Sunday, February 24, 2013


Today's topic: Hidden ‘writing secrets' in Lancaster House! 

If you missed yesterday's post about the American Idol performance that inspired Lancaster House, click here.

Lancaster House contains many secret passageways and hidden rooms. It’s definitely part of its charm. The house itself is a main character in the book without me intentionally writing it that way. But Lancaster House isn’t the only one keeping secrets. I couldn’t resist adding a couple of secrets of my own into the writing of this book.

First I need to explain. I vividly remember sitting in my California Lit class in high school, listening to my teacher explain the hidden meanings John Steinbeck placed in the Grapes of Wrath—the types of things that are in Cliff Notes. I was mesmerized. I was impressed. Like the preacher’s name was Jim Casy. Initials: J.C. By no mistake did Mr. Steinbeck choose those initials—he chose the name Jim Casy to mimic the initials Jesus Christ. At least this is what my teacher taught me. Did Mr. Steinbeck confirm this? I have no idea. I’ve always wondered if these types of things are made up by people who study classic literature or if the author really intended it that way! Still, the concept fascinated me. Next I learned about East of Eden. The father’s name is Adam, and his son’s names are Caleb and Aron. (Father Adam=C for Cain and A for Abel) At any rate, you get the whole initial idea thing. To a young student of literature, this was intriguing and I never forgot it. (I grew up living only an hour away from John Steinbeck’s infamous Cannery Row, hence the obsession with Steinbeck.)

With the above thoughts in mind, I set out to name my hero. Since the visual of Adam Lambert was the image that inspired my main character, I decided to stick with A.L. as the initials. Andre Lancaster. Yes, I’ll put secrets in my book just like John Steinbeck, I thought. Brilliant.

Okay, so it’s not that amazing. But it felt amazing. The kind of thing that made me smile to myself whenever I thought about it.

There is one other similarity to Adam Lambert and American Idol placed in Lancaster House. During the American Idol season, Adam Lambert would show up on stage dressed in his casual attire, with his hair flopping over one eye, looking like an anime rocker. In the next performance he’d show up with his hair slicked back, dressed in a classy suit, singing “Tracks of my Tears.”

To view Adam’s performance of “Tracks of my Tears,” click here:

Do you see what I mean? It's a total transformation! I couldn’t resist having my main character do the same.

COMING NEXT: Another American Idol performance that inspired a certain scene in Lancaster House! (Just click and follow!)

This was originally posted during a book tour at Fundinmental.

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