The first Gato Loco novel, Greetings from Buena Rosa (which you can download for free here) grew out of a news report about the murders in Jarez and Chihuahua. Old news now, perhaps, but at the time, it was shocking that hundreds of people were being killed and that in lieu of actual investigation, some people were railroaded into confessing. I felt both outraged and powerless.
So I wrote about it.
Now I’m motivated to write a fresh Gato Loco story, once again motivated by recent events. The events in question are the controversial Arizona bill SB 1070, called by many an immigration bill. But it really isn’t an immigration bill. To be so, it would have to deal with immigration. It doesn’t. It merely criminalizes illegal immigration in new ways at the state level. It’s a relatively complicated bill, and coverage of it is biased on both sides, because it’s not entirely clear what the legal implications of it are.
Whatever the intention of the bill may be, it is already seeming more likely that it will be used as a weapon to oppress not only those who it seeks to criminalize, but those immigrants who are here legally. It scares me. Frankly, it should scare all of you, whether you live in Arizona or not.
What better place to send Cobalt City’s favorite Mexican detective/vigilante than a small Arizona city reaching the boiling point? The story is in progress now. I hope to have it finished before the weekend, at which point I’ll be looking for somewhere to get it published quickly. Barring that, I’ll put it up on my site.
Authors have many reasons for writing what they write. Some are for love, some for money. Somethings we write to make sense of the world. Some stories are inspired by fear, some inspired by a desire to inform.
I write because, at the end of the day, I want to believe in heroes. I want to believe that when things truly turn bad, someone will be there to stand up and say, “Enough!”
And I send Gato Loco to Arizona to confront the ugliness of this situation because I can not go myself. And maybe, just maybe, he will give someone the strength to say, “Enough.”