I started life like a lot of kids do. Born to a teenage parent, apartment in the ghetto, etc. We moved a lot, and one consistent thing that stayed with me was my love of reading. Anything and everything I could get my hands on.
It wasn’t only that books gave me an outlet, a way to escape my surroundings. It was also that they allowed me to travel, to go to both real and imagined places. They made me think about new landscapes and ways of living.
I couldn’t wait to travel. And with that certainty that comes with childhood, I knew that one day, I would.
Know what? I have. My dream came true. I’ve been to so many fantastic countries. And I try to include them in my books; other authors took me to new places, and I want to do the same for people who read my books.
A benefit of this is being able to go to new places to research location. For the final book in the Afterlife, Inc series, I knew it would end in Rome, for reasons that become apparent in the story. But having never been, I felt the need to see it before I could write about it. Google Earth is great, but sometimes you need to feel a place to understand it.
I think I had a romanticised image of Rome before going. I pictured statues of Jove and Juno in ancient buildings. But the truth of it was far more complex. It was a chaotic mix of old and new, and inherent in that was the difficulty that comes with the combination of religion and politics in an ever changing world.
In Fury’s Death I tried to encapsulate this complexity and show some of what I felt when I was there. The beauty, the emotion, the dedication, the history mixed with the modern… I hope you enjoy being there as much as I did.