Archive | April, 2011

29 April 2011 2 Comments

Tweet to win MOZART’S LAST ARIA

To celebrate the UK publication of my new historical thriller MOZART’S LAST ARIA, I’m giving away shiny new hardcover copies of the book signed by me (I’d love to have Mozart himself sign it, but…). To win the book, all you have to do is follow me on Twitter. Then copy the quoted text below […]

28 April 2011 0 Comments

MOZART’S LAST ARIA: my new book

My new novel, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, is out May 1 in the UK. I’ll be writing more about it in the next week. Set in Vienna in 1791, Nannerl Mozart, the talented sister of the great composer, tracks clues about Wolfgang’s death. She comes to believe that he was murdered and his last opera The […]

28 April 2011 0 Comments

The Prestigious Matt Rees International Literary Prizes

I have observed in this space before that author bios tend to be short on interesting detail and overfull of prize lists. Philip Roth, for example, doesn’t seem to exist, according to his bio. He doesn’t live anywhere, nor was he born. He simply receives prizes. This week I’m reading a very good historical novel […]

22 April 2011 8 Comments

Doctor knows life and death: Abraham Verghese’s Writing Life interview

If you were a book editor who wanted to create the perfect writer for a best-selling epic novel of an African-born doctor forced to take refuge in the U.S., you might pick someone from Ethiopia. Make him of Christian Indian parentage. Educate him in medicine and send him to the Iowa Writing Program. Make him […]

21 April 2011 0 Comments

Book publicity: the full set

In the Royal Navy, there’s only one kind of facial hair allowed. British Tars are either clean shaven or they sport a beard, known in the service as a “full set.” The antipathy to the mustache is no doubt because of its predominance among the rival landlubber officer class (although it could’ve later been its […]

17 April 2011 0 Comments

From Romance to Corpses: Tess Gerritsen’s Writing Life

Tess Gerritsen started with romance, but soon realized that dead bodies were where it’s at. At least, dead bodies handled deftly by the two most compelling female series characters in thriller fiction, Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles. Her first books were romance novels, but after writing eight of them she switched to medical […]

15 April 2011 9 Comments

Taking Refuge

Some people are always expecting or hoping for a war. They’re even working towards that end. When you live in the Middle East, you come to such a realization eventually. Most people are like me, however. The wars sneak up on them. They notice the signs, then they bury them because they think they’re being […]

10 April 2011 3 Comments

Getting inside your head: Virtual Reality guru Jeremy Bailenson’s Writing Life

Move over cards, cocaine, and nicotine, Virtual Reality is the new addiction. It isn’t restricted to the realms of academe or science fiction. Whether you know it or not, it’s going to change your life. It already may have done so. Stanford University Professor Jeremy Bailenson is co-author of a new book, Infinite Reality, which […]

7 April 2011 4 Comments

Meditating the next novel

I’ve written here in the past about how I use meditation techniques to get into the zone for writing every day. But now meditation seems to have helped me come up with the idea for my next novel. Last week I was in a rotten mood. My son woke up too early. I hadn’t slept […]

4 April 2011 1 Comment

The Heart to the Rest of the World: the Writing Life with Tony Parsons

When you ask writers what underpins the greatest books, they may talk about structure, style, character-building. The best of them identify the novelist’s emotional understanding of himself and his ability to translate it to the page. That’s what strikes readers – perhaps without their even knowing it – and gives them an immediate connection to […]