Last year, author Fiona Davis published her wonderful debut, The Dollhouse, rich in history about the Barbizon Hotel in NYC. Keeping with iconic Manhattan landmarks, her fabulous new release, The Address is set in alternating timelines; in the late 1800s during the building of the Dakota, the architecturally stunning residence on the upper west side of Manhattan: Sara, a housekeeper at a fancy London hotel meets Theo, the talented NYC architect. He takes a job at the newly built Dakota, and craziness ensues. Their budding relationship remains hidden from his wife and children as they bond, it turns passionate and a crime is committed. In 1985, fresh out of rehab and penniless, designer Bailey, a descendant of the wealthy Dakota architect, is not in line for the healthy inheritance without genetic proof. Her cousin Melinda, set to take over the family riches, hires her to orchestrate the renovation of the building and Bailey learns of her architect relative’s murder by a crazy lady named Sara. And so the two compelling stories come together with rich historic detail and beautifully creative characters, revealing the secrets from inside the unique and wonderful Dakota.
I had a chance to connect with the lovely Fiona Davis and ask her a few questions about her new and successful career as an author. It went as follows:
Jennifer: What has been the high point in your writing journey from the release of The Dollhouse to now? From your first public book talk to a People Magazine feature, you have accomplished so much in such a short time!
Fiona: I have to say, the first book talk for The Dollhouse seemed so scary! It was at a library in Westport, CT and there were more people than I expected to show up for a debut author. My knees were definitely knocking. But I loved every minute of it, especially answering questions after the reading. Now I adore doing Q&As and book talks, and I think those are my high points. The readers are so knowledgeable and inquisitive and their support has been amazing.
J: What are you reading now and what do you recommend for the summer?
F: I’m currently reading Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta, and next up is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. I’d recommend Eve Chase’s The Wildling Sisters, Jamie Brenner’s The Forever Summer as great vacation/beach reads.
J: Can you tell me a little about what you are working on now?
F: The next book is a similar structure, two time periods with a connecting mystery, set in Grand Central Terminal, and I’m having such a good time researching and writing it. I won’t give away too much, but I will say I’ve learned some really surprising things about the building that I can’t wait to share with readers.
J: Are you developing a “formula” or pattern you use for writing?
F: I do love setting books in architectural landmarks and using dual time periods, so I definitely have a trend going on there. Once the Grand Central book is done, I’ll start thinking about other locales and possibly structures, but so far I’ve been having the time of my life. The pattern for each book, even though it’s similar, is incredibly challenging and rewarding.
I am now officially excited for the new book. I loved The Dollhouse, and I highly recommend Fiona Davis’ new release. With two connected stories, old New York, ornate architecture, an illicit affair, an illegitimate child, an insane asylum, and the beautiful Dakota on the upper west side, The Address is a perfect mix of history and mystery, fast pace and fun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fiona Davis kicked off her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway and in regional theater. After ten years, she decided to dabble in writing and started out as an editor. She is also a graduate of the College of William & Mary and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Currently, she is based in New York City, even though she has lived in various parts of the world, including Canada and New Jersey.