Steven Shinder

Lemons Loom Like Rain Trivia

Chapters 12-16

Chapter 12: Time Consuming

  1. I first wrote the opening scene of this chapter during a writing exercise at my first meeting with Sussex Short Fiction Society on September 27, 2017. It did not yet have context, so it was just Mortimer (before he got his full name and occupation), Harriet, and Cackle Bucket (who may have had a different name).
  2. I was very pleased to find out that the name Harriet meant “home ruler.” It tied into the idea of The Landlord thematically. Harriet's mention of the name Henriette implies that she may have a French background, hence the mention of the captives not having understood each other before.
  3. The mentions of oil, tin, and heart are allusions to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I also watched a video about how glass is made, which involves melting sand and putting it on a vat of tin. I was pleased with how this process fit well with the figurative language I wanted to use.
  4. The word “orifice” appears twice in this chapter, and it may be used again in the next novel as part of a new concept...
  5. Harriet Harvester's mention of “wannabe Moscato additions” implies that some who auditioned to be Mandy the Mantelope were eaten.
  6. The pig motif has probably stuck with me thanks to Invader Zim, Saw, and Batman stories that have featured Professor Pyg.
  7. The portion of the chapter concerning Vic was originally a short story I wrote for Writing 31 – Beginning Fiction. I turned it in on October 7, 2015, under the title “Whets and Flashes.” (Yes, I know. That title sucks.) It was one of the scenes I considered including as an interlude in the novel having no bearing on the main plot. I ended up providing context, connecting Vic to Randy, and the members of Feathers to Mathias.
  8. Lexa's name was already in the earlier version “Whets and Flashes.” In late November 2017, after a discussion about memorable sing-songy names in a module I was taking called The Art of Short Fiction, I came up with ideas for the types of names I wanted the werewolves to have. Tomb Scone was originally named Gravy Scone. But when Grady needed Gravy Stew as a nickname, I changed it.
  9. As I've said time and time again, I got tired of “What's your major?” being the most asked question at certain college events.
  10. Dinner scenes can make for eerie sequences in horror, as shown in such works as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the Hannibal TV show. Even Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me had an eerie scene at a table “above” a convenience store. (The scene is much better in The Missing Pieces.)
  11. The pun “more ales” is pretty much the main reason I switched Randy's surname from Moseley to Morales.
  12. I considered incorporating a supernatural reason for Randy's friends forgetting his birthday. I think I ultimately decided it'd work better if they just simply forgot and August, being forgetful due to his situation, had not been able to remind the other friends. In real life, people do not always check birthdays on social media.
  13. Sometime after writing the first complete draft, I realized that I needed more of Randy and Naomi. There needed to be a bit of a reminder that they had art together, and I wanted to show more of how Randy reacts to what Naomi's experienced. This flashback also provided a chance to show more of Randy and August being good friends.

Chapter 13: Midterms and Conditions

  1. I actually have gotten just yogurt toppings in a cup at Yogurtland before. The employee there did not say anything about it.
  2. In case you haven't guessed by now, yes, Peyton is meant to sound like “pay ton.”
  3. In case you missed it, Mitch says “piss Myers,” which sounds like “pismires.” This ties into the motif regarding ants.
  4. My aunt had these little piñatas hanging on the wall of her workplace. They seemed pretty random. I thought it'd be funny for someone to fill these and hand them out on Halloween. The pig motif appears again. It's green, like the piggy bank my maternal grandma gave me.
  5. Far along into the writing process, I realized that I had not given Mathias a chance to just be a vampire. Mathis had all his killing spree moments, but Mathias needed vampire killings. So I added his scene here, as well as a later one. Of course, Mathias, like vampires of other stories, has to be invited in order to enter the house.
  6. The concept of people being trapped in the basement of the school library was the basis of a potential interlude titled “Basement Study.” Essentially, it would've been written in the style of a school newspaper article, with quotes from students saying that other students were trapped down there. With the other potential interludes contextualized within the narrative, this one was scrapped. But I was still intrigued by the idea of people living in the basement of the library.
  7. The concept of Plo-Tunium Holes has been in my head for years. They act as a metaphor for plot-holes. I was also able to use them to explain why the werewolves' fur was blue.

Chapter 14: What The Fudge?

  1. 1. The mention of Brother Bear was a matter of doing some math in regards to Peyton's age. I think it ended up being an appropriate choice, seeing as how it deals with siblings.
  2. The words “lemony Snickers” are a little shout-out to Lemony Snicket.
  3. The Kin Conflicts is that mysterious series of background events that leaves people wondering what it is for a while until it's explained a bit more later. In that regard, it's like the Clone Wars in Star Wars, the Earth-Minbari War in Babylon 5, and the Time War in Doctor Who. The Kin Conflicts may be explained a bit more in later stories...

Chapter 15: Punch Buggy

  1. “Punch Buggy” was a short story I wrote for a writing workshop class called Writing 91 – Intermediate Fiction. I printed it out on March 2, 2016. Like “Whets and Flashes,” this was also considered as a possible interlude that would've had no bearing on the plot. Tucker's first name was originally Austin, but I changed it so that it wouldn't look too much like August. And I needed a placeholder for the name of the man he meets at Spike's Punch. So I just pulled Mathis Dillard out of my sleeve. In Preying Mantis, which I'd envisioned as an FBI manhunt novel, he was gonna have a fixation on Volkswagen Beetles. So pairing him with this guy from the DMV seemed like a natural fit. When I realized that both Mathis Dillard and Cres Moon of the early Lemons Loom Like Rain passages had the same height, it just seemed natural to combine the two characters. Of course, that meant changing his backstory. The bit with August witnessing Tucker's death in the mirror came later.
  2. Even though Tucker is mean, I wanted to show that he's still human. Coming up with The Goonies was another matter of using math to figure out what movies would've come out while Tucker was a kid.

Chapter 16: Cause for Alarm

  1. I knew I wanted a slacklining character in the story, but I needed a name for him. I wanted him to feel relatively unimportant so that his interactions would feel like filler, and then show that he does have a bearing on the story after all. Thus, Frederick Filler came about, but Randy's meeting with him in the park was his first time meeting him. After revisions, I realized it'd be more interesting having him as Randy's first roommate with whom he lost touch.
  2. Deep Diving Orchestra is based off of a suggestion from my friend Cu Fleshman. She said that it might be fun to mention classes at CPU that are really weird.
  3. The bit about the numbers representing the chronological order of Pulp Fiction came from a discussion in an Immersion Journalism workshop during winter quarter 2018. For the longest time, I wasn't sure who would say it in the story and why they would say it. Eventually, I came up with Candid's roommates and their wacky scheme.

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