Shaun Morey is the author of the bestselling Incredible Fishing Stories series and a contributor to Sun magazine. His first novel, Wahoo Rhapsody, goes on sale today. Read on to find out what inspired Shaun to write about drug smugglers, Baja, and, of course, fishing:
Question: Wahoo Rhapsody is one part international mystery, one part drug caper, and one part big fish story. What gave you the idea to mix the three?
Shaun Morey: A combination of a short attention span, a best-selling fishing book (Incredible Fishing Stories), and my discovery of pot floating in the Sea of Cortez. I blame tequila for the short attention span, dumb luck for the best-selling fishing book, and a combination of both for stumbling across kilos of lost dope. And because Baja California is mostly lawless it was ripe for a novel. Or jail. Or worse.
Question: You won the inaugural Abbey-Hill short story contest, and you're a three-time winner of the Los Angeles Times novel writing contest. Did these prizes push you to write Wahoo Rhapsody, or is it a story that's been in the back of your mind for years?
Shaun Morey: The wins were great fun, but a mystery series set in Baja had been marinating for years. Baja is like Florida without laws. A land of expatriates, rapscallions, outlaws, whackos, drunks, drunk whackos... It was easy to fit in.
Question: You've got to be a good storyteller to be a fisherman, don't you? But tell us honestly, what's the biggest fish you've ever caught?
Shaun Morey: Size isn't everything. My most memorable catch--other than the occasional floating kilo--was a Mahi Mahi that beached itself on a remote stretch of Baja coastline. I raced down the sand and bear hugged it. But fish are slimy for a reason. A wave washed over us and the fish slipped free. I came that close to making it into my own fishing book. Which would have been weird, so maybe it worked out best.