books, writing

20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Evie Cappelli Series

spiderswebsmall1. The Spider’s Web went through at least ten distinct drafts prior to the one submitted and published by Torquere, and at least three different titles.

2. Due to the number of drafts, The Spider’s Web took 7 years to write.

3. The subsequent books were each written in less than six months.

4. Izzy died in the first seven drafts of The Spider’s Web. It was mainly due to constant nagging by Missouri Dalton that she eventually survived.

5. Izzy isn’t the only life Missouri saved; Izzy’s uncle, Mike, also died in the first four drafts.

6. Adam didn’t even show up until draft five or six.

7. Originally, Evie’s best friend from Toronto, Alice, showed up in book one, but was ultimately cut. Instead, she shows up in the Evie short story at the end of The Night Wars Collection, “L’Ilse des Soeurs.”

8. In the first draft, Evie was a 22 year old college junior. She got progressively younger with each draft, and eventually wound up at 18. There were a lot of reasons for this, but the main one was her voice was too immature for her to be older than eighteen.

9. Evie and I have the same birthday: June 24, which is Saint Jean Baptiste day, a major provincial holiday in Quebec. We were born in different years, however.

10. Though we only ever see Adam and Izzy in relationships with men, both are actually bisexual.

11. Speaking of sexuality, technically Micha would be pansexual–he fell in love with Evie’s soul, not her body. No matter what form she gets reincarnated as, he loves her.

12. On the other hand, Evie is demisexual, though in her past incarnations she has been straight, homosexual, bisexual, and asexual.

13. Evie drives my first car, a 1984 CJ7 which probably shouldn’t be street legal. Everything from it’s semi-sentient personality (you’ll see more of that in later books) to the quirks of the engine and electrical system are based the one I drove in high school.

14. The Jeep’s name is Ernie.

15. Tam Tams and the LARP in Mount Royal park are real, and one of my favorite parts of Montreal.

16. Micha was partially inspired by Kyle Schmid’s character in Blood Ties. If I could go back in time and cast the Kyle of ten years ago as Micha in a movie version of The Spider’s Web, I would.

17. One of my all time favorite scenes to write in The Spider’s Web was cut around draft nine or ten. In it, Evie goes back to Toronto for a family dinner that devolves into a hilarious cat fight between Izzy and her sisters, with Evie’s great grandmother egging them on from a corner. Alas, it did not fit in the final version. I’m still trying to find a way to work it into a short story or something.

18. Actually, most of the scenes with the Cappellis were cut. I really wanted them to have a bigger role, but I realized around draft 8 that in order for Evie’s recovery to progress, and for her to be a stronger, more independent character by the end of the book, she had to start by cutting off some of the ties to her family.

19. Evie and I are both allergic to lavender, though my allergy is not life threatening.

20. Just as Evie lives in a part of Montreal where I once lived, the Cappelli family is from Florence, where I studied for both my undergrad and post-grad work. Both of these study abroad opportunities had a HUGE impact on my writing, both for Evie and for all of my subsequent books.