was even made, perhaps, in the early 00’s, and I first got it published in 2010; even though Uma Thurman is one of my favorite actresses, I did not model Karla Engel on her. (I think is worth to point out that Tarantino’s movie fit a very specific sub-genre of exploitation movies, popular in the 70’s, called rape and revenge; just in case I end up being accused of lack of originality.)
The strongest image that I retain from this story is when Karla Engel stares into the mirror, a blue eye and a brown eye staring back at her, with different hair lengths framing her face.
Exterminating Angel, a song by British band The Creatures, was the spark that worked as a catalyst for the story to be written.
A Portuguese version of this book is on the works right now, and it will be enriched with illustrations from Portuguese artist Sérgio Aranha; it is likely that there might be an English version soon after.
The subtitle (City of Industry Book 1), means that this story is set on a fictional city called Saint Paul, where all my stories take place, and that this book is part of the series I called the City of Industry Series, of which this is the fifth title; it is also the expression of my wishful thinking, in the sense that I hope this is first volume of the series to be translated into English but not the last.
Karla Engel reappears on the third part of the story as the protector of a little girl, Raphaela. It’s a sort of an update of a fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, although, as Brian Aldiss said about Stanley Kubrick’s Artificial Intelligence, it might not be very «healthy» to consciously rewrite fairy tales.
This book is not is not an instruction manual or a manifesto; it is rather an emotional response to an issue I’ve been aware of since I can remember myself and the world around me: violence against women. (I grew up in a Catholic country in southern Europe where, unfortunately, violent acts against women happen too often.) I cannot fathom that this issue is so current almost twenty years into the 21st century, the same way I think it’s strange that people, specially men, were so surprised by the rise of the #MeToo movement. As I’m not an advocate of any kind of violence, revenge, in the context of this story, is to be read as justice.