The book also features photos and recipes in the back that go along with the stories told throughout.
“Fifty or 60 years ago, family, extended family and your neighbors were a key part of your life from birth to your golden years,” said Pines, on his decision to write the book. “As we have become such a mobile society, neighbors and good friends often are as close as family members, sometimes even closer since we see them every day.”
Pines, who graduated with an undergraduate degree in communications with a focus on journalism, has mostly done business-related writing throughout his career.
With his first novel, it is the first time he said he has sat down and put his fingers to a keyboard to write about his life. With his book, Pines is writing mostly about he and his partner’s life, with of course, his neighbors, family and friends sprinkled in as they play a significant role.
Including their stories along with his made him a bit nervous, said Pines.
“I actually asked each one if I could use their first names and let them read bits of the story where they were featured,” he said. “I was amazed at the response. Everyone wanted to be represented as themselves. They were all excited and encouraging.”
The main story of the book is the renovation project Pines took on for the home on Altamont Court.
One of the most memorable moments from his life in the house was hosting 48 guests for Thanksgiving, he said. Another time would be when he hosted a Friday in the Driveway celebration during the summer, where the neighborhood came to the backyard for a night at the movies. Nearly 100 guests showed up.
Pines has since moved from the home he chronicles in his book and said it was hard to leave those memories and friends he found during his stay on Altamont Court.
“The morning I drove off the street for the last time was truly difficult,” he said.
“I actually ended the book with that moment and my editor called and said ‘You can’t end it like that. It’s too much of a downer. Aren’t you still close to these people? What happened after you left?’”
Pines said he does go back often to visit and never misses an Altamont Court Friday in the Driveway event.
“I promise readers a great time,” he said. “By the end of the book, you are ready to cook, invite your neighbors over and pour everyone a healthy glass of wine or a homemade margarita.”
With such a positive experience with his first work, Pines said he believes he will write another book or two. Ideas include a book based on his office career and a fiction novel that incorporates his experiences living in the north and south.
Information: His book can be found on www.amazon.com.