Wonder Boi Writes

7 Weeks Till LoveLife: Location Location Location

We’ve now 7 weeks (actually 6 weeks and 5 days) until the official release of LoveLife, and while most of my time and energy has been spent on wedding prep (3 days on that countdown), I did want to take a few minutes to check in with you guys and spend a some quiet time in my happy place, if not physically, at least mentally. You see, LoveLife is the first book I’ve ever set anywhere other than the Midwest. I’m from the Midwest originally, it’s where I met Susie, where I went to college, where my family still lives.  And even though we moved to Western New York 6 years ago, the town we live in has a very Midwestern feel to it.  It’s small with cute festivals in the town square. You can hear the church bells on a quiet night, and we’re surrounded by grape farms.  The Midwest just made sense for me because it’s what I know best. However, the longer we’ve lived here, the more we’ve ventured into Buffalo.  We, like many people in other parts of the country, expected Buffalo to be all but dead, a cold, dirty, snow-covered, deserted, frozen remnant of the days when America produced steel. Did I mention it was cold?  My grandpa went so far once as to warn me I’d need to snow shoe out my upper windows since the snow might block my front door. It didn’t take us long to realize how wrong we were. Buffalo is always in flux, giving it a sense of excitement, and while it does have more than a few run-down neighborhoods, you can also find amazing art houses in some of the most dilapidated old warehouses. We’ve been delighted to find its thriving arts community, its funny neighborhoods, and its large parks and play spaces, none of which we expected in the rust belt.  We love the zoo and Delaware park. We love Elmwood Avenue with its ethnic restaurants and Allentown with its cool shops. We love Bisons’ baseball games and the 23 playhouses doing live theater throughout the city. Buffalo is also the place where Joey and Elaine were born. The early meetings where they took shape all occurred in the city.  It only seemed right to keep them there. I know what you’re thinking, “What about the weather?”  I’m going to let you in on a little secret you only know when you live here: The weather is the best part of Buffalo!  The springs are bright and filled with a sense of renewal not found in warmer places, summers are mild and beautiful. They’re almost idyllic. The autumns are crisp and colorful, and the winters turn the whole world into a playground.  Here on the shores of Lake Erie, we do not huddle inside for 5 months.  We ski, snowshoe, ice skate, play pond hockey, and have ice festivals. We drink hot chocolate and tailgate in the snow.  We don’t just survive winter; we revel in it.  So when it came time to set a book in Buffalo, there was no other time to situate it than during winter. Since most of you aren’t from Buffalo, I set out to take some pictures of places that inspired me when writing. Here are a few of the highlights. The first one is of the statue of The David.  Joey walks right by it on her way to Elaine’s. This one is the pedestrian bridge over the Expressway.  It shows up several times in the novel. This is a picture of the benches along the very picturesque Hoyt Lake.  One of the most important scenes in the books take place in this exact location.  I still go to this spot for inspiration. Here’s a shot of the coffee house that I based Joey’s place of employment on.  I did a lot of writing and revising the book here.  It’s one of my happy places. This is Joey’s street after a big snowfall, like the one in the center of the book. And this shot is just a reminder of why we love the snow so much.  Really, how can you not fall in love?

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March 1, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Very nice, a love letter, indeed. Can’t wait till the book release! Congratulations on the upcoming wedding to both you ans Susie!

    Comment by Barrett | March 1, 2012 | Reply

  2. Awesome! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!!!! Mazel Tov!

    Comment by Emily Cherin | March 1, 2012 | Reply


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