Story Behind the Story: Caitlin Muir

Caitlin Muir

Goodbye Mr. 7:45 was sparked by a game of “what if.” As a young and bored barista, I met many men at the coffee shop that I worked at. Some were good, some were horrible, and all of them had stories. Mr. 7:45 is based on a specific guy I had the hugest crush on but everything that happens in the story is purely fictional!

Like Bailey, I was quite smitten with my own Mr. 7:45. Yes, there really are people that predictable in the world. He came in every day at exactly 7:45 in the morning. He would order his drink and then chat with me while I made it. The regulars would smile and my coworkers would tease me. Not a terrible way to spend your morning.
Many of the regulars who appear in the novel are based on real people.

I worked in a community store, the regulars came in every day, ordering the same thing and many of them lingering to talk. Jane, one of my favorite customers, makes an appearance in the novel as well. She was the patron saint of our store, giving us candy on the holidays or whenever we needed cheer. Every morning she’d get a small coffee and mix up her cocoa with it. She’d sit in the corner with Jerri and Steve (I don’t think that’s his real name) and they’d talk about the way the neighborhood was going. Jerri always came in with her motorcycle or vw bug. Steve had a truck. One of them would sneak alcohol in, adding liquor to their early morning coffee on especially cold days. When Jane died unexpectedly, the whole store morned and customers brought flowers, candles, and cards.

I draw a lot from my personal experiences. Almost three years of my life was spent working as a barista so the ins and outs of espresso come naturally now. I love seeing people connect and linger over a cup of coffee. That’s one of the reasons I liked writing Mr. 7:45 so much. I could recreate the community on the page. The people Bailey encounters are people that I’ve met – only their caricatures. No one was quite so villianous or charming as in the book. Life isn’t as cut and dried as a novel. You don’t meet your true love in the first few pages or days of starting your new life. Relationships take a lot more time and effort. And yet, we all love love stories, even if we pretend to despise them.

Thanks for stopping by, Caitlin! Check out her wonderful blog on her website.

Asking “what if” is a great way to start a novel. Dream in technicolor. Ask the questions – “What if the charming stranger turned out to be who you thought was your true love? What if he wasn’t? What if your sister had a habit of stealing boyfriends? Would you ever be able to trust her?” Sometimes the answers are fun but like life, they are often messy. Sloppy. Full of emotions charged like live wires. But those are the stories that resonate. The almost true stories in life.

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks

  • Thanks for sharing this! I think YOU need to guest blog on mine soon!