As Taylor Swift would say, welcome to New York City stop for THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT! Today, I’m introducing a contemporary book where the main character’s father turns out to be a powerful politician who is running for U.S. President. Intrigued? Read on for a guest post and make sure you enter the giveaway, courtesy of Penguin!
Joining the family she never knew she had on the presidential campaign trail, Kate tries to find her place in both. Sticking to the script seems safe at first, until she meets, and falls for, rebellious Andy, who just happens to work for the rival campaign. In fact, he’s the incumbent president’s son. Can she trust him, or is he just trying to cause a scandal? To make matters more complicated, when her best friend’s family is threatened with deportation, Kate learns that falling in line with her new family’s politics might not be a compromise she’s willing to make. Under a level of scrutiny she never thought possible, Kate must figure out what she really wants, and how to get it, especially when she finds herself on the wrong side of right. Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, The Wrong Side of Right is equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries — with a dash of Aaron Sorkin for good measure.
How NYC Turned Me Into a Writer
I came to New York City a bright-eyed drama major with dreams of musical theatre stardom, but by the time I left eight years later, the city had whittled me into someone different — shrewder, more introspective, more inclined to imagine an elaborate crosswalk dance sequence than to launch into one.
Groucho Marx famously said, “Practically everybody in New York has half a mind to write a book, and does.” I would never have admitted it at the time — but I was “practically everybody.” It may have taken a few cross-country moves for me to go from drafting plays and short stories to finishing my novel, The Wrong Side of Right, but it was New York that started me on the path to becoming a writer.
I adore both Washington, DC and Los Angeles, two incredible cities that helped inspire The Wrong Side of Right. But to my mind, New York City has the edge as the world’s most perfect author factory. Here’s why.
8.4 Million Interesting People…
Every day, you’re barraged by neighbors. You hear their dinner arguments through your walls, walk side by side with them on your morning commute, cram into subways with shoes and shoulders touching and eyes averted, pass them as they work, date, dine, sob into their cellphones.
They’re every profession, every age, every personality disorder, every geographical and racial background. Although other cities can boast similarly diverse demographics, New York’s universally utilized public transit system serves as a moving melting pot, a point of connection between wildly disparate people. On the subway, I met, among many others, a teenaged ballerina homesick for Iowa, a diminutive schizophrenic who confided that he was Batman, a middle-aged Russian man smuggling a dog in his doctor’s bag, and a soap star I was convinced I’d gone to college with. (I was wrong.)
Even without striking up conversations, you soak up stories every day, in snippets, in glances. You can’t help but be inspired to write your own.
…And Hundreds of Ways to Get Away From Them
The bustle of the city is great for input — but terrible for output. Luckily, New York is fully stocked with tucked away corners and quiet alcoves, such miracles of solitude that they feel almost like portals into alternate dimensions. I’ve always been partial to the time-warp effect of the Cloisters, the Temple of Dendur at the Met, and the Ramble in Central Park, with its hills and lakes and glimpses of what could be castles flashing through the greenery, but for other writers, corner booths at neighborhood coffee shops and benches at waterfront parks have the same effect—the illusion of isolation. A place to focus. A gift.
As a Writer, You Matter
In LA, people smirked when I introduced myself as a writer. In Florida, I’m mostly met with polite befuddlement. But in New York, “I’m a writer” engenders relaxed shoulders, up-nods, smiles that say, “Ah, great! Come on in.” (Note: “I’m a writer” is sufficient. If you launch into an unprompted description of whatever you’re working on, you’ll see smirks aplenty.)
New Yorkers are readers. It’s part of the culture. They eat pizza at midnight, they converse about the weather, they yell at cars in the crosswalk and they read lots of books. So while all artists are part of a protected class in New York, authors in particular are seen as providers of a basic human need. And it’s very nice to feel needed.
But Actually…You Don’t
When it comes right down to it, New York City doesn’t care about you. If you shout to it that you are a special snowflake, the city will shout back, “Prove it.”
So you do. You get up and out into the melee every single day, battle the noise and the smells and the crowds and the street-corner trash tornadoes, resist the dazzling array of temptations lining every commute, work hard to pay your astronomical rent, then come home to do your real job — finishing that novel. Because that, above all else, is what makes a real writer. Finishing that rough draft and then finishing it all over again. (And again. And again.) It takes strength to do that. It takes honesty and backbone. And that’s what New York is all about.
And that’s not all! Since I’m the NYC stop for THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, you guys will get to see THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT hanging out in NYC!
The Book Trailer
Five winners will receive a signed copy of the book, a campaign button, and a bookmark! Trust me guys, you want this book in your life!