Let us create a 3D eBook for you!
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com

Why Malta? A Mystery-Thriller Author Tells Why


"Why Malta?" my new Maltese friends kept asking me when they find out that my mystery-thriller The Cellini Masterpiece is set on Malta. Mind you, only the Maltese ask that question. (Some kind of national inferiority complex?) Americans ask "Malta Who?" or "Where the heck is Malta?" or "Is it about the Maltese Falcon?" (They must always think that they're the first ones to think that up.)

The difference in questions is obvious. The Maltese are puzzled. Americans are plain ignorant. Someone once wrote that the way Americans learn geography is by war.

Why Malta is the question that is harder to answer. My usual comeback is why not? That usually brings a laugh, but it's difficult to explain how a tiny bit of limestone southwest of Sicily should hold such an interest for an American for so many years. I will be 65 by the time this article is in print, but I fell in love with Malta sight unseen as a 10-year-old in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was a stamp collector and bought one of those cheap worldwide stamp packets, with one stamp showing Verdala Palace in Malta. Somehow it grabbed my interest, and a few years later I started reading about Malta until I had exhausted the local library collection. The chance discovery of a stamp led me to one of the most geographically and historically significant places in the world. Literally the crossroads of the Mediterranean, it has Neolithic temples pre-dating the pyramids and has been occupied by every world power since the ancient Greeks. I'm a historian, for heaven's sake. Who wouldn't be interested?

I was hooked. My stamp collection turned into a business, which I named Maltalately (for Malta philately). Even so, all my life I wanted to write a novel set in Malta.

At age 14 I read Cellini's Autobiography. The rogue artist absolutely intrigued me. I also know he lived in the mid-16th Century and that the Knights of St. John defeated Suleiman the Magnificent's Turks in the so-called Great Siege. It was the greatest holy war of all time and may have saved Europe from occupation by the Turks. Voila. Somehow my novel would involve Cellini and the Great Siege. I even had a punch-line. Now all I had to do was write it.

It took more than twenty years but I finally had a finished draft in 1985. The Jonathan Lazear Agency decided to represent it. Unfortunately, they weren't able to find a publisher and the manuscript went back on the shelf to languish for nearly ten years before I finally went to Malta for the first time at age 54. I stayed at a bargain accommodation, the Soleado Guest House in Sliema. What a great location to set the novel! I dusted off the manuscript and started again. My first change was to give Rick, my hero's, sidekick a sex change. My male cab driver was now a sexy young woman. The manager of the Soleado, Joey Bugeja, got a gender change, too. He was now Josefina. How could I miss?

The events of September 11, 2001, although tragic, provided another powerful plotline, since Malta is near North Africa and has close economic ties with Libya. I should be able to polish the book off in a couple of months, I thought.

Not. Things still didn't fit together quite right. In September of 2003 I enlisted the help of a musician I had met while I was selling postcards. He liked thrillers and had a keen ear for the music of language and a discerning eye for the continuity of my story. Taking him on board was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and by the beginning of 2004 I could envision the final draft. Then I heard about the North African boat people who were landing in Malta. Wow. Now all I had to do was tie Benvenuto Cellini to Suleiman the Magnificent and add in a plot from World War II with another involving modern-day terrorists and refugees. What could be simpler? Even Snoopy could do it.

Somehow I did do it. And according to my readers, successfully. Why Malta? Because there is no other place in this whole wide world where the story would make sense.

The other answer to "Why Malta" is found, for me, in a quote from Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence. It could have been written for me. "I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them among certain surroundings, but they have always nostalgia for a home they know not?. Sometimes a man hits upon a place to which he mysteriously feels that he belongs. Here is the home he sought, and he will settle amid scenes that he has never seen before, among men he has never known, as though they were familiar to him from his birth. At last he finds rest."

SAHHA u hbibierija.

To read a chapter of The Cellini Masterpiece, or to ask John a question or comment, log on to http://www.cmasterpiece.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Book Reveiws - Google News

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Book entertaining, characters one-dimensional - Bismarck Tribune


Bismarck Tribune

Book entertaining, characters one-dimensional
Bismarck Tribune
Del Corwyn is an aging out-of-work actor living in modern day Los Angeles. A former A-lister, who at the highlight of his career, was nominated for the coveted Oscar. As a young actor, he met and became more than a little friendly with the legendary ...

Book looks at choosing partners - Bismarck Tribune


Bismarck Tribune

Book looks at choosing partners
Bismarck Tribune
The author is a British “relationship psychologist,” who is most famous for co-authoring “The Joy of Sex,” with Alex Comfort. With this book, she covers another important topic. Quilliam briefly sketches the history of marriage selection. She notes ...

John Lutz novel imagines threat of WWII atomic bomb - STLtoday.com


STLtoday.com

John Lutz novel imagines threat of WWII atomic bomb
STLtoday.com
We all know that the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II. But what if the U.S. had a third bomb ready to drop? What if that third bomb suddenly disappeared? And what if a vengeful man of half-Japanese descent learns ...

Local teacher writes novel about Lincoln as a boy | Book reviews ... - STLtoday.com


STLtoday.com

Local teacher writes novel about Lincoln as a boy | Book reviews ...
STLtoday.com
Jan Jacobi has been a middle school humanities teacher for more than 40 years, many of them at St. Louis Country Day School and MICDS, and currently at St. Michael School of Clayton. In “Young Lincoln,” his novel for young adults and middle readers ...

and more »

Lisa Halliday on 'Asymmetry' - New York Times


New York Times

Lisa Halliday on 'Asymmetry'
New York Times
In The New York Times Book Review, Alice Gregory reviews Lisa Halliday's debut novel, “Asymmetry.” Gregory writes: Photo. Halliday's novel is so strange and startlingly smart that its mere existence seems like commentary on the state of fiction. One ...

Book Reviews: Andrew Jackson, The Man on the Bill - The Epoch Times


The Epoch Times

Book Reviews: Andrew Jackson, The Man on the Bill
The Epoch Times
Shen Yun Special Coverage · The Classics: Looking Back, Looking Forward · Performing Arts · Fine Arts · Literature · Entertainment · Film & TV · Film Reviews · Entertainment News · Life · Slice of Life · Inspired · Autos · Careers · Family · Education ...

Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy, book review: Inventions with unexpected connections - ZDNet


ZDNet

Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy, book review: Inventions with unexpected connections
ZDNet
Everyone who reads this book probably has a different list of things they wish had been included. Personally, I would have liked to have seen a nod to the textile arts -- particularly knitting and weaving. In science and technology, however, there are ...

11 New Books We Recommend This Week - New York Times


New York Times

11 New Books We Recommend This Week
New York Times
(Avon.) Cole's main character, a young epidemiologist pursuing her Ph.D. in New York, is refreshingly down-to-earth, and her love affair with a young African prince develops at a satisfying slow burn. This novel checks a lot of boxes: STEM girls ...

Comic Book Reviews for February 14, 2018 - IGN


IGN

Comic Book Reviews for February 14, 2018
IGN
By Jesse Schedeen, Blair Marnell and Kat Calamia The comic book industry celebrated Valentine's Day with another massive pile of new releases. DC welcomed writer Grant Morrison back into the fold with Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1. Marvel ...

LargeFriends.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!
SuccessfulMatchCentral.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!

PreLaunchX

PrimeNews Domain Is For Sale - $5,000 For Enquiries eMail Us

© www.PrimeNews.biz - 2012

home | site map | links