The Inside Take

Eloisa's Exclusive Extras

Inside Once Upon a Tower

Warning! In describing relations between characters, I may wreck a book for you by making it clear who someone marries, or the outcome of a book. Please do not read about The Inside Take if you're wary of knowing who is paired with whom!

  • As a Shakespeare professor, I teach Romeo and Juliet every year—one would think the play held no mysteries for me. But I’d been plagued by the question of what Romeo and Juliet’s marriage would look like if their parents hadn’t been so grumpy. Here I am, answering a reader’s question about where the play fits in to the novel.
  • When I was thinking about shaping Gowan as a very young and passionate version of Romeo, I turned to the poetry of W.B. Yeats. Gowan was not the first to be “looped in the loops of her hair.” I owe a debt here to Yeats’s early poetry.
  • Obviously, any Romeo must encounter a balcony (and Gowan does!). Once I thought up the balcony, I jumped to a tower…and in the end I modeled my heroine on Rapunzel.
  • Gowan climbs the balcony on a horsehair ladder—the closest I could get to the original means of entry (i.e., Rapunzel’s hair). If you’d like to hear more about Gowan, here I am, answering a reader’s question about his Scottish nationality.
  • Edie is a cellist, and throughout the novel, I mention many cello pieces. I’ve prepared a list of short videos so that you can experience Edie’s musical taste. Enjoy!

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