Saturday, June 03, 2006

Up from the Underground

Although his first novel, Eight of Swords, won the 2004 Malice Domestic/St. Martin’s Press contest for Best First Traditional Mystery, David Skibbins is hardly your conventional “cozy” writer. First off, he’s a licensed psychotherapist and practicing life coach. On top of that, his protagonist in Swords and its recent sequel, High Priestess, is a 50-something former “revolutionary guerilla,” the pseudonymous “Warren Ritter,” who’s prone to bipolar mood swings and has been hiding out from the law for three decades (ever since an explosion in which he supposedly died) in Berkeley, California, working as a tarot card reader. In an interview with Mystery Morgue, Skibbins talks about Warren’s birth as a character, the event that ended his own work as a tarot reader, the place for humor in modern mysteries, and whether readers often confront him about the leftist political leanings of his protagonist. (“Surprisingly, not. Of course with Bush’s popularly figures down around 30 percent Warren is becoming mainstream.”)

No comments: