“The characters of “The Twin” are certain candidates for a film or at least a television series. They appeal to the reader, who almost without realizing it arrives at the awaited conclusion disoriented by the twists of the plot. And yet it is all there, and you cannot help but read the text, line by line, in order to not miss any of the adventure nor the pleasure of following a well written and even better designed book.”
It is not every day that one can read books of the category of “The Twin”. In this highly entertaining book romanticism is mixed with tension and drama. In an intelligent style, Briceño tells two parallel stories; one, the tragic tale of the twins Veronica and Fidel, and the other, the tale of the Lieutenant Mauricio Bonilla.
Veronica and Fidel, two young Colombians witness the rape of their mother and the assassination of their parents at the hands of the terrorists. Bravely, they prepare a trap for them, but as revenge the terrorists swear to kill them. They run away in search of safety, but their escape is hindered by dangers. The other story follows Mauricio, a young, intelligent Lieutenant, who is not only looking for love but also fighting to stop terrorism and all those who accompany them.
Many things impressed me about this book, the storyline and the exquisite language that the author adopts throughout. The plot is intriguing and keeps the reader in a constant state of suspense. The pace of the novel is neither too fast nor too slow. The language… Oh, the language!... brilliant, almost poetic. For example, on page 87, referring to the feelings of Mauricio it goes: “Wrapped in the warm embrace of that image of diva he felt himself swaying, feeling a comfort that he had never before experienced, and enveloped in that paradisiacal inspiration he let himself be cradled in the arms of Morpheus to continue dreaming perpetually.”
The sayings were fascinating, some I believe were Colombian, like: “No warp is safe from a thread becoming no twisted”. Something difficult to come across in literature are good similes, Briceño excelled in these, here are some examples of his talent as a writer: “The smell of dirty money attracted him like flies to excrement”, “He lived day to day, which had allowed him to develop his hunting instinct, he could smell prey like a wolf smells blood”, and some with humor, like: “The guerrillero who was whiter than a nun’s arse.”
I truly enjoyed reading “The Twin”; in a few words this book is entertaining, interesting and very well written: I recommend it.
I present my novel “The Twin”, with a very special greeting to all the Latin community of the United States and Canada, I invite you to read it with the certainty that you will find in its pages characters living a reality that far exceeds fiction.
“The story of The Twin is attractive for its particular way of expressing the feelings of revenge, love, desperation, hope… that in the words of Malraux “describe the inexorable human condition”; but in the middle of the plot of The Twin the most beautiful of feelings, love, always shines. Love, which moves the world and serves as an element to exorcize all the bad that a human can come to house in his soul and in his body. These reasons, among others, bring us to consider that The Twin must be published, in addition to having a clean prose, with a defined style and a very particular way of presenting situations”.
I was born in Bogota, Colombia in 1946. When I finished secondary school in 1967, I entered Jorge Tadeo Lozano University to study public accounting to follow my father’s wishes. After two years of balancing books, profits and losses, and a little itch that every day was telling me that I was on the wrong path, I decided to turn my life around. Thanks to the help of Dr. Jaime Forero Valdés, at that time a member of the University Union - (and whom I had the great fortune to meet again when he came to Australia accompanied by his wife, Miriam- recently named Consul General of Colombia) – I managed a quick transfer to study journalism, and four years later I received my Professional Journalist Accreditation, given by the Ministry of Education.
From that moment on, my journey through various forms of journalism gave me many amazing experiences and a few bitter ones. In the early stages of our work, with that elevated sense of justice that blooms like budding flowers and believing ourselves to be great innovators, two of my companions and I created “El Observador Judicial”, a weekly paper which brought with it two years of struggle, more battles lost than won, because of the poor legislation that protected journalists at that time. Any slight incursion by a journalist into the business of the government was seen as an act of an extreme leftist revolutionary. We were looked at as if the names Marx or Engels were tattooed on our foreheads. That was one of the first bitter experiences that made me feel as if I had been born in the wrong century.
After that frustrating attempt to become an entrepreneur and the struggle to become an ally to justice, I delved into something more concrete and started working with American Press, created by Colombian journalists, in which I developed professionally and refined my journalistic skills. Some years after I found out that for legal issues with a North American chain, they had to close the agency.
At that time, 1979, an economically powerful group from the Valley of Cauca took control of a small radio station and after a large investment, they managed to gather more than twenty-five stations under their company: Radio Group Colombia. I formed part of this organization for about two years and quietly retired when I found out that the investor left a lot to be desired and their ethical standards openly clashed with the sacred objectivity of good journalism.
Together with a retired army Major, I delved into written press and we created the “Revista Hosmilmedica”, a scientific publication for the Central Military Hospital of Bogota, which originally was published bimonthly. I also formed part of the writing staff of the magazine of the Army Mounted School until I finally created and directed my own publication, the “Revista Prevención”, about industrial security, which circulated nationally, distributed by the fire brigade of each city. My work with that publication brought me some nice surprises such as becoming the second lieutenant of the Volunteers fire brigade of Bogota.
It was then that I dedicated myself enthusiastically to print media, which gave me the opportunity to express my dissatisfaction in detail with the politics of the government, without realizing that for this I would have to flee my country some years later. Almost ten years earlier I had married Dolly Arroyave Eastman, who hailed from a municipal of Castilian lineage, Santana de Los Caballeros, better known as Anserma in the region of Caldas. This relation had allowed me to get to know a marvelous area: the coffee region of Colombia, recently declared a World Heritage Site for its gorgeous landscapes. From this marriage, I fathered two children. My frequent visits to this exuberant region worked their magic and I ended up living in Pereira, a beautiful, festive city.
There, I found the newspaper “Diario del Otun” that opened its doors generously for me. It was a young Conservative Party publication, in which I discovered for the first time how exciting it was to combine journalism and publishing. However, my sharp articles against the government of Cesar Gaviria (to make it worse, he was also from the coffee region), for his bad management of the narcoterrorist problem and the laughing stock he made of Colombia for that famous jail – “La Catedral”, ended up making me a persona non grata, not only for the government but for the mafiosos. So, as the thread always comes undone at its weakest point; after a assassination attempt which I attribute to the latter, I ended in me being hospitalized for two days in the San Jorge Hospital, while on the fifth floor, Francia Lucia Uribe, today my second wife, was breastfeeding my daughter Maria Fernanda, who decided to come two months early thanks to the anguish and terror of her mother and had to spend 17 days in a ventilator fighting for her life.
After that, I opted to leave Colombia, but I still have very good memories of certain bosses and extraordinary colleagues from that newspaper whom I still think of today, over twenty years later. I arrived in Australia on the 25th April 1995, full of fear and the frustration of trying to fit into a foreign country so far away from my own, with a large variety of cultures which at that time were unknown to me. But with the passing of the years they have taught me the enormous creativity and richness of their contribution to this great country, it’s quality of life and holding the honor of being one of the best places in the world to live. In this country, I married Francia Lucia and we spent our honeymoon in the paradise of the Gold Coast accompanied by our small daughter, Maria Fernanda, who enjoyed it the most; there was no human force that could tear her away from the pool. From my father I had inherited a good singing voice, an art which had been a big part of my social life in Colombia and here in Australia it supplemented our family income, two CDs are left as proof of this.
In the middle of these advances we grew and became closer as a family, my wife Francia Lucia, who with love has supported my difficult moments, is the center of my life. My children, Raul Francisco, Gloria Isabel and María Fernanda, whom I feel immensely proud of, have learnt to face life’s challenges with their great values, finding success in overcoming them. And my only grandchild, Samuel, thanks to the teachings of his father, I can be sure that he will also become a great man. All of this obliges me to give thanks for such good fortune.
I found at last, after quite a few years, the space and the tranquility that I searched for to let my imagination run free. Journalism continued to boil inside me and one day I took a pen and I let myself loose on sheets of paper, hundreds of which ended up in the trash. But there was something that came out of them, and that’s how seven stories, full of humor and mischievousness came to be. I gave them the title of “Con estos cuentos me acuesto” (Seven wonders before bed). I couldn’t help but write about a particular character who I admired immensely and with all the love I held for him, I wrote a short story about my brother Manuel, which I headlined “In Memoriam”.
With the confidence of having this book received very well, I launched into creating my first novel. It took sixteen months of between four and five hours daily, and, thanks to the patience of my wife and tons of coffee to help keep me awake, with great satisfaction I carved the final word into the final page. On the 21st November 2015, ‘La Melliza” (The Twin) made its debut into society, a memorable day for me. Many friends and acquaintances were present in that hall in Lidcombe, to remind me of the incalculable value of their friendship.