S.C. Smith is the author of the novel Mexican Hit Girl; here is a link to his website:
Q: What is Mexican Hit Girl about?
A: Mexican Hit Girl is a political-thriller novel about former Special Operations soldier, Mason Church, and a teenage girl, Valentina Vargas. She is orphaned when her family is murdered by a drug cartel. Mason Church, after returning home to civilian life, is recruited by the CIA to eliminate Mexico’s biggest drug kingpin. In Mexico, he realizes that his mission has been compromised by a mole within the National Clandestine Service (CIA) in Washington, DC. His mission becomes more complicated when he saves Valentina’s life from the cartel. The two form an unlikely, and volatile friendship, and eventually a pact to kill the drug kingpin.
Q: What inspired you to write it?
A: Two years ago I was reading the NY Times and there was a photograph of a teenage girl in handcuffs. She worked for a Mexican cartel that paid her twelve hundred dollars a month to kill people. The second part of inspiration for the book came from many of our soldiers returning home and dealing with PTSD. It’s very important that we empathize and help these men and women, whether it be through a book of fiction, or giving back to them through charities. I have my opinion about war, but I respect our soldiers.
Q: What makes Valentina a compelling heroine?
A: She seeks revenge against the cartel for the death of her family, and the likelihood of her succeeding is slim.
Q: Who plays her in the movie?
A: A young, naive, but emotionally strong Latina actress. It’s a tough part. Selena Gomez? Maybe there’s more to her acting than Disney.
Q: What makes Mason Church worth reading about?
A: Mason’s backstory of his family, the emotional scars as a former combat soldier, and his search for love. He’s a really complicated person.
Q: Who plays him in the movie?
A: An actor who is physical fit for the action, and mentally tormented for the other stuff. Hopefully the readers will tell me.
Q: What is the most misunderstood thing about the Mexican drug wars?
A: The drug wars thrive because of demand coming from the U.S., and to some degree Canada. Do we legalize marijuana? It’s happening right now. But what about cocaine and heroin? Not a good idea in my opinion, because I’ve seen firsthand the harder narcotics destroy and take lives close to me. The cartels are run by savvy businessmen, it’s a multi-billion dollar industry, no different than Wall Street.
Q: Who are some of your writing influences?
A: I tend to like alcoholic writers, and the dead ones.
Q: What trends in literature annoy you?
A: Trends in anything don’t annoy me. If we didn’t have trends everything would be the same, and our conversations would be boring.
Q: What kind of research did you do for you book?
A: The book was heavily researched: the geography of Mexico, political history between DC and Mexico, psychology of the cartels, gadgets used by the CIA, gratuitous sex acts, and weapons.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)