1. Hemingway, the cat, is a nod to the polydactyl cats of Key West, Florida. Author Ernest Hemingway famously lived on the island and was gifted the first “mitten cat” by sailors in 1930. The museum grounds now house a thriving community of many toed cats. Like Hemi, almost all calico cats are female – it’s rare for a male cat to be a calico. (Hemingway is loosely based on our neighbor’s cat, Sophie, who always seems to see more than the human eye.)
2. Barbara’s red coat is a shout out to Little Red Riding Hood.
3. Barbara references a popular side job for students in Prague in the 90’s – working as a film extra. The Czech Republic has always been a home of filmmakers, but it also serves as a location for other films. Home of a thriving film industry, Prague and its buildings have been used to stand in for cities all over Europe in cinema. The countryside is often used in fantasy and historicals. While we lived there, we saw multiple movie sets in town, and Mr. Silvera was an extra on an episode of the BBC’s Musketeers, which filmed at the Strahov Monastery and a chateau outside the city.
4. The antique bookseller Havel Zeman also appears in Death’s Dancer. He helps Isela getting off the tram on her way to Sunday dinner with her family.
5. Turns out, Prague is a small town after all! In addition to Zeman, Lysippe and Gregor are also mentioned in Binding Shadows, though they never appear on the page. Did you spot them?
What are some of your favorite details in Binding Shadows (or the Grace Bloods books?)