31 October 2011 0 Comments

Me, Mozart and the intifada

If there had never been a Palestinian intifada, I might never have written my novel about the death of Mozart, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, which is published Nov. 1 in the US by HarperCollins. Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of writing about that destruction between 2000 […]

27 June 2011 0 Comments

Podcast: The story behind the writing of MOZART’S LAST ARIA

In the third of my podcasts 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 […]

18 May 2011 0 Comments

Long gestation and the crime novel

Crime novelists generally write a novel a year. It’s what publishers want. Some big writers—and I mean, 25 million books sold—have told me their publishers and agents complain that if they don’t produce a book a year their readers will forget them. In the case of such writers, some of those 25 million may have […]

6 May 2011 0 Comments

The Music of MOZART’S LAST ARIA: Vedrai carino

In the Prologue of my new historical thriller MOZART’S LAST ARIA, young Wolfgang hears his Aunt Nannerl singing an aria called “Vedrai carino” (“You will see, my dear”). In Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, the aria is sung by a young woman named Zerlina, consoling her lover. This is a version of the aria sung by […]

2 May 2011 0 Comments

Mozart Scene of the Crime

Historical novelists recreate the emotions and events of distant times. It helps if they can use real places that still exist. In the case of MOZART’S LAST ARIA, I was able to set much of the action in streets and buildings where Mozart lived and worked – and where you can still visit. In my […]

30 December 2010 2 Comments

Into costume: My book promo Pt. 1

My new book MOZART’S LAST ARIA will be out in the UK in May. Naturally this means a revamp for my website (coming soon) and a new promo video (coming about the same time) to be posted to Youtube. You know, all the stuff writers actually get into the business of writing in order to […]

14 November 2010 0 Comments

Vienna mythbusters: the truth about the Imperial city

After spending so long researching my next novel, MOZART’S LAST ARIA, in the Austrian capital, I was invited by AOL News to write a piece for their travel section. They asked me to identify some myths about Vienna and to show whether they were correct or not. Here’s how the article starts: Like any other […]

18 February 2010 1 Comment

From Hitler History to Mahler Mystery: J. Sydney Jones’s Writing Life

Some authors exude the pleasure of reading and writing (and, believe me, when you meet them, you’d be surprised how many just don’t.) J. Sydney Jones is such a man, with a breadth of writing experience in different genres that’s deeply impressive and carries with it an obvious love of his craft. His Viennese Mystery […]

20 August 2009 0 Comments

My latest culture clash

Here’s my latest post on the International Crime Authors Reality Check blog: The Austrian Hospice of the Holy Family is a beautiful sandstone building on the corner where the Via Dolorosa turns briefly onto the main alley of the Muslim Quarter’s souq. Buzz at the main gate, climb up two flights of enclosed steps, and […]

22 July 2009 0 Comments

Bruno in Jerusalem

It’s hard enough to get around the notorious Ein el-Hilweh Refugee Camp in Lebanon at the best of times. I can testify to that, having had a few sweaty-palmed visits to the place myself to interview the hardline Palestinian gunmen who rule the camp. Try doing it after calling on the head of the Aqsa […]