Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Good Dictator {+ A Bonus}

I’m always delighted when I can introduce a new-to-me author and tell you about their latest release. Today I’m welcoming Goncalo J. Nunes Dias, who is here to talk about his release, THE GOOD DICTATOR: The Birth of an Empire (Volume 1).

There’s also an added bonus: you will be able to download the book for free May 19 and May 20 directly from Amazon and Smashwords.

Here’s a synopsis of THE GOOD DICTATOR:

An unidentified object parked on the moon - and no one seems to know where it came from. Gustavo, a middle-aged computer programmer with a comfortable and grey life, decides to make a list of what he would need to survive a hypothetical attack. He becomes obsessed with the list, spends a fortune, robs a drugstore: his own family thinks he is going insane. However, after the attack, it’s the insane who are well prepared for a new era in society.

First book of a trilogy. Excerpt: - I’ll ask you something and you may not decline. – Said Rute with a seductive look. - Tell me. - Today, you will have to have dinner with me as a way to repay you for all of your work. Gustavo gave a little laugh and placed his right hand on Rute's left arm. - You don’t have to repay me; I did it because I like your company. - I won't accept a no, please. At that moment, Gustavo felt like kissing her thin lips, but he thought that perhaps he was misreading her signs and feared being rejected. - I accept the invitation, then. But first, I will go home, take a shower, change, and bring some wine to water the food. - Perfect. – Rute answered with a pleasant smile. While he dressed up for dinner, Gustavo found himself a little nervous, he liked Rute and felt attracted to her, but he wonder if she felt the same way and it everything seemed so fast and recent that it was best to just have a single peaceful, relaxed night, in good company, and not to try any foolishness. He left home very elegant, with two bottles of red wine and with his hands sweating in anxiety. When he arrived, Rute was already dressed with one of Marta's beautiful dresses, which was somewhat weird for Gustavo. She was still cooking dinner, and they had an exciting talk which lasted the entire dinner, always watered with red wine, which soon made Rute a little tipsy, since she had not drunk for a long time. They talked about the past and their previous relationships. Rute confessed that she missed her two daughters and her father a lot, but she did not mention her grandson, because she did not want to give the image of being grandmother, she didn't even mentioned having missed her husband, because she actually did not feel that way. Gustavo talked about the list, his obsession with the attack, his idiotic parents-in-law, how they had gotten hold of power and the complicated political situation in which he was involved. He did not know whether or not he should kiss her, if he should make a move, if he was mistaking things; Rute on the other hand, felt like kissing him, but she was afraid he took her as an old woman, that the nine year difference would be too much for him. A little after finishing dinner, there was an uncomfortable silence; Gustavo did not know what to say, nor what subject to bring up, he thought silence was a signal it was time to depart, besides, tomorrow he would have to wake up early for the agricultural tasks. He got up, and when he was ready to speak, Rute got up with him and caught his hand softly; she thought of saying something to keep him from going, but she simply looked at Gustavo’s blue eyes; he was filled with courage and approached Rute’s face and lips slowly. After the first kiss, many others came and their hands ran across both of their bodies with more and more intensity; they got into the small bedroom without stopping their kisses as they took off their clothes as they took off their clothes in a clumsy manner and ended up naked on the old bed that Gustavo had brought a few hours ago.

Join me now in welcoming Goncalo as he answers some questions, Welcome, Goncalo.

Tell us about the main character, for example, what are his strong aspects and his weakness.

Gustavo, the main character, it’s a regular person with a comfortable job, nice house, small kids, but he doesn’t love anymore is wife (Marta).

Here’s two excerpts:
“… he had not loved her for some time. He did not think about getting divorced, Marta was a good mother for his sons, they had both gotten a good home, they even had a comfortable life, but he was sure that, but for the children, he would have already filed for divorce.”

“He had committed many mistakes in his life, he had failed in many aspects, but he wanted to be a good father, and the best thing for his kids was to be close to their mother, even if this meant he had to spend the life with someone so futile like Marta.”

Gustavo is a competitive person, even with their friends:
“Everybody turned to Gustavo waiting for a serious answer, without jokes, everybody knew he was calculating, practical and very logical. Gustavo, in turn, was sometimes rather competitive and knew that if he exposed his theory, they would want to do the same and this could lower his percentages of survival. At this very moment, he hated himself for thinking in such a selfish and competitive way with his old friends and that he probably would not see them again.”

When the object parked on the moon, he got obsessed with the list:
“The creation of the list had brought some adrenaline to his life, some hope in something new, in some sort of change. And now, there he was in one of his favorite places and he was thinking that he had failed, that the poor emotion he had for life had led him to the exaggeration of spending too much money, putting at risk his working place, and even worse, putting in risk his freedom after an unnecessary robbery.

While he was immersed in these thoughts, he saw his father open the old gated of the property and approach him. Gustavo sighed and thought that he would now have to hear his old father give him a moral lesson about life; accept your mistakes and don't fly into paranoia or exaggerations. That was exactly what he did not want right now, he had come to that place to be alone and now he would hear his father in a speech about common sense.”

Gustavo’s strongest aspects are probably his faster adaptable to a new situation, and he is a planner:

Gustavo laughed again, he looked down with an amused look and saw the great hate that emanated from The Fatty.

- Do you know why it came down to this? You on your knees and me standing and observing your village in flames? Because you’re the weakest link. You know, you fatty, in the animal world, the ones who adapt the better to the environmental conditions are the ones who survive, and just between you and me, we both have the best example of it. You, who still think you are the GNR commander and that someone will come from the past to make me pay for my deeds. While I have quickly adapted to the new reality: as soon as the craft landed on The Moon, I made a list of indispensable things, I spent a lot of money in this list, I robbed a drugstore and was considered to be crazy by my family, but when the attack occurred, this crazy one was the one who had adapted the best to the new environment. And, let me tell you: I longed for this attack; I was fed up with living my comfortable and gray life behind a computer.”

Gustavo’s weakness it’s probably his inability to improvise:
Gustavo remained quiet, feeling uncomfortable that Ramiro was better prepared than he was. He would've liked to have had a few minutes to think about some excuses, but he remained still, with no excuses, awaiting another wave of accusations and with some fear of what would come. Ramiro continued:”

The novel it’s a dystopian or a utopian?

I think dystopian and utopian came along, and depends on the perspective of the reader. When the book was released in the Portuguese market, some said: it’s a post-apocalyptic novel, others a dystopian and either another’s claims it was a utopian. For Gustavo and his friends are a utopian, because they try to build a better society.

Gustavo speaking:
“- I don’t do this for the power, Ramiro, I do this for our children, so that the future generation doesn't have to live in an unequal, corrupt and unprincipled society. I don’t want to be in power forever, I’m in favor of creating a law that one will only be able to be in public positions no more than eight years; after which, no privileges or special treatment are reward so that they have to go back to their work. Politics will be seen as a contribution to society and not as an opportunity to get rich and find well-paid state jobs for your friends. I do this so that your daughters and my children only hear about Swiss banks, tax havens and stock exchanges, like Wall Street, as things of a dark and greedy past from a lost society. I won’t allow you and your friends to change my view of the future.”

Goncalo, thanks for joining us today and sharing this insight into your story.

Now here’s a bit of background on the author.

Author Goncalo JN Dias
Gonçalo JN Dias was born in Lisbon in 1977, and graduated in Environmental Engineering and Natural Resources of the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco (Portugal). He lives today in the Basque Country, Spain.

The Good Dictator I, was his first novel, become a bestseller in Portugal and Brazil, consequently it was translated in two more languages.

Before writing the second part of the Good Dictator, he's now writing a crime fiction.

Besides writing, he is an Ork Tree Expert and Ornithologist.

For more on the author and his writing, visit his website and connect with him on Goodreads and Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by today during Goncalo’s visit. Remember you can download THE GOOD DICTATOR for free on May 19 and May 20. Do you enjoy learning about authors from other countries?


  1. Ooo - definitely something I would like to read!

  2. Not many would be prepared for such an attack.

  3. Such a fascinating context for a novel, Mason! I respect authors who do that sort of exploration in their writing. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This might be something different for me to read.

  5. I didn't even know there was such a thing as "utopian" in fiction! That makes sense, though.

  6. Wow, this sounds like a great read.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.