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• WITHER was inspired by Disney's Beauty and the Beast and there are Easter eggs throughout the story. It is not a true retelling, however, so some elements were changed.  

• Gerulf's house was inspired by Stan Hywet, a gorgeous historic house in Akron, Ohio. 

• The title of Gerulf's book, Loss of Twilight, is completely random. 

• The workplace explosion at Zane's father's job was inspired by a real incident that happened at my husband's job. 

Likewise, the premise behind the car accident was inspired by a friend whose girlfriend did the same thing during an argument (although it was in Illinois, not Switzerland, and he wasn't seriously harmed despite the car rolling over several times on a busy highway). He told the troopers what happened. She lied. He was arrested. The charges were eventually dropped but in the meantime he'd lost his car (it was totaled), lost his job (because he was a "no call/no show" due to sitting in jail over the weekend, waiting for bond call), lost his apartment (he'd moved in with her and she threw all his stuff out while he was in jail), and obviously lost his girlfriend. 

• By writing about Zane's sexual harassment and Gerulf's domestic abuse, I'm hoping to bring awareness to both issues for male survivors. They're chronically underreported crimes and resources are woefully lacking for men who find themselves in these vulnerable positions. The idea that "men can't be abused" is ridiculous and stands in the way of getting victims the help they need. If my little novella can bring attention/awareness to that and help even one person, then my mission is complete.

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