Monday, May 19, 2014

What a Week

On Tuesday, about 40 friends, most of them of many decades’ duration, gathered at the Hill & Dale in New York City’s suddenly tony Lower East Side to celebrate the publication of Flower of Iowa, which proceeded to take place officially two days later.  

Having launch parties in both the Hudson Valley and New York City might seem like nothing more than a good PR move (or just plain overkill, if you’re a real cynic), but in fact, it was quite appropriate. Even though by the time I finished the first draft of Flower Chuck and I were living in the Hudson Valley, I conceived of the idea for the novel, and began researching and writing it, while we were living in New York – Brooklyn, to be exact, our home for 17 years. Indeed, it was at the big, beautiful, old-style Brooklyn Public Central Library on Grand Army Plaza where I did my first serious research. I needed to go no further than my own borough – not to Illinois, nor to London, nor to France – to realize that Tommy had to be in the 33rd Division, because the plot of the book wouldn’t allow him to be with any other. 



And that was all in the pre-Internet age. When I started researching and writing, the idea that something called an eBook would allow for publication someday was just somebody’s preposterous fantasy. And yet, here we are...