“People come to the city from all over hoping that it’ll inspire them,” said Blair. “Like a change of venue will have flip some magic switch and they’ll suddenly become the next Kerouac.”

“You’re saying it doesn’t?”

“I know it doesn’t,” Blair snapped, taking a fresh belt of Irish latte from a cafe mug. “I’ve lived here long enough and seen enough starry-eyed people come and go to know that if you can’t write your great novel in Podunk, Arkansas, you can’t write it here.”

“But you moved here to become a writer, didn’t you?”

“That’s different. Back home there were maybe one or two people having their creative dreams crushed by reality; here there are loads of them. Scads. I go to three or four cafes a day just to drink that atmosphere in. It’s research, observation–their pain plus my writing equals something people want to read.”