Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Charms of Denmark

Until two weeks ago, I could take all the things I knew about Denmark and fit them into my suitcase. That would be Hamlet, Ophelia, Gertrude, Claudius, fish and Muhammed cartoons.

Then, thanks to my Danish publisher, Audioteket/Mrs. Robinson, I went to Denmark to support the release of FINDING NOUF - DEN SIDSTE SURA in Danish - and now I know a whole lot more about the place, including the fact that their annual crime writers' conference kicks butt. If we're comparing to similar events in America, I'm afraid we've got some catching up to do.

First of all, it was held in a prison.


(Already, they win.) The conference took place in the countryside, in a town called "Horsens", yet on the first day, 5,000 people came. (Five. Thousand.)

They even brewed their own beer for the event.

And yep, pink donuts.

The interviews I gave had me situated in front of the old prison guards' office, where someone had left the original wall decor in place:


So I talked about women in burqas in front of that. Gotta love a place that's comfortable with such a striking clash of elements.

They even did a television interview with me for a public show called Ordkraft that regularly features writers and the arts. (Go on! Really?)

Not to mention that it's always a thrill to see your publisher so enthusiastic about your book:


Bouchercon, Bouchercon, are you listening? Do you see this? I'm not sure St. Louis can top it, but alas, we will try.

I should have seen this coming. About a week before I left, I received my gratis copies of DEN SIDSTE SURA in the mail. They were some of the most beautiful versions of my novel I've ever laid my hands on. I sat around feeling them. I wish I could convey just how solid they feel, how when I touch the pages I get a quasi psychometric flash of paper traveling over drums, ink rollers happily at work. And the cover has a gorgeous Sistine Chapel feel.


So a huge thanks to Mrs. Robinson for the amazing trip to Denmark and the support of my book. You rock!

How Books Used to Be Made

Aside from the silly intro about authors, this is fascinating:

The Invisible Hero

Recently, I had a conversation with author David Corbett about his concept of the Invisible Hero. These are protagonists who are "stigmatized, demonized, or dismissed." Both his Latino-Americans and my Arab investigator fall into this category. The conversation took some lovely, surprising turns. So check it out here at Mulholland Books' blog!
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