This week, we have a guest post by Joanne Sydney Lessner, author of The Temporary Detective. You can learn more about Joanne by clicking the Author Spotlight link above.
“I Happen to Like New York”
By Joanne Sydney Lessner
I grew up in Newburgh, New York, a Hudson River town 60 miles north of the city, as folks in the tristate area refer to Manhattan. It was close enough for occasional visits to my grandparents, but tantalizingly out of reach for the acting classes and auditions I was dying to go to. After college and graduate school, I finally succeeded in staking out my territory in the city and plunged into the full range of theater-related activities I had only dreamed of.
One thing I never anticipated was how my early years in New York pounding the pavement as an actress would influence my writing. Isobel Spice, the heroine of The Temporary Detective, arrives in the city eager to take Broadway by storm and winds up temping, just as I did. Like Isobel, I was fresh out of school with no office experience, and it took several tries before I convinced a kind-hearted temp agent to take pity on me and give me a chance. Unlike Isobel, however, I never stumbled across a dead body on the job—although I have to confess, there were a few employers I’d have liked to bump off! The Temporary Detective is the first of a series that will follow Isobel as she goes from temp job to temp job (and the occasional theater job) solving mysteries. As fun as it is to devise whodunits, my favorite thing about the series is that I can incorporate my and my friends’ most hilarious and mortifying audition, performance and temping experiences. And, believe me, that well isn’t going to run dry anytime soon!
I’ve lived in the city for over twenty years now and am raising my kids here. They love being born and bred New Yorkers, although ironically, neither of them is inclining towards the theatrical. That’s fine with me—it’s a difficult life. But I can’t help thinking that their experiences living in this propulsive, compulsive, never-sleeping city will inform whatever they do, just as it has for me.
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