Excerpt from For the Birds:
Mr. Finnigan pulled away and then gestured to Sonny. My stomach did a slow roll, taking in Sonny’s sideways smirk, the shadow of his unshaven face, the private joke in his eyes, and how he towered over both of us. I caught a hint of his scent on the passing breeze, a familiar blend of woodsy juniper and eucalyptus which brought back memories of curling up on the couch together, my face against his chest as I breathed him in.
I didn’t know how I should act. Did Mr. Finnigan know about us? Sonny answered that for me when he extended his hand.
“Edison McIntyre,” he said, his thick Scottish accent cutting through my heart as he clasped my hand in his. The amused squint of his eyes didn’t help, our secret history flowing between us, unbeknownst to Mr. Finnigan. “Charles has told me all about you,” Sonny continued. “I look forward to us working together.”
Friends, meet Sonny McIntyre – the man who owns Cricket’s heart in novel-in-progress For the Birds, even though Sonny and Cricket broke up a year ago.
Sonny is originally from Carbost Village, which is on the shores of Scotland’s Loch Harport on the Isle of Skye. His father owns a bed and breakfast there, and it’s where Sonny grew up before moving to the United States and settled in Eau Claire, Wisconsin…and eventually Petaluma, California where he met Cricket Stone.
Here’s a secret insider’s tip. Remember how I told you how the song “Exile” from Taylor Swift’s Folklore album inspired For the Birds? You know, the one Taylor Swift sings with Bon Iver, my favorite band of all time? There are a few secret nods to Bon Iver throughout the novel. One of them is Eau Claire, Wisconsin, which is home to Bon Iver, and now Sonny’s new hometown before he moves to Petaluma where Cricket lives. The other is Sonny’s given name, Edison, which is also the middle name of Bon Iver’s lead singer – Justin DeYarmond Edison Vernon.
If you’re a Bon Iver fan, you’ll definitely uncover a few other secret Bon Iver references throughout the novel, too.
When it came to picking an actor to represent our Highlands hero, I looked no further than Gerard Butler, the super sexy Scottish actor who starred in movies like 300 and The Ugly Truth (and who was actually born in the Lowlands, unlike Sonny). Gerard Butler as Sonny was actually the first character I was absolutely certain of as I plotted For the Birds. When I thought of Sonny, I saw Gerard Butler’s wavy dark hair, piercing blue eyes, and the five o’clock shadow on his face, and I heard Gerard Butler’s rolling accent that can melt butter.
That’s just Sonny’s looks, though. Before I go into who Sonny is, can I be completely transparent here? It is hard to talk about who the characters are without giving away too much of the story. I didn’t anticipate this dilemma when I initially planned these blog posts that share pieces of For the Birds. So I’m going to do my best to offer you glimpses of each character without sharing too much.
So, here’s what to know about Sonny – he’s a really good guy. Like, the kind of guy that opens the car door for you, gives incredible bear hugs, is generous with his time, and cares immensely about everyone that’s important to the person he loves. When he was with Cricket, he not only moved mountains for her, but he also became an important member in her family. He was like a big brother to Cricket’s sister Meadow, and he was a solid support to both sisters when their parents died in a car accident.
I stress all this, because Sonny’s decision to move back to Eau Claire is also the reason why Sonny and Cricket broke up, and why Cricket is undergoing so many hard, conflicting feelings when she sees him again (you read this in the excerpt I posted the other day).
That’s all I’ll share today. But stay tuned… On Monday, I’ll share even more about the inspiration behind Sonny’s romantic gestures, and how my husband inspired so much of it.
In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebrating love. Don’t forget, self love is a perfect way to celebrate love! If you need ideas, check out the last blog post I wrote.
Note: This is an ongoing blog series about For the Birds, a book I’m currently editing and will be shopping to publishers this year. Stay tuned to keep up with details about the story, sneak peeks at excerpts, and to learn about how the publishing process is going. If you’d like to be alerted to new posts, hit the “follow” button at the bottom of this page, or join my VIP Readers Club (you get a free book!).