People often ask where the ideas for my books originated. In my case, there's usually more than one spark that leads to a novel. A variety of circumstances, settings, and events usually coalesce at some point and I start writing.
For Angel of the L Train several experiences factored into the story. For today’s post, I'll reveal something about one of major settings in Angel of the L Train. Settings are essential for me. I visualize the places where all the events in a story occur. That way I can convey the important details to the readers.
New York City is featured in this book. I am not an expert when it comes to New York. However, I don't live far away from it, and I have spent time there. In my younger years, I went there on class trips or with my parents. During my college years, I visited the art museums. Later, I met my husband and learned he grew up in Brooklyn. His parents continued to live there until they retired to Florida. One of our daughters lives there now.
Many years ago, our Brooklyn daughter required two serious surgeries. Hubby and I stayed at her apartment and visited her at the hospital every day. That's when I learned all about alternate side of the street parking and the subway.
Alternate side of the street parking is very annoying and a good reason not to have a car in the city. But the city needs to keep the streets clean. So, people with cars have to move them in order for the street sweeper to clean the street. But, with parking spaces at a premium, as soon as the street sweeper goes by, people rush to park their cars on the clean street before someone else comes along and takes their space.
The New York City subway is endlessly fascinating to me. There's always entertainment of some sort, which ranges from classically trained musicians to the bucket banging maniac in the tunnel or the poet who will compose a poem on the spot just for you. There are also renegade entertainers who do not apply for a permit but entertain anyway. Performers actually don’t need a permit but they must adhere to a long list of the transit authority’s strict rules. These include no amplification and not impeding passenger movement. Most importantly, musicians are not allowed to perform inside a subway car. Some do it anyway. Once, hubby and I were on the subway and a gang of musicians with congo drums invaded the car. They pounded those drums with all their might, passed around a hat for money, and exited the car at the next stop. They didn't get caught.
Of course, there are rats in the subway. Those furry underground denizens appear to be perfectly adapted to the environment and they are not afraid of people.
For more about the subway read this: https://www.thrillist.com/travel/new-york/nyc-subway-best-way-to-see-new-york
Next week, I'll tell you about the other setting I used in Angel of the L Train. Watch for it!