Monday, January 23, 2023

Easter Eggs and Inside Jokes: An Open Book blog post

Image of a white bowl full of pastel jelly beans and the slogan: Open Book Blog Hop

Welcome to Open Book Blog Hop. You can find us every Monday talking about the writing life. I hope you'll check out all the posts: you'll find the links at the bottom of this post.
Do you include any inside jokes or Easter eggs in your work?

Character naming is one of the ways that I celebrate my family, writing friends, and other supporters. Throughout the Menopausal Superhero series, you'll run across names of people near and dear to me. 

two images side by side. on the left is a large reptilian woman flexing her muscles. on the right is a dog.
Patricia O'Neill and the dog she was named after: O'Neill

For years, my most consistent writing support was my dog, O'Neill. He kept me company as I wrote, and was great at reminding me of the importance of getting up and moving around from time to time. So, I named Patricia "The Lizard Woman of Springfield" O'Neill after him. The fourth book, the one I was writing when he passed away, is dedicated to him. 

Most of my critique partners have popped up in the series in one way or another as well, as have some of my writer-friends, and even one of my children. Using their names is a little thank-you for all the support they've offered me. 
Robin as portrayed by Burt Ward in the 1960s Batman live action TV show. He's posed with his arms folded over his chest.
image source

On a less personal level, I also use names that reference celebrities and characters from other works. Suzie Grayson, for example, Patricia's assistant in book 1: Going Through the Change, was named after Dick Grayson. You might also know him as Robin. Suzie knows a thing or two about being a sidekick. You can read a short story featuring her ("Underestimated") in Through Thick and Thin, a collection of Menopausal Superheroes short stories, or in Agents of Change, which also includes the novellas. 

And Sally Ann Rogers got that last name because of Steve Rogers, or Captain America. Like Steve, Sally Ann is the moral compass of her group of heroes. A straight shooter, with amazing fighting skills. 

So, yes, besides all the accidental confessions I've probably made through my fiction, I've also planted references to my friends and characters I've loved. Do you plant hints like that in your work? Do you enjoy finding them as a reader? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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  1. If only my wife and daughters would read my female detective series. They would see where I got the inspiration for her and it might remind them of growing up and childhood adventures. Sigh!!

    1. How sad that they miss out on seeing them! But it can be hard to get family to read your work. (and sometimes that's for the best)

  2. I used family and friends' names for minor characters and a few jokes only I'd get as Easter eggs in stories. It's fun and makes me smile even if no one else knows it's a thing.

    1. Exactly! I'm thrilled if anyone spots them, but mostly those references are there for me.