I sometimes get asked if I ever hide things in my books. I don't know if "hide" is the right word--because you'd have to be one seriously devoted and creepy stalker to understand every reference or joke that relates to my actual life--but I do occasionally use things/people from my real life in my books. Here's an incomplete* list of little Easter Eggs!
● My editor's dog has a cameo in the beginning of MIND GAMES that sets off the entire plot.
● My agent is an actual character in THE CHAOS OF STARS, as the woman in charge of a museum.
● A main character in THE CHAOS OF STARS is named after my editor's assistant. I asked her permission first, but I think it was like our second or third email ever. I said, "CAN I PLEASE STEAL YOUR NAME?" and she was probably terrified I was crazy so she said yes. Spoiler: She was right! Totally crazy.
● A scene in MIND GAMES pulled directly from my own childhood was flagged by my (wonderful) copyeditors for being a bit unbelievable. EVEN THOUGH IT HAPPENED IN REAL LIFE. Four words: poison oak treasure hunt.
● Steve the Vampire from PARANORMALCY and SUPERNATURALLY was named for a longtime internet friend.
● I am weird about numbers and so are most of my friends, so when I have to include a specific number I always choose one either I like or a friend does. (I recognize it is irrational to prefer certain numbers over others, but recognizing it does not change the fact that numbers in multiples of five are always more pleasant.)
● For a long time, every single father character I wrote was named David, both so I could actually remember the names and as a joke to a friend named Dave.
● I have sisters named Erin and Lauren, and once wrote a book where the love interests were...Aaron and Loren. It wasn't on purpose. Fortunately for sisterly relations, that book will never be published. When I need a throwaway name in a book I often use my siblings'. Good thing I have four of them.
*incomplete because honestly I forget things the moment I turn them in, which is nice when it comes to re-reading my books ("Ha! That's great! No idea how I wrote it.") but less nice when it comes to answering really specific questions about them