Arnaldo Lopez is an employee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City and was formerly employed as a dispatcher with the NYPD. Mr. Lopez is also a speaker and trainer, speaking on subjects as diverse as terrorism and customer service. He created the civilian counter-terrorism training program currently in use by New York City Transit and many other major public transportation agencies around the country.
As well as writing, Mr. Lopez is an artist and photographer, having sold several of his works over the years. As a writer he’s sold articles to Railway Age magazine, The Daily News magazine, Homeland Defense Journal, and Reptile & Amphibian magazine; scripts to Little Archie and Personality Comics; and short stories to Neo-Opsis magazine, Lost Souls e-zine, Nth Online magazine, Blood Moon magazine, and various other Sci-Fi and/or horror newsletters and fanzines. He was also editor of Offworld, a small science fiction magazine that was once chosen as a “Best Bet” by Sci-Fi television. Chickenhawk is his first novel.
Mayra Calvani: Welcome to Latino Books Examiner, Arnaldo. Please tell us about Chickenhawk, and what compelled you to write it.
Arnaldo Lopez: While working as a token booth clerk for the MTA, I couldn’t help but observe the comings and goings of the young male prostitutes that plied their trade there and in the surrounding area, their johns and the cops trying to stop it all.
M.C.: What is your book about?
A.L.: Chickenhawk is an urban crime thriller that showcases New York City’s diversity. Eddie Ramos and Tommy Cucitti are the homicide detectives after a serial killer that manages to stay below their radar while the body count keeps climbing in a city that’s turning into a powder keg.
M.C.: What themes do you explore in Chickenhawk?
A.L.: In Chickenhawk I explore the dark side of race relations, politics, sexuality, illness, madness, and infidelity.
M.C.: Why do you write?
A.L.: As anyone that knows me would tell you, I love to tell stories!
M.C.: When do you feel the most creative?
A.L.: Late afternoon to evening, I’m definitely not a morning person.
M.C.: How picky are you with language?
A.L.: Very picky! My characters have to sound authentic!
M.C.: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
A.L.: No, not at all. When I write I create and immerse myself in my own world.
M.C.: What is your worst time as a writer?
A.L.: Doing rewrites!
M.C.: Your best?
A.L.: Starting and finishing!
M.C.: Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
A.L.: Well, there are plenty of things that do temporarily stop me from writing: work, family, chores … but stop me permanently? No.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
A.L.: Seeing people I don’t know reading my novel, and once being recognized while taking the NYC subway.
M.C.: Is writing an obsession to you?
A.L.: No, not really. It’s definitely more of a pleasure.
M.C.: Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
A.L.: There’s a little of me, my experiences and my backstory, in everything that I write.
M.C. Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?
A.L.: Wow, not really! Writing is a wonderful vocation or even avocation, but reality is where we live.
M.C.: Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
ABOUT THE BOOK
Author: Arnaldo Lopez Jr.
Publisher: Koehler Books/Café Con Leche books
Purchase on Amazon
Chickenhawk is an urban crime fiction novel that showcases New York City’s diversity, as well as the dark side of race relations, politics, sexuality, illness, madness, and infidelity. Eddie Ramos and Tommy Cucitti are Manhattan North Homicide detectives after a serial killer that manages to stay below their radar while the body count keeps climbing in a city that’s turning into a powder keg.