Friday, July 08, 2005

Location, Location, Location...

I've sold five books and several short stories. Two of the short stories were set in places other than the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico -- everything else is set on the island.

I've been asked several times whether I would ever write anything about NYC where I was born and lived for about 30 years. Tom Cushman asked. My editor Marcia Markland asked. Readers have asked. So now I'm thinking sure, why not?

Originally, I wanted to avoid NYC as a setting because, well, weren't there already a dozen great mystery writers covering the city? Wasn't I on more or less virgin territory with Puerto Rico?

Also, at the time I started writing, who cared about crime in NYC? There was a stretch of years when, in real life, NYC averaged six murders a day. That's SIX with a capital 6. Every day of the year. No breaks for Christmas or New Year's. The Daily News reported some murders with three inches of column space -- real space was reserved for unusual murders: murder/suicides, multiple murders, etc. One gets a bit jaded. Still, I think I've got an angle now.

Also, now that I've been away from NYC for a while and have listened to what passes for news outside of NYC for three years, I think of NYC crime as newsworthy again.

But what else attracts a crime reader to the locale? I mean, what's so special about NYC now that they've gotten the murder rate to something less than two per day? I'll have to think on that.


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