Matt Rees's Blog – April 2011 Archive (10)

The Prestigious Matt Rees International Literary Prizes

I have observed in this space before that author bios tend to be short on interesting detail and overfull of prize lists. Philip Roth, for example, doesn’t seem to exist, according to his bio. He doesn’t live anywhere, nor was he born. He simply receives prizes. This week I’m reading a very good historical novel by a writer who shall remain nameless. Perhaps it’s best that she…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 29, 2011 at 3:47am — 4 Comments

Doctor knows life and death: Abraham Verghese’s Writing Life interview

If you were a book editor who wanted to create the perfect writer for a best-selling epic novel of an African-born doctor forced to take refuge in the U.S., you might pick someone from Ethiopia. Make him of Christian Indian parentage. Educate him in medicine and send him to the Iowa Writing Program. Make him work in top medical jobs with HIV patients who’d force him to examine…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 22, 2011 at 11:40pm — No Comments

Book publicity: the full set

In the Royal Navy, there’s only one kind of facial hair allowed. British Tars are either clean shaven or they sport a beard, known in the service as a “full set.” The antipathy to the mustache is no doubt because of its predominance among the rival landlubber officer class (although it could’ve later been its association with a different kind of “sailor.”)

Book authors now…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 21, 2011 at 10:20pm — 1 Comment

From Romance to Corpses: Tess Gerritsen’s Writing Life

Tess Gerritsen started with romance, but soon realized that dead bodies were where it’s at. At least, dead bodies handled deftly by the two most compelling female series characters in thriller fiction, Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles. Her first books were romance novels, but after writing eight of them she switched to medical thrillers. The 25 million books she has…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 17, 2011 at 11:42pm — No 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 unduly negative. Or they’re simply afraid to see what’s in front of…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 16, 2011 at 4:42pm — No Comments

Getting Inside Your Head: Virtual Reality guru Jeremy Bailenson's Writing Life

Move over cards, cocaine, and nicotine, Virtual Reality is the new addiction. It isn’t restricted to the realms of academe or science fiction. Whether you know it or not, it’s going to change your life. It already may have done so. Stanford University Professor Jeremy Bailenson is co-author of a new book,<a href="http://www.infinitereality.org/"> Infinite…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 10, 2011 at 6:29pm — No Comments

A Voice for her People: Susan Abulhawa’s Writing Life interview

Susan Abulhawa is a unique voice in contemporary fiction. She’s a Palestinian, born in Kuwait to a refugee family. She spent some years in an orphanage in East Jerusalem, her ancestral city, before university education in the US and she now lives near Philadelphia. She’s the founder of a wonderful charity,…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 8, 2011 at 7:23pm — No Comments

Meditating the next novel

I’ve written here in the past about how I use meditation techniques to get into the zone for writing every day. But now meditation seems to have helped me come up with the idea for my next novel.

Last week I was in a rotten mood. My son woke up too early. I hadn’t slept well. The boy was whiny and tossing his Cocoa Crispies on the floor. The crema on my espresso was too…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 7, 2011 at 6:23pm — 2 Comments

The Heart to the Rest of the World: the Writing Life with Tony Parsons

When you ask writers what underpins the greatest books, they may talk about structure, style, character-building. The best of them identify the novelist’s emotional understanding of himself and his ability to translate it to the page. That’s what strikes readers – perhaps without their even knowing it – and gives them an immediate connection to the work. At this, Tony Parsons is… Continue

Added by Matt Rees on April 5, 2011 at 6:01pm — No Comments

Married to Mohammad:Marguerite van Geldermalsen’s Writing Life interview

In the southern desert of Jordan, the ancient Nabateans carved their city, Petra, out of the red-rose rock. Later the caves were home to tribes of Bedouin. And to a young backpacker from New Zealand who fell in love with a Bedouin man. Marguerite van Geldermalsen met Mohammad in the late-Seventies and for the initial seven years of their marriage they lived inside the rock and…

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Added by Matt Rees on April 2, 2011 at 6:18pm — No Comments

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