Writers are weird. We take odd fascination in the seemingly normal. While at a family gathering for Christmas, a cousin-in-law who happens to be a large animal vet recently had a baby and oh yeah, she runs a single practitioner practice. Meaning, she’s the only vet going out there to save the farm animals. And she’s just. Had. A. Baby. She’s like superwoman. But in the course of her response, she mentioned her office manager. Instead of focusing on the whole story, I zeroed in on that one part, and my writing brain said, “Office manager for a large animal vet in rural Vermont. What must that life be like?
Yep, one casual sentence and my writing brain was off on a tangent. But that’s how us writers work.
So enter the Flatiron Building in New York City. I love the Bowery Boys. I stumbled upon their podcast when I first began researching Gilded Age New York City for my current manuscript. I listen to their podcasts whenever I’m doing something else because as a full time writer, I don’t have the luxury of not moving at the speed of light. But in passing through one of their podcasts, I caught this interesting little tidbit about the Flatiron Building.
The elevators in the Flatiron were run using pneumatic pipes, and sometimes, those pipes broke causing passengers to drown in the elevator.
In the elevator.
Guess what just went into my work in progress?
Side note: The elevators in the building were not replaced until the late 1990s. For real.
There is so much I loved about this book! When I knew I was going to put drowning in an elevator in the Flatiron Building in my next manuscript, I picked up this gem. For a fascinating look into high flying times of turn of the century New York City –