Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone! Okay, actually I did ask our writers to gather around and tell us “Have you ever hidden any secrets in your books that only a few people will find? Can you share one with us?”
I have! In fact, there are a lot of things I drop in stories that are hidden things for certain people or just for fans of the Urban Fantasy culture. To keep this short, I’ll only give examples from my newest published work, a short in the Rogue Mage Anthology (TRIALS), called Mettilwynd.
1) 90% of the dates and character names were all chosen for specific reasons, they are not random and the names have meanings important to the story.
2) There are line tributes in the story taken from something in pop-culture that are intentionally placed for multiple reasons.
3) The Fort Cornwallis in George Town, Penanag (where the second half of the story takes place) is a real place and was built for the reason stated in the story. PLUS…well, see my answer to #3 if you have not. 🙂
4) I got the idea for Katara’s primary fighting blades (two dirks), how she wears them, and a bit of how she fights from a character on TV Show called Into the Badlands. See if you can guess which one!
Gail Z Martin
Sakwi, the land mage in my Chronicles series, was an homage to my favorite cousin Adam, who shared a strong resemblance with Sakwi (which was his hiking trail name), his love of nature and also his chronic, bloody cough and herbal remedies to ease the coughing. (Adam passed away in 1991 from cystic fibrosis at age 36)
Diana Pharaoh Francis
Yes. Telling about them? Hmmm. Sort of. I will sometimes make references to people I don’t like. For instance, I referenced “a limp dick in a whorehouse,” and that referred to a specific person that only a couple of people might recognize. There was no physical description of a person. The metaphor itself was the reference. I can’t tell you to whom it referred, though.
Oh Bubba, Where Art Thou is my niece Stephanie’s life told in a fictional Christmas Carol framework. A lot of the events that Bubba watched unfold with the ghosts of music past and present were real events, and I wrote my deceased mother and brother-in-law into the book. It was my most personal book to date, and I think it comes through in the overall tone.
Whenever possible, I slip lines from the movie “The Princess Bride” into my stories. In the chapter of the novel I’m working on right now, one character threatens another, then says, “And don’t think you can ever escape from me. I can track a falcon on a cloudy day; I will find you.” That kind of thing makes me insanely happy.
Oh yes! There are a number of character names from my fan club. Most amusing is a child character named Mud, for Mindy Mymudes, a gardner fan/friend. Only the members of the fan club put it all together!
I constantly include names and descriptions of characters from past D&D campaigns. Not just mine, either, but characters other people played. ‘Course sometimes if you irritated me back then, I kill off your characters now. Because I’m a Scorpio and revenge is never out of my head. *laughs*