They Were People Like You And Me

Zeb Beck Author Interview

The Melancholy Strumpet Master follows an anthropology doctorate student who is writing a dissertation on Tijuana streetwalkers. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I traveled extensively throughout Mexico when I was younger and in my mid-twenties would cross into Tijuana to buy and consume hard drugs. In the neighborhoods where those substances were available, I crossed paths with streetwalkers. A few became friends, and I discovered — surprise, surprise — they were people like you and me with intelligence, families, problems, and future goals. For the record, I haven’t used drugs in many years. Please don’t misconstrue my answer.

Why choose this place and time for the setting of the story?

The story straddles Los Angeles, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, and the more run-down neighborhoods of Tijuana. I think the juxtaposed settings work well to advance themes I was interested in. 

What are some things that you find interesting about the human condition that you think make for great fiction?

The most interesting thing is that we’re all human and we haven’t really changed as the centuries have rolled on. That’s why the Iliad, Romeo and Juliet, and the Bhagavad Gita still ring true.  The billionaire, despite his wealth, watches his marriage crumble, while the homeless person laughs on his park bench. 

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

I’m outlining something right now with a fifteen-year-old teenage girl protagonist that will likely cross YA and psychological thriller. Give me a few years to get it right. I wish I could say more but I’m really liking the idea and don’t want to tip my hand.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Every weekend, Gilmore Crowell crosses the border into Tijuana’s redlight district. He’s not there for sex; he’s there to save his failing academic career.

Gil’s anthropological study of Tijuana streetwalkers had his dissertation advisor cheering him on. But that was years ago, before his best sources up and vanished. Now, with no connection to the sex worker community, his research has stalled and the faculty elders are about to kick him out of the grad program. Plus, he’s broke.

He takes a job teaching at a juvenile detention center. The steady income gives him the means to keep making his weekly trips across the border. Now he’s paying the girls to speak with him. In a sudden moment of insight, he realizes that giving them something besides cold hard cash might help him forge a new inroad to the community. But do they want what he’s offering?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 24, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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