I have to admit, I’ve never heard of this meaning of “Easter eggs” before, but it’s a great term for an interesting topic. I’ll let Rumer Haven explain.
Thanks so much for hosting me, Miriam!
As the oft-repeated saying goes, “Write what you know.” And so writers often do, me certainly included. As I’ve related time and again when people ask, yes, What the Clocks Know is inspired in part by real life. The protagonist’s move to London parallels my own, as does her emotional response to the life changes she undertakes.
But that’s the bigger stuff that helps drive the plot and underlies the themes. There are a lot of little things writers will include from their own experiences, too, and I’m no exception. In fact, no one loves an inside joke more than I do, so I deliberately plant these personal “Easter eggs” in my stories to give myself and people who know me a chuckle. Here are just a few that appear in What the Clocks Know
1. Chapter One alone is pretty loaded with ’em. I’m ridiculously nostalgic for my childhood and past pop culture, so I drew from that to initially ground Margot in the ordinary world she lives in during the present before she enters a rather extraordinary one of the past.
- High school friends will remember the way I put dimes in my black loafers instead of pennies.
- College friends might recall the “squirty bird” I purchased at the Meijer store off campus–a big, bright plastic parrot that squirted water out of its beak. One of my rooms at the sorority house had a flat roof just outside the window, so at night, I liked to climb out and wait (unseen) for unsuspecting friends to pop in and chat with my roommate, then douse them through the window screen.
- Speaking of the sorority, yes, I was in one, and yes, we had a traditional symbol that we’d form with our index fingers and thumbs when posing for group photos. Unfortunately, many sisters had the tendency to position this diamond-shaped symbol below waist-level, which made me laugh hysterically–Really? Did they not see the innuendo there? But apparently I wasn’t the only one to catch it, as the alumni magazine now bans this pose from all its photos.
2. In Chapter Two, while Margot is still at her childhood home, she finds an old grade school journal akin to one I kept in sixth grade. Reading through some of the entries reminds her of a classmate who lived off a dirt road that I based on my actual school bus route. Though now paved over, this road has forever creeped out locals and become an urban legend, as depicted in the eponymous film Munger Road. I was shocked when the movie came out after I’d already incorporated this reference into my first draft–just goes to show the mark that road makes on locals!
3. The once nameless waiter at the Troubadour cafe in Chapter Five only first became “Hal” during the late stages of editing–named for the actual Troubadour employee who gave me permission to reference the independent cafe by name. He was so pleasant and enthusiastic about the book that when he jokingly suggested I name a character after him, I decided to do just that.
4. Speaking of cafes, though not
mentioned by name, the Chicago coffee house that Margot describes to Chloe at the Troubadour is the very same Bourgeois Pig Cafe featured in my last novel, Seven for a Secret
. I frequented that place when I lived in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, loving and missing it so much that I held my Seven for a Secret
launch party there as well in 2014.
5. There are occasional references to the French Revolution and, more specifically, Bastille Day–which is my birthday.
I could go on and on with these little hidden eggs, I’m sure, but I’ll leave the challenge to you as you read What the Clocks Know. Happy hunting! I mean, reading!
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About What the Clocks Know:
Finding a ghost isn’t what Margot had in mind when she went ‘soul searching’, but somehow her future may depend on Charlotte’s past.
Woven between 21st-century and Victorian London, What the Clocks Know is a haunting story of love and identity. A paranormal women’s fiction, this title is available as of March 18, 2016 from Crooked Cat Publishing.
“A unique tale of the paranormal – as beautiful as it is haunting.”
~ Shani Struthers, author of Jessamine and the Psychic Surveys series
** Add it! **
** Read it! **
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Rumer Haven is probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When she’s not babbling her fool head off among friends and family, she’s pacified with a good story that she’s reading, writing, or revising—or binge-watching something on Netflix. A former teacher hailing from Chicago, she presently lives in London with her husband and probably a ghost or two. Rumer has always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires her writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul. She debuted in 2014 with Seven for a Secret (in which a Jazz Age tragedy haunts a modern woman’s love life), and her award-winning short story “Four Somethings & a Sixpence” (about a bride who gets a little something she didn’t register for) was released in 2015. What the Clocks Know is her second novel.
Learn more about Rumer at:
Website – http://www.rumerhaven.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/rumerhaven
Twitter – @RumerHaven
Thank you for coming, Rumer, and for revealing all those Easter eggs.
As for the novel, What the Clocks Know, I can attest to its excellence because I helped with the final editing, so am privileged to have read it.