Friday, December 16, 2011

Guest Post: Magan Vernon on...Easter Eggs!

According to Wikipedia a Virtual Easter Egg is: A virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message or an in-joke in a work such as a computer program, web page, video game, movie, book or crossword. This practice is similar in some respects to hidden signature motifs such as Diego Rivera including himself in his murals, Alfred Hitchcock's legendary cameo appearances, and various "Hidden Mickeys" that can be found throughout the various Disney Parks.
As the self-proclaimed geek-to-glam poster child, I couldn’t let my debut novel go without a few Easter Eggs and the lucky readers of this blog will get to know a few of them (spoiler free!)

Calta- The planet of Ace’s origin. Why didn’t I use Mars or another planet that we are all familiar with? I wanted to create my own planet and at the same time honor my late Nana. Her maiden name was
Caltagerone, but that seemed a little too long for a planet name, so it was shortened. In retrospect I should have made it a tropical planet since my Nana was Sicilian and that is an Italian island, but I think Calta works just find as a cool planet.

Winnebago- Who would ever think of a geeky girl from Winnebago, Illinois? Uh, that would be the actual geeky girl from Winnebago-me. Yes, Winnebago is a real town and I really did go to the high school. No, Alex is not based off of me in any way, but I needed her to be from a small town and Winnebago was one that I knew inside and out. (This definitely comes around a lot more in Book 2).

Alien names- How did I come up with the names for all of the aliens in the books? I could have just made up some different names, but that would have been too easy. I figured that I actually should acknowledge my Italian heritage and decided to use the names of Italian philosophers for the different aliens in the story- Marsilo, Nerses, Machiavelli, etc., etc.

Adam Lambert- As I started writing this story I needed to come up with a visual of an alien. I texted one of my friends and asked her for a guy that had spiky black hair and was kind of squirrelly. She said Adam Lambert since he kind of looks like an alien and frightens and intrigues her at the same time. All of a sudden the original Ace I had was thrown out the window and guy liner alien was born. His lyrics also spurred a lot of changes in the novel with the dark side and the light side references and if you look REALLY closely you will see a few lyrics sprinkled throughout the novel.
These are just a few of the Easter Eggs spread throughout How to Date an Alien. Now to find more of them you will just have to pick up a copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords.
*****
Self-proclaimed geek-to-glam poster child who channels her inner geek by writing science fiction for teens. Even though she slept with a night light until she was in middle school for fear of alien attacks. She now lives with her husband, daughter, and dog in central Illinois where she still sleeps with a night light...just in case.

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