I am a very predictable person. This has been well-documented, and it is absolutely not at all shocking when I start writing a new book, and my friends always ask, “So who’s the baker?” There are just always going to be some staples that thread themselves throughout all of my books. But it was starting to become a thing, that I always had specific pieces that kept showing up, so I thought it’d be fun to talk about them and give all of you a little insight into the things that I apparently love so much, I can’t get away from them.
This is probably my most well-known one. It all started with me growing up wanting red hair so badly that I dyed it red for eight straight years, and now that I’m an OG brunette again, I can’t seem to get away from giving my characters red hair. Whether it’s Theo the demon (both as a human and an orange tabby cat) or Freddie the researcher or Sam the detective, there’s at least one in every book. They often snag another thing on the list, too, because why not overwhelm one person with all the recurring things? I love having a redhead in my books, though, and while there’s only ever one, I think there’s definitely one in every single book.
Motorcycles gave me a bit of a run for my money in my recent book, researcher & librarian, because it takes place in the 30s, so there were no motorcycles? Or, at least, not ones that my characters would have been driving. Honestly, they don’t drive much of anything throughout the course of the duology, and the only car that makes an appearance belongs to a friend of theirs. But in every other book? Hell yeah. Landon was the first of them, my first and saddest boy, and it’s just grown from there. Henley got one because obviously the head witch of Salem needed one, but then Sam had one because it just made sense for her character, and then Eleanor was driving across the country on one. Though I am writing more books that take place in a time when motorcycles weren’t that common, I am 100% going to be throwing them in as soon as it’s feasible.
I love baking. Whether it’s bread, pastries, or something finnicky, I’m a big fan of baking. Cooking is fine, but it’s more artistic where baking is scientific, and I love following rules, so baking is where I shine. Which means, of course, that it also must show up in my books. Emilien was my first big baker, and it was a huge part of his personality. There’s a whole section of chapters, when Emilien & Will have their first kiss, that’s broken up by Emilien baking macarons for his mother’s birthday and Will taste testing different fillings. They were far from where it ended, though, because I quickly gave Mason an entire cafe in which he made magical pastries, Theodore bakes when he’s stressed out, and the first time Hugo ever goes over Freddie’s house, it’s with a tray of donuts in hand. The story of a character slowly working their way through bread from flour to rising dough is something I’m always going to love.
Somehow, cats are a relatively new thing for me, but I’m trying to figure out how to include them in more books. Mason was probably the first with Dinah–yes, there’s heavy Alice in Wonderland influences throughout the whole book–and Theodore is an obvious one because his animal form is a cat, and Ezra randomly shows up with a tiny black cat that he unoriginally names Shadow and that I won’t be convinced to change the name of, but when I started researcher & librarian, I wasn’t at all expecting Morland. She just showed up in a chapter unexpectedly, and she quickly becoming a huge part of Freddie’s life. I don’t think I have any others, but I haven’t gotten far into Thornwood yet, and I definitely want to include a cat in there somehow.
everyone gets together
I know this is unpopular. A couple of my readers have even pointed out how neatly it ties everything up, the fact that I always end books with all the characters paired off. But here’s my thing. We live in a world that is rife with stress, war, and fury, and I write so that I can escape that reality, and part of that, for me, is writing happy endings. I will almost always have a death in my books, and it will be someone that’ll make you cry, but I’m also going to write happy endings every single time. I promise you, I’m never going to write an unhappy ending. That just sounds awful, and I don’t want it, and part of that has become pairing everyone off. And sure, maybe it’s unrealistic, and it’s not a popular opinion, but I don’t really care. I’m going to keep doing it.
One of my CPs said, as they were approaching the end of the third sister witches, that they hadn’t realized they were 100% expecting a wedding to be the last thing she read, but that when she got to it, she had a very “well duh” moment. And honestly? Same. If I tried to end sister witches any other way, it wouldn’t have worked. Henley & Luciana have such an important and powerful relationship throughout the trilogy that all the rest has to end with their wedding. But I wasn’t really expecting it to carry across other books, and though it’s only shown up in researcher & librarian, I think I can probably safely say that I’ll definitely have more weddings on the horizon.
The first time I ever thought about putting a throuple in was sister witches, which sounds odd because there isn’t one in there, and while I’m sometimes not convinced I don’t want one, I also know, without any doubt, that Zariah is ace and doesn’t want a relationship. When I originally started the second sister witches, though, I wrote Ileana, Kiran, and Zariah as a throuple, and I clearly wanted that energy somewhere because the speed with which a throuple appeared in researcher & librarian was unexpectedly fast. And I don’t think I’m stopping anytime soon! I’m not going to say the character names for researcher & librarian because they make me so happy, and I don’t want to spoil, and I am a moron because I already have. Should I do short stories for Pride again??
everyone is a little bit gay
Speaking of! I know that I have straight characters. I definitely don’t have any main characters that are straight, but I definitely do have some side characters that are, and that’s probably how it’s always going to be, and even then, I’ve started not writing straight side characters, so most of my recent books just have fully queer casts. Writing straight characters is boring for me, and it’s so overdone, and we have literally every single story possible for straight characters, so I’m going to do my part in making the world as gay as possible.
This is probably the most purposeful of all of them. Andrew Levi, my vampire detective, who I’m currently working on the two thousand year history of, is the central character in my entire universe. He first shows up at the end of the second sister witches, he’s got a very fast cameo in both Pen boys & Mason, he’s a pivotal side character in researcher & librarian, and he’ll play a part in Thornwood. Beyond that, he’s got an insanely long story on his own, which’ll probably equal somewhere around three or four books length, and that’s not even counting the modern day trilogy that he has. Andrew is everywhere in my books, and he always will be because what is a connected universe without an exhausted vampire to hold it all together?