Where it all takes place

September 6, 2013

For anyone just joining in, my name is Helen (aka H.B. Pattskyn) and I’m here talking to all of you wonderful people who have been good enough to stop by today about my new book Hanging by the Moment.

Hanging by the Moment is my third release with Dreamspinner Press and like my second novel, it takes place in Michigan–and in fact, right in my own neighborhood of Metro-Detroit.

Pasha Batalov and his father live in Hamtramck, a sort of city within a city, in Detroit, and they own and operate a little restaurant in Royal Oak.

When I was a teenager, like a billion, zillion years ago, Downtown Royal Oak was the place to hang out for me and my friends. Home of Noir Leather, Cinderella’s Attic, Flipside Records, and a bunch of vintage clothing shops, it was exactly where I wanted to be on a Saturday afternoon. Some of the stores have closed down: the antique mall has been replaced by several small restaurants (one of which is the Little Tree, one of the places Daniel and Pasha go on their first date), and the Main Theater has become the Main Art Theatre.

During the summer months, it’s almost impossible to drive through downtown Royal Oak; it’s much better to stroll around, go window shopping, grab a cup of coffee or stop somewhere for a bite to eat.

On their first date, Pasha asks Daniel to meet him at the Bean & Leaf Café, located next to Diablo’s restaurant–because seriously, Diablo’s is impossible to miss!

Later in the story, Pasha and his friend Ty go to Pronto! for dinner. Pronto! doesn’t specifically advertise itself as a gay bar/restaurant, but… well… I went there once with a friend and as we were leaving, she remarked about the distinct lack of ladies in the bar. Then she stopped. Blinked. And asked “was that a gay bar?!” ;-)

And while some shops are new, others have been there forever…

How about another contest?
Who wants to win a an e-book copy of Hanging by the Moment? If the answer is you, please leave a comment below and let me know where your favorite place to hang out as a teenager was. Did you like going to the mall, the park, or were you more the chill-out-in-your-room type?

Pasha didn’t really get to hang out anywhere as a teenager; if he wasn’t at school, he was working in the restaurant. He started helping out as soon as he was tall enough to stand by the sink and scrub pots.

Daniel doesn’t think that was fair, by the way. When he was a kid, he helped out around his parents’ farm, but he had plenty of free time to walk in the woods and generally get into trouble with his twin brother, Davis.

Everyone who comments on any post throughout the day will be entered to win my big Blog Tour prize: a signed copy of Hanging by the Moment and a bag o’ swag

Remember: Dreamspinner has issued a special coupon code: use it to get 25% off my books as well as Coming of Age books.

To use the coupon code, just go shopping as usual and type pattskyn0906 into the promo/coupon code box at checkout. The code is good for 48 hours, starting Friday; remember, DSP operates on Eastern Standard time.

7 Responses to “Where it all takes place”

  1. Susan says:

    I was lucky enough to go to high school in Ann Arbor, so I hung out with my friends in the alternative little shops around the UofM campus.

  2. Kathy says:

    Holy Cow, I had to think way, way back to come up with an answer LOL! It was a local video arcade. I can’t remember the name of it, but I spent many an hour hanging out with my friends!

    Loved your post. I really enjoyed your great photos. And I appreciate the insight into the story!

    Congrats on the new release.

  3. Penumbra says:

    I wasn’t one of the social teenagers. I just hung out in my room, did homework or read.

  4. hbpattskyn says:

    I spent a lot of time in room reading and writing, too (gee what a shock ;-)

    As an introvert, I’ve always just had a few close friends, but we loved to hang out and walk around Royal Oak–of course the first time I visited Ann Arbor, I fell in love with it. I lived in Ypsi for a few years before moving back to the Royal Oak area.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Helen, that was so fun taking a stroll down your neighborhood and seeing where Daniel and Pasha go, too.

    As for my hangouts, most of the time it’d be at a friends house. However, we had a mall close by that had a giant arcade on a bottom floor (it took up the space of the old ice rink that you could look down on and watch the skaters) that I spent many, many hours and many, many quarters at. I wish I could say we ate and hung out at cool local spots (like I do now), but my best friend and I frequented the Denny’s by my house and the Taco Bell by hers for long chat sessions.

  6. Trix says:

    I’ve always been curious about Detroit. Just saw the rave review for the book on Sid Love’s blog–way to go! I was in my room a lot, since that’s where all my books and records were…

  7. Emily W. says:

    When I was a teenager, I either hung at the movie theatre, the dojo, or the mall. Or a friend’s house.

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