In an interview with Robert Birnbaum about her A Chance Meeting: Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists (1854-1967), Rachel Cohen says many of the more fanciful sections of the book were based on hunches for which she sought some kind of confirmation. She explains:
Like I started to have the sense that Marianne Moore cared a lot about whether people were really on time. And so I had Elizabeth Bishop coming to meet her and Elizabeth Bishop was often late. I decided to make that â€“ Bishop was in a hurry because she was afraid she was going to be late. And then I found a letter from Moore to somebody else saying that she was really enjoying knowing Elizabeth Bishop, despite the fact that she was always late. Then I thought, â€˜Great, I got it. Thatâ€™s the right tension.â€™ Then I found George Plimptonâ€™s essay on Marianne Moore, in which he said she wore two watches because she was so obsessed with being on time.