Meeting a Maltese prize-winner
I know some Brits say Malta has become too urbanised. It might be true. There are 53 towns with a council on an area of only 316 square kilometres. Its population density of 1321 persons per square kilometre makes it the eighth most densely populated country in the world. Yet, earlier this week, Mrs N and I strolled along empty lanes and sparsely-populated seafront promenades. Yes, we had to choose them carefully. The seaside walk was by accident the first time. On Sundays there is a popular market at Marsaxlokk but the queue for the bus was so long we looked for the nearest bus with no passengers and jumped on it – no matter where it went. That was the similarly-named Marsaskala. What a quaint port with nearly empty, wide promenades and cafes. Yes! We’d discovered a closely guarded Maltese secret: their own resort, hidden from the brochures. There’s more – an even cuter bay, but hey, I’m not giving it all away in a blog. I will say that I remain astonished every time I visit Malta’s sister island, Gozo, that I can walk around a small rocky field with no security, no fences, no people on a site known to be nearly as ancient as the so-called temples – ie older than Stonehenge and the pyramids. At least the most famous site, Ggantija, has upped its security with a higher fence and fancypants shop and ticket entrance.
Gozo and the temples that might not have religious origins, no one knows, has a special place in my heart. I always hug or at least fondle the ancient stones and get a buzz in return. No doubt in the future they will all be encased in clear plastic so hug while you can. I use a kind of spirit of Gozo in my urban fantasy, Xaghra’s Revenge. The entire population of the island were abducted by pirates in 1551. Really! Their spirits cry out for revenge and they get it in my novel – in the hands of my agent Rebecca Pratt – sell it, girl! A few details here with photos. While on Gozo my wife and I met Tina from Toronto, and by chance in several other places too. Amazing how once you see someone you keep seeing them – another story there.
Another reason for visiting Malta for me is another chance meeting. I play scrabble and other games on http://www.itsyourturn.com and met Jimmy from Malta there. He knew a writer, John Bonello, who lives in Jimmy’s town Ħad-Dingli, where he
lives with his young family. In 2008 John was awarded Ġieħ Ħad-Dingli for his first book ‘It-Tielet Qamar’. In 2011 he won 1st prize in the National Book Awards for his second book ‘L-Aħħar Ħolma’. We’ve met a few times now and can spend hours discussing writing and publishing. Anyone out there who can read Maltese and enjoy a clever science fiction dimension-themed story grab it from Merlin Publishers here.
ARIA on wikia http://nelderaria.wikia.com/wiki/NelderAria_Wiki
Another web database here http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/nelder_geoff
Geoff’s UK Amazon author page http://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY
And for US readers http://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Nelder/e/B002BMB2XY
You tube video trailer for ARIA http://youtu.be/oh0AAXIe8VU
Like if you will, the ARIA facebook page at http://on.fb.me/12vz7IW