The three follow up books to The Architect of Song are set within roughly twenty years of the same time era. And each story connects to the others through family members that are in some way haunted by a ghostly element.
In the case of The Hummingbird Heart, there's a pair of 18th century Italian shoes which harbors a gypsy curse and is haunted by a vindictive female ghost. The shoes have an amusing yet creepy tendency to move about without a wearer. Willow, the book's heroine, is drawn to these shoes, almost to the point of obsession. They hold a mystical power over her, even before she realizes they also hold the secret of her tragic past.
So, here’s a look at the image that inspired the shoes: Vintage Italian latchet shoes. Check out those inward curved heels and super pointy toes! Ouch.
Having these shoes act almost as a character is similar to book one, The Architect of Song, where a flower embodying a man's spirit becomes an active participant in the intensely emotional relationship between the ghost and the flower's keeper, the young, deaf Juliet.
In each story of this series, "inanimate" or "insentient" objects or creatures serve as game players and/or mirror the characters and their arcs, elevating them to more than just props. Each one takes an active role in the plot, a role that without which, the story wouldn't survive.
Follow this link to The Hummingbird Heart's pinterest board for visual inspirations.