Updated: May 16, 2022
The Tech Boys Series revolves around a set of college friends who live in New York, so I was excited when restrictions lifted after COVID and it looked like I might be able to get back there. Every year I'm fortunate enough to take a trip to see a dear friend, who I've been close to for 30 years. I wrote parts of the book in Manhattan cafes and in his flat. I cycled downtown and around Brooklyn scoping out locations and the emergency departments of Bellevue and how the wooden Brooklyn Bridge walkway felt under my feet. I wanted to know where Fabian lived so I could describe what he saw when he looked out of his window, what was opposite his flat. I wanted it all to feel real.
As I wrote, I chose offices for Janus and Jo in downtown Manhattan and worked out what coffee shops worked for him and Jo so they could run into each other. Although May's Thai coffee shop is a fiction I created, many places were not, and the offices I chose have a very different vibe (see below) although they are just along the street from each other.
For the post-COVID visit, I wanted some pictures for my social media account of these buildings, so I headed downtown to take photos of the lobby and anything else that looked interesting. Like a crazy person, I held up the book and talked to my camera. Although people talking to themselves on the streets of New York is not unusual, some people did stop and stare, and I just tried to pretend I was on a headset, power walking my way to an office.
Here I am outside both of the offices with the book, and hid in the lobby behind a palm tree in Janus's office (which has an amazing atrium - see below). I'm smiling, but I felt like a maniac.
I wasn't the only person who felt I was a maniac. The security guard in Janus's building eventually decided I was some crazy lady hanging around in the lobby and taking pictures and asked if I was okay. Fortunately I wasn't arrested.
And had a terrible attempt at a video outside Jo's building. With no preplanning and therefore no selfie stick, I was unprepared for trying to hold a book and a phone camera and record! I just ended up talking about the door to the building. *Facepalm*
In the freezing cold of a New York winter, I discovered the McNally Jackson bookshop no longer had a cafe and was heartbroken. It's Kate and Jo's meeting place, and was somewhere I'd enjoyed hanging out for years (alongside the Barnes and Noble bookshop on Union Square).
But the bookshop was still as good as I remembered, as was poking through the Romance Section. My husband jokes about the suitcases of books I bring home from the US every time we visit.
Seeing these packed shelves made me wonder what romance books in other parts of the world are like. Who are the local indie authors in Brazil and Indonesia?
Whilst I was there I was editing book 2, so I scouted out some locations for Kate and Fabian: The Whitney being one of the places they meet towards the end of the book. I took my daughter and we looked at art and hung out in the cafe.
It's fun being an author, I love this crazy shit.