Los Gatos novel
You know how I like to draw heavily from real life so the novel I’m just finishing is set right here in the Silicon Valley outback. I’m calling it The Incompatibles— a whacky black comedy about infertility—possibly the world’s first. There’s an aggressive sperm recruiter on the loose, coming between a Los Gatos couple, who get themselves into a darkly comic pretzel, working at cross-purposes to get a baby. I had originally set the novel in L.A., where I’ve spent some time, and even though the details were technically correct, I didn’t think it had the gritty feel of reading about a place by a writer who’s lived what she’s talking about. I think it’s a lot more convincing if you write what you know, a cliché that’s actually true. And more importantly, it’s more fun to write. You get to make a lot more mischief. Los Gatos, with its natural beauty and genius recluses—mountain lions in your yard and bioengineers splicing genes in their mountain garages— tends to be a party town. People who’ve lived here a long time say that the turning point was when the Brazilian soccer team stayed here during the 1994 World Cup. Footage of those parties looks straight out of the rum-guzzling, panty-flinging Mardi Gras events. The lingerie shops and the sports bars remain. Los Gatos is its own memorable character.