Best Laid Plans: Fun Facts and Trivia

This page has spoilers for both Best Laid Plans, Gone Awry, and All the Things Series . So if you haven’t read them, plan to read them, and don’t like to be spoiled, go away. If not, have fun with these little interesting tidbits. I’ll add more as I think about them and it goes along. Or as people contact me with questions.

  1. I came up with the idea for Best Laid Plans after I wrote All the Little Things. The working title was One of the Lucky Ones, and I wrote five chapters before I decided the tone of the story wasn’t the tone that I wanted. I wrote All the Uncertain Things and All the Hidden Things before finally, two years after I orginally came up with it, I was ready to write it.
  2. In the first version, Spring was already pregnant after having been artificially inseminated when she met Bilal. And it wasn’t their best friends’ wedding they met at but at Spring’s sister’s engagement party. I ended up scrapping that sister from the story.
  3. Spring represented the duplicity and nuance of a young black woman. She’s a professional and runs a business, wants to settle down and start a family, and absolutely freaks the hell out over a new pokemon game and is into “nerd” culture and going to Cons. The way people react to that in the novel is inspired by how my classmates would react when they learned that this Black, Muslim girl who got A’s and B’s in her classes and argued about social issues was a Star Wars, Manga, and Anime fanatic who wrote fanfiction and didn’t leave her house the weekend Pokemon games came out.
  4. Nadia and Nadina are based on my precocious and sometimes obnoxious but very sensitive and caring twin sisters.
  5. Spring’s dad was always dead in early versions and the final version of the story. But what I didn’t come up with until the final version was her closeness to her dad and how he shaped and molded her.
  6. In the original version, Spring and her mother were supposed to have a strained relationship. In the end I decided that Spring was just closer to her dad than she was to her mom and that they had normal mother and daughter issues that come from a mother watching her little girl grow up.
  7. I generally ignore holidays in my novels. Part of it has to do because I generally don’t celebrate them and a lot of it is also that holidays just don’t fit into the pacing of my stories or serve no purpose. But in Best Laid Plans, Bilal taking Spring to see his family during Christmas really helped further the story and lended well to Bilal and Spring’s plot and relationship development.
  8. I debated a lot about whether or not Spring was going to be pregnant by Bilal at the end of the story or if she wasn’t and would go through with the artificial insemination. I had been leaning toward the former anyway but what sealed it was…
  9. I always wanted Best Laid Plans to be connected to the All the Things series but I wasn’t sure how it would be connected. I had been studying (loosely speaking) the different ways some African cultural approaches to raising their children as opposed to Western methodology, so I decided that Spring’s father would have that background which heavily influenced the way she walked the world. And then I realized that Spring’s father’s description was a lot like I had described and Akilah’s dad. And at that moment, I knew they were sisters. And it connected very well with the overall theme and story.
  10. Also, Spring is stubborn. She puts up with no one’s shit for long and I feel like if she hadn’t gotten pregnant, the sequel would have taken place ten years later instead of the month or two in this timeline.
  11. Bilal and Rafael are bros. They have to be. Being involved with Spring and Akilah respectively can be exasperating. Also, Rafael is the one who gives Bilal a push in the right direction and the encouragement to get over himself to be with Spring.
  12. I always planned for Lene to come back and talk to Spring after they breifly met during Christmas. What I didn’t plan for was Lene being as young and sympathetic as I made her to be. But without me really planning it, by the time Spring and Lene meet again, Lene is this young girl in her early twenties who thought she knew who she was and her place in the world. Then her fiance breaks off their engagement, and she watches him move on with another woman while she’s reeling and trying to figure out what to do next.
  13. I’ve always been very aware that on paper, what Bilal does to Lene by breaking their engagement and then immediately getting with Spring is something that I’d definitely side-eye in real life. But one thing that’s always going to be a theme in my novels is that people do shitty things sometimes, but it doesn’t make them a shitty person. It just means their flawed and make mistakes. And just because they effed up with someone doesn’t mean they don’t deserve happiness elsewhere. Also, situations are nuanced.
  14. Bilal eventually admits that he had a huge crush on Spring when they first met, and that him insisting on being chilvarous and going with her to the movies the first time they hung out was him taking an opportunity. It’s not obvious in Best Laid Plans though because Spring is completely oblivious to it.