After the debut of The House of the Spirits, Allende began to follow a rule of starting to write all her books on January 8. She is quoted as saying:
In January 8, 1981, I was living in Venezuela and I received a phone call that my beloved grandfather was dying. I began a letter for him that later became my first novel, The House of The Spirits. It was such a lucky book from the very beginning, that I kept that lucky date to start.