What’s a hard-knock Philly ghetto to a writer who’s been to seventeen countries in twenty-one years of life? A trashy street, a smoky apartment building… This is the ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT of my year so far!
Three years ago I had the amazing blessing of visiting London and seeing some of the spots where my first novel, Paris of London, is set. A few weeks ago I was blessed again–a trip to Philadelphia to see the place where my second novel, Marty’s Kid, racks out its dramatic twists and turns. My dear friend Shannon was so patient with me as I went nuts over Connor’s stomping grounds, which in actuality are a few not-very-impressive blocks in North Philadelphia.
We took the Amtrak train into Philly, stayed the night at a mission apartment on 6th Street, and spent one morning slumming and the next being tourists. As I wrote in my diary that night, “…all that was just a magical, incredible, almost-surreal blessing. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall after that were just icing on the cake.”
By the time I left Philadelphia I wasn’t sure if I should stalk it forever or just pack up and move there. I mean, who wouldn’t wanna know their favorite hero could be around any corner?
As of now, God hasn’t called me there, so I’ll have to be content with admiring from a distance. And writing, always writing. Pouring my love for vulnerable children onto the page through a tense, troubled Philadelphia teen named Connor. Someday, I madly hope, you all will meet him.