When my husband and I lived in Westchester, NY, we traveled into Manhattan on a regular basis. Most of the time, we took the train (the Harlem line) into Grand Central Terminal. It’s an above-ground trip for most of the way, until the very end when the train enters a tunnel. The last few minutes of the trip are spent in darkness as the train slows and arrives at a platform. We usually arrived on the lower level and fought our way through the crowds in the dining concourse to emerge on the upper level. In the main concourse, throngs of people scurried around under the celestial ceiling and the watchful gaze of the four-faced clock.
For me, this was the starting point for so many wonderful memories in NYC. I knew Grand Central would feature prominently in my story when I started writing Inland. Hundreds of thousands of people pass through Grand Central every day. If you need to hide a secret portal to an alternate universe, why not hide it in the middle of so much chaos –- where it could easily go unnoticed? For me, Grand Central Terminal’s size, location and history made it the perfect place to hide just such a secret.