Those of you who follow this blog know that I usually start blogging about one of my books about 8- 10 weeks before the release date. I’ve got my standard intros to the cover, the blurb, the sound track, the setting, etc., and I think it’s a good system overall. It gives the readers a little glimpse without (hopefully) overloading them. With my upcoming release, Perfect Pairing, however, I have so much more I want to tell you all, and even though the book won’t be out until July, I just don’t want to wait any longer. So I guess what I’m saying is, prepare to be overloaded.
The overload will likely come in three forms. First, the standard pre-release blogs, the kind I mentioned above: characters, soundtrack, blurb, and sneak peaks. Next, the cooking videos. Because this is a book about a grilled-cheese chef, I want to show you the cool recipes and pro-tips I picked up along the way. And finally the Buffalove blogs, the blogs that go a little deeper than usual on the subject of setting, because it’s time the world (or at least my corner of influence over it) learns a little more about the awesomeness of the Queen City. Today’s blog falls into the last category.
Those of you who’ve followed my writing for a while have already gotten some peeks into how much I’ve grown to appreciate Buffalo over the last few years. Having lived in the Midwest through high school, undergrad, and grad school, my books have largely been set there. My Darlington books have established me as a mostly Midwestern writer, and I’m okay with that, but now that I’ve lived in Western New York for nearly a decade, it’s easier to see those influences working their way into my books.
LoveLife was my first novel set in Buffalo, and it’s a winter book. I got to write a few scenes really exploring the ways in which the epic weather shapes our lives here. Getting Serious from the recent Sweet Hearts anthology is a spin off from LoveLife and therefore also takes place in Buffalo. The timing of that one also put my characters in the magic and mayhem of a Buffalo winter. Here’s the first big secret of Western New York: Most of us who choose to live here actual love this part of the country during winter. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s also dramatic and beautiful. When people say, “Oh I know it’s pretty, but how do you survive the winters?” I always say, “We don’t survive them, we revel in them.” We ski, we curl, we toboggan, we ice skate, and we play hockey. We snowshoe and sled and build snow forts. We make soup in big crock pots and hot chocolate in vats. I don’t love living here in spite of winter; I love life here because of winter.
That being said, I didn’t want to just dispel the myths about Buffalo being a frozen tundra in the winter and be done. With Perfect Pairing I wanted to deal with the larger problem that all people ever know about Buffalo is winter. We have three other seasons (Okay, actually 4 other seasons because right now we are in mud season, but we don’t talk about that one). Spring, summer, and fall are all glorious in Western New York. The climate is temperate, the surroundings are beautiful, and the people are jamming. Sure Buffalo fell on hard times. Everyone knows the stories of the Rust Belt, but those days are history. And speaking of history, we have plenty of that to go around, too. The past and the present are alive and exciting in the Nickel City. Don’t believe me? Well here’s your primer of the City of Good Neighbors (We also have lots of nicknames).
Really, did you watch it? Admit it (in the comment section) you were surprised, right? Excited even? I hope so, but this video is just the beginning. Over the next few months I’ll be taking the Wonderboi Blog on a tour of some of my favorite places in and around Buffalo, and when I’m done, you’re going to want to visit.
Brace yourselves, friends. This is the summer of Buffalove!
5 thoughts on “Perfect Pairing and Buffalove”
Yay!! The recipes!!!
I love Buffalo! Graduated from UB and then lived in western NY. I must admit though, I left because of the winter of 1978. Can’t wait to read your new book.
Yay a new book! Yes I watched the video and am impressed. Eagerly anticipating more blogs in the lead up to release.