Yes, of course, I'm nervous that people will think Kara is me, but I'm sure there are people out there who think Emily from I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE is me since that book is written in first person. All I can do is say that though Kara might share some of the feelings and confusion I had when I was high school, we did not share all the same experiences. This book is not autobiographical; I'm saving that stuff for a memoir ;).
Why did I write about a real place? Because I love reading about the Chicago area during different eras and wanted to capture my corner of Chicagoland in the era I came of age in, the early nineties. The landscape is forever changing: the car spindle in Berwyn is gone, Ambrosia’s has long-since closed, the Fireside Bowl doesn’t hold punk shows anymore, and even Scoville Park looks different. But now these places will always exist the way I remember them in this book.
The cover of BALLADS OF SUBURBIA, as cool as it is, is not the real Scoville Park. So I wanted to take the opportunity to show you some of the real places mentioned in the book.
This is the real Oak Park:
Lastly, here I am posed in front of the Fireside Bowl in Chicago where my characters (and me in real life) went to see punk shows.