What: Author of ZERO SAINTS, HUNGRY DARKNESS, and GUTMOUTH. His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist. Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbicide, and many other print and online venues.
Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.
ZERO SAINTS is one of the most original crime novels I’ve read in a while. What was the inspiration for this story? How did it evolve as you wrote it?
Thanks! I had something to say. There is something that folks in the streets go through that is amplified by inhabiting Otherness. I wanted to tell a crime story that was weird, but that also dealt with loneliness, fear, and identity. Folks love genres and categorizing authors, but I write nonfiction, crime, horror, and bizarro. I knew there was a way to bring them all together. I started writing ZERO SAINTS and let the story tell itself. I also decided that this one was going to have a lot of my past and that I was going to tell it in Spanglish because that was the only way it would sound authentic. It got darker and weirder from there. I don’t outline things the way the pros do, so the narrative developed as I wrote, elements came into play, and fun took over.