Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Writing

Leaving for New York

You may think it counter-intuitive of me to write a post about New York at this time, after the disaster that Sandy has been, in the light of the dreadful tragedies that have yet to come to light so soon after the storm of a generation. But it’s not odd, for me, to be writing this now. You see, I fell in love with the place when I went there for the first time in my life in June this year. And I’ve been meaning to write about it for an age. And now seems the rightest time of all.

I had expected to be intimidated, overwhelmed by the size of the place, and half-expected to be jetted into scenes from all the dreadful and not-so-dreadful police dramas I’ve half-caught on TV, but it was nothing like that. It was a maelstrom of humanity, yes, but the surprise was that it was such an intimate place, such a friendly, welcoming place, even at night, late at night, when I found myself wandering around Brooklyn and then around Union Square well after midnight. If I were asked to go back right now, I would. If I were asked to move there, I would.

The background, of course, is that I was over there to launch the newly-published hardback edition of Dead Men (and note the link is to my wonderful publisher, the Overlook Press). Overlook and I had been working for months towards suitable dates (the actual release date clashed with my wedding anniversary), looking for venues which would be prepared to host a first-time novelist launching a book which might, at first sight, appear as quintessentially English (the mystery of Captain Scott’s death on his way back from the South Pole), and looking for an indie bookshop which would be a suitable place for a talk about the book.

Anyway, we dealt with all those things, and arranged some engagements in New Hampshire (which shall be a separate post), and even overcame this Yorkshireman’s natural tendency not to want to spend money, and, on 13th June, I finally touched down at JFK on an overcast and gloomy afternoon, revelling in the excitement of travelling alone again for the first time in a very long time, and full of trepidation, too, at being a very small man in a very large city.

I needn’t have worried. Besides being very well looked after at Seafarers & International House

on East 15th Street (to whose small library I contributed a copy of my book), and being overfed, on that first afternoon, by the guy at the sandwich counter at the Food Emporium (the salami sandwich and the extra roll I got were my lunch on Day 1 and my breakfast and lunch on Day 2), everyone, without exception, even people I accidentally bumped into in my myopic wanderings, was unfailingly friendly and helpful. Even people in suits who, in London, to my dismay, are invariably aggressive and shouty and in too much of a hurry even to look you in the eye (and that is painful to say for me, who adored London and lived there for a long time).

I’ll write about the launch and everything else another time. I just wanted, now, to send my most positive thoughts to everyone I met (and didn’t meet) in New York, to hope that the damage to the ground I trod there, and to the souls who inhabit that place, is not too great and will be mended soonest. I hope, one day, to be back.

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  1. Anonymous

    1st November 2012 at 10:22

    With havin so much content and articles do
    you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My site has a lot of unique content I've either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being ripped off? I'd definitely
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  2. richard pierce

    1st November 2012 at 10:26

    I think it's in the nature of blogging that some people will rip off your posts etc, but I don't think it happens very often. I also don't think that anyone has taken any of my stuff and tried to pass it off as their own, which is what plagiarism actually is.

    As far as copyright violations are concerned, no-one can take my copyright away from me, a copy right that's created the minute I put something up here that I've written.

    I wouldn't know how to stop people using this content, although I'm sure there's html code somewhere that prevents copying and pasting, as well as preventing people from downloading photographs. But you'd have to find a technical expert to tell you how to do that.

    ALl not very helpful, I know.


  3. Stephanie_C

    1st November 2012 at 21:17


    Nice to find your blog in return.

    As regards the previous comments, I'm with you. Plagiarism as such is very rare, and if someone quotes a little more than is legally proper, well, hey, that's so much more free advertising!

    As regards your post, as someone who's never visited New York, I found it both informative and moving. I'm looking forward to reading about the launch itself.

    Stephanie (Cage)

  4. richard pierce

    1st November 2012 at 22:05


    Great to hear from you, and thanks for your comment. I agree with you about the free advertising.

    Glad you liked my post, too.

    Mind you, I've no idea when I'll get round to the launch blog post, because I'm the most disorganised unreliable man I know.


  5. Anonymous

    3rd November 2012 at 11:24

    Just wanted to say you have a great site and thanks for posting!…

  6. richard pierce

    3rd November 2012 at 11:25

    Thanks for the compliment. Very much appreciated. R

  7. Anonymous

    4th November 2012 at 16:47

    I dont know what to say. This blog is fantastic. Thats not really a really huge statement, but its all I could come up with after reading this. You know so much about this subject. So much so that you made me want to learn more about it. Your blog is my stepping stone, my friend. Thanks for the heads up on this subject.

  8. richard pierce

    4th November 2012 at 16:48

    Thanks very much, anonymous, whoever you might be. R

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