Walls don’t work

My favourite quote (of many favourite quotes) by the late veteran observer of life along the Mexican/US border, Charles Bowden, runs as follows. Bowden was interviewed for a radio program one night, not in a studio, but out in the Arizonan desert, in a national wildlife refuge near the border town of Sasabe. A couple…

(Un)happy endings

I wrote before how, upon launching a new book, the same question starts to be asked about said book. With Saint Death, set in and around the somewhat infamous city of Juárez on the Mexican/American border, the first question that came up was ‘have you been there?’ Now that the book is published, and actually…

Why we all need a drink with Siggy and Carlos, on ‘The Couch’

I’ve already received a (less than charming) email asking why I have a gay couple running the bar in Saint Death. So here’s my answer: why not? That ought to be the end of the story, I think. But of course, it isn’t. There may come a day when such a thing causes no fuss but I fear…

Why Mexico?

This post is a long answer to a short question: Why Mexico? That was the simple question asked of me last Saturday night by a lady in the signing queue after an event at the always excellent Bath Children’s Literature Festival. (It’s on for two more weeks – have a look at the other events). Why…

Narconomics: an interview with Tom Wainwright

Everyone loves economics, don’t they? So I asked @t_wainwright, of The Economist, for his personal views on some of the political and economic issues behind the Mexican drug wars in general and the situation in Juárez (setting for Saint Death) in particular. Tom, first of all, thanks very much for agreeing to answer a few questions, and…

Calavera

The central sections of Saint Death revolve around a card game, called Calavera.

If you’d like to try playing it, here are the rules…:

Two very different books..?

Snow and Saint Death are two very different books on the face of it, but aside from the fact they’re both published a month from today and that they both came out of my word processor, there’s something deep inside each that links them. – Saint Death plays out in and around the city of Juárez, Mexico,…

Saint Death

Saint Death plays out on the borderland of Mexico and the USA. It’s the story of Arturo, who has one night to play a deadly card game to save his friend Faustino’s life – Faustino having fallen into working for a street gang in Juarez, connected to the drug trade. It’s a story about power,…

New books

I knew it was a while since I had posted; coming back here today I see it’s six months. Oops. I have some lame excuses about moving house, settling in to a new country and so on, but who’s buying it? The truth is usually that I didn’t have anything to say, and in that…