Happy #TowelDay ! (bonus Belhaven series content)

There is a secret hidden in the Belhaven series, and that is that every single major character is a GIANT fan of Douglas Adams.

Arrite, maybe it’s not that secret or hidden. Maybe I named my hero – Charles Douglas – after Charles Darwin and Douglas Adams.

May 25 is “Towel Day,” a day when fans like me carry towels around with us.

In honor of the day, and of Douglas Adams, my very favorite author, I would like to share this with you:


There is a scene I cut from the sequel, for reasons of pacing – you know the old saw, “Kill your darlings.” I loved this scene, but it wasn’t moving the story forward, so it got chopped. But  (don’t worry – there’s no spoilers involved)


BACKGROUND: When Annie tells Charles she feels like she’s drowning, he tells her she can breathe underwater.

A couple months later, over Skype, they have this conversation:


Charles asks what I’m doing to breathe underwater.

“To – what? Oh.” I remember his metaphor from the London pub. “Um…” I think about it.

I realize that I’m not. I’m drowning. It’s only seven weeks – just long enough to complete the data collection – and in the last two weeks the only way I’m getting through it is to know that I will be released by this particular sea monster, swim to the surface, and break through to bright, sunlit air soon.

I sink dramatically into my chair and groan. “I guess we’re both a mess.”

“Well. I’ll be waiting on the boat with a warm, dry towel.”

I laugh out loud and say, “Hey that Charles is one hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is,” and at last, at long last, we’ve found a shared pop culture reference!

He giggles – giggles! – and says, “Don’t panic,” and everything inside me swells with joy.

“You got my joke!” I exclaim at my computer screen. “You never get my jokes!”

“Of course I got it!” he says with a grin. “At any rate, I’ll be there in ten days. I’ll wear protective gear. It’ll be fun.”


Happy Towel Day everybody.

Don’t Panic.

We Apologise for the Inconvenience.