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  • Nadia was inspired by one of the coolest dogs ever, Karou. You can check her out on Instagram @karouslibrary

  • I've always loved the name Marek and it was meant to reflect Chicago's strong Polish community (and a huge chunk of my own heritage).

  • Colomb is a fictitious town based on similar areas directly south of Chicago. Yes, some are called "villages." No, that doesn't mean they're all tiny. But since I didn't want to besmirch any particular place, I created my own.

  • For all of my Bennett Reeve fans, Misha references him a couple of times without directly naming him—as the "criminally smart corporate attorney" and the friend who says "it's not what you know, it's what you can prove." 

  • There are other references to events that happened previously/off page, namely the Italian mafia being dismantled and the Russians taking over their space (e.g. the Romano warehouse), to show how the Welles Universe is interconnected between the Leander Welles series, the Solnyshko Duet, and Misha's book. 

  • I had 69k words of this story written in the spring of 2022 when I suffered a severe bout out of depression and burnout. I didn't think I'd ever finish it, honestly. Once I picked it up again in the fall of 2023, another 61k words spilled out, resulting in the finished book before you. The break was obviously good for me. In 2022, getting into Misha's head was surprisingly more difficult than Marek. But after that break, it's like the clouds parted and I finally knew Misha's complete backstory and what he was all about, even if it didn't make it on the page. 

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