The 7th, 8th, and 9th of December are the birthdays of three (out of five) of my brothers. Dad's birthday was on March 16th. You do the math.
Anyway, surrounded by their birthdays always makes me reminisce about my childhood and the happy memories of growing up the eldest in a big family.
I feel so lucky that I'm able to celebrate some of the memories by incorporating a few of them into my books. For example, the Darling family in the series use the word "shup" in place of "shut up." That's from real life, and we still use the word.
I don't know if it's just an abbreviation or if we'd get in trouble for saying "shut up." Either way, it's one of the small things from real life that made it into Sam Darling's fictional life.