You don't have to be in New York anymore. That was the decision I finally made.
When I graduated from Vassar in 1975, you had to be in New York. This is where publishing was, and the news business, and Lincoln Center and the Met, and I was entranced by it all. It was the cultural capital of the world, a place where the young could afford to live out their ideas before bringing them to market.
But things have changed. New York still has energy, but today it feels less creative, more aggressive and acquisitive. It's increasingly a town of billionaire bankers, million-dollar one-bedroom apartments and relentless stress. If the pulse of Washington is driven by power, the pulse of New York is driven by money.
The heartbeat of Los Angeles, on the other hand, is driven by creativity. A few years ago, I realized that some of the happiest times in my life were my visits to L.A. I've always been attracted by the great American dream of going West and inventing yourself anew. And L.A. is filled with creative people who've come there to make their dreams reality -- including performers, directors, designers, chefs, stylists and, of course, writers. More than a third of the authors on the ReganBooks list come from the West Coast -- recently published authors as diverse as a journalist, novelist, designer, historian, neuroscientist, master chef and architect.