1. Blue rock candy is Micah's drug of choice. It was actually inspired by a song called "The Blue Roses" by Rookie of the Year. A lyric references "blue roses on your tongue," and of course, in my head, that translated to blue rock candy. (Rookie of the Year was "the band" for this book. It was all I listened to at the time.)
2. In 2006, I spent a lot of time reading LJSecret, which was a Live Journal account that was much like the famous Post Secret. I submitted my own secrets multiple times. I discovered this site through my BFF Rachel, and it got us both through some really tough times. (That was also the year that I wouldn't have survived without Hawthorne Heights - who knew 2007 would actually be worse?) During the year or so that I stalked LJSecret, I saved a lot of secrets that I either related to or just tugged at my heart strings. I don't know why this one hit me as hard as it did, but this secret is the reason Ridge prays for airplanes. Whoever you are, airplane prayer person, THANK YOU. <3
3. The Festival Horse (aka Angry Horse as Ridge sometimes calls it) was my favorite horse to write. I absolutely love festivals and somehow work them into nearly every story I write. This horse was linked to blueberry pie in the story, and if you look close enough, you'll see why. (Yeah, I'm creative, right?) The band that performs at the festival may be familiar to those of you who have read AGOS or CFD. (Sebastian's Shadow, anyone?)
4. Outside of Micah's house is what Ridge calls "the tree of skulls." My sister had a friend in high school who literally had this tree in her yard. When I went to pick Emily up, I saw it, took a photo, and said, "That's going in a book one day." I wasn't sure where it'd end up, but Micah's front yard is pretty much the perfect place.
5. The fountain mentioned in the story (how Micah & Ridge meet) used to be in my local mall. It was replaced by a children's play area. But now it'll live on forever. The craziest part of this fountain is that the last wish I actually made in it was to see Hawthorne Heights live that October (2008) so I could thank Micah Carli for saving that band for me (after Casey Calvert passed away). The wish came true. That fountain gave me Micah. It also gave Micah to Ridge. (I know, I'm all sentimental, but the irony can't be unmentioned. I'll save my "Nikki met Micah!" photo for a more appropriate time.)
Have a great weekend! :)