Writing “City of the Dead”

“City of the Dead” is dedicated to Olivia Mainville  / Olivia M Madville, and inspired by one of her late night performances in 2018, when she sang and performed a number of her dark and haunting and beautiful songs.


Having spent months researching the Père-Lachaise Cimetière in Paris, I was gifted with the book’s theme that same night.


Sometime later, I met Jaden Dickinson who worked in a medical examiner’s lab and was kind enough to share many exacting and colorful and gruesome stories about daily work there. 


From that point on, I was on my own, excited to include a much different version her in the pages of ingredients I would use to start the novel. That would begin much later on, after a great deal more research and exploring different textures and voices for the story.


Writing “City of the Dead” was done in another six month trance, entered at five in the morning, seven days a week. Once a write has started, there’s no hesitation or pauses. It is often like a road trip with different cast members taking the wheel, driving recklessly and at high speed, sometimes laughing, other times screaming. Riding shotgun with a typewriter in my lap, I rarely know where we’re going, but never close my eyes.


 All the best,