Behind the Scenes Don't Date the Haunted

Behind the Scenes of “Don’t Date the Haunted,” Chapter 8

What inspired the date at the cathedral? Did you catch Theo’s hint of Book 2?

I didn’t know what to say. Sorry, your customs confuse me? Sorry I’m such a terrible date? Sorry, this is my first date since my fiancé died? Yeah, that would kick the distress level up a notch.

“Don’t Date the Haunted,” chapter 8

Before we get into the awkwardness of Pansy’s first date since her fiancé died, I should warn you that this is CHAPTER EIGHT. If you don’t know who Pansy is, how her fiancé died, and why she’s going on a blind date, go read “Don’t Date the Haunted!”
I’ll even make it easy and give you the Amazon link >>>

Alright, supposing you’ve read at least up to chapter eight, let’s move on.

As mentioned in the Behind the Scenes of Chapter Six, I didn’t date a lot. I think I went on a total of eleven first dates (four of which were blind), and only four boys went for a second date. However, I’ve lived with people who dated a lot. Two of my siblings went on three dates (with 3 different people) in a single day. My roommates were asked on dates by people they didn’t even know, and one made an insane goal to go on one-hundred dates in one year. I joked that even my mom’s dating life was more active than mine.
Whatever, I’m married now and never going back. Sorry, Luv, but you’re stuck with me. 😛

Speaking of English romanticism, I’ve had the blessed opportunity to visit several cathedrals and abbeys throughout England. Below are insufficient pictures I took of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. I imagined church halls of Horror to have gothic architecture like Westminster, while those of Romance (and the one they tour on their date) to be like St. Paul’s.

Here’s a quick 360 walk-through of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Seriously, St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of my favorite places in London. (It helps that I listened to a symphony and organ performance there, and it’s across the Millennium Bridge from Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.) Its beauty and magnificence is the main reason I gave Emma one of my own hobbies: photography.

As for all the banter between Pansy and Theo, not much changed there. My initial thoughts were to have their first date in the mountains, but I knew Pansy would never settle for it. Theo’s character had always been born among the Fantasy mountains, but it wasn’t until after finishing the second book that I reconsidered Theo’s response and attitude to Pansy’s question,

“Have you ever been in the mountains?”
“Did you want the literal sense of being ‘in’ a mountain?” he mused.  “Regardless, my answer is yes.”

“Don’t Date the Haunted,” chapter 8

He continues to mention the caverns of the Divine Mountain Range that divide his father’s land from Middle Novel (within Fantasy). In “Don’t Marry the Cursed”–(wait, we’re talking about Book TWO? Sneak Peek!)–you’ll learn that Theo lived in the cavernous city of Divinity for one summer. As a midway stop between the kingdoms, the city is rich with mining and trade, though its ranks of nobility are decided by education levels.
This wasn’t just excessive world building. These are all important details for the next book. I could say more, but I can’t spoil “Don’t Marry the Cursed,” release date scheduled for April, 2021!

Edits of this chapter included more additions than subtractions. The descriptions of the gardens, talk of the masquerade and Halloween, the barking dog, and poking suspicions of Mr. E were all added in later drafts. Pretty much all else remained the same. The biggest switch was that initially the photos were taken inside the cathedral. Apparently, I’d forgotten why I didn’t have any interior pictures of the cathedrals I visited around England.

The other part that changed was the transition between “Theodore the Trusted” to “Theo” (because I used to spell his name with an “E” at the end). Initially, I had no transition, and I struggled with a couple different scenes to formally allow Pansy to use his nickname. I even went through a phase of having Theo speak with “thee” and “thou” among strangers. (Don’t worry, that phase was short-lived).
Here’s a snippet of it though:

Heather walked by with her date, and she smiled at me.  I returned it, finally feeling comfortable.
“Ah, there it is,” Theodore chuckled.
“Huh?” I asked.
“A smile.  I think that’s the first time I’ve seen you wear one.”
Well, it’s gone now.  Thanks for killing the mood, I thought.  Then I realized, “That was the first time you said ‘you,’ instead of ‘thee.’”
He gave a half shrug, and looked around, as if it didn’t matter who he was addressing. “I figure if we’re all to be better acquainted with one another, we ought to use informal vernacular.”
I held back a sarcastic remark of “and you’re doing such a good job at that.”
He continued, “As long as we may be considered friends, you may call me Theo.”

You have permission to sigh with relief that it ended up the way it did.

Join me next week for chapter nine of the inspiration for “Nearly Dead Newlywed” movie night and the reveal of the poltergeist’s name!

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