David Heymann is quick to point out that his debut book, My Beautiful City Austin, is not autobiographical. He understands why people make the assumption, though; it's pretty common for first-time authors to create characters based on themselves, and his book's central character is a young man named David who is, like the author, an architect living in Austin.
The book and its lead character are decidedly works of fiction, but the stories do draw from bits and pieces of reality. "It's based on things that I know and things that I've seen and things that have happened, but they've so kind of recombined that it would be hard to recognize them," Heymann says.
Rather than write about actual clients or events, Heymann has created seven stories about the changing face of Austin (and the architectural sins committed here over the past couple of decades) that seem as though they could be real; it's a sort of plausible fiction. As told by a young architect who tries (but not very hard and not very successfully) to advocate for better building decisions, it's, in Heymann's words, "a coming of age story about complicity."