3 November 2011 2 Comments

The Next Big Series Detective

I began my career as a novelist with a series of four Omar Yussef Mysteries, in which the protagonist was a Palestinian sleuth. I’ve followed those books with two stand-alone novels, as they’re called. The first is published this week in the US. MOZART’S LAST ARIA is the story of Nannerl Mozart, who goes to […]

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 […]

22 September 2011 3 Comments

Screenplaying

Whenever a novelist’s biography tells me that he’s “working on a screenplay,” my heart falls. I feel pity for the poor fellow who’s no doubt heading for disappointment (most scripts don’t get made) and for the novel, which exerts such a lesser lure than the glamour of the movies that a perfectly good novelist will […]

21 July 2011 0 Comments

FT: ‘Omar Yussef is one of crime fiction’s most original protagonists’

Adam Lebor, a superb thriller-writer in his own right, picks some top summer thriller reads in the Financial Times this week (where there’s also a big profile of Lee Child). Adam very kindly includes one of my Omar Yussef mysteries, The Saladin Murders (US title: A Grave in Gaza). Here’s what he writes: There are […]

2 June 2011 0 Comments

Podcast: 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 […]

13 May 2011 4 Comments

Author’s dilemma: What’s next?

Damn, I’ve done it again. Finished a novel, sent it to my publisher…Oh, dear. What’s next? If I write that this is THE authorial dilemma, I’m sure I’ll get emails from writers who just can’t finish their book, or from readers who’d like to be writers telling me that I shouldn’t be complaining about such […]

11 May 2011 15 Comments

FREE Omar Yussef short story: Damascus Trance

I’ve written this story as an immediate response to the murder and arrest of anti-government demonstrators all over Syria–and elsewhere in the Arab world. It’s a work of fiction based on the characters in my series of Palestinian crime novels. But real people are still being killed. DAMASCUS TRANCE An Omar Yussef story By Matt […]

1 May 2011 0 Comments

Mideast experts pick my nonfiction book about Israelis, Palestinians

I published “Cain’s Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear” in 2004. It’s a nonfiction book about Israeli and Palestinian society, focusing on the internal divisions within each group, rather than the conflict between them which usually gets all the attention. I’ve always been rather proud of it, even as I’ve gone on to write five novels. […]

1 May 2011 4 Comments

My Mozart novel 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 today in the UK by Corvus. Of course, 4,000 people would also be alive who are now dead. In the course of writing about that destruction between 2000 and […]

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 […]