Josť Skinner was born in Puerto Rico, raised in Mexico City, and has spent much of his life in Central and South America as well as the American Southwest. He began his writing career as a freelance journalist reporting from Central America in the 1980s. Needing a break from the front lines, Skinner turned down a reporting assignment in war-torn northern Nicaragua. That decision saved his life and launched a career writing fiction. He has been a professional English/Spanish translator and interpreter for more than ten years, primarily in the criminal courts of New Mexico. He was a merit fellow at the Iowa Writer's Workshop through 2002 and now teaches at the University of Texas-Pan American.