Monday, September 6, 2010


I am in the process of writing the (chronologically) last scene in the book. There are a few things that need to be put in throughout, but I decided to take a break.

I am an IMDb (Internet Movie Database) junkie. I love looking up odd ways that movies and shows are connected. I stink at "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," but love trying to figure out why one character reminds me of another.

But the thing that I love best about IMDb listings is the "trivia" section. I was reading the "Trivia" on JAWS today and never knew that Steven Spielberg laughed at John Williams when he first heard the theme or that Spielberg played first clarinet for the music played during the beach scenes. I didn't know that Roy Scheider's appendectomy scar in the USS Indianapolis scene was his own scar, not a makeup trick. I'm amused when I read about things like the boat accidentally sinking during one scene and the Coast Guard going for the actors first, which prompted one tech to stand holding his sound gear over his head and yell "**** the actors, save the sound department!" The "trivia" section is the first section I hit unless I'm trying to figure out whether or not a movie won an Oscar for something.

So, with the ending closing in FAST and my mind being restless, I've decided to make up my own "trivia" section. Some of it you may know, some of it you may not. So here goes.

*Kathryn came up with the idea of this book while watching The Matrix Reloaded. The conversation between The Oracle and Neo about whether or not he can be sure that she's on his side inspired her to think about a situation where the wise old mentor is a sinister figure. Eventually, that adapted itself into the situation of not being able to trust the intentions of the person you love.

*The Crossmen came to Kathryn in a dream while she was on medication for pneumonia.

*Michael and Ella came into being as characters with their first names already decided. Their last names came later.

*Michael's last name is Anthony, after the patron saint of missing persons.

*Ella's last name was borrowed from the maiden name of Kathryn's good friend. A few months after she decided on the last name, that friend was blessed with a niece. That niece shares her name with the main character and the dedication of the book will be to "The aunt of the original."

*A coworker/friend of Kathryn's was the reason for questioning Michael's name and while she did not get to have her way with Michael's name, she was given the choice of the name for a minor character who will be appearing throughout the series.

*There were many factors in the choice to keep Michael's name the same, but the final nail in the coffin came from work as well: Kathryn processed a lot of customer orders at the time she was writing this book and while the poll was being conducted, she ran across a Michael Anthony who lived two blocks from Our Mother of Consolation in Philadelphia. Since OMC is the setting of a number of scenes, she decided it was kismet.

*Many people have asked why Kathryn set the novel in Philadelphia instead of her much-beloved hometown of Boston. The main reason for this was that Philadelphia was synonymous with the quest for freedom, a central theme in the book.

*Kathryn balked at the amount of time the characters spent eating in the book. She had to consciously rewrite some scenes to exclude french fries.

*The first scene written included a dialogue about whether Ella was the Harry or Hermione Granger. The placeholder explanation of the book's plot has always been "What if Harry Potter disappeared and Hermione, the only person who knows where he is, doesn't remember?"

*The book "Half Magic" is important to the plot. This was Kathryn's favorite book as a child and the first one for which she had to pay an overdue fine.

*While most of the characters don't bear resemblance to actual people, some are intentionally real. Ella is based off of a former roommate. Julie started out as based on one friend and ended up with the sense of humor of someone else. She also turned out to look just like Kathryn's former roommate and current best friend, but still has a different sense of humor. Leticia reminds Kathryn very strongly of a girl she worked with as a missionary, which is why she's from El Salvador. Her daughter Carolina is named for the missionary. Andrew Farragut was named independently, but was about to undergo a name change when Kathryn met another Andrew F. who was cool enough to merit being a namesake. Anna is based off of Chantel, a girl from Kathryn's 4th-grade math class. Alex, despite being an evil boyfriend, bears no resemblance to Kathryn's infamous ex (Nicknamed Senor Psychopath for his role in breaking her right wrist and one of her ribs) who ended up in a mental hospital.

*Lynn is bisexual and Kathryn has still not figured out how to "out" her. Her current other half is a character named Alicia, seen twice in the novel.

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