As an author, one of my main jobs in my stories is the art of making connections. Connections between characters. Connections between the beginning and end of a story. Connections within a series.
As part of this job, I am currently re-reading Skythane and Lander while I write Oberon, so I can make connections between the three books that will give my readers that “aha!” moment when they discover them, and that will help insure continuity between the stories.
But there are other kinds of connections that we trade in as writers too.
Some are unintentional. These often come out of our subconscious writer mind, or sometimes form nowhere at all. These are of the “same character name in two stories” variety, or perhaps a location shared by two entirely different stories that use it in different ways.
For instance, two of my stories have characters named Jameson, though they are very different characters separated by a vast gulf of space and time.
And keen readers will notice a certain nurse in Tucson pops up in two different books set in two different universes.
Okay, so that one was kinda intentional. These “Easter eggs” are fun for the readers to find.
Side note: I think the erm Easter Egg (used for hidden content) came originally from the video game world, where designers would often add secret bits that you could only access by typing in a certain code or knowing where to click or how to perfom a certain action. Someone correct me if they have an older history than that.
With Ithani, though, I am doing something new. I am planting some Easter eggs intentionally in the story that will startle (and hopefully delight) my avid fans. I’ve hinted at these in interviews, and will say no more at the moment. Suffice it to say if things come together the way I hope, it’s gonna be really cool.
So here’s the question for my fellow writers – do you intentionally make these kinds of connections in your work and leave Easter eggs for your readers? And if so, did you ever have a reader get back to you to share how excited they were to have figured the connection out?