1 November 2011 0 Comments

Matt on Rusty Mike Radio

I did an interview on an internet radio station here in Jerusalem with the delightful Adam Mallerman. We chatted about my Omar Yussef novels, as well as how I came to live in Jerusalem and write MOZART’S LAST ARIA.

21 July 2011 0 Comments

Do you feel lucky? — Crime writer has a blast, uncovers bloodlust

I’ve tried to do everything the characters in my books do. I’ve roamed the alleys of Bethlehem’s refugee camps. I’ve had clandestine meetings with gunrunners in Gaza. I’ve risked diabetes to eat syrupy Palestinian desserts and made them key to the plot of “The Samaritan’s Secret.” I learned piano for “Mozart’s Last Aria.” I picked […]

16 June 2011 9 Comments

The Honest Tours Guide to Jerusalem

The New York Times ran a travel article last weekend about things to do in Jerusalem during the Jewish Sabbath when most things are shut. The article was fairly typical of shorter travel writing in that all the experiences described were unlikely to surprise anyone. Eat hummus at the restaurants. Browse for ceramic bowls. Take […]

20 May 2011 2 Comments

Fiction best way to look at ‘Arab Spring’

Here’s a talk I gave to a group of journalists in Jerusalem last week about my new ‘Arab Spring’ short story. In DAMASCUS TRANCE, I decided to make an immediate response to the bloody crackdown on freedom demonstrators by the Syrian government. The story involves my Palestinian detective character Omar Yussef, the politics of the […]

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 […]

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 […]

17 February 2011 2 Comments

Finding true Mideast reality with kids

It’s always encouraging to meet well-adjusted teenagers (mainly because I wasn’t one.) When they’re Middle Eastern teenagers, it’s inspiring. I met a group of just over a dozen 15-year-olds (some of them may have been older than that, so I hope they aren’t offended when they read this, but when you get as old as […]

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 […]

23 December 2010 2 Comments

Extreme weather boosts creativity

Samuel Johnson wrote that “When two Englishmen meet, their first talk is of the weather.” The good doctor wrote that in 1758, long before the conversation of Englishmen was informed by the hyperbolic outrage of London’s present tabloids. Just lately it seems he might amend his phrasing to “their only talk.” The British are in […]

13 December 2010 0 Comments

New West Bank road to peace?

ST. GEORGE’S MONASTERY, West Bank — Gathered in the chapel of this outpost in the Judean Desert last week, the Orthodox priests chanted “Lord, have mercy” in Greek, in a service of blessing for a new road that makes the venerable building accessible to the growing number of tourists willing to dare a visit to […]