In a magazine called New York Skylight: Men’s Complexions and Their Hidden World, Tristan Worrall said he wanted to do a story about broken hearts, pimples and the “aching” nature of smoking. He began his story, “The Cauldron,” in the middle of a night at the Quality Inn Express on 49th and Sixth Ave., on Sept. 4, 2011.
“I usually take a five-day break from writing,” Mr. Worrall said. “I guess I do stay up a lot at night now. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience.”
Mr. Worrall, who studied literature at Bucknell University, previously wrote short stories for ESPN.com. “People expect me to be a Northeastern douche bag,” he said, “but I’m not that person. I’m just terrified of everything. I’m afraid of being judged by my own mirror, when I spend much of my life trying to judge it.”
“The Cauldron” is also the author’s first novel. To shake himself out of his upper-middle-class anxiety, Mr. Worrall literally embraced homelessness at Times Square, “the ultimate capitulation.” “I needed to drink myself to death,” he said.
He’s not the only one who does. Mark Bein, the author of “Sos,” has lived at Le Parker Meridien, and has a horror at Manhattan. He is born and raised in New York, and said he started writing partly because he still lives in a middle-class apartment with an office next door, and if he wanted to be famous, this is how to make a career out of notoriety.
“I feel like celebrities deserve to be so weird,” he said. “I would never marry, but people marry them. I should write the Eloise wedding book.”
Kristin Cramer, a freelance journalist, also likes to keep it real. She wrote “Sissy’s Secret Drawer,” a self-published novella about a feminist pastor who is embarrassed by her childhood, because she “wanted to be an amazing woman, but she can’t muster up any self-confidence.” For her, writing “Sex and the City” for Regan Books was her higher calling. “I feel like I learned how to express my sexuality,” she said.
Sister Writer: A Random Drinking Game
A couple of things to keep in mind when drinking.
Never, ever, ever, ever in a secret interview ask a writer about that deal they got for their book deal.
Keep in mind that if you drink and write, it’s highly probable you will write about your writer friend (despite the fact that she’s way too cool and mysterious for you to know her).
(Yes, we’re serious) I have no idea what people drink during Midnight Madness, but if I’m on the prowl, it’s usually a liter or two of Bulleit rye, a touch of Angostura bitters and a handful of dills.
Now, go meet your friend for lunch in the same building where you live. Best way to get famous.
Mr. Worrall is now 35, and lives in Long Island City, Queens. He has stayed out of the statehouse the past few months, because he is thinking about writing a screenplay about New York state senators and union leaders who act like they’re caught in a sliver of Hellhole Siberia.
“It’s kind of like the tawdry gossip of it all,” he said. “I love it.”