behind the scenes of 'cafe at 46 old street'
It all began in Soho, London, circa 2017. I was living in London then, and working for a travel agency from 8 to 5. After work I almost always ended up exploring the city, and a lot of times I found myself back at the same coffee shop in Soho, where I would sit, with my earphones in, sipping on my coffee or tea, and watching people. I knew I wanted to write about people. I knew I wanted to bring comfort to you reading the finished work. I wanted you to feel understood, and to romanticise the Mundane. To say this place brought me inspiration would be a simple understatement as it was the sole inspiration for what would become my debut novel.
Not only had I fallen in love with that part of the city itself, but I fell for the baristas, the people, the atmosphere, and the fact that I could always come back and feel at ease, no matter how anxious I felt about whatever was happening in my life at the time. It wasn’t home, granted, but truly felt like it when I needed a place to go for comfort. I want my book to feel the same in your hands.
In the past two years that I’ve been writing and editing this book, I kept the story character-driven, which is something I always appreciated about my favourite books. I was able to flesh out who the main characters Hanh, Winston, Clementine and Alexander truly were in their core, so much so that I was proud I had made them into characters I wanted to meet myself in real life. I hope I did it justice in the book; of course an author can’t always tell if things will come across as intended to the reader. I can’t wait for you to meet them.
And of course, the book is a love letter to the city of London itself. (I was able to look past the annoying bits, because when I got back to Germany, I easily forgot about them.)
I now realise how hard it is to talk about the Behind-The-Scenes without spoiling anything, or much at all. I might write about it again, if you have questions, after the book is actually out there. For now, I’ll indulge in the excitement that is being a nervous ball behind a screen, frantically sipping on iced coffee all the way to Month Eleven.
I picked November 1st as release date which is perfect not only because it happens to be my birthday month but also because fall is the epitome of cosiness, warmth (cuddled up inside) and rainy days. I even generated a playlist for the book, with the caption: For heart breaks and rainy days, because it all sounds like home. The playlist to the book.
Even after announcing the release date, it never completely hit me that I am actually coming out with the novel. Maybe it will feel more real once I hold the book in my hands. Now, it all feels like a fever dream, and I am petrified. I suppose it’s perfectly normal to feel that way, as people will read and judge my book, my work, my characters, and writing a book, this is what I signed up for. But I am human, and I want to be liked, and I want my passion and my craft to be liked, and it is overall nerve-wracking to think about.
What I feel above everything: Gratitude. So much gratitude for the people who have followed my journey, who are now interested in coming along, and who are willing and trusting enough to give me a chance.