In the His Robot Girlfriend books and the upcoming His Robot Wife: A Great Deal of Patience, the local coffee establishment is based on the world of Jane Austen and is called Mansfield Perk. I admit that when I thought it up, I thought it was far more clever than it probably is.
A friend once asked me why Starbuck’s was named after a character from Moby Dick. Did Starbuck drink a lot of coffee? I used that conversation in His Robot Wife. I also used an experience I myself had at Starbucks, when the barrista asked if she could “try something” and made me a bizarre frappuccino concoction. In the story, she makes ice tea. This came from a British cooking show I once watched where the chef made “American Ice Tea” which bore no resemblence to anything I’ve ever seen an American drink. It was mostly orange juice with about 5 lbs. of mint stuck in it.
There are probably more of my own experiences in the Robot series than any of my other books. This is because Mike, the main character is more like me than any other character that I’ve created. There are characters I wish I was more like, but I’m not.