I always find it fun to insert little Easter eggs into my stories. They're tiny bits from my life or things I enjoy. People may not notice unless they personally know me. Here are four that made it into Mistakes of the Past.
1)Rose’s cleft lip
My nephew was born with a cleft lip and palate. By the time he was five, he had five different surgeries. He still has more to go, but is getting a break. When I created Rose I wanted her to be a cleft lip baby. There really isn’t any reason and it has no impact on the plot. It’s just one of those things that affected my life, and I know it affects others, so it’s nice to see a character with something I can relate to.
2)Josh and his grandma
There is a scene where Luc is comforting a young man at the hospital about his grandma. The thing is, she is still alive in this scene. Still, Josh asks Luc why it hurts already when she’s not gone yet.
I have one grandma left. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, and every illness saps her severely. She’s in her 80s. That’s where the scene came from. I’m aware that I have less time than more with my grandma. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye and I doubt I’ll ever be ready. This scene is coming to term with that fact.
3)Rose’s memory of her teacher at the funeral
My main memory of kindergarten is getting in trouble with the teacher. My bestie of 30+ odd years and I met in kindergarten. We sat next to each other, and instead of listening to the teacher, we were talking. That got us in trouble. For the longest time, I was not endeared to that teacher.
4)The Gerrish farm and Rose’s landlord
Both those I drew from my own landlord. His last name is Gerrish, and I needed a one-time name and that popped in my head. When Rose gripes about her landlord not fixing her toilet and having to reach in to flush. That actually happened with my toilet. Although, my landlord fixed it really fast.
And as a bonus, here is one inspiration that isn’t based on real life.
Rose’s hair loops in chapter five. Anyone watch Avatar: The Last Airbender? Katara has hair loopies and I recall her brother poking fun about them. That’s the picture I had in my head when imagining Rose.
Luc has regrets, but is the Devil worth forgiving?
Luc lives the quiet life in a small town as a priest. It is his atonement for his past wrongs against his family that banished him from their lives. A chance meeting with a beautiful, young woman named Rose throws his resolve into question. Does he want to go home if it means never seeing Rose again? He sees no choice, Rose could never accept who he really is.
When when a Satanic cult from Luc’s past kidnaps Rose, Luc must not only face the cult, but himself if he wants to save Rose. Doing so means she will learn the truth. Will Rose be able to reconcile the truth with the soft-spoken man she knows? Or will Luc lose her forever?
Mistakes of the Past is an urban fantasy about over coming past mistakes and owning who you are.
For the past few years, there has been a lot of talk of diversity in fiction. Most of it seems to focus on skin color or sexuality, but diversity is much more than that. It's one of the reasons I gave Rose a cleft lip history in Mistakes of the Past.
My second nephew was born with a cleft lip and palate. By the time he was five years old, he had had five surgeries. His first one to fix his lip was when he was one year old. That's a hard pill to swallow; watching your baby nephew go in for major surgery. He's a trooper for sure.
I don't think I've ever read a book where a character has had a cleft lip or palate. There have been lisps, but those characters tend not to be main characters. They're usually someone who is a stepping stone for the hero to save the girl or whatever the plot requires. Easily forgotten.
That's a bummer in my opinion because this is a type of diversity that can easily fit into fiction. It's a way to flesh out the character more and make them more rounded. Not all diversity has to be obvious. They can be a little throw away line about how a character has to ensure they have an EpiPen packed for their journey. It doesn't have to be important to the plot. All it does it tell us a little more about the character and how their life off the pages shaped who they are.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Honestly, I didn't feel like writing up a 13 Facts/Monster post and I had this lying around my drafts. If you want to see more posts that get into my thought process behind my stories, let me know in the comments.
Mistakes of the Past
Luc seeks atonement for the actions that banished him from his home. Living as a priest in a small town, he strives to show how much he’s changed with the hope that one day he can return to his family.
Haunted by the guilt that destroyed her family, Rose has shut her heart off. She vows to never let anyone near lest she hurt them. When she meets Luc, she can’t deny the powerful attraction she feels for him.
But the demons of the past are not easily forgotten. When Luc’s dark past finds him, Rose is caught in the middle. Forced to face who he used to be, Luc must decide if he’s willing to give up his chance at redemption to save Rose. But doing so means he won’t be able to hide who he is. Will Rose be able to reconcile the man she knows with the devil he used to be? Or are the mistakes of the past too damning?
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