Scene of the Crime – Christopher J. Yates
Christopher J. Yates introduces where he wrote the gripping and dark thriller, GRIST MILL ROAD
Posted on April 9, 2018 in Scene of the Crime
Tags: Christopher J Yates, Grist Mill Road, Scene of the Crime, where i write
This is where I finished my second novel, GRIST MILL ROAD, only the room looked nothing like this when I wrote my final chapters. To rewind for a moment, my first novel, BLACK CHALK, was written mostly in an apartment in New York City. My desk there overlooks a schoolyard, which means I had to listen to the screaming of children for almost the entirety of my writing days. Perhaps this is a good soundtrack for penning a dark psychological thriller – but I craved somewhere quieter.
So two years ago, my wife and I bought a house seventy miles north of NYC. It is pin-drop quiet. However, it needed a lot of work, so before we embarked upon sprucing the place up, I moved in alone to finish writing GRIST MILL ROAD. I brought with me one mattress, one chair, one desk, my laptop, one plate, one knife, one fork . . . It was perfectly empty, perfectly serene, perfectly dull. I wrote and wrote and wrote.
Once I finished, I set about work on the house itself – ripping up floorboards, painting doors and cabinets . . . I find manual labour to be a perfect counterbalance to writing (the act of being in one’s own head for uncomfortably long periods of time). My idea of the perfect day is a morning spent writing 500 words followed by an afternoon’s work raking up leaves, chopping firewood, moving heavy things from point A to point B . . . I love my new writing room. But sometimes I just need to get the hell out of there.