Monday, 19 May 2014

Writing Inspirations: I Stole This From Roba

EspaƱol: Zapatillas marca Converse frente a un...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I first met Jordanian blogger, trouble maker and Converse-loving spectacle rack Roba Al-Assi at the inaugural ArabNet Beirut. She's a sweetie. She was never to know that I am a habitual thief and stealer of people and souls.

Like wot I said, I'm doing a series of workshoppy talky things at the Canadian University in Dubai on the subject of writing, editing and publishing books. That, along with the WIP, has Mr Head pretty solidly in Bookland. And the writing workshop had me yowling manically at my audience of mildly concerned-looking students about writing scenes as if you're there: the feeling of a cold key in your pocket, the smell of summer barasti, the crackle of logs on a fire. That kind of thing.

Which took me right back to 2010, when I was writing Beirut - An Explosive Thriller and stumbled across a post on Roba's mighty blog, And Far Away. It was to become the soundtrack to the whole scene between Nathalie and Maalouf in the Casino du Liban. The post is linked here for your viewing pleasure. Roba's blog, incidentally, rarely fails to charm and delight.

The idea was basically to get you to open three tabs on your browser with three links. One here, the second one here and this here one here. I'm a simple bear, the whole thing delighted me and I had it playing as I started tapping out the characters that would form the words that would become my characters. It was still playing as I smacked the last full stop of the scene and shoved back my chair with a happy sigh.

Incidentally, it was also Roba who introduced me to Bar O Metre, the packed (and engagingly skanky) student bar on the margins of AUB which I didn't hesitate to steal for the scene where Lynch nabs the evil 'Spike'.

But it was the soundtrack thing that got me. I've posted before about how music is such an influence for me when I'm writing. And right now I'm doing an awful lot of Afro Celt Sound System and The Frames. For what it's worth...

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