For a very long time (i.e., many years), I'd had ideas bouncing around in my brain of things I wanted to incorporate into novels at some point - paper stars, a dead surfer, characters I'd recycled from other stories, the name Solomon as symbolism, etc. My "idea list" is never-ending. For Chasing Forever Down, I'd toyed around with a few things and had a few false starts in writing the novel. One fateful night, while browsing through Yahoo Q&A, a teenage girl asked about the song "Enchanted" by Taylor Swift. She said she wanted to write a short story based on the song, but she wasn't sure what the song was truly about. Curiosity got the better of me, and I pulled up Taylor Swift's file in my music folder. "Enchanted" was one of the few songs I hadn't listened to yet.
The song is about a girl who is bored at a party and is swept away by an enchanting stranger. They share one magical night of awesomeness, then he disappears and she wonders if she'll ever see him again. Unlike the girl on Yahoo Q&A, I understood what the song was about. More so, though, I was curious as to what happened next! Since Taylor didn't bother to tell me, I had to write it myself. Chapter one of CFD is actually my own interpretation of "Enchanted" though my MC's eyes.
Since music heavily inspires me and impacts my stories, I wanted to give a shout out to "Enchanted" somewhere within the text of CFD. One minor but key character in the novel is Enchanted Emily, a girl who gives my MC very valuable information that sets the story into serious action. Enchanted Emily will reappear as a much larger character in the sequel. She may or may not be very much based off my (sister) Emily. :)
Do you give secret shout outs in your novels?