Yes, bonus features! The book comes out a week from today, so I figured I’d give a little more detail about what’s going on in the book. Kindling Fire with Snow is, I think, a really great example of Write What You Know in that a lot of stuff close to my life got put into the novella. So I thought it might be fun to put together a post with some extra background. And photos!
Kindling Fire with Snow is the story of two teenage sweethearts who meet again after not seeing each other for twelve years. Then there’s a blizzard snowing them in together. Will feelings rekindle? Can they reconcile all the lost years? Does the magic that existed between them when they were teenagers still exist?
The story itself was inspired by an especially snowy February we had here in New York. There were two blizzards that dropped a significant amount of snow on the city. When the first was predicted, New York City preemptively closed the public schools and a number of offices decided to shut down. The photos in this post are all from that particular blizzard, and from my walk down Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, across Grand Army Plaza and the main entrance to Prospect Park and down Prospect Park West (captions shown).
Kindling Fire with Snow centers around a blizzard. It’s a blizzard on this level, one that essentially shuts down the city.Seth and Kieran take a walk to check out the snow damage after two feet of snow have been dumped on the city overnight. Seth lives in Brooklyn, and, although I didn’t specify where, in my head, he lives about where I do in a neighborhood called Prospect Heights, which is just north of Prospect Park and adjacent to Park Slope (recently ruled the best neighborhood in the whole city by New York Magazine). It’s a mostly residential brownstone neighborhood with a lot of young families (seriously, it’s stroller city). I live in a 3-story brick apartment building that I imagine is a bit like where Seth lives. So, when Seth and Kieran go outside, they take a path to the park similar to the one I might, walking down to Eastern Parkway then over to Grand Army Plaza.
That’s Grand Army Plaza on the cover. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m a little obsessed with this particular Brooklyn landmark. The Soldiers and Sailors Arch was recently featured as building of the day on Brownstoner, a local real estate blog, so you can read more about it if you’re interested. The arch marks the northern entrance to Prospect Park.Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park. It had the same designers, in fact, and is slightly bigger. It’s slightly less cultivated, but it’s similar in a lot of ways, too: big lawns, picnic areas, an ice rink, a lake. During the blizzards this year, the park rented out sleds. Seth and Kieran come from the same part of New Jersey that I do. It’s a densely-populated area in Bergen County, about ten miles northwest of Manhattan. I had a friend in high school who worked at an ice cream parlor one summer, and he’d sneak his friends free cones, so that was the inspiration for the ice cream parlor where Seth and Kieran worked as teenagers. And, similarly, Seth remembers a Girl Scout troop that visited; my Girl Scout troop got a tour of that same ice cream parlor when I was maybe 9 years old. I’m sure it was to earn a merit badge, but I can’t remember the reasoning behind it. To get to know local businesses, maybe? The only thing I remember from that particular trip was watching an employee frost an ice cream cake. Apparently it made an impression; in the novella, Kieran is a master of little frosting roses.
One last little thing. The title comes from Shakespeare, which is maybe a tiny bit English-major pretentious on my part, but I like that image, of fire coming out of the snow. In Two Gentlemen of Verona, Julia says,
O, know’st thou not his looks are my soul’s food?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in,
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.
Here, the image of kindling fire with snow is meant to be ridiculous (Julia is basically calling Lucetta a wet blanket in context) but what if a snow storm could create some heat? That’s kind of what happens in the novella.
So, I hope you enjoy! There’s lots more information, including an excerpt and a buy link on the book page.