Via Toronto Star:
Cycling around Toronto helped author recreate childhood
One writer’s own private T.O.
As a child growing up near Bathurst St. and Davenport Rd., Kirshner says she stuttered so badly she rarely spoke. Speech therapy eventually cured her but for a long time she found talking embarrassing.
“It’s a strange sensation,” she recalls. “The words are in your mouth but not coming out.”
To compensate she used her eyes – “like little computers storing stuff” – a visual orientation that led to her research-by-bicycle method.
As she rode, Kirshner also picked up smells. Gliding south on Gladstone Ave. from College St., she sensed the Cadbury chocolate factory from its aromas and worked those into the book.
“You don’t really smell things if you’re walking slowly,” Kirshner says. “I don’t know if it’s true but scent seems to travel at the exact speed as a bicycle. It’s like the wind is carrying it into your face or something.”
Near the chocolate factory, she also saw “a house where I want to make something wonderful happen,” she says. For her next book, her eyes filed it away.
Full article here