Let’s talk Easter eggs! Before I sit down to write a new Kari Hunter book—before I even start the first page—there are four important elements that must be decided.
No, it’s not the plot or the main villain. These four items are unique to the Kari Hunter universe, so you won’t see them anywhere else.
Can you guess what they are? I’ll give you a second…
Okay, let’s see how many you guessed.
#1 A new band performance… and subsequent public disaster.
In book 1, The Fourth Channel, Kari and her band, Vis Viva, appear as guests on a fictional late-night talk show to hype their comeback album. Their performance was brief and uneventful—the juicy bit happened afterward, during their interview.
I’ve received quite a few comments about this scene. A few people said they didn’t get enough of the band and wanted more. That feedback seemed quite fair…
Which is why I gave you “both barrels” in book 2. (/forms silly finger guns)
The band performance in book 2, The Necromancer’s Knives, was as over-the-top as I could make it. The result felt like a fight scene. (And maybe it was: Kari vs. Cody Springer’s tongue. Eew.)
For fun, I even threw in a character from book 1—did you notice? While on the red carpet, the late-night talk show host from book 1, Dana DaCosta, has a cameo. She joins the band’s “conga line” that’s hustling up the red carpet.
Since everyone liked this band scene so much, they’ve gotta stay. But I can’t have them exist as gratuitous, Mary Sue—type pleasures—I’ll have to one-up the last band performance every time. The band performance in book 3, The Dark Door, is one of the first scenes I came up with, and I feel like I’ve outdone myself this time.
#2 Heraclitus’s T-shirt
It’s okay if you missed this one; it’s subtle. Do you recall Heraclitus, Kari’s adoptive uncle? The one who tutored Kari when she was young and turned her into a bit of an overachiever? If you’ve read the prequel, Saturday Night Necromancy, you know he’s also in a Scrabble club with Mikelis. Well, Heraclitus is inspired by an actual person: Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus. Heraclitus ended up in the book because I asked the Spouseditor who some of his favorite philosophers were. The rest is history.
Heraclitus first appeared in book 1, in a scene with a lot of other characters. I needed a fun way to distinguish him from everyone else while illustrating his personality and without taking up a lot of the page. So, I dressed him in a T-shirt and slapped a funny slogan on it. When I started planning book 2, I realized it had become a little running joke in the house, and I needed to keep it going.
So, why does it make this list? Because I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding what the T-shirt is going to say in each book. The criterion is simple: it has to make me laugh or it doesn’t make the cut.
Book 1: Stand back, I’m going to try science!
Book 2: There’s no place like 127.0.0.1
Prequel: SCIENCE NERD
Heraclitus is back in book 3, and he’ll be sporting a new T-shirt for everyone’s pleasure.
#3 Sacrificial knives’ latest favorite crime show
This one is, by far, the most difficult.
Did you notice that I make up a new crime show for Kari’s knives to watch in each book? Well, I do! In both books, the knives request a specific TV show. Initially, I added in a title for color, but it quickly became clear to me that I’d have to create a new, wild crime show for each book. I create the titles as unscientifically as possible: by mashing random words together to make nonsensical titles that sound so bad that they might be awesome.
Book 1 crime show: Autopsy: Special Ops
Book 2 crime show: Coroner Cop
Anyone want to guess what Book 3’s show will be?
#4 Unique sacrificial knife punishments
This one’s more obvious, although I bet you didn’t realize how much thought I put into it. Although I get a lot of random ideas on how Kari can punish the knives, I can’t just pull any old punishment out of a hat and call it good. Kari’s been punishing her knives for a long time, so in each book, she’ll need to get more and more creative.
In book 1, Kari threatened to put Mikelis’s knives in the garbage disposal.
In book 2, Longy and Stubby were given a star-studded punishment… with a song-and-dance number.
Minor spoiler alert: In book 3, Stubby gets all the punishment. Muahahaha! (/twirls non-existent mustache)
Don’t worry, though, the underwear drawer will always be around as the OG of knife punishments. It will probably never go away. But even though the underwear drawer is an ever-present threat to the knives’ sanity, there’s still a place for over-the-top punishments.
That’s it! Did you guess any of these? Let me know! I’d love to hear what you think. I hope you’re all as excited about book 3 as I am.
Until next time,