While I was in New York meeting my USA publisher and agent, I also got to do some research for my second book. In the final third of the book, the characters go to New York, and particularly The Metropolitan Opera House and Central Park.
I had a lot of fun researching the facilities, going on tours, taking photos, talking to people, and walking exactly in the footsteps my characters will walk in. It was like being inside the book myself. I went to the locations at night and during the day because everything looks and feels and smells so different at the various times of the day.
After my beta readers read my last draft of this book, they commented how the New York scenes had come to life. Even though I lived in New York for three months, that was decades ago. So it was great to breathe life into the New York scenes. It's not just the visual, it's the atmosphere, the people, the shops, the smells, the activity surrounding the scene you're describing, that's important.
Central Park was pretty special too. I had to cut out a big chunk of the scene in the park, but in the first draft, it played a big part in the book. Nonetheless, I loved my hours there, drifting down the paths and getting completely lost, and loving every moment.
The book also has many scenes in Vienna, and I was lucky enough to go there the Christmas before last, so I have that visit to draw on when I'm writing the scenes in Vienna. My two favorite things in the world are books and travel - research allows me to have both at the same time!
Next time, when I'm back for the book launch of the first book, THE HARPER EFFECT, in May 2018, I wish to stay in this hotel.