Chad Vega is the author of Sex, Drugs, and Corruption: Welcome to Peru.
This is the adrenaline filled story of two carpenters from California who end up taking on the Peruvian government. Faced with losing their property in the jungle to corrupt officials, they start growing medical marijuana to make ends meet. This keeps them in the fight, but it puts their lives at risk. As the court case progresses, they accidentally uncover an unprecedented amount of corruption. Join them on this dangerous journey as they frantically search for justice…
- What inspired you to write Sex, Drugs, and Corruption: Welcome to Peru?
I was inspired to write this book after being in Peru for ten years. Living in the jungle and going through court cases gives you a unique glimpse into a different side of Peru. It’s completely different from what most people see, so I wanted to highlight it.
- What was the development process like?
After my son went to school I would make coca tea, sit in front of a laptop and let it flow naturally.
- What was the ultimate goal of the two carpenters?
Faced with a grim reality in America, they wanted to make their dreams come true in the Amazon jungle. They tried to escape poverty in California and create their own oasis in Peru. Max found the ideal place in the jungle and managed to purchase the land at the perfect time. Unfortunately, just because a place is beautiful doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. They accidentally stumbled upon a hotbed of corruption, but they had no choice but to keep fighting.
- What did they gain in the end?
On top of life experience, they learned the importance of family. Being thrown into stressful situations has a way of making people unite. Max got closer to his family, and the main character ended up finding his.
- What are some of the main socio-economic issues that you explore in this book and why did you explore them?
I touch on a lot of issues that many Peruvians face every day. The main focus is on corruption, since it affects everyone. Peru is an extremely resource rich country that has everything going for it, but it’s so poorly run that it barely works. This blatant abuse of the people was built into the system by the Spaniards, but there’s still hope.
Now that everyone has a smartphone, things are coming out that used to be routinely stifled. The ex-president and his wife were recently thrown in jail, and three other presidents including our current one is under investigation. For too long politicians have been selling out Peru’s resources with impunity, but now they are starting to go to jail.
If the biggest offenders can start being held accountable, Peru has the potential to break free from this vicious cycle. This is why I wrote the book, since it’s based on things I saw happen to other people. With education comes the possibility of social change, & I would love to see that happen in Peru.
- What inspired you to be a writer?
I always enjoyed writing as a teenager, but I didn’t make time for it unless someone paid me. For years I wrote articles for clients, but I didn’t write for myself until my friend published a book. This showed me that it was possible, so I decided to start writing recreationally.
- What do you like best and what do you like least about being a writer?
Being able to express myself is amazing, but spending hours sitting down isn’t.
- Who are some of your favorite authors?
I always loved Michael Crichton & David Sedaris, but Hunter S. Thompson became my favorite author as a teen.
- If your book would be turned into a movie, who would you imagine playing the part of the main character? (Actor can be ANYONE, living or dead.
I could see Benicio del Toro playing Max, and Matthew McConaughey playing the main character.
- Are you working on anything right now?
Yes, I just finished writing the sequel to this book. It should be completely edited by the end of October! At the same time, I am also translating this book into Spanish. It’s pretty tedious, since I learned to speak Spanish by ear. But it’s an interesting experience, so I will happily do it so everyone in South America can read my book.
- And, finally, what do you think is in store for the future of Latino literature?
I think it will continue to grow. Nowadays many of the main barriers for authors have been removed. You don’t have to rely on a big publishing company hiring you to make it. Self-publishing has been streamlined, so it will open doors to people who otherwise wouldn’t have gotten noticed. This platform is open to everyone, and the time is right for Latino authors. Millions of people around the world speak Spanish, so Latinos in any country can participate and reach a large audience.