So long have I been entranced by New York that deciding to set my first novel there didn't even feel like a choice. I just knew it was the right place. As I did my research I quickly found out that New York, Manhattan in particular, contained everything I needed as a setting for Locked Within.
There are few melting pots of so many cultures crammed into such a dense and ultra-modern place. For a story about reincarnation and the merging of old and new, drawing strength from different sources, there was no better place.
The city is filled with imagery from classical myth. Statues and references to the Greek gods can be found all over the place. Ever since the city's first major constructions, city planners have embraced a strong connection to the Old World, blending past and present in the city's art and architecture. I like the idea of a powerful city, a focal point of modern civilisation, where the old ways inspired the new.
My wife once commented on how well New York fit, saying "When the Old World wanted to hide from itself, what better place for it to go?"
The New York Public Library, along with several other landmarks, appears in Locked Within. I knew that if I was going to set a book in New York, I had to make it feel authentic. If a supernatural world existed there, it needed to be blended into the important places of the city, a real part of the environment. My goal was to make the reader feel that this book couldn't have taken place anywhere else but New York.
Riverside Park is located along the Hudson River. Beneath it runs Freedom Tunnel, a rail tunnel popular with urban explorers and a place the homeless took shelter before it was closed off. The park serves as a place of sanctuary for my hero, Nathan Shepherd, and while Central Park may be the most famous of Manhattan's many parks, Riverside feels cosy and secure, away from the city's eyes.
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