When I decided to try writing a story set in New York, rather than one of the cities I knew intimately, I wasn’t sure it would work. My last story was set in Brighton. But New York is amazing, and has so much personality and so many layers, and so many different atmospheres. I love the energy of the city, and how it can change from block to block. I love the mixture of people from all over the world who live there.
You can be in the middle of a busy street, with skyscrapers all around you, and then step into a tiny Italian restaurant and find yourself eating next to a table of guys speaking in a language you can’t understand, and the table next to them is people from Oklahoma.
I also wanted to set a story that starts in one place and moves to another. I’ve always loved stories like that. And I love the idea of a city that’s like a character in a story. That’s how I feel about New York. I love the idea of being “in” the city, walking down the streets, and the buildings seem to come alive around you. I love photos of the city taken from the air, especially those from the 1950s, when you get to see all the lines and shapes of the streets. A history that changed so fast.
New York connections
I love the idea of the city being so alive that the people who live there talk about it like they might any friend or neighbour. The past, the present, and the future all co-exist in one place. The city itself feels alive, and the people who live there feel alive, and the two things seem to be connected.
So I decided I wanted to write about a man and a woman who travel from New York. One in search of a relationship with his son. The other looking to reconnect with her younger self. Someone who took risks.
It’s nearing its final draft, ready for an editor to tear apart, and I can’t wait to tell you more.