Friday, November 20, 2015

Six crime writers and a monkey in Southeast Asia

Newark Airport. All photos by Peter Rozovsky
My flight left just as darkness fell in Hong Kong. We followed the night across the Pacific and North America before arriving at Newark International Airport around 11 p.m. I was so drained when I got home that I slept all day.  I have not seen sunlight for 38 hours, and, after a week and a half of 90 degree heat in Cambodia and Thailand, I had to bundle up against the cold.  If only I drank and smoked to excess, I'd have all the prerequisites for writing a Scandinavian crime novel.

Tom Vater
Until then, here are some of the crime writers I met Sunday evening, when Christopher G. Moore, the host for my Thailand visit and a dean among expatriate crime writers in Southeast Asia, interviewed me on stage at Bangkok's Check Inn 99.


A non-crime-writer
outside Phnom Penh
The list includes Moore; Tom Vater, who also wrote the guidebook I used in Cambodia; Harlan Wolff, who chose his pen name at an Irish friend's suggestion after declaring that his writing career would either take off like Hemingway's or sink like the Titanic; James A. Newman, who did a fine job as the evening's MC; and the irreverent Collin Piprell, who asked lots of questions; and Kevin S. Cummings.

Also in attendance was a man billed as the only person to circumnavigate the world five times by motorcycle. Upon hearing I was from Philadelphia, he walked up and said, "Temple University. South Street."

All in all, not a bad evening.

© Peter Rozovsky 2015

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Christopher G. Moore said...

Peter, you made it back! It was wonderful having you share your crime fiction wisdom among the writing community in Bangkok. In the next few weeks, the video of your interview in Bangkok should be posted. By the way, that monkey looks familiar.

November 20, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That monkey was sitting two rows behind our table at Check Inn 99.

November 20, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And I thank you for being such a good host, so willing to surprise your guest. My adductor longuses are beginning to recover from the motorcycle ride.

November 21, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

Hmm--a motorcycle ride and all. Quite the trip.

November 21, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It was. And I finally figured out why my host i Bangkok kept saying i was welcome to stay at his place unless I wanted to stay at a hotel. I told him, when he took for a visit to Soi Cowboy, that if he'd added a wink wink, nudge nudge, i might have figured out what he was trying to tell me.

November 21, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

Good thing you've read all that crime fiction so that you can figure stuff like that out.

November 21, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'll tell you: Many people know about Bangkok's reputation for lasciviousness, but I don't think anyone could possibly imagine the scale on which it exists. Titillation aside, one of the first things I asked is the condition of the women's working lives and how they regard what they do for a living. Their lot is not all that bad, I am told, and they regard sex as a job like any other. Some of my information comes from a UN researcher on sex workers, so I suspect it has some credibility.

November 21, 2015  

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