Do you love a good Easter egg in books/movies/tv shows? Disney and Pixar are known for placing great Easter eggs inside of their stories, but I love putting them in books too!
My most recent release, Lions and Lamps, I’ve covered the story in historical Easter eggs as well as references to the beloved Disney version of Aladdin. Want to take a look behind the scenes with me?
My hometown is the site of the first steam locomotive in the United States, so of course I had to write in part of my hometown history to my steampunk Aladdin retelling.
Most noticeably, the name of the train—the Stourbridge—was given to the airship Aladdin and Cyra are tasked with stealing. The Stourbridge Lion (the train) was named after the English city it was purchased in and the lion’s head painted on the front of it. Locally, one of our schools has also taken on the name, and now the airship in Lions and Lamps has as well.
There’s a replica of the original train in our museum (the original was dismantled for parts—what?!?!)
You’ll also find lion references in several ways throughout the story, a direct relation to the Stourbridge Lion. I’m quite excited about the several ways it was worked into the story, but you’ll have to read to see!
One of my favorite Easter eggs is actually the name of the country in Lions and Lamps—Horallen.
This is a combination of Horatio Allen’s first and last name, in honor of the man who brought the train to the United States. You can read more about Horatio Allen and the Stourbridge Lion here.
Then, of course, I also wanted to work in a few references to the Disney classic, Aladdin. While my Aladdin, princess, and genie couldn’t be more different than the Disney version, their Princess Jasmine happens to bee one of my five favorite Disney princesses, so I wanted to include a few nods to her. Inside of Lions and Lamps, we learn that Cyra (my princess) smells like flowers. While not stated outright, in my mind, she smells like jasmine, a nod to one of my favorite Disney princesses.
One of my favorite Jasmine-moments from the movie is when she and Aladdin are on the rooftop and as he turns around to help her jump, she’s already sailing across the empty space from the other rooftop on her own. My Aladdin and Cyra have a number of moments on rooftops throughout the course of the story, giving another nod to one of my favorite scenes in the Disney version.
Cyra also wears a steampunk necklace made of cogs and gears that features a butterfly. This is a quiet reference to the butterfly in The Jaded Duology, though this one is far less traumatic.
Are there more Easter eggs in the Stealing Steam Series? Perhaps, but that’s my little secret.
Since you asked nicely…there are quite a few references to the original Aladdin. Do your research and you might be able to predict what is coming in relation to a certain someone. Roar.
Are you a fan of Easter eggs in books/movies/tv shows? Let me know you’re all-time favorite in the comments!