MY INTERVIEW WITH FIONA DAVIS, AUTHOR OF “THE ADDRESS”
QUESTION: What were your motivations in writing “The Address”?
FIONA DAVIS: I was curious to see if I could write about an iconic building that everyone knows about, and see if I could bring some unexpected facets of its history to life.
QUESTION: What kind of research did “The Address” require? How and where did you investigate the research for this novel?
FIONA DAVIS: I read lots of books about the building, and luckily there are quite a few out there. I also read books and newspapers from the two time periods. Finally, I was able to get a tour of the building, from the basement storage area tot he top floors where the servants used to sleep. It’s unusual- the hallways are narrow but the ceilings are high, so there’s this eerie sense of compression throughout. It’s eccentric, to say the least.
QUESTION: Why did you choose the two timelines for your story?
FIONA DAVIS: 1884 made sense because that’s when the building first opened, so there was some inherent drama and conflict in that. The 1980’s were a kind of Gilded Age of their own in NYC, with all the partying and the bankers with their Rolex watches, so it was fun to compare and contrast. The year 1985 was also far enough removed from John Lennon’s death where I could mention it but not linger too long there. The murder was a seminal event in the building’s history but not one I wanted to write about at great length in a work of fiction.
QUESTION: Who are your characters in the past and present timeline based on?
FIONA DAVIS: In reading about the Dakota, I learned there was a female “managerette” working there in the 1930’s. I took that fact but brought her in earlier, in the 1880’s as Sara. I was renovating my own apartment while I was working on the first draft, so decided it might be fun to write the modern time period from the point of view of an interior designer struggling with a nightmare of a renovation. It was a great outlet for my frustration. Luckily, both my apartment and the new book eventually worked out just fine.
Thank you so much Fiona Davis, for answering my questions. There is so much fascinating information that I have learned. I loved everything about “The Address” and highly recommend it as a wonderful and amazing Historical Fiction Novel.