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Blog Archive January 2008

The Naming of Vincent Calvino

Recently in an interview I was asked about the name Vincent Calvino. What had inspired me to use this name? In 1990-91 when I started the Calvino series, I began going through the possible names for the central character of the book I planned to write. Naming is an important act in the creation of a work of fiction. If the name fits, it somehow makes the act of imagining the character easier, more fluid and the person becomes, in a sense, “real.”

During this time, I had no idea that what became Spirit House would become the first in what would become a 9-book series (soon to become a 10-book series). I was working in the office of my apartment in Soi 27, Sukhumvit Road one morning, going over my notes. I had a very limited budget in those days. A part of the money was spent on books. Mostly second hand books that hotel staff would find left behind by guest. They would sell them for small change to second hand bookstores. On my desk were several such left behind books. My reading practice has always been to switch my reading between two or three books. I’d read a hour or more, then slip in a bookmark, and start on another book, and go back and forth until the books were read. One of the books I had been reading Italo Calvino’s The Uses of Literature.

Certain authors and their books come into your life at the right moment. The Uses of Literature was one of those books. I still have the original copy with my underscoring from the early 1990s. One of those underscored passages is:

“The telling of stories allowed certain relationships among the various elements and not others, things could happen in a certain order and not in others: prohibition had to come before transgression, punishment after transgression, the gift of magic objects before the trial of courage.”

The second Italo Calvino book I was reading at the same time was “If on a winter’s night a traveler.” I flipped back and forth between these two books. And in so doing, it was hard not to fall under Calvino’s spell. Together the two books delivered a one-two punch. One punch was a sidewinder of insight, the other a body blow of inspiration. Naming my the private eye who would work the mean streets of Bangkok became an obvious choice. Vincent Calvino became my small gesture to pay homage to a great master in literature who had influenced my own thinking about the tradition of literature.

As a footnote, Calvino’s influence hasn’t lessened over the years. When I was invited to attend Semana Negra in Gijon, Spain in 2007 I found a number of Latin American writers had also been greatly influenced by Calvino’s “Six Memos for The Next Millennium.”This small book (128 pages) is a series of lectures Italo Calvino delivered in the 1980s, where Italo Calvino examined the essential elements that he believed were part of our literary tradition. Those lectures have had a significant influence on a generation of Latin American and European writers. I am not certain what influence it may have had in North America.

Vincent Calvino has been the persona used to transmit evolving traditions and values of Western and Eastern cultures, showing their relationship, fault lines, and conflicts. Calvino has allowed me as a storyteller to record the dance of these two partners who have no choice but to find a way to move across the dance floor together.

Posted: 1/31/2008 9:55:56 PM 



These two photographs come from Terry Fitzgerald in Hawaii. Terry's wife Susan and and son Sonny are at Border's Bookstore and in the second shot at his coffee farm. I've had the pleasure of drinking Terry's coffee.

Susan and Sonny on the balcony at Borders in Kailua Kona Hawaii

Susan and Sonny drying Kona coffee at the family farm in Honaunau Hawaii.

Posted: 1/29/2008 12:41:33 AM 


Bangkok update: Film news and New York Times Review

The last week has been a busy one. Two interviews done for Italian journalists who are great supports of crime fiction. And another interview with a German journalist who was in town, and I was able to show him a few of the haunts frequented by Calvino in the novels. A bad case of food poisoning slowed me down on Friday. It is one of those strikes to the system that you fear at first that you will die and 12-hours later wish to die. It was traced back to lettuce in a salad on a restaurant that shall go nameless.

There was been a deal for the movie rights to the Calvino series. The deal is with Keanu Reeves production team and a financier named Steve Samuels (who financed Michael Clayton and In The Valley of Elah. An advance party has arrived in Bangkok and I’ve been showing them around locations from Spirit House and The Risk of Infidelity Index. If everything lines up right (and in Hollywood any project is like a balloon an inch away from a candle flame) then Keanu Reeves would star as Vincent Calvino. All fingers crossed.

Chris Beckingham, who lives in England, has started a Facebook Group called: Christopher G. Moore – ‘The Hemingway of Bangkok’ You can find the page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=11806265411&ref=mf You can log in and join the group. It will include lots of new information about my books and travels.

One review that most authors wish to receive is in The New York Times. On Sunday 27th 2008, The New York Times Book Review, Marilyn Stasio said in her review of The Risk of Infidelity Index: “Moore’s flashy style successfully captures the dizzying contradictions of [Bangkok’s] vertiginous landscape.” At the same time the reviewer thought that I had been “mean spirited” in the treatment of the expat wives in RISK. There is no question that a review in The New Times has an immediate impact. The ranking on amazon.com had been over #200,000 before the review, and at one point this morning ranked #1,867.

Posted: 1/28/2008 5:50:12 AM 



Below Adrian Halbert’s 9-year-old son, Simon, holding a copy of The Risk of Infidelity Index in San Rafael. As you can see the Calvino series is suitable for readers of all ages.

Borders Books, 588 W.Francisco Blvd., San Rafael, California.

Posted: 1/25/2008 2:29:37 AM 


RISK IN ROUND COVE Harwich, Massachusetts

Marge Bunzick, mother of author Sean Bunzick, took this photograph at Round Cove, Harwich, Massachusetts.

Posted: 1/22/2008 3:12:28 AM 



Stephen Leather’s Dead Men, the fifth in his highly popular Spider Shepherd series received a glowing review in The Economist January 19th - 25th. The review observes, “In brisk newsman’s style he explores complex contemporary issues while keeping the action fast and bloody…in ‘Dead Men’, Mr. Leather manages to avoid preaching while he poses tough questions about the morality of the fight against terrorism and whether the means justifies the end.”

As many of you know, Stephen spend a fair amount of time in Thailand. That is when he’s not in England or Ireland. His novel Private Dancer established Stephen Leather as one of the most widely read authors in Thailand.

Posted: 1/21/2008 5:00:18 AM 



Michael Kitt of Warrenton, Virginia, found a copy of Risk in his local branch of Borders. Thanks, Michael, for sending this along.

Borders Bookstore, Warrenton Village
Center, Warrenton, Virginia 20186, USA.

Posted: 1/14/2008 11:55:54 PM 



My Thai language publisher Siam Inter has released the Thai translation of A Killing Smile . The title is Thai is: Ta-non-lo-gee. The rough translation is Carnal Road. I look forward to hearing from Thai readers. The book opened doors that had long been closed on the night world.

The price of the Thai edition is Baht 200 and it is available from Thai language bookstores throughout Thailand.

Posted: 1/14/2008 4:42:25 AM 



Scott McDougal holds a copy of The Risk of Infidelity Index inside the Tattered Cover book store located at 2526 E. Colfax Ave, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Posted: 1/14/2008 3:00:05 AM 



Brent Godfrey, Grand Rapids, Michigan found a copy of The Risk of Infidelity Index in an independent bookstore.

Schuler Books
3165 Alpine NW
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Brent Godfrey in cold 40 mile per hour winds in front of Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Posted: 1/11/2008 1:21:34 AM 



If you have a jpeg of yourself or someone else holding a copy of RISK, please send to: chris@cgmoore.com

A couple of readers have written in asking how to submit the photos. If you attach the jpeg to an email, it should come through. Be sure to include the location of the bookstore and your mail address for the free copy of The Big Weird .

Posted: 1/10/2008 2:56:40 AM 



Professor John Allen Paulos, who is a mathematics professor at Temple University and has gained international fame through his many books and lectures.

He has sent along the photograph below of The Risk of Infidelity Index and his latest non-fiction book: Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up (Hardcover) Irreligion was #627 on amazon.com Like other of Professor Paulos’s titles it is destined to make the New York Times bestseller list.

Professor Paulos found copies of IRRELIGION and RISK in the East Village. I remember St. Marks Bookstore well from my years in the city. I like the thought that RISK is on the shelf.

Professor J.A. Paulos, St. Marks Bookstore East Village,
New York City, January 5, 2008.

Posted: 1/7/2008 9:30:50 PM 



Victoria Ward Centre
1200 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96814

photographer: melissa murphy
model: john murphy
apparel: official RISK team wear
permission to reprint given by melissa and john murphy

it was the only copy in the store, so, purchasers should rush to get it

Posted: 1/6/2008 10:05:01 PM 



Painter Chris Coles has found another copy of The Risk of Infidelity Index in a Santa Monica bookstore.
This time it is Barnes & Noble.

Risk of Infidelity Index at Barnes & Noble
bookstore, 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica

Posted: 1/6/2008 9:54:42 PM 



Chris Coles, one of the leading expressionist painters in the Bangkok Noir movement, has sent along this photograph:

Thai-American Sales Clerk, Thipsuda, at Borders
bookstore in Santa Monica holding copy of The Risk
of Infidelity Index by Christopher G. Moore

Posted: 1/4/2008 4:33:28 AM 


Detectives Search Bookstores for Calvino

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
1450 Ala Moana Center
Honolulu, Hawaii

Below is a photograph of Vinny’s youngest fan in Honolulu, Melissa Murphy. Melissa’s photo seen below was taken by her father, Honolulu lawyer John Murphy.

They’ve tracked down a copy of The Risk of Infidelity Index As a result, I will be sending along a signed complimentary copy of The Big Weird to John, to hold in trust, for the benefit of his daughter, and to sell on her 18th birthday, at which time the value of said book should be (in a perfectly ordered universe) sufficient to fund her university education.

Meanwhile, if you are in a bookstore, take along your digital camera or video camera and do some investigative work. If you photograph or video a copy of the Atlantic Monthly Press edition of RISK inside the bookstore, either with you holding it, or your spouse, child, friend, neighborhood drinking buddy, karate instructor or tax advisor, (or even better) with a member of the bookstore staff, then I will be send you a signed complimentary copy of The Big Weird for your own personal investment portfolio. Be sure to include the name and location the bookstore where you’ve taken the photograph. And make certain that you have the permission of the person(s) in the picture! There will also be a grand prize winner who will receive a signed and numbered a free copy of the Special Limited Edition of A Killing Smile (US$275.00).

The grand prize winner and the winning digital photograph or video will be announced on 14th February 2008.

Posted: 1/2/2008 10:03:18 PM 



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