8 November 2011 0 Comments

Mozart and Machine Guns

I have a guest post on the excellent Wonders and Marvels historical fiction blog. It introduces some of the story behind why I wrote Mozart’s Last Aria, my new historical crime novel. Here’s how the post starts:

The last time someone shot a machine-gun at me, I remember listening to the ricochets off the nearby rocks and thinking: Mozart sounds a lot better than this. I was crouching behind a concrete block on the edge of the West Bank town of Ramallah and I still don’t know if the bullets zinging past were Palestinian or Israeli. I was covering the intifada for Time Magazine and I had taken to soothing my traumatized mind with Mozart’s compositions. (Scientific studies have shown that it’s good for many other ailments, including attention deficit disorder and epilepsy.)

As I drove home that day, I played his final Jupiter symphony extra-loud on my car stereo to counter the jitters. I suggested to my wife that we take a break to travel to Austria. I wanted the mountains, beautiful cities, and lovely music.

But I stumbled across something that brought me to life creatively in the tiny village in the mountains near Salzburg where Mozart’s sister Nannerl lived as the wife of a boring functionary.

Read the rest of the post here.

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