It’s the birthday of American crime novelist and journalist Carl Hiaasen (1953), best known for novels like Tourist Season (1986), Strip Tease (1993), and Sick Puppy (2000), which feature Floridian eco-warriors, corrupt politicians, and shady ladies. About his cavalcade of morally bankrupt characters, Hiaasen once said, “Sometimes people are attracted to the wrong kind of people for the right kind of reasons.” He’s particularly fond of the character of Skink, who shows up in several books, and whom Hiaasen once described as “a totally unhinged, roadkill-eating ex-governor.”
Hiaasen was born in Plantation, Florida. When he was six, his father bought him a typewriter, and he hasn’t stopped writing ever since. He spent two years as a reporter at Cocoa Today in Florida (1976), before moving to the Miami Herald, where he found a lot of inspiration for his novels while working the city desk and on investigative teams. His newspaper columns are collected in Kick Ass (1999) and Dance of the Reptiles (2014). Hiaasen used to play guitar in Stephen King’s band Rock Bottom Remainders, and even wrote and recorded songs with the late musician Warren Zevon.
Carl Hiaasen’s latest novel is Razor Girl (2016), which opens with car accident caused by a female driver who becomes distracted while grooming her bikini line. Hiaasen based it on a true Florida story.