I would like to talk about a major influence in the book that may get overlooked by some – the great writer and director John Hughes.
I remember when Seton and I inked the publishing deal for The Running Waves with Publishing Works, Inc. On the ride home we were flying high with excitement. We were mostly excited about the pop culture shout outs that secured the time period, and how those people may actually someday may read them (well, everyone except for O.J.!). The person I was really psyched to read the book was John Hughes. If he could see the impact his movies made on me it would be the icing on our creative cake.
Back in the 80’s, his innocent and hopeless romantic movies spoke to me like they were friends whispering in my ear. I was Keith in Some Kind Of Wonderful and wished I could be Ferris and have the guts to “take a day off.” Obviously, I was not alone with those feelings of connectedness to Hughes’s movies, and some of my favorite feedback came from people who told me how much they loved the John Hughes references. These readers got what we were trying to do.
Both Brennan brothers desperately want to recapture their innocence (and without giving away a spoiler here) Seton and I thought using that John Hughes inspiration, but with our own twist on it would be the perfect way to go. Due to the subject matter, our book is much darker than any of his movies were. The humor and quest to stay young and hopeful comes from what his writing taught us, and I think by adding that flavor it gave our story balance.
John Hughes 1950 - 2009
When we drove home that day from New Hampshire after signing the deal, I vowed somehow and someway I'd get a book into his hands and thank him. Well on August 6, 2009 (9 months before our book was to be released), I learned that wish would never happen when I read that John Hughes had passed away.
But our book is also about signs and when I bumped into Andrew McCarthy from Pretty In Pink (A John Hughes classic and mentioned in our book) the following summer at Coffee Obsession and told him how much that movie entertained the Murphy family growing up I had to think somewhere John Hughes was also hearing my words.