After spending a decade working out the story—to the point that the characters have become real to me, people I root for and feel bad for when I inevitably do horrible things to them—my novel Riders in Disguise is officially being released at the end of June (exact date TBD) through local Miami publisher Jitney Books.
Riders in Disguise is the first novel in a trilogy that centers around a black/Hispanic kid named Rig growing up in Miami’s Liberty City during the 1980s. Other central characters include a Puerto Rican photographer who gets a job at the newspaper after capturing images of the ’79 Dadeland Massacre; a white Vietnam vet turned homicide detective in the exceedingly corrupt Public Safety Department; and a Cuban-born businessman and Pedro Pan survivor who is forced into drug trafficking by his wife’s uncle, a contract hitman for the most ruthless cocaine dealer in the city.
Riders in Disguise takes us from 1979 to 1982 in these characters’ lives as they deal with the Dadeland Mall Shooting (kickoff for the Cocaine Cowboy era), the 1980 McDuffie Riots and the beginnings of the crack epidemic. Through Rig and the other characters in the story, Riders in Disguise shows how outside elements like the cocaine trade, an immigration boom and the handling of the black community by both newspapers and police directly and indirectly contributed to the community’s deteriorating conditions throughout the eighties.
More information will be posted as things develop.
To everybody who’s read all my shitty first and second and seventieth drafts over the years, eternal gratitude