Where Do You Hide Your Easter Eggs?

This week’s posts have been my nods to using real-life little details in my scene settings. Sometimes they’re a little inside joke or a visual tidbit that’s probably only meaningful to locals, kind of like easter eggs in movies. I do it to add authenticity. Or because I find whatever it is either intriguing, inspiring, or funny. Tell me, my fellow Miss Demeanors, do you include locale-specific easter eggs in the settings of your books? Tracee: Absolutely! Since I write about a real place – with fictional places added in – I do like to add what you call easter eggs. Partly to make the fictional places ring true (I certainly didn’t want to have bad things happen at my husband’s actual Swiss boarding school, but parts of his school made it into my fictional one). I like to provide some real signposts – monuments, or views, for example. I also use food as a bit of authenticity. A Well-Timed Murder opens at Baselworld, and I used a great deal of the real setting there. Big easter eggs for those who follow watches and gemstones! Alison: As a reader, there’s nothing better than feeling like an insider because you know that the food, the place, the thing is real. There’s no question that Blessed be the Wicked is full of easter eggs, from a lunch place in Ogden to the what neighbors bring to a funeral luncheon. (Hmmm, maybe I’m obsessed with things I can eat.) I also agree with Robin that location can be an easter egg. None of the action in my first book takes place in heavily-touristed spots. The backdrop is real Utah with real people. Of course, as Tracee pointed out, it is fiction. However, Mormon muffins with honey butter are completely and totally real and are completely and totally delicious. Alexia: My setting is fictional but I try to mix in details about things that really exist. For example, I’ll use the names of two real brands of liquor with one fictional. The biggest compliment to me is when someone thinks one of my inventions actually exists. Someone once asked me where they could by Waddell and Dobb bourbon. Susan: Yes, and it’s a lot of fun to do. Having been part of the church world my entire life, I’ve grown accustomed to some of its idiosyncrasies (which I love). I had a great deal of fun organizing a meeting of the Dining Out club in Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency, and people in my church have laughed over that. And then there are all the details about life in my little village. Michele: Part of the fun writing about St. John is that it is a Caribbean island populated by strong individuals who have chosen a “way out” place to live, sometimes known as dropouts. One tee shirts boasts, “We’re all here because we’re not all there.” I have an abundance of easter eggs to share in my Sabrina Salters series. The fork in the road, which is really a large metal fork, decorated for each holiday. The stop sign that says “in the name of love” under STOP. Speed “humps” not bumps. Readers who have been to St. John love these insider details and those who haven’t are more intrigued than ever by the island’s idiosyncratic charm.   

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