Above Temptation was a manuscript in the drawer for so long that when it was time to revisit, all of the banking laws had changed, and banking fraud itself was a different style of crime. Kip and Tam turned out to be more informed than the author.
The title and one underlying theme of Stepping Stone were inspired by the song “Stepping Stone” by Duffy.
It’s unusual for Karin to have an actor in mind to play one of her characters. An exception is Marissa’s mother in Finders Keepers. The “step up on the table in the country club dining room to make an announcement” personality – it’s so Meryl Streep. If she were unavailable then Helen Mirren would do it justice as well.
There’s no apartment building as described at the corner of 18th and Castro in San Francisco. That’s why it’s called fiction. But wouldn’t it be nice if there were?
Brandy Monsoon’s last name (All the Wrong Places) was inspired by Edina Monsoon of Absolutely Fabulous. A force of nature is a force of nature, even when it’s a bit confused by life.
Karin found out that Sugar Sorenson’s (Sugar) deeply religious grandmother had had a change of heart at the same moment Sugar did.
While mulling the idea of setting a book in Iowa City, Karin heard it referred to as “River City.” After that the main character of One Degree of Separation was Marian the Librarian and no other name was ever considered.
No math whiz, Karin spent a long time studying the milestones of mathematics to create a realistic passion for Holly Markham in Substitute for Love. Her favorite fascinating fact was how measuring sound waves electronically replaced the whack of an engineer’s hammer against a train wheel to test for metal fatigue. File that under “Cool stuff writers hope some day will help them win Jeopardy!”
The inspiration for the character of Reyna Putnam in Substitute for Love came from watching then candidate Cheney dance around the issues of LGBT rights as if his own daughter’s life wouldn’t have been improved had he cared enough to spend any of his political capital on her. Who wants to be that guy’s flesh-and-blood?
Samuel Coleridge’s epic poem Christabel sends a self-appointed knight into the evil, green forest to fight a witch for the soul of a young woman. It is presumed that the young woman wouldn’t stay with the witch unless she were under a spell. That script needed flipping.
Pretend you’re something you’re not and hope for the best, after all the lie only has to last a few days. Making Up for Lost Time started with this basic premise of a screwball comedy, with inspiration from the hilarious Christmas in Connecticut, starring Barbara Stanwyck.
Making Up for Lost Time was named more for a life situation (Karin’s) than as a metaphor. It remains the novel written in the shortest time span. And the metaphor worked out anyway.