Be Careful or I’ll Put You in My Novel

This week we’re sharing Easter eggs and inside jokes in our books, and in Temper, most of the Easter eggs are named-related:

  • Almost all of the characters’ surnames are Chicago street names (Rascher, Cuyler, Kenmore, Granville, etc.). I had to change one character’s last name during the writing process cause he was about to get on a train at a stop with the same name as him.
  • I named the play’s sound designer Austin because that’s the middle name of my friend Dave, who’s a sound engineer and designer in New York. I made Austin look exactly like Dave too, hoping some of our mutual college pals will pick up on my not-so-subtle homage.
  • Jason’s French bulldog, Lafayette, is named in honor of the Hamilton character, because I based the character of Jason on Hamilton cast member Jonathan Groff.
  • The name of the playwright in the book, L.S. Sedgwick, has the same initials as my mother (Linda Susan). (And Sedgwick is another Chicago street/train stop name!)

Some other random fun facts:

  • I mention a number of real Chicago theaters in the book, including a quick reference to Chicago’s Boho Theatre company, which I put in mainly for my friend Chuck, who’s the Marketing Director there. Also, the bathroom at the Indifferent Honest Theater Company, which is so tiny there’s a chunk taken out of the wall so the toilet handle can flush, is based on the weird little lobby bathroom at A Red Orchid Theatre. I even snapped some sneaky pictures in there once before a show so I could make sure to describe it accurately.
  • Spence’s favorite cocktail, “Gods and Fighting Men,” is also my partner’s favorite drink to order at Lady Gregory’s bar and restaurant in Andersonville. The name was too perfect for an overdramatic fight choreographer character’s drink of choice, I couldn’t resist!
  • Finally, this inside joke was unintentional, because I didn’t think about the implications until after the book was done but: Kira attended the Ohio State University (my grad school alma mater), while Joanna went to the University of Michigan. Anyone from the Midwest knows about the intense rivalry between those two schools – so I guess it’s no wonder Kira and Jo don’t get along!
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Layne Fargo

Layne Fargo is a thriller author with a background in theater and library science. She’s a Pitch Wars mentor, a member of the Chicagoland chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the cocreator of the podcast Unlikeable Female Characters. Layne lives in Chicago with her partner and their pets.

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