1. Shiver the Whole Night Through is named after the last line in the last song on the last album Nirvana ever recorded (MTV Unplugged in New York). I’ve love, love, loved the line, song, album and band for over two decades – and all four fit the tone of the book just right.
2. Speaking of names, Sláine is a very unusual one which I’d never heard until a few years ago: a weather presenter on the Irish-language station TG4. I sort of knew, immediately, I was going to use it someday.
3. Another character is called Meredith, after a competition I ran when my last book (The Polka Dot Girl) was published in 2013. People sent me a photo of them with the book, their names went into a hat…and a young musician called Padraig Meredith was the winner. (There’s also a Padraig, purely coincidentally, which is shortened to Podsy…)
4. Final name fact: the town where my story takes place isn’t actually given one. Adds to the mystery…
5. Apart from the Nirvana line, the book smuggles in a few indirect quotations of French surrealist poet Paul Eluard and Argentine short-story genius Jorge Luis Borges. It’s all relevant and not just showing off, I swear…
6. I also snuck in a poem, crafted here by Aidan, but which I wrote years and years ago for my then-girlfriend, now-wife, when she was living in Japan and I’d just returned to Ireland. Romantic devil.
7. Shiver is quite strongly influenced by the Twilight movies (as well as Twin Peaks, Brick, Let the Right One In and a pile of other stuff), so I called one chapter ‘Black Skies and Revelations’ in a little nod to Black Holes and Revelations, the Muse album that includes Supermassive Black Hole…which of course is played over the baseball scene in the first Twilight film. (And is, incidentally, one of the best singles of the last 20 years.)
8. When creating Podsy I imagined him looking like the sidekick in the Colin Farrell remake of Fright Night. Dark hair, goofy, slightly wonky mouth…kind of cute in a not-at-all-handsome way.
9. The ‘Greek ampitheatre’ where Aidan and Sláine hang out is essentially a mental mash-up of a few different places in the Burren, a unique limestone area on Ireland’s Atlantic Coast. I heartily recommend you visit, it’s like journeying to the moon in some parts.
10. In three separate scenes, characters use Latin words or phrases. This is my pathetic attempt at seeming like I had a Classical education. My Latin is about as good as my Mandarin, i.e. non-existent.
Summary from Goodreads
After months of bullying and romantic heartbreak, seventeen-year-old Aidan Flood feels just about ready to end it all. But when he wakes up one morning to find that local beauty and town sweetheart Sláine McAuley actually has, he discovers a new sense of purpose, and becomes determined to find out what happened to her. The town is happy to put it down to suicide, but then one night Aidan gets a message, scratched in ice on his bedroom window: ‘I didn’t kill myself.’ Who is contacting him? And if Sláine didn’t end her own life… who did?