Yesterday we shared some of our favorite lines from Hot Property, the new novel from the ladies of the Kleier family. We had a few questions for the Kleiers after reading, so we sat down with a chat for the co-stars of HGTV's Selling New York. They're denoted in the following Q&A as "The Kleiers," because, as might be expected from three family members who wrote a book together, sometimes they speak with one mind.
And hey, want to read the book? We have a few copies to give away, so here's your chance. Hot Property is full of open house horror stories, which got us in the mood to hear more. Send your best (by which we actually mean worst) open house horror stories to firstname.lastname@example.org by this Friday for a shot. The winner has to be willing to pick up their book at Curbed HQ near Astor Place. Operators are standing by for your entries.
Curbed: How did the co-writing process work for this book? Did each of you write one character?
The Kleiers: Originally we thought we would do it that way, but then we decided we didn't want the book in three different voices. We all wrote and then we passed it around and frantically edited. We wrote a lot of it together?we got the book deal 6 years ago, we did most of it in the past six months. Late at night, on vacation, and on weekends. Mom doesn't physically use the computer, but Mom was the source of most of the information.
We had major fights over specific words. Our dad had this saying, "No one in New York calls it a?" We'd go back and forth arguing on little words like sport coat or jacket?the biggest fight was blazer vs. sport coat?.We did have a hard time at the beginning [putting in a] major conflict, [because we decided there were] not going to be any family fights. No sex and no family fights.
Why use real names for some of the other brokers and characters?
We thought that was a fun shout-out to friends of ours. Even though the book is a novel, we wanted it to be a real New York story?it gives it an authentic feeling even though it's a novel. It certainly makes it fun for people who know these people.
The clients are totally made up. They're composites of some people that we've worked with. One of the biggest thrills was coming up with names for people. We hated these people in fourth grade, so?[name a character after them]. all the names were changing up to the last minute. We drove our editors crazy with little details like that.
Are all the listings in the book listings that you've had?
Major ones, yes?Stanhope, Lucida, 535 WEA. Some of them are really changed around, especially the ones that are negative. We changed the addresses so they're not really true. We made up one or two buildings where we talked about difficult boards.
We sort of felt like our book is Sex and the City without the sex.
How many of the over-the-top incidents with clients are true?
We're gonna not answer to protect the guilty. Most of the outrageous stories are true?but not at that building.
Can you share a line or scene that didn't make it into the book?
Every single day, we say, Oh my God, we should have put that in the book! Some of them?the characters would have been so recognizable that we couldn't use them. There's something that happened with one of our huge listings?we had a client who signed the contract and came with his wife, with his family, came back numerous times, and kept saying the money was being wired in. Eventually he said, I can't believe this wire is getting screwed up, we're going to hold the meeting at a hotel and bring the check?and the hotel he suggested had been torn down.
What are your favorite scenes? Which scene was the most fun to write?
Our favorite things were the scene with our family and our brother because we felt like he was with us again and we had gone backwards in time. The most delicious scene to write was Lorelei Lyne with Rodney Greenstein and the b.j. The real story was actually better than the book. Our father was horrified when we wrote it?he turned red and he said, you can't use that word!
You didn't really talk about the recession in the book. Why not?
This book is meant to be a fun escape?we kind of want it to be a fun, fluffy read?we want people to get a giggle and a laugh, as opposed to having to face the reality of reading the New York Times every day.
· Our Favorite Lines from the Kleiers' New Novel, Hot Property [Curbed]