Friday, 20 November 2009
By Richard Jay Parker
Some weeks it’s difficult to know what to blog about. Sure there’s always something in the news to whinge or theorise about but if I need reminding about the real issues in the world I take one of my regular visits to Matt Beynon Rees’s blog HERE.
Matt is the author of the Omar Yussef novels the first of which (THE BETHLEHEM MURDERS) I recently read and greatly enjoyed. If you have a moment, take a look at this week’s blog about novel research and then scroll down to the one about soldier suicides. In fact, if you have more than a few minutes, scroll down and absorb as much as possible. It’s a sobering reading experience.
But as well as controversy and life and death there’s also his thoughts on Stewart Copeland and the perennial struggle to think of original places to kill his fictional characters. Matt lives slap bang in the middle of what he writes about and combining his beleaguered home turf with some engaging detective stories makes for a powerful cocktail. Miss Marple would be dead in the water.
I’m no newcomer to eking a living as a writer but the book arena is pretty new to me and when I made some tentative steps to try and hook up with some fellow authors I wondered if they were going to be as prickly and bitchy as some TV writers proved to be in the past. Even though he didn’t know me from Adam, Matt was the first to encourage me to promote my first book on his site and was unerringly generous when he had no reason to be.
It’s been largely my experience since my book was picked up for publication. There seems to be plenty of negativity in the industry at the moment but whenever I convince myself that I have anything to really worry about I give myself I a cold shower with Matt’s blog. It’s an experience I’d recommend.