Salem was almost entirely inspired by a line in “Every Little Bit” by Patty Griffin.

Very early on, the song became Mac’s theme but about halfway through the first draft, I realized that the love interest in the song wasn’t either of the male characters who had appeared in the draft up to that point.

It’s funny how a morning turns a love to shame
Disguised and disfigured and you thought I tasted like rain

I kept going back to that line and, every time I listened to it, Salem became a little more concrete.