Sierra Dean Shares Some Secret McQueen Secrets – A Behind the Scenes Look at the first 4 books.
After reading her first book in 2011, Sierra Dean quickly became an auto-buy author for me. I LOVE her voice. Her characters are always amazing, her dialogue flawless and her world building fascinating. I am extremely pleased that she is my final guest-author here at Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks. Every interaction I have ever had with her was wonderful. She is an amazing lady and an extremely talented author. She is here today to share some behind the scenes secrets from the first four books in her Secret McQueen series, which comes to an end next month.
Help me welcome Ms Sierra Dean.
Something Secret This Way Comes was never supposed to be my first book. I had big aspirations of writing a literary fiction novel, but as anyone who writes literary fiction knows: it can be an emotionally draining, exhausting endeavor. (Well really, that’s true of all writing, I’ve learned). I started writing the first Secret McQueen book during my second year of university (okay, my second year of my second degree, so I was well into my twenties at this point). It was meant to be my “Fun” write to take my mind off the heavier subject matter of my lit fic novel. Well, the rest is sort of history. I’ve now written 8 Secret McQueen novels, 2 novellas, 1 spin off novella and have a full spin off series in the works. To say she took over my life is an understatement. And that lit fic novel, you might ask? Still languishing in a drawer somewhere.
So with no further ado, here are 10 fun facts about the first 4 Secret novels (and Secret Santa)
1. Brigit, who appears in the very first scene of Something Secret This Way Comes, was never meant to live beyond that scene. She’s the Jesse Pinkman of this series. When I started asking myself “well what ever happened to that blonde girl, really?” it changed the entire course of the books, and I ended up establishing her as a fan favourite character.
2. Secret’s love of the colour yellow ends up being referenced throughout the whole series. It was an off the cuff reference to the sunflower print in her living room, and how the colour reminded her of the sun. She wears a yellow top in Secret Santa and later a yellow sundress in Grave Secret which seemed awfully fitting at the time.
3. Shane Hewitt, who first appears in Deep Dark Secret was modeled after Adam Levine from Maroon 5.
4. Another character who was only meant to make one appearance: Detective Tyler Nowakowski. He first showed up as Secret’s unlucky blind date in A Secret Guide to Dating Monsters and afterwards I couldn’t forget about him. I wondered about how a hardened detective would deal with missing memories and reconciling something like the subway platform incident. A long standing joke for me is that if Secret had been human, Tyler would have been the perfect guy for her to end up with. (spoiler alert: Secret does NOT end up with Tyler in the last book. People would lynch me.)
5. When I wrote Something Secret This Way Comes I’d never been to New York City. I used Google street view to find places like Secret’s apartment and Keaty’s brownstone. I have since gone to the city, so everything from A Bloody Good Secret onwards contains far more accurate descriptions of the city.
6. In the original version of Secret Santa, the fae killer focused his attacks on children. This was considered to be too off-putting so it was changed to teenagers.
7. In a discarded story idea, Rio the cat was meant to be added protection from Calliope. The cat was supposed to be a transfigured version of the white tiger see with Cal in Something Secret This Way Comes. I never found a reason to use this plot thread or explain it, but there you have it: Rio is a tiger transformed by fae magic.
8. Nolan’s specific dialogue affectation became a huge bane in my existence throughout the series. He leaves the letter “a” off the beginning of words. It’s a really small thing, but when you’re writing dialogue it’s SO easy to forget something like that. Also, the backstory Secret “sensed” Nolan has in A Bloody Good Secret DOES exist. And it WILL be shared. (as a hint, it ties back to Something Secret This Way Comes.)
9. Elmwood, MB where Secret was raised is actually based on Sprague, MB, where I live. The Elm Tree bar is based on a real bar/hotel in Sprague, and the road Secret walks to get into town is the road to my house. Amusingly, there IS and Elmwood in Manitoba, it’s a suburb of Winnipeg.
10. Keeping Secret has long been my favourite book in the series. It’s the easiest book I’ve ever written, and Secret’s wedding was potentially one of the biggest gut-punches in the whole series. Fun fact: Morgan Scott, Lucas’s third in command, and generally bad bitch? She’s named for Morgan Miller (the model who portrays Secret on my covers) and Scott Carpenter, the art director of the cover photoshoot.
If you want more behind the scenes scoop, stay tuned! More trivia about books 5-8 will be popping up soon!