And I want Gabriel's shirt. Or him. Or both. No, he can lose the shirt, but I want him. Okay, I'm gonna stop now.
1) Hunter wasn’t always Hunter.
In the original manuscript, Hunter’s name was Garrett. It was a very last minute change to switch to Hunter (the books were already sold, and we were writing cover copy) and it was mostly because I was starting to get confused seeing Garrett and Gabriel. The names just looked too similar. Why did I choose to change Garrett’s name? Well, because Gabriel is so … Gabriel. A lot of names were in the running before we settled on Hunter. He could have been Sam, Blake, Brett, Stone, Salem, and Cai. But now he’s just so … Hunter. He couldn’t be anything else. Hunter never gets a last name in Storm, but in Spark, you find out his last name is Garrity, a homage to his original name.
2) I didn’t name my characters after my family.
I named my family after my characters. Sort of. I originally wrote about these four brothers in high school, and they essentially had the same names. I always liked the name Michael when I was a teenager, and I used to go around telling people that I would one day marry a man named Michael. Sure enough -- I did! When I started writing Storm, I thought about changing the names, but Michael was just so … Michael. I couldn’t change his name. When I got pregnant with my first son, I wanted to name him Christopher, after the character. But Christopher Kemmerer is just too many -ers, so I named him Nicholas instead. (My second son is Samuel Christopher. So I got it in there somewhere.)
3) Becca’s mom is the only character based off someone in real life.
And she’s based off my mom, who is also a Registered Nurse who works nights. (Though my mother doesn’t work in the ER.) My mom is totally the type of woman who would give one of my friends a house key, or make two plates and leave them in the fridge, or do anything for anyone, just because they needed it. She’s an amazing woman.
4) I never went to high school with boys.
I went to a very small, all girls’ Catholic high school, with a graduating class of 56 students. I did have a boyfriend for one year in high school, who broke my heart brutally by breaking up with me (because I wouldn’t go all the way with him), and then coming to see me during intermission of a drama club performance, just to tell me he’d found a college girl to hook up with. I mean, honestly. That was the end of that. But I love reading reviews where people ask if I’m secretly a teen boy in disguise, because I never had a lot of experience around them! (Though I do have a teen stepson now, and he’s awesome and delightful and nothing like the unruly Merricks.)
5) There’s a scene where Gabriel wears a tee shirt that has a screen print of a truck on it, and the caption is, “My other ride is your mom.” I went through a LOT of tee shirt websites trying to find the perfect shirt for Gabriel. Some other contenders? “Get your tickets to the gun show.” Or, “Stand back. I’m a professional.” How about, “I support recycling. I wore this yesterday.” My absolute favorite, which made me giggle for about five minutes, but I shot it down because it was probably too risque, was the picture of an ear of corn, with the caption, “It ain’t gonna shuck itself.”
6) Drew McKay is a real person.
Well, he’s a real person, but he is NOT a model for the character. I don’t really know him other than through Facebook, and his real name is Andrew McKay. We met years ago playing City of Heroes online. (Yes, we can all pause for you to acknowledge that I am secretly a dork.) When I was coming up with names for characters, I must have just read a comment of his or something on Facebook, because I had half the book written before I realized, “HOLY CRAP. I named this character after a real person.” I joked about it to him (the real guy, not the character), and said I would change it, but he said he didn’t care. I was like, “No. Dude. You don’t understand. This guy is no good.” But he wanted it to stick. So it did.
7) The trash talk was the hardest part of the novel for me to write.
I’m the kind of person who hears a slang term and has to Google it. Seriously, when I was in fifth grade, some kid asked me if I knew what a condom was, and I said, “Isn’t it kind of like an apartment building?” I thought he was talking about a CONDO. My husband is a super nice guy, so I’d ask him to help with trash talk, and he’d have nothin’. I probably spent more time on the tiny scenes between male characters than on any other part of the novel.
Monday 23rd April: Chris/Becca/Hunter Interview - Read Me Love Me Bookmark Me
Tuesday 24th April: This or That with the Boys of Storm - Shiirleyy’s Bookshelf
Wednesday 25th April: Fantasy Casting - saz101
Thursday 26th April: Brigid Q&A: YOU ask the questions! - Eleusinian Mysteries
Friday 27th April: Keeping up with the Merrick Twins + Review Roundup - Badass Bookie
Saturday 28th April: Storm Excerpt - Forget-Me-Not
Sunday 29th April: Video chat - Book Probe
Monday 30 April: Chris Interview - Reading Wishes
Tuesday 1st May: Guest Post by Brigid: Five Secrets of the Elemental Series - Amaterasu Reads
International Prize Pack 1:
Elemental (ebook) + Storm + Spark preorder
International Prize Pack 2:
Elemental (ebook) + Storm + Spark ARC
International Prize 3:
Copy of Storm + Spark Pre-order
Australian Prize Pack:
Storm ARC + Spark preorder
Australia/New Zealand Prize Packs (10 winners):
1 copy of STORM + 1 STORM book jacket + 1 SPARK book jacket
Thanks to Allen & Unwin and Brigid!!
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!