When I was a kid, I was watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie with my parents when my dad casually mentioned that we were supposed to look for Alfred’s appearance somewhere in the film. I had no idea what he looked like, so I didn’t know what I was looking for, but sure enough, both of my parents noticed him at the same time, so I was pretty sure they were being straight with me. In a couple of future movies, they pointed him out again. I thought that was pretty cool that he made the cameos. It was something unique by which he could be remembered.
When I was writing Loving the Rain, I wanted to be unique too, so I began the process—which I continued in each of the Clay and Tanner Thomas books as well as my upcoming time travel adventure, Jumper—inserting a few unique things in each book. For one, each of my books had at least one character with a name very close to a friend of mine. People who know me and my friends would know that. There was a Mr. Henson, a Verne Gilbert, an Eric Haynes, and a Bonnie Webster.