Today we have a 2012 review all the way from Dubai. Writer Alexander McNabb shares his year with us.
Alexander, 2012 has been great for you. Do you have a favourite memory professionally?
As a writer, it’d have to be 1st December and the launch of Beirut – An Explosive Thriller in Dubai! I’m mildly amazed to have been able to assemble four such extraordinary talents to perform at the event.
And how about a favourite moment from 2012 generally?
The Olympics generally passed me by, but I thought the closing ceremony was pretty stunning – when Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ was playing and the fireworks let rip, that was a pretty special moment. They should have ended there, mind – it didn’t need McCartney naa naa na nanananaaaing yet again.
My personal favourite moment of the year was in Shemlan, a little village in the mountains high above Beirut, where I went for lunch with friends – I’ve been going there quite a lot as part of my next book is set in the village. A long, chatty, mezze of a lunch in the warm spring sunshine followed by ‘chai nana’ and argileh (for those wot smoked) and Beirut slowly turning umber in the late afternoon below us as the cicadas scratched away. A snapshot magic moment I’ll long treasure.
Favourite book in 2012?
‘Count Zero’ by William Gibson and the Sprawl trilogy in general. An insanely talented writer, Gibson makes me want to throw up my hands and admit I can’t write for toffee. Once I start one of his books, I have to make a conscious effort to put it down. The guy wrote those books thirty years ago, one of my favourite side-games is catching him out with technologies that haven’t stood the test of time, but that’s sort of mean on my part because the odd technological flub goes by hardly noticed in his work – he’s such a brilliant writer.
Favourite film of 2012?
I don’t really ‘do’ films, I usually watch them on Emirates. Everyone I know is scandalised I watched ‘Avatar’ on a seat-back screen, but I’m glad I didn’t pay to see that. So no, I don’t really have any great cinematic insights to share! Sorry!
Three years on I’ve still not seen ‘Avatar’! Favourite song of the year?
Probably Ulrich Schnauss’ ‘Sirocco’.
Sad to say I’ve never heard of that song. Any downsides for you in 2012?
Watching the news of the Beirut bombing unfold on Twitter was horrible. I have so much hope for Lebanon, but it’s like backing Great Britain in Jeux Sans Frontiers as a kid. My side lost every time, you know? Flying back to the UK to put my dad in a home and returning two months later for his funeral. The last thing I ever heard him say was ‘Oh dear’ and I suspect those were his last words on earth. He was a gentle, funny man.
Are you making resolutions for 2013?
No, I don’t really do resolutions. Let’s just see what the year brings and make the most of it.
What are you hoping for from 2013?
For Beirut to sell well and for someone to decide to make a film out of Olives. That’d be me sorted, thank you. I don’t want much, do I?
Download ‘Beirut’ here: http://amzn.to/UbV84t
Click here to download ‘Olives’: http://amzn.to/Tw0vuB