Being a lady who loves sexy men gave me all the reason I needed to meet and have a chat with novelist and attorney, Mark Lindquist, as he swept through the Valley to promote his new book, King of Methlehem. The main character of the book, detective Wyatt James, becomes obsessed at tracking down the Pacific Northwest’s most notorious methamphetamine dealer, who travels under many aliases, most recently as Howard Schultz, the chairman of Starbucks. Struggling with his own problems causes James’s hunt to be more difficult than he ever expected it would be.
King of Methlehem is set in Tacoma, Washington, where the tall (he’s 6 feet 6 inches) and handsome Lindquist and I both just happen to be from (not just a coincidence.) Since Lindquist and I are from the same part of the world, obviously the cosmos were telling us that we were destined to meet each other. And that fateful meeting happened to take place at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe.
JC: When I tell Arizonans I’m from Tacoma, they give me a weird look and I have to say, “It’s by Seattle.” For those who don’t know, what’s it like living in Tacoma?
MARK LINDQUIST: It’s funny, when I went to USC, no one knew where Seattle was [We laugh together.] But that changed in the early nineties thanks to Nirvana and Microsoft. [Tacoma] is a smaller, grittier version of Seattle. The Department of Corrections started dumping a lot of ex-felons into Tacoma and Pierce County rather than into Seattle. That created this subculture of criminals and addicts.
JC: Where did you get the idea for “King of Methlehem”?
ML: I’m the Trail Team Chief for the drug unit in Pierce County. I’d read a lot of police reports [and] a lot of them were methamphetamine related. The first murder trial that I prosecuted was a guy who was strung out on methamphetamine and killed a child. So everywhere you look there is methamphetamine. Methamphetamine and crime go together like marijuana and the munchies [We laugh together again.] And I started to think this subculture that went with methamphetamine was interesting and I wanted to get into that.
JC: What’s your opinion on Hollywood celebrities going in and out of rehab?
ML: I think people like that trivialize the problem, not intentionally, but there’s something frivolous about people like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. I think watching the lives of people like Britney and Lindsay is like watching a movie or watching a TV show. No one confuses it with reality. The same way drug addiction in a movie is funny but you don’t think that’s what it’s really like.
ML: Surprisingly I wasn’t. They were just sort of stunned into silence. In my pervious life, as I call it, in Los Angeles, that was not such a strange thing. But it was so foreign to people in Tacoma that they didn’t even know what to say about it. It just seemed so odd; I’m on the same page as people like Ben Affleck.
JC: Can we expect King of Methlem, or any of your books, to be made into movies?
ML: God I hope so. Two of my three books have been repeatedly optioned, both Never Mind Nirvana and Sad Movies. But you want to see them made into a movie because of what it does for the book; the exposure that a movie can bring to a book. So I’m hoping, but who knows?
JC: What actor would play the main character?
ML: The same person [who] was suggested for Pete Tyler in Never Mind Nirvana, which was Vince Vaughn. And I don’t know if people say Vince Vaughn just because he’s tall like me [he stretches out his long limbs] or because they think he would bring the right flavor to it. But I actually think Vince Vaughn brings just the right mix of levity and gravity to a role. I could totally see Vince Vaughn playing Wyatt.
I could totally see that too…
9 out of 10 Sexy Lawyers/Writers.
For more information about this author, please visit marklindquist.net.