To be honest, I don’t think I’ve spent much time talking about the first story, which follows the arrival of Alex Cohen as he arrives in New York in the early years of the twentieth century. As a story idea, it has been inside me for ten or fifteen years before I set it down. I wanted to create a tale about a guy who hangs around the Jewish and Italian gangsters so I could mesh a story about my favourite most intriguing episode in history. It combines my fascination with stories about the Jewish mob and how the individuals mixed with their Italian counterparts and my love for questions of identity.
The key concept for the first story was to finish with the American involvement in what we now call the First World War. It’ll make sense why when you read the novel, which will be out in the Fall. And the second story is set during the Prohibition Era.
I’ve said enough for now. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you more at a later date. In the meantime, do let me know what you think about my shift from 1960s Baltimore to 1910s Manhattan.