Born under a bad sign, with family roots in Texas and the Mississippi Delta, L.A. native Gary Phillips must keep writing to postpone his inevitable appointment at the crossroads. Raised on a steady diet of comics, pulp, detective fiction, Hegel and blaxploitation, it's no wonder that Phillips' first novel featuring private eye Ivan Monk is set in the volatile aftermath of the '92 riots. Since then he's also created Martha Chainey, a showgirl turned mob cold cash courier, other P.I.s Nate Hollis and Nefra Adams, superheroes such as The Reclaimer, Victory Angel and Kidd Vee, written several stand-alone novels, edited various anthologies; and penned several graphic novels — including The Rinse about a money launderer that has been optioned for television. His website is