1. Pairs is loosely based on a short story that I wrote over 20 years ago. I had intended to submit that story to a small, long since defunct, local magazine in Ottawa but I missed the deadline and for some reason never tried again. The title of the short story was An Early Frost.
2. An Early Frost was the working title of the novel through to the fourth draft (out of what ended up being a total of seven drafts). There are a few references to frost within the text and “early frost” is actually used in chapter 69. During the process of writing the novel, the title An Early Frost lost its relevance. That title also had the disadvantage of already being taken.
3. Pairs is the beginning of a larger story.
4. The original poem that threads through the book and denotes, in progressive stanzas, the start of the first five of the novel’s six sections was written nearly 25 years ago, while I was attending University. I had originally written it purely for my own enjoyment. The poem was recreated for Pairs from memory.
5. The character Adam’s name was chosen to be Adam solely for the reference in chapter 65.
6. Henry’s name was chosen out of the air, as it were, while I was reading The Time Traveler’s Wife. The clincher was that Henry is my father’s name. (Not that there is any resemblance.)
7. Pairs is a very accessible story, but it is also layered. For example, several allusions, some direct and blatant, others indirect and subtle, are made within the story which very loosely (I cannot overstate “very loosely”) relates Alexandra to Lilita the Red Goddess from the Hindu faith. To give illustration of this, a more obscure reference is in chapter 15 where Alexandra states: “I go by many names…I think there are a thousand”. In the Hindu faith there is a hymn of the thousand names of Lilita. This is part of the deific theme that weaves through Pairs and which I hope to continue in the series.
8. Although I would have loved to have supported and put forth contemporary poetry and poets, the poetry that Kayley quoted was chosen by me from works in the public domain in order to avoid copyright infringement. If there is a contemporary poet who wishes to provide works that Kayley can recite in part or in whole in future novels I would be interested in chatting with them.
9. Although Henry is an intellectual of sorts, he is not always correct. As with the error in his use of the word “metaphor” rather than the appropriate choice “simile” which was pointed out in chapter 15, he was also slightly off target with regards to the origins of the Library of Alexandria in chapter 43. I see potential for future humorous character interactions because of these errors, particularly between Alexandra and Henry.
10. Kayley’s grandmother was originally written as a male character and is based very closely on a man I know who lives in Nova Scotia. Even though I had specifically written words like grandfather, those who read earlier drafts were surprised to learn that the character was a man. I came to feel that the character as a woman was more fitting. There was little more done than changing gender references and grandpa became grandma.
D.W. Richards is a member of the Canadian Authors Association and beyond being a novelist he is also a script-doctor and freelance writer. An excerpt from Pairs will appear in the October 2010 issue of the international literary PDF quarterly Cantarville as a standalone fiction piece. In addition to creative writing, D.W. Richards has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from Carleton University and is a Certified General Accountant. He divides his time between Venice, Italy and Ottawa, Canada.