Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: Phantom Overload

Sun 26 Aug
  Phantom Overload is modeled after those old Dashiell Hammett stories where some shadowy organization tosses their weary operative into a local political schism that brings about 18 quabillion different entities, power lines, emotional trajectories and beautiful women into an... more

Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: Forgive Me My Tangents

Sun 26 Aug
This is only barely a short story, but it has a special place in my heart. I say that because there's really only the loosest semblance of a beginning middle and end and there's no conflict to speak of. It's almost more like the personal revery of one character, and more importantly, the... more

Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: Love Is A Fucking River

Sun 5 Aug
Of course, the title came first. I don’t know where it came from, but when it did come I knew it had to be a story. Then came Miguel, the narrator, who’s a composite of several taxi drivers and friends of mine and probably a sprinkling of me too, like most of my characters. And I knew he had... more

Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: Tall Walkin’ Death

Fri 3 Aug
This might have been the most fun story to write. For one thing, it was one of those glorious pieces that flowed out pretty simply- the characters were already alive and clear in my mind and even though it was the first one I wrote with Krys and Big Cane, they took no time adjusting to the... more

Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: The Passing

Wed 1 Aug
I honestly couldn’t say exactly where this story came from; it surfaced like the stories in CiCi’s own inner garden of stories and unfolded before my eyes. I used to bike home from Harlem after the midnight shift and the ride took me through Queens and over the Pulaski into Green Point.... more

The Not So Sweet Inbetween

Wed 1 Aug
She's a frail middle aged woman in a motorized wheelchair and she called because her teenage sons are stressing her out. When we get there, she's got a million and a half things she needs done: get the cops here for a report, bring me my laptop, call my neighbor, ask him to come watch the kids,... more

Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: Red Feather & Bone

Mon 23 Jul
The great Sheree Renée Thomas, who wrote the introduction to this book and midwifed many of its stories into existence, invited me to join her and group of little ones to a field trip at the African Burial Ground site in the financial zone. It’s a strange place: a huge corporate rock surrounded... more

Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: The Collector

Sun 22 Jul
While most of my stories filter my experiences on the ambulance into some fictionalized form (see: the New York Council Of The Dead and various related bureaucratic shenanigans and fuckery), this is the only story that deals directly with the paramedic experience. It’s also been used in... more

Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: Magdalena

Sun 22 Jul
This story truly came alive to me the other night at the reading. It was a combination of the music, the power of spoken word and the overwhelming response I’ve had from readers about it since the book release. At its heart, Magdalena is about how the living can haunt us just as much as the dead.... more

Salsa Nocturna Liner Notes: Protected Entity

Wed 18 Jul
Simply put, I was sick of all those damn stories about the white guy bringing back a haunted “African fetish” and it reeking havoc on his petty life. Besides being racist, boring and predictable, it’s an overdone trope (see also the Iraqi fire demon in this season’s True Blood.) So this... more