When reading, we often wonder why the author chose to add that certain scene or description into their books.
It’s like this mysterious…”ooOOooo the red cloak MEANS SOMETHING” and we go and analyse it like vivacious little nerds. And quite often it’s true. The red cloak did mean something. We’re just not saying it meant something very deep. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Readers tend to think really well of authors but lolol, my friend, sometimes we are just sleep-deprived dorks.
Now time for me to spill my secrets, isn’t it?!
I want to list 10 things secret meanings behind things I wrote in A Thousand Perfect Notes! Who, by the by, is nearly 8 months old…they grow up so fast, I swear.
I do not promise 100% scintillating meanings, but !!! they still mean something!!!
PS. This will have no PLOT spoilers for ATPN! But I will be talking about details and mention Beck’s full name (which is a secret for a bit at the beginning) so — you’ve been warned!
(Also if you missed the cover reveal for my next book, The Boy Who Steals Houses…it’s up now!)
1. There are stories behind all of their names!
Ok this one is somewhat sensible and I’m very proud of it! The whole story is actually a Beethoven x Cinderella retelling. I always wanted to do a bit of a modernised Beethoven “reimagined”…and this is it!
➸ “Beck” is short for Beethoven, aka after the famous Ludwig van Beethoven
➸ “Keverich” (his last name) is the maiden-last-name of the real Ludwig’s mother!
➸ Joey’s name came from “Johann” (YES they’re pronounced differently, but this was just inspired) who was the real Ludwig van Beethoven’s father.
➸ August Frey is named after August Rush, the movie! So so many people thought I was inspired by This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab….um very much no. I was SO devastated when TSS came out starring AUGUST FLYNN. Like c’mon, universe, that’s rude. But I wrote ATPN in 2015 and TSS didn’t even come out till 2016.
2. Also this is why they’re all German!
Because of Mr. Original Beethoven. Also I am German(ish)???? My great-grandparents were German immigrants to Australia, hence my German last name of DREWS.
Fun and useless fact for you there!!
3. Twice Burgundy is just a fictitious band I made up for August and Beck to be obsessed with.
I have had SO many people ask me “I couldn’t find Twice Burgundy online to listen to???” Which is actually such a compliment lmao. If I can describe a band interestingly enough for people to really want to hear it — then wow, you go, Cait.
Back when I wrote ATPN in 2015, I was listening to Civil Wars, Imagine Dragons, and Of Monsters and Men. So imagine them sounding roughly like that.
And I named them “Twice Burgundy” for absolutely NO reason and I have so many regrets because I never spell Burgundy right the first time for goodness sakes.
4. Beck’s monologue about hating glitter is author-self-insertion at its finest.
At that point I was doing copious amounts of craft with a 3-year-old niece. And UGH I LOVE HER, but sfshgoshr her obsession with glitter destroyed my fragile sanity.
I hate glitter. It doesn’t love you. It wants to see you dead.
5. August’s shoelessness is because a lot of Aussies just…don’t…wear shoes?
This isn’t a blanket Aussie culture thing. But it’s pretty common! If you go to some shopping centres near the beach, they even have signs “WEAR SHOES” because so many people turn up without. We are bogans.
I also had a period when I was about 15 where I basically never wore shoes.
I also nearly broke my foot playing soccer barefoot…which like literally as I’m typing this is probably what inspired August’s damaged foot when Beck had to carry her home from school.
6. I didn’t name a specific town-setting because I’m…lazy.
Because, look. If I said that it was, say, Brisbane — then I would’ve had to write it accurately as Brisbane. Duuuude. Dude. Don’t ask me to research. As is, it’s like what happened if Lismore x Brisbane got flung together and sat down in a mess.
7. August’s beetroot cupcakes…
…look. Beck is right. Vegetables don’t belong in cakes like that, seriously, August. Get help.
I’m meant to tell you the hidden meaning behind it but it’s only that I have been subjected to this. And writing books is nothing if not working through past traumas.
8. The Maestro is inspired by the Evil Step-Mother of fairy tales.
One thing I’ve noticed as I drift about the blogosphere like a well-meaning ghost, is that ATPN is making it onto so many of your lists…ALL FOR EVIL PARENTS. That stuck out the most lmao.
Truly, the Maestro is a deeply terrible person. What’s worse is that she’s justified her abuse to Beck. She’s making him “a great pianist” by force. And to her, that’s all that matters. He refers to her as “mother” like once throughout the whole book because he knows mother/son is not their relationship.
So she also plays into the “abusive/mean music teacher” stereotype (which is a very common trope in the music world) but she also takes her roots from fairy tales.
ALSO I’M SORRY, OK???? I hate her too.
9. Why present tense/3rd person?
It’s not the most common choice and I actually terrified myself into a spiralled hole pre-release that no one would like it. But I like it. And I’m important ok. (Also super humble.) But it’s the tense I love the most and feel so comfortable with. Present tense brings you deeply into the moment, like it’s happening to you — right now.
So you can suffer with Beck. Nice.
10. There is an Avery (from my next book, The Boy Who Steals Houses) cameo in this book!
I am so ridiculously proud of it. I was really lucky to land a 2-book deal upfront so while ATPN was still in edits, I already knew The Boy Who Steals Houses would be my second book. I could sneak a reference!
➸ Avery is Sam’s (my narrator) brother in The Boy Who Steals Houses
➸ So TBWSH is actually set in the same town/same school as A Thousand Perfect Notes!
➸ It’s also set a year later.
➸ And yes ajfdklsad there are references to TBWSH in A Thousand Perfect Notes too! Keep your eyes peeled.
➸ Why does this make me so dorkily proud of myself? I swear the bar is so low for me to feel clever. But here we are.