“Raul Sojo Montes is one of the Venezuelan writers who is in possession of an innovative and potent storytelling, without a doubt, this text will make its echoes heard across our landscape.” Jose Antonio Parra, El Nacional, Caracas.
The first novel by Raúl Sojo Montes, Seguros de Justicia, c. A. (Justice’s Insurance, Inc.) published in Venezuela by Oscar Todtmann publishing house, have been presented in Miami at the Altamira Libros bookstore on Thursday, June 8, at 7 pm, and in Caracas on Friday, June 16 at the bookstore El Buscón. Right in the middle of Venezuela’s current situation, public, journalists, readers, and poets gathered in a warm and fraternal environment in both venues.
In Miami, they savored the hors d’oeuvres offered by chef Eduardo Franco’s Il Vaporetto restaurant, while it was taking place the “give and take” of Raúl Sojo Montes and the combative journalist Tamoa Calzadilla, the book presenter.
A week later, in Caracas, the journalist and criminologist Javier Ignacio Mayorca introduced the novel. In the midst of an unreliable and unpredictable environment in the country, it was comforting not only that the event took place, but also that could be enjoyed the Venezuelan liquor, Cocuy, made with Agave and some gourmet pastry.
In representation of the publishing house, the writer Kira Kariakin acted as master of ceremonies in both venues. Kariakin spoke about the interest that the manuscript arose from the beginning at OT, and immediately thereafter, she introduced both, Calzadilla in Miami, and a week later, the editor Carsten Todtmann and Mayorca in Caracas.
Calzadilla preferred the format of the interview to get into the essence of the plot and to the motivations of the author to develop such a story. During the interview, they talk about the possibility in a dystopic reality of the existence of a criminal insurance company with policies that guarantee according to the premium, the bribery of prosecutors and judges, having jail cells with air conditioning and TVs, protection by prison bosses (“prans,” in the Venezuelan prison slang), the availability of guns, and even escapes.
After Todtmann brief speech, Mayorca made an eloquent introduction to the novel and described as “a compulsive reading” his experience as well as explored the fact that the main plot is not far from reality as could be thought. That the dystopia is a reality in Venezuela, all that while the author was watching the event through WhatsApp. Afterwards, with a video presentation, Sojo gave thanks and talked briefly about his novel experience as a writer and what meant to him give homage to all the journalists of Venezuela, that is this harsh times are risking their life and safety to uncover the injustice of an authoritarian government.
OT Editores was very pleased with both presentations. They were both very successful and count with the support and enthusiasm of the public, the author’s family and friends, both in the United States and Venezuela.
Rogelio, the main character, was tired of struggling to make ends meet, and decided to participate in a fraudulent import scheme using government-subsidized dollars exchange rates. To his bad luck, he will become a show of corruption enforcement, at a time when the revolutionary government is suffering from bad numbers in the polls. From that moment on, his life will be in the hands of Pulgarcito, CEO of Justice Insurance, Inc; sharing his woes with his friend Arjona, a prisoner awaiting trial; and protected by the prison boss Tocuyo, the criminal leader of the prisoners in the La Planta prison, in Caracas.
According to Sojo, “This is a protest book, which seeks to reflect the dystopian society of the 5th Republic in Venezuela. All the characters are obviously fictional, but some of the subplots were based in real cases. A prisoner, who is in jail because he was the victim of identity theft by a criminal, was inspired by something that happened to me. I mention high-profile corruption cases; crimes that will become a reference of recent years. Some of them are painful to recall, such as the case of Nathaly Trujillo, to whom I dedicated the book. But what’s most incredible is that no matter how creative you can get, there is no way you can match the actual facts.”
Raúl Sojo Montes, journalist, was born in Caracas on January 22, 1980. He studied high school in the San Ignacio de Loyola School, and he obtained his bachelor’s degree as part of the first promotion of the Universidad Santa María. A film enthusiast, he has done remarkable work as a photographer and filmmaker. In this, his first writing undertaking, Sojo Montes puts the camera aside, to shape words into a contemporary story. Twitter: @sojon, Instagram: @sojomontes.
Its lifelong director, Carsten Todtmann, experienced publisher and photographer, founded Oscar Todtmann Editores in 1973. Since 1994, he has jointly run the company with Luna Benítez, a journalist and cultural manager, a partnership that has brought prominence and uniqueness to their effort in Venezuela.
The company has published over one hundred titles in a wide range of topics in its various collections and formats. Highly influential photography books; scientific, ecologic and environmental works; a well as Oscar Todtmann has published literature, poetry, philosophy and essay. The quality of its products has earned numerous awards and accolades from national and international institutions.
You can find more information about Oscar Todtmann Editores in Twitter: @oteditores, and in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OscarTodtmannEditores or by writing to [email protected], [email protected].
Seguros de Justicia, C.A is sold at Altamira Libros in Coral Gables, Miami, and in major bookstores in Venezuela. The kindle version and the pocketbook edition are in Amazon.
For additional information, please contact:
Kira Kariakin / OT editores [email protected],
[email protected], or directly to Raúl Sojo Montes
Telephone Raul Sojo +1 (718) 4501147.