Events, Plugs and Links

If you’re in the Bremen area, Elke Marion Weiss will be presenting her new crime novel Die ungewisse Reise nach Samarkand at the Krimibibliothek at the Bremer Stadtbibliothek at 6:30 tonight.

Heartache is the featured new release at the Short Story Blog.

Over at Pegasus Pulp, I revisit John Locke’s How I sold 1 million e-books… tome and wonder what remains of his advice one year later. There’s also a follow-up post with links to more reactions on the paying for reviews scandal and my thoughts about John Locke’s loyalty transfer concept and whether it can work.

At Anne R. Allen’s blog, Ruth Harris attempts to offers her take on the eternal question “Where do story ideas come from?”.

Molly Ringwald of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Space Hunter fame writes about the relationship between writing and acting in the New York Times. Found via a comment by Mary Catelli.

At the Book View Café, Sherwood Smith as a good post about the reader-writer contract.

Germany has a really bizarre literary scandal centering around the crime novel Der Sturm (The Storm) by supposedly Swedish writer Per Johansson. Now Germans like Scandinavian crime fiction and Der Sturm would likely have passed unremarked, if the murder victim in the novel hadn’t had some uncanny similarities to Frank Schirrmacher, editor in chief at the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine. What is more, neither author Per Johansson nor his translator Alexandra Grafenstein appear to exist. And Ms. Grafenstein is certainly not a known name among the very small pool of German literary translators specializing in Scandinavian literature. Suspicions quickly arose that the author of the novel was neither Swedish nor named Per Johansson. Instead, the evidence seems to point at Thomas Steinfeld, currently in charge of the culture section at the Süddeutsche Zeitung and formerly in charge of the literature section at the Frankfurter Allgemeine under none other than Frank Schirrmacher. The Zeit and the Welt have more.

Coincidentally, this is neither the first case of a controversial journalistic figure being murdered in literature – Marcel Reich-Ranicki, literary critic at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, was murdered in two different novels in 2002, both penned by disgruntled authors who had received bad reviews by Reich-Ranicki – nor the first case of a German writer pretending to be a foreign crime fiction author translated into German, for earlier this year Jean-Luc Bannalec, supposedly French author of the bestselling crime novel Bretonische Verhältnisse (Breton Relations) was revealed to be none other than Jörg Bong, head of the S.Fischer publishing company. I can understand the need for pen names in the cases of Mr. Bong and Mr. Steinfeld, but why they felt the need to pretend to be foreign authors translated into German I have no idea.

The Smithsonian Magazine has an interesting article on the history of the pink plastic flamingo. Found via Jay Lake. Pink flamingos have never been that popular here, since Germany is garden gnome country. But there is a garden supply store near my home which sells pink plastic flamingos and other kitschy lawn elements for the ironic hipster crowd.

The Hand of Eldrad from the 1970s Doctor Who story The Hand of Fear has resurfaced – on Mars! Pictorial evidence is here. Nope, not really. But it’s still an amusing thought.

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