I used to love watching my mother paint as a child. She even tried to teach me but I would always compare my pictures with her masterpieces and be sorely disappointed in them. Mother wasn’t though. She used to cover the fridge, the walls, the doors, any available surface with my pictures. She said they were the most beautiful pieces of art she had ever seen. She told me they were like treasure to her because an artist always puts a bit of their soul into their work and therefore those pictures held a part of me. It’s the same reason my foyer is full of her work; I treasure her soul.
So I thought I'd tell you about some of the hidden Hanleigh'isms' inside of the Rules series:
- Firstly, as I've told you before growing up my family were quite strict and although not rich like Aurora's they certainly had a clear view about what sort of person I should be and how I should behave. Just like Aurora, I have a younger sister who is far more rebellious than I am.
- Aurora's favourite colour is grey. That's definitely all me too. I always joke that it's ridiculous that my favourite colour isn't even really a colour, it's just a shade of black.
- In the third chapter of Broken Rules, Aurora sees Landon's mother's paintings and her favourite one is of a lighthouse and she tells the reader that growing up she always wanted to live in a lighthouse. I've always loved the sea and so the idea of living in a lighthouse is perhaps one of the most romantic dreams I could have. Throughout the books, I seem to make a lot of metaphors out of my love of the ocean; usually referring to it's depth.
- Tequila! Aurora and her friends drink tequila more than anything else, because it's a favourite of mine. Although I usually drink Vodka Cranberries and Mojitos, anyone who knows me knows my favourite drinks are sparkling wine (preferably the good stuff) - ergo the prosecco references - and of course tequila.
- The whole Hybrid car thing - not all my characters will have hybrids. That would be completely ridiculous but I wish they could. I'm quite aware of the environment. I'm half vegetarian. I know that sounds insane but most people eat more meat than they really need, so I tend to eat meat in less than half of the meals I eat. I don't eat meat every day and when I do I try to be picky about where it is sourced. I don't drive; choosing to walk or get taxis or trains instead because it's better for the environment even if it costs me more. Even though my characters aren't real, I still don't want them to have massive carbon foot prints.
- Aurora's love of London - although it's not my favourite city in the UK it's definitely a close second. It's beautiful and Aurora's not wrong, the architecture is amazing; the bright white town houses with their big black doors. Growing up I always wanted to live behind one of those doors.
- The Stone family are a bit disfunctional. They love each other dearly but they don't seem to be able to get along for very long. They have moments of real joy together, like when Aileen was playing the piano and the whole family joined in singing with her. My family is a bit like that. Give us an instrument and we'll lose ourselves in the magic that is our shared love of music but the rest of the time... people make thoughtless comments, hurting each other just the way Michelle Stone hurts her children with her somewhat careless words. The Stone family are definitely built on the foundation of my own family.