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 do. That, and cashing the massive cheques, of course. Oh, and the groupies who throw their panties at you at book-store readings. And the drugs.
Anyhow, that’s enough digression, even for a blog post.… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on December 30, 2010 at 8:02pm —
The company you keep can put the culture around you in a new light, let you see it as you haven’t before.
That’s true when I travel to different countries and discover that readers in Germany have a particular take on my Palestinian crime novels which differs from the way they look to Americans, for example.
I got to thinking about this when I was wandering the Nablus casbah this week with two German friends. An enthusiastic… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on June 17, 2010 at 7:30pm —
Their politics might be spinning wheels, but Palestinians are revving engines on the race track.
NABLUS, West Bank — For a change, the Palestinians gathered on the main street of Nablus were happy to be going around in circles.
Palestinian politics makes a lot of noise, only to end up spinning its wheels, moving no closer to statehood or peace. But the same combination on the race track is attracting growing attention for the… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on June 13, 2010 at 12:28am —
NABLUS, West Bank — Six years ago, during the Palestinian intifada, I sat on a dusty hilltop overlooking this most violent of West Bank towns with a dozen of the top Israeli officers in the area. The brigade commanders told their regional chiefs that all the police work and house-to-house fighting of the intifada had made their troops ill-prepared for a real war. “If we had to fight in Lebanon, my men wouldn’t know what they were doing,” shouted one.
In 2006,… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on May 23, 2010 at 7:47pm —
A friend of mine was lunching with a Scandinavian author a while back. At one point, the writer joked: “But that’s enough of me talking about myself. What do YOU think of me?”
Unlike that writer, I don’t care what you think of me. Don’t be offended – I don’t care what I think about other people, either. The more I write, the more I realize that I’m interested in myself alone.
That, I believe, is the necessary focus of all art – even… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on May 6, 2010 at 7:22pm —
If there’s one thing that authoring a series of novels will teach you, it’s that you can’t wait for inspiration. But you can prompt it, give it little shocks that’ll keep it bubbling within you. Here are a few methods I use to do just that.
I travel to the places I’m writing about. I talk to people who might be similar to (or even provide the basis for) my characters. I read about them and their world. I engage in the same activities in which they… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on April 15, 2010 at 6:13pm —
I was cramming down a a slice of qanafi at my favorite vendor in the Nablus casbah yesterday when a gang of Palestinian reporters and officials intruded on my guilty pleasure. This was at Aqsa Sweets, which readers of THE SAMARITAN'S SECRET
will know as the place favored by the hero of my Palestinian crime novels Omar Yussef because it has a perfect blend of the cheeses of different Syrian and Palestinian goats in…
Added by Matt Rees on March 17, 2010 at 3:54am —
As I journey around the Middle East researching my Palestinian crime novels, I love to come upon a stinking squatting-toilet, its evacuation hole bubbling with dark, sinister turds and the air strong with the scent of barely digested, unhygienically prepared lamb kebab. I adore such a khazi on sight, because no one cleaned it up for me or tried to create an illusion that it was just like a toilet in Manhattan or Munich or my mother’s house.
That toilet is… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on March 12, 2010 at 12:16am —
Crime writer J. Sydney Jones has a new blog called Scene of the Crime.
He aims to interview writers about the impact on their writing of the location and sense of place in their novels -- usually from far-flung countries. This week he features me on my Palestinian crime novels. Read on, for the full interview.
A Different View of Palestine
Matt Beynon Rees has… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on February 3, 2010 at 1:08am —
When it comes to homosexuals, Palestinians have it all ass-backwards.
That led me to introduce homosexuality as a theme of THE SAMARITAN’S SECRET
, my most recent Palestinian crime novel. I wanted to show how negative attitudes toward homosexuals function in the Muslim world, demonstrating the bloody… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on December 3, 2009 at 11:58pm —
UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports the discovery of a portion of a Bible
from 350 AD in the library of the monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai. The Codex Sinaiticus is written in Greek on animal skin and the newspaper calls it "a fragment of the world's oldest bible." Well, I hate to disappoint the good Fathers in the Sinai, not to mention the… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on September 4, 2009 at 4:50pm —
It's always a thrill for me to receive the covers of my forthcoming novels from my UK publisher Atlantic Books. They have a series feel in that there's a continuity to the design. Each one seems to get better. Here's the cover of THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, which will be published next February. I received it from my delightful editor in London Sarah Norman just this week.…
Added by Matt Rees on August 14, 2009 at 10:52pm —
It isn't only McDonald's that offers to supersize its food. In the most violent town in the West Bank, the local specialty is a hot cheese and syrup dessert called qanafi. Last month a Nablus baker made a qanafi that weighed 1,300 kg (1.3 tonnes). After the townspeople recovered from the sugar rush, a real estate developer put together a team this weekend to make a 1,700 kg qanafi that was 74 yards long.
The intention is to repair the image of a city damaged by nine years as the most… Continue
Added by Matt Rees on July 20, 2009 at 1:44am —