I must be careful so as not to spoil the book, but I promise to only whet your whistles.
1. Modern Hades & Persephone Myth
I’m not talking the classic Greek myth here. You know the story I mean. We’ve all seen the image or the quote or some scene or fanart created from one of the two as a prompt.
“Aren’t you afraid of my darkness, dear?”
“No. You haven’t seen mine yet.”
I like to think my MC Sam saw that floating around the Internet as well and took to the quote and idea behind the modern telling of the myth the same way I did – with unabashed adoration.
Sam is hiding a lot in Their Dark Reflections, but one thing he is honest about with his new employer, Ed, is that he loves mythology, and his favorite myth is the more modern take on Hades & Persephone. Throughout the novel, he tells Ed the myth in his own words, but that well-known exchange, which I’m sure many if not all of you are familiar with, is at the heart of it and also reflects what the characters are keeping from each other and what they encounter.
I am a huge geek, and if you’ve read any of my other titles, you know that already, because of how I weave geeky things into my tales, whether more subtly like a guilty pleasure of one of my characters being Star Trek or Mystery Science Theater 3000, or blatantly writing superhero novels. My favorite hero is The Flash, but a very close second is Spider-Man.
The other MC in Their Dark Reflections, Ed, is old-fashioned and stuck in his ways, particularly with how he dresses, but there are a few modern things he loves, and one of them is comic books. He has an impressive collection and eventually gives one of his comics to his neighbors’ children: Amazing Spider-Man #42, with Mary Jane’s iconic first appearance and the quote: “Face it, Tiger, you just hit the jackpot.”
I’m also a diehard MJ fan. Gotta love a redhead. ^_^
Growing up, the zodiac and all the fun lore around what people born under each sign are supposed to be like was a huge hobby of mine. I never took it seriously or read my horoscope in the paper, but I loved the idea behind it all, having a constellation, an animal, and other elements, that are just… you. I’m a Leo, and I’ve always felt like a Leo.
I even used to choose signs for my characters based on their personality and then working backwards. I did that again for this book because Ed loves astrology too.
Ed is a Pisces. Compassionate and intuitive, but also overly trusting with a penchant for being alone and a desire to escape reality.
Sam is a Gemini.
“What’s that say about me?”
Ed felt his face flush as Sam drew closer. “Th-that you’re adaptable, curious, witty. You can be the exact person someone needs you to be.”
“Lucky you,” Sam said.
Be prepared for stargazing in this story too.
Ed is also a bit of an artist. He used to draw in his younger days but more recently does photography. One could argue that he likes it because a photograph is something that stays the same when everything else around him changes. He likes to capture images he can keep with him forever.
Ed revealed this to me as I was writing, first while giving the initial tour of his home to Sam. The decoration and things Ed focused on in his home told me more about who he was, even things I hadn’t first thought of myself. The photography was a surprise, but one that ended up being useful to the plot and comes with a few sweet moments for the budding couple too.
5. The Pool
I already mentioned stargazing, and one place that is done is while the MCs are swimming in Ed’s outdoor pool. Ed only swims at night, since he is sensitive to the sun. I actually chose his sign as a Pisces based solely on personality, but the fact that he loves swimming worked out perfectly. For him, it’s calming—and the drains help with cleanup if he gets a little messy on his property while feeding.
Oh, did I not mention this yet? No spoiler here, since it’s in the blurb for the book, but Ed is a vampire.
What I didn’t realize right away but love is that one of my favorite vampire scenes in recent film is from the remake of Fright Night and involves a swimming pool. The vampire in that movie, Jerry, played by Collin Farrell, has cornered the MC’s best friend, Ed (total coincidence), played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, in a neighbor’s pool. Ed was trying to run but chooses in this scene to succumb, and the resulting vampire bite is surprisingly hot.
The movie also has one of my favorite lines about vampires.
“He's a real monster, and he's not brooding, or lovesick, or noble. He's the fucking shark from JAWS. He kills, he feeds, and he doesn't stop until everyone around him is dead.”
I strike a balance between that idea and my Ed being a little lovesick and noble, but he isn’t brooding. He loves what he is, and he is indeed a predator—which was a lot of fun to write.
Buy the book HERE.