Intifada Bethlehem 1: Beit Jala violence

At one of the Bethlehem locations from my first novel The Collaborator of Bethlehem (UK title The Bethlehem Murders) with a group of Norwegian visitors who posted some brief videos. This one is in Beit Jala, looking across the deep wadi at Jerusalem and talking about the gunbattles that used to take place there.

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 […]

From intifada trauma to Mozart murder

The excellent UK crime fiction blog Crime Time features a guest post from me today. I write about how my initial ideas and research for my historical thriller MOZART’S LAST ARIA grew out of my attempts to soothe the trauma of covering the Palestinian intifada as a foreign correspondent.

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 […]

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 […]

Bethlehem upbeat for Christmas

For the first time in years, the people of Bethlehem have something more to celebrate at Christmas than the recollection of an important birth in their town 2,000 years ago. After the city’s economy was devastated by the Palestinian intifada over the last decade, Bethlehem’s economic recovery has picked up pace in the last year […]

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 […]