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Hermes Solenzol

My real name is Juan Carlos Marvizon. Hermes Solenzol is the penname I use for writing. 

My life has been complex, interesting and full of adventure. I am Spanish but I was born in Rome, where I spent the first years of my childhood. I still have many memories of that Italian stage. When I was five my parents returned to Spain. We lived in the Canary Islands for a year and then in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Northwestern Spain.

 

Galicia got under my skin. My early years were forged by days of incessant rain punctuated by the few sunny days that filled my eyes with radiant colors, as if somebody had just washed the landscape.

 

Things started to change for me when my father dragged me to a children's club run by the conservative Catholic organization Opus Dei. They begun a long period of indoctrination. At fourteen I traveled to Rome to visit the Pope and the “Father”, Saint José María Escrivá de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei. And so began the pressure to make me a member of Opus Dei.

When I was fifteen, we moved to Madrid. My last year of High School was at a school run by the Opus Dei. Paradoxically, that was what saved me. I was in love with science and had also started reading books on Eastern mysticism. The training they gave us at school was steeped in the most stale Catholicism and collided with my self-taught science and spirituality. I had a painful crisis that culminated in my abandonment of Christianity.

What followed was like a huge breath of freh air. I went to college to study Chemistry and then Biochemistry. I practiced yoga, read a lot and started climbing. With a friend, I went exploring all the organizations and sects that we could find in Madrid: the Children of God, the Baha'i, Guru Maharj Ji, Swami Yogananda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi... I was mostly drawn to the yogis of Swami Sivananda, and then the Siloístas, an organization halfway between mysticism and politics from Chile and Argentina. I lived in Paris a couple of times while doing my doctoral thesis and my first postdoc. I started practicing Zen Buddhism.

In 1986, I came to the United States for the first time. I had the feeling that I was leaving Spain forever. However, I returned to Spain after three years, where I spent two years that ended up disappointing me with the state of science in my country. In the US I had tasted the sweet liquor of independent research and I could no longer adapt to the hierarchy and narrow-mindedness of the Spanish university.

 

In 1991, I returned to the US for good, this time to California. I married a woman whom I had met during my previous stay in the US. Here I was able to dedicate myself thoroughly to my favorite sports: climbing, scuba diving and skiing, for which California is a true heaven. The thirty years that I have lived in California passed like a dream. There were some major changes in my life during that time, however, such as having a daughter and changing my research topic to pain physiology.

In 2010, another unforeseen change occurred. I began to write a novel, putting in it certain erotic fantasies and some autobiographical details. I was hooked. I couldn't stop writing. Every night I would come home tired from work, turn on the computer, and type until well after midnight. On the weekends I no longer wanted to go climbing or diving, but to stay at home living the adventures of my character Cecilia Madrigal. In just over a year I had finished the first draft, which had grown to such inordinate dimensions that I decided to turn it into a trilogy. After an unsuccessful attempt to publish on Tusquets, I was convinced that it was best to self-publish using Amazon Kindle, Smashwords and D2D.

 

​In 2020, coinciding with the coronavirus pandemic, I retired from my position as a university professor. At 63 and in excellent health, it may have been a bit early to retire, but I want to start a second career as a writer. It hurts to leave scientific research behind, but if I want to carry out my book projects, I have to start now.