As a premonition came the title of the sixth novel by Sonsoles Ónega (Madrid, 42 years old). The presenter, who every day at 13:30 in Telecinco ‘takes the lead in’ Ya es mediodía ‘publishes’ Mil besos prohibidos ‘(Planeta), before premiering as host of’ La casa fuerte ‘, un nuevo’ reality ‘by Mediaset.
–How is it possible that the title is applicable to the current situation?
“I never thought it could be prophetic.” At the time it was written, and even delivered to the publisher, none of this had happened, but, effectively, it has become a prophecy of the times we live, without kisses, without hugs, and with more desire than never to do it.
–When does one decide that this is his last novel?
–I think about it every time I put an end point (laughs). I usually tell my sister (Cristina Ónega), who is the one who suffers the most from the creative process. “Remind me not to write more, please,” I say, but she says, “You won’t be able to, and you know it.” With which, we end the conversation and wait to reopen a folder titled ‘X’ and start from scratch. So there is no last novel except for the imposition of life.
– What led you to tell this story?
–I really wanted to shake off the complexity of a difficult, and above all, interrupted love. I believe that if there is something that equals us human beings, it is having a first love broken or interrupted by whatever circumstances. From that idea, I built everything else, and being contemporary, it has also allowed me to delve into the seams of everything established. The novel, beyond the love story, aims to reflect on two issues that personally concern me: the right to choose how we die, which is the plot of the protagonist’s mother; and the consequences of everything that has happened to us as a country after the great economic crisis and also of the values and institutional that we have suffered.
–How do you combine literature with your working life on TV?
–With a little sacrifice and a lot of organization. In my case, literature has a total balmy part. I do not understand life without writing, which does not mean that I do not conceive it without publishing. I have the need to write, and when I do it it’s like the one who goes to the gym and gets four hours of spinning. For me it is therapeutic, and I land on the mainland. As much vertigo as the blank page gives, in the end it is a safe port.
–In a few weeks, ‘It’s already noon’ turns two years old.
– Yes! Day 15. We already had the creature more or less walking when another project arises …
– In addition, on Sunday he presented a gala of ‘Survivors’. Was it a kind of contact to prepare ‘The strong house’?
–It was contact, because it hadn’t been. Neither with that set, nor with a team that knows how to do entertainment so well, nor with a similar format … If the result has been good, then better for everyone, not only for me, but for all the machinery behind it, which I’m still open-mouthed from what I saw on Sunday night. It is not at all like a reporter’s street work, nor what we can do in a magazine. It is something else, and here we go, ready to learn many of those who know.
–Why did you decide to accept the proposal of a format so different from what you usually do?
–Because a boss is never told no (laughs). The truth is, I didn’t have much time to think about it. I took it as an opportunity to explore a new format. I think that on television everything is communication, from the morning news to the ‘reality’ that closes the ‘prime time’. I have no prejudice when it comes to facing formats, although there is then a tendency to pigeonhole you. I don’t understand why I was going to be a different journalist today, than yesterday, or two years ago, when I started in ‘Ya es mediodía’.
– It followed this type of programs, or was as a result of the section of ‘It is already noon’?
-You approach things when you have the obligation or responsibility to talk about them. I was not a huge fan of ‘reality’, but it is true that with the ‘Fresh’ section of ‘It is already midday’ I began to get closer to the characters and the plots. I recognize that they are spaces of distraction and entertainment that are frankly well made. If there is someone capable of doing it just as well, raise your hand, and I already say that there are not many people in the room.
-Are you asking the casting for something?
-I wish I could ask, but the truth is that I don’t want to know anything. Thus, if it leaks, they cannot point me out, and besides, I feel like experiencing it with the emotion of the viewer. There is a lot of expectation, and I go at his own pace.
-Does this step mean that you are gradually leaving the current political scene?
“I don’t think so, unless I am forced to quit.” It is not on the table at all. ‘The strong house’ has a specific duration, I still do not know what it will be, but I will continue in ‘It is already noon’, and I hope it will live long. I still find the current electrifying, and I don’t think I’m moving away from it.
-And wouldn’t you like to take a politician to a ‘strong house’?
-I think that everyone should propose to do a retreat, preferably without cameras, to try to find some point of agreement between them. And I am absolutely convinced that they would find it. The problem with politics is that you rub too little, and talk only with cameras on. There are no discussion spaces outside the halls of Congress, and the chamber where there are dozens of cameras that record everything, with which, politics has become a spectacle, and, unfortunately, the institutions, a stage. There is no respect and we do not have any type of institutional education.
-Now that you are going to present a ‘reality’. What do you think if you look back to when you were a parliamentary chronicler?
-I dont believe it. Oh my gosh. The opportunities that have been giving me I have taken advantage of as I have known, but I had never considered doing a program, a magazine like ‘It is already noon’, much less a ‘reality’. I myself am the first surprised.