Fuerteventura magazine Interviews
Exhibition on the endemic fauna of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote
June 2023

Gabriel Capitán - Writer

“Further to a severe illness, I started my vocation as a writer”

Gabriel Capitán was born in Madrid, he studied to be a war graphic reporter and he did his military service in the Royal Marines andthought of making a career of it. This is where he discovered discipline and team spirit, which go well with his personality, therefore, he decided to remain in the army, in Special Operations. After various missions, he was drafted as an Intelligence Technical Operator and had a 20-year career dedicated to the safety of the population. We now know him as the writer of a novel that takes place during the conquest of the Canary Islands, which is a strong story, with good critics, called “Mahoh”.

Have you always had the vocation to write?

No, I only used to write my reports and not much else. It came further to a severe illness, a tuberculosis, which I caught at work, because I used to meet with people of various races, interviewing them, etc. It took a while to realise what it was, it took months of physical deterioration before it was diagnosed and then it turned into meningitis. I was told that they only saved 20% of adult cases, and I was one of those cases. Because of all the side effects, I was homebound, I couldn't drive, I had to undergo seven surgeries; I couldn't watch TV, or read, I was very tired and this is how I got the idea of creating “Mahoh” as a way to occupy the numerous hours I spent on my own. My wife set up a microphone on the computer and I started dictating the book, then, obviously, it had to be checked and amended a little.

Is this how you wrote your first book?

No, before that, I had already written a book called “El Mal Menor”, which is a story based on one of my friend's experience, who suffered the consequences of false accusations from his partner and all the process of personal growth that he experienced during this stage. This book was published by a publisher in Mainland Spain.

You seem very well now...

Thank you, until recently I was still walking with a stick and I used crutches before that. My professional experience helped me remain calm during the recovery process and I could even say that I have gone through a spiritual awakening, after years of stress, this break has given me a new perspective.

Tell us about “Mahoh”, you said that it is the first of a series of four books.

Yes, initially, the story was an enormous book that weighed more than one and a half kilos. It was impossible to commercialise it that way, and this is when we decided to convert it into a series of four smaller books, easier to handle. Firstly, I compared data from the archives of the University of Cadiz, and the archives of the Indies of Seville, with doctoral thesis, as well as information regarding the prices and locations of slave sales. I have a lot of data, although I didn't include all of it. I sent it to 23 publishers in the Canaries, and they replied that I was an inexperienced writer, which I still am. I left it in a draw, and instead, published “El Mal Menor” through a publisher in mainland Spain, which made me very happy, as I finally felt like a writer.

Do you have collaborators?

A philologist helps me, with another two collaborators, Ana and Yolanda, one of them does fast reading and ortho-typography and the other one detects all the mistakes. I need them because I suffer from a little dyslexia.

When is the next book due?

I believe that it should come out before the summer and the others will possibly come out at the end of the year.

Where can one purchase your book “Mahoh”?

It is available on Amazon, which has given me access to readers from many countries, but it is also available in the island's libraries, as I gave them copies.

Is it the same for “El Mal Menor”?

This one is mostly available in bookstores in Mainland Spain.