From Progreso Weekly:

We are before a man that has been constantly in the Cuban news media in the last few months. Publishing a novel or another. Nominated for some award or another. His latest book Blood Widows and An Itch in Flandes have had much success in bookstores across the country. With his original and very likable novel Priapos, he recently earned Spain’s Camilo Jose Cela Prize. In Havana he received the Librarians Award because his novels were the most widely read last year. He also received the Critics Award. In other words, both the public and literary specialists value him the same. He is the only Latin American that has received the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Prize for his novel Adio Muchachos. He has also been the only writer that has merited Cuba’s award for the best police novel (Joy) for the entire decade. He is a big tall man, better said, large, clever, intelligent, witty and a very good person; so complacent that, although this may not be the ideal time for an interview, I have him here today answering my questions.

Progreso Weekly(PW): What motivated this professor of languages to write a crime novel?

Daniel Chavarría (DCH): My professorship of the classics has been the culmination of a process started in my adolescence. If I was precocious with something, it was in knowing that Latin and Greek would favor me in writing someday in Spanish with clarity and elegance. And when I took my first steps in Latin, I was not interested so much in understanding antiquity as in preparing my future as a modern pensman.

As for my interest in the police genre, it never existed. What seduced me was the adventurous political novel, as is cultivated by the Soviets during the decade of the 70s and 80s. One day I found out the exceptionality that the Cuban revolution offered. It was the only Western country in a near death confrontation with the United States. Everyone else was more or less their submissive allies or shameful vassals. But since that confrontation Cuba-USA also expressed itself as one between the CIA and Cuba’s State Security, one day I found out that I had an open road to conceive a Cuban hero, black, mulato or Indian; that spoke Spanish, listened to our music, would celebrate our jokes, our food; and that I could place him fighting in a Yakarta alley or in Cairo, while accomplishing a mission. That’s how Mayor Alba came about, from my novel Joy, a member of the scientific counterintelligence, a Soviet graduate in biology, karate expert, cultured, polyglot that ruins a CIA covert action destined to ruin the Cuban citriculture. And as for the person and his circumstances, not only possible, but also a great deal documentary.

... more. Here's some more info on DC ...