1. The characters Fiona and Denise were named after my sister and her friend who helped me come up with this idea while watching a UFC match.
2. Dominic "The Dominator" Payette is inspired by UFC welterweight champion Georges "Rush" St-Pierre, who was bullied as a child and took up karate. The name Payette is after Julie Payette, Canadian astronaut.
3. I did not know about Dominick "Dominator" Cruz before I wrote this book. I didn't steal him name--it's just that awesome, and totally Harlequin hero-worthy.
4. Mako Miwa is named for two people: Mako Iwamatsu, Japanese actor who played the voice of Uncle Iroh on Avatar: The Last Airbender; and my grade 7/8 teacher Bob Miwa, who was always a bit scary, but tough and inspirational.
5. Salmon River is not a real place: I named it after a spot my family used to go every year to watch the salmon swimming upstream. I still have no idea where that place was. We just called it Salmon River.
6. As part of my research, I walked into an MMA cage to see what it feels like to be closed in on all sides. That cage is a lot smaller than you think with a second person in there. And there's a real sense of no escape.
7. It took me 6 months to write the first draft I submitted of Her Son's Hero. I wrote the first three chapters by hand while I was on vacation in Las Vegas, the city headquarters for the UFC.
8. The Octagon, Ultimate Fighting, and the UFC are all trademarked, which is why you will only see it referred to as the cage, MMA, and the fictional UFF in my book.
9. My martial arts training is mostly in Aikido. I have no belts, and never did more than a summer's worth of courses. Everything else was research, and a lot of it.
10. The original title for this work was Fighting for Her Love, which is the title it went by when it won the Toronto Romance Writers contest in 2010.