Tell me a little about Mezcalero:
Mezcalero is the story of two journeys. The first involves the travels of our troubled protagonist, Detective Ernesto Sánchez, as he seeks a missing Canadian woman on Mexico’s crime-ridden Pacific coast. The second is within Sánchez himself: born a woman, but now very much a man, our hero Ernesto is on a perilous voyage of personal discovery.
Mezcalero takes place in Mexico. Why did you choose this as the setting?
I’ve always been fascinated by Mexico’s beauty and complexity, as well as its rich history. In many ways, Mexico is the perfect setting for a detective novel. Mexican society is genteel and formal, while also being secretive, corrupt, and violent, with the battle lines clearly drawn between the craven and the brave.
Where do you like to write?
It´s easier for me to concentrate when there’s some kind of background noise or activity. I wrote most of Mezcalero in the pool area of the decrepit Hotel Belmar in Mazatlán, Mexico. I wrote while standing under a mango tree, with my laptop on a rusty folding chair set atop a rickety wooden table. People would walk by, kids would splash and play. It worked out fine.
What do you think was the most significant world event the year you were born?
The pope excommunicated Fidel Castro!
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your favourite journey?
Through the Sierras to Durango, Mexico, on Highway 40.
What talent would you most like to have?
If you could come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
If you were to host a private dinner party for writers from the past, who would you invite to your table?
Gaius Petronius, Dorothy Parker, and Oscar Wilde.
If you were to host a private dinner party for your mentors in life other than writers, who would you invite to your table?
Kees van Dongen, Richard Feynman, Frida Kahlo, and Rosa Luxemburg.
What is your motto?
Coffee or tea?
Favourite comfort food:
If you could patent one device what would it be?
List five cities or towns in Canada that are on your list to visit one day:
Flin Flon, Moosonee, Smithers, Whitehorse, and Wolfeville.