Allison Goes To New York

on March 29, 2007

I’m in New York.

This is so cool.

Seriously, I had planned to blog about why I think THE KILL finaled in the Ritas over my other two books (basically–alpha male on a motorcycle plus an emotionally driven story), but everything I was going to say fell out of my brain. All I can think about is New York, New York, New York.

I’ve never been here before. If I were Jennifer Apodaca, I’d have something fun and humorous to report. If I were Natalie, something weird would have already happened to me. If I were Deborah, I’d have a poignant story to share. If I were Karin, I’d be talking about the hot, hot, hot firefighters we saw driving through Little Italy in a limo.

But I’m me, and this is my report.

Everyone thinks New Yorkers are rude and grumpy. Not so. They love it here. Every cab driver I’ve had has told me he loves New York. There’s no other city like it. They’d be happy to live and die in New York. One cabby said he’d never been west of Ohio and he’d like to see San Francisco someday, but he’d always come back to New York. Even the doorman of my hotel loves New York. People may walk fast and wear dour expressions, but they love their city, period. And that, friends, means a lot.

Rudy Guiliani is a demigod here. I can’t tell you how many people have told me how he cleaned up the city. I know about parks that no one dared walk through at night, let alone the day, which now have kids playing and lovers strolling and workers eating. I thought there’d be more graffiti, but surprise surprise, not in the heart of the city.

The Starbucks outside my hotel makes a fabulous triple grande nonfat caramel latte. Exactly the way it should be made. I’ll be there against tomorrow morning.

I love the way New Yorkers drive, particularly the taxi drivers. I get from Point A to Point B fast. I like that. 🙂 There’s this unspoken camraderie on the road, a competitiveness that is almost friendly, as they weave in and out, turn, speed up, slow down, but always get you to where you want to go.

Did you know Broadway is 150 miles long? That’s much, much longer than Manhattan.

The city never sleeps, the food is fabulous, there’s shopping on every corner, and water all around–the East River and the Hudson River and then, of course, the ocean. I saw the Statue of Liberty, albeit from afar, and stood there proud to be an American, even 3,000 miles from my home. I saw Ellis Island and understand exactly why people want to come here. We drove by Trinity Church, the church untouched by the terrorists that fateful day, right at ground zero. And I saw the hole those terrorists made and Americans rebuilding what’s ours. Because no matter what, whether you live in New York or San Francisco or any point in between, what happened on September 11, 2001 united us all. And I hope we never forget, because in adversity, what hurts us makes us stronger, and with all our diversity and hope and strength and suffering and life, we are Americans.

I already know that I will return someday, and hopefully soon. I don’t think I could live in NY–especially with kids–but I sure wouldn’t mind visiting regularly and soaking up the atmosphere, the pride, the pulse of America.

NY and California are totally different. We sure love our cars in California, our roads. Our space, our mountains, our lakes, our parks, our elbow room.

I never thought I could be a city girl, and I’m not–I like my wide open spaces, I like the quiet, I like listening to frogs and crickets and soothing running water. But I can definitely see the appeal of the sounds and lights, the ability to go out and just do anything at any hour. That Starbucks is always without walking distance. 🙂

There’s some things I want to do that I don’t think I’ll have time to do. Eat a hot dog from a corner stand. Or at least a pretzel (they smelled SOOOO good, but I had just eaten lunch . . . ) Shop. A lot. Try out a bunch of restaurants that looked and smelled good. Take a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park. I’m here on business, and today was my “free” day. But maybe, just maybe, I’ll get something else in.

So, now, you know what’s next, right? Time for BLATANT SELF PROMO. Yep, I have a book out this week. FEAR NO EVIL hit the shelves on Tuesday. If you haven’t picked up a copy, I’d love it if you did. This is the story with Dillon Kincaid, the forensic psychiatrist. He has forty-eight hours to find his sister Lucy before she’s murder over a live webcam. RT gave it a top pick. So if you find yourself in a book store, you know what to do 🙂

BTW, I’m here in NY for a published authors conference. If I pick up any interesting tidbits about the market and what’s hot and what’s not I’ll let you know. For the record, though, I never think you should write TO the market. Write what you love, and the market will find you. You may have to tweak and smooth after the fact to make it more marketable, but unless you have the passion for what you’re writing, it’ll be a much harder sell–whether you are already published, or not.