Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A. E. Roman

A. E. Roman is the author of the Chico Santana mystery series: Chinatown Angel and The Superman Project.

From his 2009 interview about Chinatown Angel with La Bloga:

You've chosen to make your main character, Chico Santana, a private investigator operating out of the Bronx. Why a P.I. and why the Bronx? Why (to get to it) a mystery?

Maybe this goes back to the idea of writing what you know. I was born and raised in the Bronx. I don't know much, but I know the Bronx. And why mysteries? I love reading. I read mysteries. I love writing. I write mysteries.

I appreciated the feel for the city (and the love/hate relationship with the city) that comes across in Chinatown Angel. You infuse the story with cultural and street life details that put me, as a reader, right on the scene with your characters. You reference the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Central Park, various streets and neighborhoods of the Bronx, music (oldies and the new stuff), movies (many movie references that I thought were cool), so on and so on. Was this a conscious effort as you wrote, or did the verisimilitude just happen? And Mimi's Cuchifrito - can I stop by and pick up a papa rellena?

Yeah, I'm all about the verisimilitude. No, there was no conscious effort in terms of what I referenced. I'm a New Yorker. I've read poetry at the Nuyorican. I'm all over Central Park. I love movies, the old and the new. I love music, the old and the new. Mimi is a make-believe character in Chinatown but I can give you directions to my favorite cuchifrito in the Bronx for six papa rellena, and directions to Lincoln Hospital for an angioplasty.

Also, I used to be a teen rapper. I won't tell you what my M.C. name was, but it rhymes with "blue," because during an M.C. battle, the word "blue" goes a long way: "Your rhymes are wack! My rhymes..[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue