A Work In Progress
The first time I heard this song, I knew that this was Andi -- it's how he feels about life, his life in particular. I almost called the book "Price Tag," but I didn't want it to sound like it was going to be an m/m version of Pretty Woman (it so isn't! There's even a line where Andi says that life isn't the movies and he sure as hell isn't Julia Roberts. *G*)
Like so many of my ideas, A Place to Belong started out as a single scene in my head. It was a pretty simple idea: what happens if a guy goes into a bar, gets stood up by the friend who was supposed to meet him there, and picks up a cute guy, instead? (Or really, it's Andi who does the picking up, not Dillon). What if the guy he picks up is a hustler/rent boy? What if they fall in love?
And what's the dead worst profession I can think of for a guy who's about to fall in love with an 18 year old prostitute?
A prosecutor who works with, you guessed it, works in the Family Court system (i.e., works with kids who get in trouble and/or prosecutes abusive parents). As luck would have it, I've got a friend who's in a similar line of work who kindly let me pick her brain and another friend who's a social worker who was an invaluable source of information. I wanted to make Andi's life realistic, not to glamorize what he's forced to do the way some movies glamorize it--and as much as Andi really does have a heart of gold, it's a pretty sad old trope that I wanted to shy away from as much as possible.
And of course, Dillon isn't rich. He's got more than Andi--but as he points out when they're talking about it, he also has a car payment and student loans and mortgage he's not sure how much longer he can afford.
Here's an interesting article I found online about street-level sex work and drug addiction on New City. Com