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"I would like people to have a clearer sense of South Florida after they finish the book," the author said during a reading at Books & Books Bal Harbour last night for her tome that takes place in the famed 1930s Biscayne Bay neighborhood.
"I really like how Miami is its own city. It doesn't really care what other cities in the country think of it."
Dividing her time as a child between Coral Gables and Stiltsville (sometimes referred to as Miami's French Quarter due its hard-partying reputation), Daniel said the setting in her novel is "very autobiographical." But the central relationship was trickier to articulate, which is why she said it took her a decade to complete the novel.
"I had a really hard time with the falling-in-love part of the story," she confessed. "In romantic comedies, the process of falls-in-love-with-boy-or-girl is done in a snap, and I think it is because people have a really hard depicting that, and I did too."
Daniel, who now lives with her family in Wisconsin, said she doubts she'll have any change of heart toward her hometown anytime soon: "I always tell people I think Miami is the most beautiful city in the country. And other than the fact that it takes twice as long to get anywhere and the groceries are a lot fancier, I don't see that many changes."