Welcome to your exclusive content page for THE LIST!
Ooooh, boy. Odds are about 50/50 that I start writing a book with a specific face in mind for one of the characters, but by the end of THE LIST I was calling the book the All The British Baritones All of the Time book.
It didn’t start out that way. There are three male characters in the book. First, and most important, there’s our hero, Daniel.
Daniel was a bit of a mystery to me while I was writing. Tilda would have exactly zero long term interest in a gym rat adrenaline junkie, so Daniel couldn’t be a typical cop/FBI agent type, all muscular and I am a man with a gun protective. I knew he was blond, introspective, thoughtful, a man for whom law enforcement was as much about people’s stories and providing justice and healing as it was about the chases and shooting. The stars aligned when I was near the end of the rough draft and my sister recommended the British TV show Lewis.
Colin, Tilda’s business contact, initially seems like “the other man”. He was never a threat to their marriage, mostly because in my mind, he was always a bit of a puppy. I know, I know, the internet loves Tom Hiddleston. I’ve watched The Hollow Crown cycle, I’ve seen Wallander, but even as Loki I couldn’t take him seriously. It’s an illness, and I’m taking a cocktail of drugs (in the form of all the Thor/Avengers movies) for it.
Finally, there’s Andrew, a man from Tilda’s past. Without giving too much away, I wanted someone who could do an incredibly amount of damage before she realized exactly how dangerous he was. Someone smooth, insinuating, entitled, someone twisted enough to see people as pawns, someone utterly appealing and yet, if the light shifts, borderline monstrous.
You’re welcome. 🙂
I could always see Tilda in my mind’s eye, but it wasn’t until I glom-watched Outlander that I found the perfect real world representation of the woman Daniel would fight to the death to keep at his side forever.
Here are some photos to help you get a better sense of the West Village neighborhood where Tilda lives.
For more West Village street shots, check out my Pinterest board for The List.
Why stationery? I have tried and tried to become a digital only person, but the reality is, I love paper. I love the elegance of cotton invitations and I love the temporary nature of newsprint. There’s something so tangible and visceral about writing things down on paper, then crossing them off, as if the list really exists on paper.
That was the foundation for Tilda and her lists and letters. What she does as an adult is formed by what happened to her as a child and the choices she made as an adolescent. Between her lack of roots and the connection she formed by writing letters, it only made sense that she’d do something as quixotic and elegant as open a stationery shop.
Other fun facts:
- The windows at West Village Stationery were inspired by the windows at Anthropologie. Apparently each store has its own in-house designer and budget, which is way cool.
- The Cornwall scenes were inspired by another British TV series, Doc Martin.
Finally, the playlist for this book.
- The key song to this book is Where I Stood by Australian recording artist Missy Higgins. It perfectly captures how Tilda feels about Daniel: she loves him but she can’t bear to lose him. She knows she will lose him, because that’s what she does. Who she is. What she deserves.
- More songs that capture Tilda’s state of mind: Black Sheep by Gin Wigmore, 9 Crimes by Damien Rice, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper.
- Daniel’s song is Love Don’t Die by The Fray. Damn straight it doesn’t. Other musical inspiration: Boom by Anjulie, Perfect Day by The Constellations, Heartbreak Warfare by John Mayer, When It Don’t Come Easy by Patty Griffin, I Dare You by Shinedown, Krytonite by 3 Doors Down.
- Final songs: Next To Me by Emile Sande, because that’s where Daniel will always be, and We Found Love by Rhianna, featuring Calvin Harris. Because they did.