Writing Tip #93: Walking and plotting

Readers like to ask writers “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s such a common question at book readings that I’ve noticed writers (on blogs) making fun of people who ask it. Yet it’s rather silly to ridicule someone for asking a question most writers can’t answer themselves. So here’s my answer: I get my […]

Omar Yussef predicted Cairo and Tunis

If you’ve been wondering why the people of Tunisia and Egypt have risen up against their dictators and why it caught Washington with pants down, it’s because you didn’t read THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the latest of my Palestinian crime novels. In THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, which was published exactly a year ago, my Palestinian sleuth Omar […]

Love and the crime novel

The crime novel tradition seems to have little connection to love. Maybe sometimes love in a perverse sense is the spur to the murder at the heart of most crime novels – the spurned husband killing his wife, for example. But usually the detective is a loveless loner, pining without much hope like the great […]

Going historical

Writing of the disdain expressed for genre novels by critics, Raymond Chandler said that there were just as many bad “literary novels” of the type favored by critics as there were bad genre stories – except that the bad literary novels didn’t get published. In other words, there’s nothing inherent in so-called genre fiction that […]

Israel Museum gets funky

I was the first journalist to interview James Snyder when he arrived in 1997 from a sinecure at New York’s Museum of Modern Art to head the Israel Museum, the country’s premier cultural institution. Snyder had neat white hair, a trim build encased in a seersucker suit, and a black tie. This, in a land […]