In the cold
Lullaby is a winter tale - everything about it. When I close my eyes and think about the characters, the story, dark and cold are essential factors. I chose to set the action in Brooklyn and New York City, largely because of the New York theater scene, but also because of the winter weather. I grew up mostly in the incredibly snowy, cold part of northwest Pennsylvania, right in the band of lake effect weather that keeps Erie and surrounding towns under a deep blanket of white from November until April. One year, it was so cold that our school, which was full of asbestos, had to close for an entire week. It was in this kind of winter that I had a set of experiences that helped inspire this book, and now the story is irreversibly connected to memories of dark, snow-swirled nights.
New York, in the snow, is just as bitter cold as northwest PA - and in some parts, more so, the tall buildings creating tunnels for icy winds to bluster through. It's a down-to-your-bones cold that's hard to explain but every New Yorker knows it all too well. Ethan hates the cold, but he doesn't let it stop him, either. I like to picture him stomping through the streets in his partially-laced combat boots, his hands raw and chapped because he refuses to wear gloves, the tips of his heavily gelled hair getting frosty, a nice comparison to the ever-bundled, ever-sensible Kate. But most of all, I picture them walking together in the snowy night, hands joined, hearts on fire.