Matt Rees is an award-winning British writer of crime fiction, thrillers and historical fiction who lives in Jerusalem. In The Man of Twists and Turns he podcasts about writing and writers, history, art and music. It’s a podcast about writing for writers and for readers who love good writing.
Episode 13: Crappy Jobs
Before I became a writer, I worked a number of crappy jobs. I hauled cement on my back, gleefully destroyed hospitals, ate meat pies, and watched homoerotic wrestling while draining a deep-fat fryer. And got paid badly for all of them. But without them, I wouldn’t be the writer I am.
Episode 12: My Part in Salman Rushdie’s Peril
When I was a very young journalist in London, I had the last interview with Salman Rushdie before Khomeini pronounced his fatwa against the writer. Unfortunately I was drunk. He was rude, and so was I. Here’s the story of how it happened.
Episode 11: Finding the Truly Real in Fiction
Writers usually decide to be writers before they know what they might write about. In my case, a journey from teenage isolation in Britain to the violence of the Middle East led me to the elements of my fiction which could be true — not just based on reality, but in the sense that they show something true about the souls of the people I had come to know and most of all about myself. Here I talk about how Dashiell Hammett, journalism and teenage alienation were staging points on that journey.
Episode 10: The Best First Paragraphs in Crime Fiction
As an award-winning crime writer, I’ve studied the greats of the genre and lectured about how they do what they do. Here I take my three favorite openings to crime novels — including “Red Harvest” by Dashiell Hammett, “The Little Sister” by Raymond Chandler, and “The Saint-Fiacre Affair” by Georges Simenon — and examine what makes them great. Either as a writer or a reader, I hope you’ll be intrigued by the analysis.
Episode 9: The Other Mozart No Longer Forgotten
It’s hard to tell them apart, Wolfgang Mozart and the great composer’s sister Nannerl. Both had prominent noses, mischievous eyes, and a certain naiveté to their gaze. But there was a difference. Nannerl was a girl, and that decided which of these fabulous musical talents would be remembered. Until now. My novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA and the work of other artists are reviving this often-scorned sister.
Episode 8: Meditation for Writers Part 2
This is a guided meditation for writers. Sit or lie down and listen to it. Do what I suggest in the podcast, and you’ll be meditating. I’ve used meditation techniques to help my concentration and to build my creativity in writing my award-winning crime fiction and historical novels. I’ve also found it transformative in my daily life. I hope you will too.
Episode 7: Meditation for Writers Part 1
I’ve used meditation techniques to help my concentration and to build my creativity in writing my award-winning crime fiction and historical novels. I’ve also found it transformative in my daily life. This podcast describes why that is and tells you a little about the guided meditation for writers I’ll be doing in my next podcast. In other words, here’s why you ought to do it. The next podcast will be a practical tool with which you can meditate, clear your mind, and open up your creativity.
Episode 6: How to Write a Book: Writing and Editing
As an award-winning writer of nonfiction, crime fiction, and historical thrillers, I’ll show how to write and edit your book. This is the final episode of three titled How to Write a Book. The previous episodes detailed the researching, structuring and plotting of your book.
Episode 5: How to Write a Book: Structure and Plot
I use my experience as an award-winning writer of nonfiction, crime fiction, and historical thrillers to show how to structure your book and, in the case of fiction, how to lay out your plot. This is the second of three episodes titled How to Write a Book. The next episode will cover writing and editing the book.
Episode 4: How to Write a Book: Research
I use my experience as an award-winning writer of nonfiction, crime fiction, and historical thrillers to lay out exactly what you need to do when you research your book. This is the first of three episodes titled How to Write a Book. The next episode will cover structuring, planning and plotting your book. The third episode will be about writing and editing the book.
Episode 3: Mozart’s Last Aria–Behind the Book
I describe the story behind my historical crime novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA. I tell how I became interested in Nannerl Mozart, the great composer’s sister, while traveling in the mountains of Austria; how I developed the idea for my novel with the help of great musicians; how I researched the book; and how I used the form of one of Mozart’s great piano sonatas to structure my novel.
Episode 2: Introducing Mozart’s Last Aria
I introduce my historical thriller MOZART’S LAST ARIA and read the first chapter of the book. The first of several podcasts about the book, which will include a discussion of the new historical research about Mozart’s death I used to write it and background on the real-life characters who appear in the novel.
Episode 1: Arab Spring short story in Syria
My experience as a foreign correspondent throughout the Middle East places me uniquely to understand the ‘Arab Spring’ freedom movement sweeping the region. ‘Damascus Trance’ is an original short story about the violent current events in the Syrian capital. In this podcast I read the story in full and explain why my fictional response to current affairs is a better way to understand what’s happening in Arab countries than journalism.