I didn’t plan on putting St Louis in my next novel. It just happened. I spent a day there on a recent vacation trip to the United States and wasn’t particularly looking forward to it – but I was blessed with beautiful weather as you can see from the photograph of Lafayette Park.
I find it much easier to warm to a place when the sun is shining. When I returned to England and got stuck into the writing again, I kept thinking about St Louis and some of the localities with their wealth of nineteenth century houses. Many of the those settling in the city in the nineteenth century were Catholics (like my main characters) and the city was the birthplace of many American beers including Budweiser (alcohol is a bit of a theme in the book – see A for Alcohol), and the Eads Bridge across the Mississippi opened at around the same time as my novel (which already featured Brunel’s Clifton Bridge) so there seemed to be a synchronicity that I couldn’t ignore. On top of that one of my characters Eliza, wasn’t happy staying in New York City and kept demanding that I send her somewhere else.
The book will be published later this year.