Showing posts from January, 2022

Lilja's Richard Museum

  I am breaking out of my narrative flow with this blog post which describes a visit to a certain museum in Reykjavik. We will call it Lilja's Richard Museum. Why Richard? There is a big problem with this post, and it's the algorithms. The post is about a museum in Reykjavik devoted to a part of the male anatomy. I'm worried that if I use the normal precise anatomical description it will tickle the various algorithms and bots which will read this post in its various guises with unpleasant consequences. Either they will be shocked and try to suppress it (LinkedIn). Or they will get overexcited and promote it to the wrong kind of people and I will be inundated with sleaze (Google/Facebook). Or filters will block this in email form. So I have decided to call the member in question Richard. Could have been William, I suppose. So, let me tell you about Lilja'a Richard Museum . The Richard Museum This is such a typically Icelandic story. I was in Reykjavik recent

One man and two women men walk into a bar: a banker, a priest and a detective

  I was still on the hunt for real-live Icelanders with which I could people my second Magnus novel. The banker I met Birna, a middle executive in one of the banks, who had lost all of her savings in the bank’s money-market fund, and then her job. In London I met Kristján, an Icelandic graduate student. Pétur told me about Icelandic writers. I was getting to know my characters. Now we come back to the thorny issue of stereotypes. In the first draft of my very first financial thriller, I included a character who was the ‘muscle’ working for an American businessman. I called him Luigi, gave him thick dark hair and an overcoat. As one of my friends said, he was a cliché. So it’s all very well figuring out what a typical Icelandic fisherman, or student, or banker is like, but sometimes you need to make them different from the typical. The priest An example is Hákon, a rural priest in Where the Shadows Lie . I found myself an Icelandic priest, a woman named Sara, and she gave me a portrait