Hi BDH, Mod R in the house.
Behold, the recording of the Zoom Q&A hosted by House Andrews on December 17th is here!
It contains all sorts of goodies about Magic Tides, Innkeeper present and future (don’t watch it yet if you don’t want spoilers or haven’t finished Sweep of the Heart), merchandise store, projects, HOAs, displeased Roman, puppy yoga etc.
After carefully reviewing both sessions, I noticed that there was a lot of repetition, so I chose Saturday’s recording. It contained more answers and I managed to cause less technical issues during it. What can I say, my pronouns are Oops and Uh-oh.
As usual, things are fluid, everything that is discussed here is in the planning stage and you know what the poet Burns says about best plans and how they go awry. It’s not set in stone until it’s on the Release Schedule.
I also have the transcript for you- it’s a big boy! We talked fast and went deep. The usual disclaimer applies, you absolutely do not have to read it- I do it in case anyone with accessibility issues needs it. I also cross-linked some of the references which may not have crossed cultural divides, I hope it helps.
Happy Merry to everyone celebrating this week, and I hope all the Horde, in all the corners of the galaxy, has a fluffy 2023!
Festive Q&A Transcript from December 17 2022
Mod R: Hi everyone! I’m here with House Andrews, Ilona and Gordon. Hello! And, of course, with the most important participant today, Charlie Tubbins, Mr. Tubbs. He had his shots yesterday at the vet, so he needs extra cuddles. Always cuddles! Puppies need cuddles.
::to the chat:: Barsa Barsa!
And I’m Mod R. You might not recognize me without my Rudolph nose, hehe. Today we’re going to go through the big surprise week that we just had, all of the goodies that were launched. And I’m going to start by asking Ilona and Gordon how they are feeling after this multiple release week?
Gordon: Oh gosh. You know, it’s not real yet. There’s a point, even with a release where it doesn’t seem real, or final, and then it sinks in a bit later. That’s how it is for me. Wow, we had a release, which book was that? I literally asked her the other day, “Was that Fated Blades?” I just had a senior moment.
Mod R: I checked, I think, yesterday: “Wait a minute. When did Fated Blades come out?”. Because I was counting how many releases I’ve been here for and wow, it was last year, it was November, 2021.
Gordon: Was it? No…Whoa.
Ilona: You’re behind. You are way behind.
Mod R: I think it also feels a bit unreal because, well, some of the things have been in the works for a while (like the merch); and other things, like Magic Tides kind of fell out of your very lovely, interesting and creative heads. It was: “We’ve got an idea!”. And then, not much later, we had the very lovely and quite long novella.
Ilona: Yes. It started as a short story. We were going to put it on the merch store as a way to entice you to go check out the merch store. I sat down in the beginning and said “It’s going to be a simple structure. We’re just going to do this and this and this, and it’ll be done.”
And I told all this to Jeaniene Frost and she started laughing hysterically. When she laughs, her laugh is really high and it’s really infectious. So she’s sitting there, giggling and I’m like: “Laugh it up, why don’t you?”.
”How long will it be again?” Well, we’re trying under 15,000 words. And she just “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA”.
Gordon: Jeaniene and I are secretly related. She and I are on the same page with most things.
Mod R: And everyone’s very excited about it! We want to know how it came about that you’re writing a new Kate story and, most of all, what does it mean for the other spin-off series (Julie’s series and Hugh’s)?
Ilona: What does it mean? It doesn’t really mean anything.
Gordon: No, that’s not true. Because for the next Hugh book and the next Julie book to make sense, we feel like we want to set the stage and bring everything up to the same time period. So there’s a small…
Ilona: Well, Hugh’s book is before these ones, time wise.
Gordon: But the next Hugh book won’t be, will it?
Ilona: Yes, it will. They have kids in this book [NE: Magic Tides] and they don’t have any kids in Hugh’s next book.
Mod R: There you go. A little bit of a spoiler already.
Gordon: Well, anyway. The next Kate and Curran book will still be set before the next Julie book. Things will have to happen in the next two Kate books and then there’s the Julie’s book,
Mod R: And now we come to the other question. Will there be more books in the Wilmington series?
Gordon: I just mentioned the next two.
Ilona: Don’t listen to him! No Kate books are coming!
Mod R: We heard what we heard! [NE. Team Facts be Damned, to your posts!]
Gordon: What about the one that’s written? We have to give them that. It’s on Amazon already…
Ilona: That one isn’t coming either! ::much giggling ensues::
Mod R: There were questions about the timeline of Magic Tides. Roughly seven years have passed since Magic Triumphs. Conlan is eight years old. And two years before Julie comes to Atlanta.
Gordon: Because he’s 10 in Blood Heir. And we still need a little bridge from this to that.
Mod R: So the Kate in Wilmington books are bringing some pieces of the puzzle together.
Because there are rumours! There’s obviously some rumour machine somewhere which is churning them out: that there’s going to be no more Hugh, there’s going to be no more Julie. There will! None of them are done!
Gordon: That’s Kid 2. Don’t pay any attention to what she says!
Ilona: She has *never* said anything of the sort! You are so…:shakes head, laughing::. People make up stuff sometimes. We had somebody claim that we outsourced the fifth book of the Edge series to another writer, with absolutely no information behind it to back it up.
Sometimes people misread or misremember or misunderstand, they get excited. Sometimes people do stuff for attention and it’s usually harmless. But we always have to rebut because if not it causes panic and readers come over and say “I have not heard that you have done this!”
Oy, my accent is strong this morning! I need to tone it down.
Gordon: You got the baroness thing going. I dig it, personally. I always have!
Ilona: Boris! Let’s talk to the fearless leader!
Mod R: You told us the story one time about being in college in English class and there was this beautiful, intelligent, smart young lady who sounded like the villainess in GI Joe.
Gordon: Yes. I was fascinated! I’m straight Gen X, bro, so I was like “Yeah. Oh yes. She will be mine!”
Ilona: Sadly, no barons in my bloodline. We’re all peasants, that’s it. No nobility there.
Mod R: Nobility of the mind and of the spirit!
The other question that was linked to the timeline: people are very, very worried that Grendel and Cuddles are getting older- and whether Kate can extend her immortality gift to animals too. And, of course, we know that Grendel doesn’t quite need it…
Ilona: Grendel doesn’t need it.
Gordon: He’s a different kind of dog. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it extends to giant donkeys.
Ilona: We’ll have to see, but Cudles is alive and well in this book and as ornery as ever.
Gordon: Yeah, but Grendel is different, you know, he just is.
Mod R: Some people might not know who Grendle is: Bran’s dog from the Mists. Here you go, official confirmation needed, hehe.
Ilona: Yeah. He doesn’t need it [NE: the gift]. And he is, at this point, Conlan’s dog. Conlan is his reason for living.
Gordon: That’s a good point. He’ll probably live as long as Conlan wants him to.
Mod R: We know he changed shape, with mixed success, because girls love poodles and he wanted to be Kate’s dog, so he turned into a poodle. Is he going to change shape again for Conlan? If Conlan wants a, I don’t know, battle hound?
Ilona: We’ll have to wait and see. It’s interesting, I just read an article that basically says that dogs are super good at judging our competency and they watch us all the time, and they will actually align themselves with a more competent human.
Or if somebody doesn’t help their human, they don’t like him. There’s a long-range Japanese study done on it. And it would be interesting to see how Grendel reacts to different people and what he does. Right now, he is just Conlan’s buddy and this is really good for Conlan. He needs someone to take care of, someone who is basically dependent on him. I think all children need to learn empathy at some point. And dogs and cats and various pets really help with that.
Mod R: In many ways, and this was the opinion of the Beta reader team as well, Magic Tides is sort of a “Day in the Life” of Kate. A travel vlog, a slice of life. And at the centre of it is Kate and Curran trying to have a low-key, normal life *because* they’re raising Conlan and they want Conlan to have as normal a childhood, and as normal of an experience as he can- given how extraordinary he is.
Ilona: It’s very hard in Atlanta, where he is Roland’s grandson, he’s Curran’s son, he’s Kate’s son. Nobody there really thinks of Conlan as Conlan. He is who he’s attached to, sort of.
Gordon: Except for Julie, I think.
Ilona: Yeah. He is Julie’s brother. So they had this brilliant idea of moving to Wilmington and having a low key normal life. Which doesn’t go their way.
Mod R: Mixed success there too, hehe.
Ilona: Very, very mixed success there.
Gordon: Except I think the downfall of that was predestined, because as soon as Curran saw a fort, a castle that he should build, it was over. Who buys a castle? Well, him.
Ilona: Who remodels it? Who has arguments with his contractor about the moat?
Gordon: We actually had the whole thing about the moat. She and I actually had an argument. She’s said I can’t have it. And I was like “Yeah, you can. It’s a sea, right there!”
Ilona: It’s a sand bank! Everything is a sand bank.
Gordon: The tide will fill it!
Ilona: And your whole fort is going to slide into the ocean. Bye-bye, fort!
Mod R: The readers also want to know is Magic Tides and the maybe, possibly, (
definitely) future books, are they all going to be about Wilmington? Are we going to see any Atlanta or Atlanta shaped people?
Ilona: No Atlanta, it’s all Wilmington. But you will see people from Atlanta, there will be visitors.
Gordon: We want to set up Wilmington. This is the place, these are the players…
Ilona: For example, in one of the future works, there’s a guy that runs the People’s chapter there. And he has no clue at all about who Kate is. And somebody from Gastek crew comes and they watch stuff happen and they say: “Oh, please, please keep doing exactly what you’re doing.” And the Wilmington guys are like “What? Huh?” “No, no. You know everything, you’re doing so well, just continue on your course. Hihihi. Let’s see what happens.”
Right now, please don’t take it as “continuation of the series is coming, more books are coming”. They will come when we’ll announce them. Until then, they don’t exist.
Gordon: That’s a good point, because the plan is actually to go forth with this model: when the thing is written and done, we’ll announce it.
Ilona: Just like we did this time. It’s gone through the copy edit. It exists. It’s done. We’re off to the next thing and we’re not going to tell you what the next thing is. It works better for us, it’s a lot less pressure, and we write faster.
Even our agent didn’t know. It was late, late on Friday, because I waited to spring it on her when she was unprepared: “Hey, I’m just calling to let you know we have a long-ish Kate novella”. And she said “Aaaa, that’s lovely. Okay?” “We sent it to your email, please check it over the weekend.” And then on Monday, a call from her: “It’s a Kate novella! What the heck?!”. Hehe. I think it didn’t register until she looked at it. But nobody knew and that’s the way we intended to keep it.
Gordon: To answer Ruth’s question in the chat: no, the next Innkeeper will probably be serialized. That’s kind of what we do with Innkeeper, isn’t it?
Ilona: The Innkeeper will be serialized. We probably will not serialize much more. It’s a lot of pressure creatively and it’s gruelling, because we have to deliver a very nicely, rounded chunk that should have emotional impact, advance the plot, and keep people from forgetting what happened before.
I actually saw a review of Sweep of the Heart where the person was like “It’s too much like the blog!” And I was like, awwwww.
Mod R: My heart bleeds ::plays world’s smallest violin::
Ilona: We worked so hard to make it a novel, cohesive, but I’m sure that some of the blog serialization steps probably stay in there and we just don’t see it.
Gordon: The alternative would be that we do this [NE: next Innkeeper] book like Magic Tides. We would get it done and just post chunks of it. Rather than, you know, posting a bit and then spending Monday through Thursday writing the next bit, posting it on Friday, and so on. Have it all and just dole it out in chunks.
Ilona: And there’s a lot more freedom with not blogging it right away. If we could pre-write a large chunk of it, that would probably help a lot, quality wise. For example, if you read the blog version [NE. Of Sweep of the Heart], you probably remember the cluster gate, which was super complicated.
And the reason why it got so complicated is that it was a bad idea. We put it in there and because it went on the blog, we were stuck with it. So we kept trying to twist it to make it better. And then in the novel draft we were: “It’s a one-time use gate! Problem solved!” And the entire cluster gate went out.
That’s what you’re basically hoping for, that you hit the bullseye the first time with the blog, but we are not that good.
Gordon: Because we’re writing it and posting, it changes and evolves and not always in the best way.
Ilona: Yeah, at least the first half of it because we can definitely adjust and change a little bit based on the feedback from the audience. We always do. But it will just let us give you a more streamlined story. I’m probably not explaining it clearly.
Mod R: No, no, it makes complete sense! And it was fascinating to watch because you told me the story right before the blog serial started, so about a year ago, because it started at Christmas. And it was fascinating to watch how you stuck very precisely to the creative idea and your artistic freedom, despite the sometimes negative feedback- and yet how it grew and grew.
In particular, my favourite experience was writing the summary emails every single Saturday day and be like: “Mod log. Star date 76342.1. The hate for Lady Wexyn continues. . .”
Ilona: We got summaries. Sometimes, there are too many comments to parse all at once, so Mod R would write summries of what was happening in the comment section and it was “They still hate Lady Wexyn. They want him to marry a fish. Or a kitty.” And the kitty had this tiny part in the book and everybody’s like: “Kitty pretty!”
Mod R: Jazz fins! Team fish!
Ilona: And there were some people who just did not go with it. I remember in particular a very nice lady named Barbara, who informed me very sternly with every instalment that she does not like this book. She has done it for probably five or six chapters, and the final straw came on Caldenia’s backstory, where she was like “Not only I don’t like it. I don’t understand why anybody else would!”
You know what it reminded me of- and I’m sure Barbara is a nice lady and completely does not look like that- but the Muppet show, the Angry Men. We had our own heckler. It was so funny.
Gordon: Statler and Waldorf, yeah! I loved those guys when I was a kid, they would just roast everybody.
Ilona: Yes, she would roast us consistently. And I actually kind of enjoyed it, because we deserve it.
Mod R: I had a lot of insider information, which is not fair at all, but I’ve always known that Sweep of the Heart is kind of the last “romp”, as it were.
We get a sort of expansion pack. That’s how it felt for me, an expansion pack to the already amazing world building. The Inn gates burst open and all the Universe is coming through them. So many more species, cultures and community empathy, and star kingdoms! Because from now on, we are going to be more focused on solving the parents disappearance, right?
Ilona: It will be more closed in. This is the last hurrah before.
Gordon: A bit of language warning, but we’re trying to get to the fucking monkey. There’s a band called Tripod and they have a song that specifically references the King Kong movie by Peter Jackson. I think it’s 45 minutes or an hour into the movie before you see Kong. And the whole song is basically urging them to get to the fucking monkey, because that’s why we’re all there for. We’ve teased this out. I feel like we need to give it a strong finish.
Ilona: We did the foundation; we did everything that needed to be done. We showed “Okay, here’s the bad guy, who he is, what he said.”
Mod R: There’s a lot of advancement in the book!
Ilona: That was one of the complaints- because, believe it or not, we do listen to your complaints. I know it doesn’t seem like we do, but we do. But with the previous book, it was that everything was all in the Inn: we didn’t get to see the galaxy, and we didn’t get to see Dina host a large event, we didn’t get to see what kind of civilizations exist out there and why is everybody adhering to that humanoid standard. Criticisms like that. So this book, to some extent, is an answer to those. Because we wanted to give you a shining tour of galactic powers. And now it’s going to be: ”Bad guy doing very bad things. How do we stop the bad guy? Who is the bad guy? Why is the bad guy? How are the parents?” This next book will be very plot heavy.
Mod R: I don’t know if this is just my head cannon or not, but I adored the Barsa Barsas. Are they based on the BDH going: Klaus, Klaus, Klaus. Klaus. Klaus. on the blog?
Ilona: Klaus, Klaus, Klaus. I don’t know why, where does the fascination with Klaus?
Mod R: He’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma! And is he *meant* to remain a mysterious character? Or are we going to have POVs?
Ilona: No, he’s going to be mysterious. To ruin things for you a little bit, basically when Klaus comes to see Maud, he informs her that there is a terrible enemy that targeted them and that they absolutely cannot have the wedding. Because if the wedding takes place, it’s the opportunity for that enemy to strike. Which prompts Arland and Maud to look at each other and say: “Oh, we absolutely have to have the wedding!”
So they are having the wedding, but the reason why it’s postponed is because they had to really fortify House Krahr, because they know bad stuff is coming.
Mod R: And it was always, that’s what I was leading to when I said you told me the concept and you stuck to it very truly: the surprise is that Sweep of the Heart was always meant to have a twin. Even back in novella days, it was going to be released and then a surprise “shadow twin” companion, was going to be Maud’s side of the story.
Ilona: Yes, that was the plan.
Mod R: And that was also the number one question during the blog serial: How come Maud and Arland aren’t married? How come Dina doesn’t know that Klaus is there? Well, we are going to learn all of it in the next book!
Ilona: That’s the next thing, Maud. Basically, we were planning to do two novellas, this one and the companion with Maud’s wedding. And not only this one grew, but we realized that Maud is going to have to be a very long novella because now we painted ourselves into a corner with the Great Enemy thing. And we’ll have to explore that, in more detail than novella probably would permit us. So it probably will be a novel, or a double release. I’m not sure. We will have to see. We have other projects, unfortunately, for other series and other fandoms [NE: as in the Kate fandom, Julie fandom etc] that we need to basically get cracking on, and so we’ll see what happens.
We’ll let you know. Don’t ask us.
Mod R: Hehe, I *do* have just a couple more questions. Will this be only from Maud’s POV or are we going to have split POV with Arland or Dina?
Ilona: It will be Maud’s POV. It’s easier.
Excuse me for a second. ::to the puppy army that surrounds them:: Would you like to go outside?
Gordon: You should take her upstairs to see her mom! Sorry about the brightness guys. It is Texas. We don’t have blinds on these windows because this is the office. Above us is the apartments.
Ilona: We want to be awake when we work!
Gordon: The other thing about it is it’s really pretty. Sometimes, especially in the summer, we have really pretty birds.
Ilona: You can see the cardinals out the window. It’s very beautiful out there, but super cold. We had to wear sweatshirts today.
Mod R: There’s going to be a cold front next week for you as well! Ooh. I disappeared. D’oh, I unplugged my camera. Sorry.
Ilona: The ghost of Mod R!
Mod R: Here I am! So someone was asking what other fandoms? Just the Kate fandom and the Hugh fandom and the Hidden Legacy etc.
Will there be more Hidden Legacy, now that Ruby Fever is in the rear view mirror?
Gordon: Not for a while. We have a lot of other commitments, as we talked about. The possibility of more strictly Kate, Curran and Conlan books. A second Blood Heir, a second Iron and Magic. We have a thing, Un-named project that we want to work on. You know that one.
Mod R: That’s the one I want. Rhymes with “Baggy”. I’m very excited about that one. ::reads from chat:: Roman? Are we going to have “Vohlvs in Moderation”? I keep pushing for that on hehe, it’s going to be a NYT bestseller! [NE. This is not the title of anything, just me shamelessly pushing my Roman+Mod R, sitting in a tree, C-H-E-R-N-O-B-O-G-G-I-N-G agenda]
Gordon: In the immediate future, Roman will probably have a role in Julie’s book.
Ilona: No, he’s coming to Hugh 2. You remember, the whole raven thing.
Gordon: Eh, we’ll see. Basically, he’s strong supporting cast
Ilona: In Hugh 2, some weirdness happens…
Mod R: :: mock disbelief:: No! I’m shocked!
Ilona: ::chuckles:: They need an outside expert, and Hugh says: “I know a guy.” Of course, Roman being Roman, turns himself into a crow and flies in to be an expert. And the Iron Dogs see a giant crow flying and they shoot him.
Gordon: Well, why wouldn’t you?
Ilona: And he’s very upset about that! I could curse you. My God is not so nice.
Mod R: Dishonour on you. Dishonour on your cow. Put down the cow, hehe.
Ilona: Coming here, flying in to help, getting shot. I don’t need this!
Mod R: Someone was asking if more of the series are going to make it to Graphic Audio, and we just so happen to have a meeting on Monday because…Kate Daniels is coming to Graphic Audio, the entire series!
Ilona: Yes. They’re excellent to work with!
Gordon: If you guys have any fear of Graphic Audio doing this, please give them the benefit of the doubt because they do an amazing job.
Ilona: Yeah, they do an amazing job. They listen. Before every book is recorded, we have a Zoom session. We go through the characters, we go through the spellings of the words, how you pronounce it, what choices are being made. So they’re incredibly, incredibly responsive. They’re much more responsive than more traditional audio publishers because their idea is: “You will get what you will get. Please don’t worry.” And then you get it and you’re like, oh my God, why?
But we are super excited about this project, we’re just going to have to be very clear, we want these characters represented accurately.
Mod R: We spoke about Roman flying in into Hugh’s book. And that leads me very smoothly into the merchandise, because you can see Roman’s bird headed staff in the designs. And I think it’s safe to say the BDH really, really enjoyed the designs in the merch store.
Ilona: Yes, I hope so. The BDH bought so many! The funny thing about it was we had some hiccups along the way, the shipping didn’t line up. That was a fun one. But these are growing pains. We’re so glad you guys were able to get stuff and it’s being shipped. They informed me that’s about 120 orders have been shipped, so fingers crossed that everything arrives okay. And then it’s centred, and where it’s supposed to be and not weird colors. It’s a drop-ship company that basically produces stuff for Etsy, let’s say. You know that t-shirt you buy for the family reunion, you wear it a couple of times and then you drip some paint on it and now it becomes an inside the house T-shirt. That’s kind of what these are. I’m hoping that it’s printed well and it looks good and you guys can word the volume is pretty good.
Gordon: The lion one is pretty good. We abused that thing. You put it in the sun for like three or four days.
Ilona: Our Kid1 washed it 10 times. It just went through the washer continuously for 10 loads. We tried our best to beat it up and do quality control, you know. It’s still okay looking, so, hey.
Gordon: And with our sun, it’s very strong.
Ilona: …your dog farted.
Gordon: He’s a bulldog!
Mod R: Thank god smellavision is not here yet hehe. One of the questions about the merch store was whether it’s this going to be a pop-up store? Will it last?
Ilona: No one needs to worry about that, designs are not going to disappear. We’re way too deep into this. We put too much money, and too much time for it to disappear.
Gordon: Interesting idea. V neck shirts.
Ilona: We will see about expanding. Mod R has a massive list of your suggestions. So the inventory will be fluid in the sense that we’ll try to add more stuff for you.
We had the Sweep of the Heart release and all this stuff associated with it. On top of it we finished and copyedited Magic Tides. On top of that, the merchandise store was a ton of work, like more work than anticipated. And then on top of all of that, one of our children got a medical issue that came out of nowhere; and then one of our friends has a medical issue we will not talk about. The whole thing was just so dense. The Here Kitty, Kitty design probably would’ve taken another three hours of just cleaning it up and I just didn’t have the three hours, so it didn’t make the store yet.
Mod R: And we’ve got a more designs. Sasha, the amazing artist has prepared other designs for us and I have your list of requests. I know Knight in the Streets and Wizard In The Sheets is very, very requested, Luther’s famous T-shirt. Obviously, Here Kitty, Kitty is coming. And I’m listing everything, including existing designs, but on different products, like hoodies and v-necks.
Ilona: A lot of requests for packs of stickers, which I should have thought about- and they do make packs. And another thing here is that we have gone with the more expensive, highest rated printing providers.
Because Printfy, which is our actual printing company, they give you a whole roster of people. And some of them are based in Germany, some of them based in the US, and we tried to select the least problematic printer we could. And that’s why for the international store, we’ll have to just mirror it with like international printers. Hopefully it’ll be all set up there. We will probably just make a separate storefront for it, one is the US store and one the international store, and the two shall not meet.
Mod R: And the international store is coming because that’s obviously the other really, really common questions. We don’t have a date for it yet…
Ilona: No, there’s no set date. We’re just going to play it by ear and then drop it on you.
Gordon: Also, you know, Christmas and the holidays are so close.
Ilona: Yes, we have people coming for the holidays. We need to wrangle presents for them. We don’t know what to buy.
Gordon: The parents of our future ex son-in-law.
Ilona: Stop calling him future ex son-in-law! He’s future son-in-law, that’s it. Those two are together.
Gordon: They’re together and they’re coming over, which is really nice. They can stay in the apartment.
Ilona: Don’t listen to him! We like the kid. The kid is amazing. Very smart, very responsible. Loves our daughter. What else can you ask for?
Gordon: And our older daughter’s friends.
Ilona: So we’ll have to see. We’re kind of a little bit swamped. You know, in the middle of all the release craziness, I finally got up at some point- I was literally in the middle of editing Magic Tides and I looked around and said “I am putting up the tree”. Because it had no decorations. And so Gordon and I, we put the decorations and it’s really pretty.
Gordon: We did it by ourselves and the children did not help this time.
Ilona: We’re officially old, you know?
Gordon: That’s the thing. I’ll take guests as long as we can get them, because someday the kids will be older and they will not come for Christmas. It’s almost like that Cats in the Cradle thing.
Ilona: They better come for Christmas!
Gordon: Besides, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be able to drag you out of this country so we can go to Spain and live there and the children can visit.
Ilona: What happens to the dog?
Gordon: He can come.
Ilona: He’ll have to be in quarantine for a long time.
Gordon: And that’s the catch of it, there won’t be a time when I don’t have a small dog that I’ll want to take with.
Ilona: The next target is a Boxer. He wants a big Boxer to play with Tubby.
Gordon: If there’s anybody in in the chat that knows, what I’m wanting now is the German variant of the boxer and I’m told they’re larger and bit sturdier. And she’s going to get to Doberman, because unfortunately her Doby of many years passed. She was 15.
Ilona: It took me l think three years. Some people go and they get a puppy right away but I was not able to. For a while, every picture of a Doberman made me cry. So I had to get over that first.
Mod R: Sometimes they take our hearts with them. Speaking of pets, it’s almost the number one question in the chat. The Olasard reveal in Sweep of the Heart. He’s a very, very old kitty, isn’t he? How come he’s so old?
Ilona: He got stuck in a certain place where there was no time for a bit. He is not actually that old.
Gordon: In terms of actual living years.
Ilona: Biologically, he is just a normal kitty.
Mod R: But he was just in a place without time. And the other very intense question I didn’t anticipate is: “You dangled the Scottish innkeeper in front of us, what’s happening with the Scottish innkeeper? Will we hear from him again?”
Ilona: Of course! It’s not dangled there for nothing. It’s dangled for a reason.
Mod R: It’s like the BDH don’t know.
Ilona: It’s like when we finished Wildfire and everybody got so upset, “But who is Caesar, it was not resolved!” Crazy theories were spawned, “Sergeant Teddy is Caesar!” which is my favorite. Of all the characters, I would not have thought of Sergeant Teddy. It kind of made me almost sad that we didn’t do that because yes, that would’ve been really great.
Mod R: It makes complete sense because he said he was bored!
Gordon: ::putting on a bear voice?:: I AM CAESAR. I DO SO HATE TO BE BORED.
Ilona: But no, it’s left there for a reason. It will come back. No worries.
Mod R: And another thing that we hope will come back- well, me at least- is Dagorkun coming back for Karat.
Gordon: Here’s the thing, the next Innkeeper book is going to be the Maud and Arland thing. There is going to be a wedding. Everybody’s invited, so it’s an opportunity for us to bring guests. Probably not, hate to throw cold water on it, but probably not Gaston.
Ilona: No, not Gaston. Weddings are not his thing.
Gordon: I think George could be there.
Ilona: It would be interesting to have George and Sophie there.
Gordon: She has her own planet now. It’d be a bit of a slight if they didn’t invite her
Mod R: Actual royalty, yes! And, of course, that would be an amazing show to watch- I’m sure there would be some swordmastering happening between Maud and Sophie, even though I think they’re different styles of sword fighters?
Ilona: Oh, it would be this thing, if you’ve ever been at a Southern social, where two women with some standing in the community that are aware of each other, they kind of come close, look at each other and smile knowingly, say hello and then they go their separate ways. Like two ships passing the night.
Mod R: A lot of guests are expected- can *we* expect a bit of revenge with our wedding cake? A bit of house Ervan getting just desserts?
Ilona: Absolutely. House Ervan will be there and they have absolutely no clue. They have not connected the Maven of House Krahr to Maud. Or their grandchild that they exiled. They’re pretty desperate to curry favor with House Krahr. They suck up.
Mod R: And they’re kind of the nouveau riche of the Holy Anocracy?
Ilona: Yes, and House Krahr are very established. They have Daesyn, which is the prize planet and all the other stuff. At some point, former mother-in-law is there, and she sees Ilemina and Helen, and she’s “Oh, what a beautiful child.” And Helen knows who she is, Helen can smell her. And that’s really terrible.
Gordon: And it will be thing, whatever gift they give, House Krahr will say “Oh no, you’ve already gifted us the greatest thing of all…”
Ilona: Yes, the child!
Mod R: But legally, as it were, they have absolutely no claim on Helen, right?
Ilona: Zero claim. Zero. Please don’t even worry. That’s not an issue.
Mod R: So the vampires are expecting many guests, and we are expecting many bows to the stage.
Mod R: What about the security? Because the vampires are very focused on their fortifications and access to their planet, and now they have an Inn opening on their planet. How is that going to be welcomed by Ilemina?
Ilona: That’s going to be very interesting. Wait till the next book to find out.
Mod R: He he he he. Very well played.
Gordon: We can’t give you guys the whole plot.
Mod R: Will we learn a bit more about the parents’ past? How did Gerald get trapped, a continuation on the Gerald and Helen Meet?
Ilona: We’ll have to just finish that short for you at some point. And that would actually be good to put in the merch store.
Gordon: Yeah, I don’t want the next part to get bogged down with Gerard’s backstory.
Ilona: And we need to get that out there in the canon. This is the backstory. This is what happened.
Mod R: Because I still think it’s not necessarily very easily found by people- there are a lot of questions about, is Gerard really a human? Is he an alien? Does that mean Dina is not a human? Is Gerard the biological father of all three DeMille children? Which he is not.
Ilona: No, he’s not. Gerard is just a normal human being. He was born more aware of his magic powers than most people are.
Gordon: Well, normal in the sense that he’s completely human.
Ilona: Yeah, he is completely human, born on Earth, with magic. He ended up going off into the galaxy fairly early in his life and that’s why he’s the Wanderer. He really enjoyed wandering about and looking at all the different stuff and making different connections.
And then he got homesick and he came back to Earth and he stayed at the Inns, because the regular Earth accommodations no longer suited him. If you notice, this happens a lot in the series. If you look at Sean, he is not 100% comfortable anymore in just plain Earth surroundings. He doesn’t really like to leave the Inn.
He’ll go to Baha-char, he’ll go on expeditions with Wilmos…
Mod R: The universe has opened to him.
Ilona: The universe has opened. And I think a lot of it is probably because once you go into the greater galaxy, you become really aware of how different it is from Earth. And coming back to Earth would create a constant pressure. Don’t say the wrong thing, don’t do the wrong thing, you know? And so Sean, he just sticks closer to the Inn. And Gerard did the same thing. He came back and he stayed at the Inn because it felt more familiar than the place he had left- and it’s just his luck that he ended up staying at an Inn that was attacked and bad things happened.
He’s Dina’s biological father, but the other two children were from a previous marriage. He’s still their father, he just didn’t biologically produce them.
Mod R: And before everyone starts with crazy theories, the biological father is just not in the picture, but it’s not a Darth Vader situation, he’s not Sebastien North…
Ilona: No, just a regular guy, who is just a very crappy parent. That’s it.
Mod R: And it’s canon that we all have magic in the Innkeeper world, we just might not notice it. Like Officer Marais, his magic is intuition and he can tap into it. So the fact that the DeMille siblings all have strong magic, it’s just because they’re aware of it and they practice and work with it?
Ilona: It is, and it’s also Helen, their mother. The mother was very sensitive. It’s one of the things that you see in the short when Gerard sees her. It’s an almost immediate, “like recognizes like”. She was very magically gifted and she just didn’t know it. And when he saw her, he instantly felt a connection.
Mod R: But there’s no such thing as Innkeeper genetic powers, or Ad-hal genetic powers…
Ilona: No, it’s just magic. And every human has it, but some have less, just like a regular talent. We can all run, some can run faster, others run slower. Some, like me, just waddle.
Gordon: We can assume that every person can swim, right? But if you grew up in the desert and there wasn’t a body of water large enough to enter and have to swim, how would you know that you could swim? Until someone threw you into a pool or you found yourself in water and trying not to drown.
Mod R: We really, really love the Costco lady reveal! Did you always plan for the Costco lady to be Hector Marais’ wife?
Gordon: Yes, this was not a weird thing where we retcon it. That was always it.
Ilona: Yes. We were hoping to put her into Clean Sweep originally, but it just didn’t work that way.
So we sat on her for a really long time. Because Marais entered the inner circle. He became aware of things and then it was like “We can’t just introduce her right away, because now there needs to be tension.” And it was so funny to do it in this book where she feels so betrayed. “It’s not that you cheated on me, it’s that you were unhappy and you didn’t tell me.” Oh my God, we had so much fun!
Mod R: That was an extremely funny scene. And, of course, Orro, who always steals the scene. He is not just the BDH favourite, he is one of the world’s diamonds- with his misinterpretation of Earth’s customs. “It’s his wife. Bring all the donuts!”
Gordon: Someone asked earlier whether Orro would cater the wedding for the next book, and yes, absolutely.
Ilona: Just picture it, a kitchen filled with vampire chefs and Orro comes in with his helpers and they’re: “Who are you?”. And he goes:” HA! Red Cleaver!”. “Oh, we’re not worthy, we’re not worthy!”
Mod R: Will he get his Red Cleaver certification back?
Ilona: Yes. He hosted the Dominion’s spousal election! The entire Galaxy saw the feasts, all the food and all the desserts.
Gordon: And the situation was like “Is that guy a Red Cleaver? Why isn’t he a Red Cleaver?”
Ilona: He has redeemed himself. He also has a champion in his mentor, chef Adri, who really thinks that he is just super gifted. He gets his Red Cleaver back and he absolutely arrives for the wedding to assist. It’s a short trip now, it’s just like a little flight over, to the Daesyn door.
Mod R: And he will stay at the Inn, even though he gets his certification back, the universe is not calling Orro?
Ilona: Why would he leave?
Gordon: He does as much as he wants to do, and that’s all he has to do.
Ilona: He doesn’t have to actually cook to order. There is no manager, there is no hotel reputation to uphold. There’s no restaurant reputation to uphold.
Mod R: He can have his own kitchen!
Ilona: There’s no random customers. Instead he gets really interesting guests that he cooks for.
Gordon: I would say there’s a bit of a reputation that the Inn now has.
Ilona: Yes, I guess that what I’m saying is, a typical restaurant volume cooks. It’s the same thing over and over and over. It’s on the menu, you have to make it. Orro can just have each dinner completely unique. There is no menu, but the one he creates specifically for a particular occasion.
Mod R: .There’s also found family!
Ilona: Found family and people he loves. He has a nice nest. He has his Offended Woods. They try so hard, like when they took him to view the cooking show. He knows he’s loved and cared for.
Mod R: And the same goes for Caldenia, who is also going to remain at the Inn?
Ilona: Oh yes. She’s probably not going to be at the wedding. 100% not. She’ll be home, doing home things.
Mod R: Because, in many ways, this book was seen by the BDH as Caldenia’s book- we had all the backstory on her. Did you always plan to have Caldenia’s family come in and have a resolution?
Gordon: Not really. I can’t say that was planned.
Ilona: We knew in general terms what the backstory was, a very broad brush. But our characters evolve from book to book, and sometimes you have to wait a little while before we can take one of them and tell their backstory. Because the backstory you’ll come up with after writing the character for a while will be better than the backstory that you originally envisioned.
Gordon: And we never know how important a character will be to the readers, or how well received, sometimes. And then obviously we will embrace that and try to flesh out that person or give them more page time.
Ilona: Sometimes we can kind of tell.
::pause for canine flatulence:: Oh, that’s horrible.
For example, when we made Cookie, we knew that Cookie would be a favorite.
Gordon: I give him human food almost exclusively.
Ilona: No, he doesn’t! Tubby is on regular dog food. Gordon will slip him cheese sometimes…
Gordon: CheeseBURGERS, more like.
Ilona: We’re very careful. He just had a vet appointment and the vet informed us that he was in a perfect shape.
Gordon: Yes! They didn’t say Sookie was overweight, they didn’t say Tubby was overweight. They said Nike was overweight. She’s our oldest daughter’s dog. I said “That’s it! Your dog is fat. Haha.”
Mod R: I like those memes where it’s the dog typing in “Dear grandma, the vet told me that I can’t have any more treats. Come and pick me up!”
Gordon: Nike’s just slightly… She’s solid. It’s easier to tell with the short haired, but she has a wiry coat.
Mod R: More questions about the Inn! Did Gertrude Hunt keep its star rating or are they going to have it increased?
Ilona: Wait until the next book to find out!
Gordon: It’s too early to tell.
Mod R: The Innkeeper Assembly, we’ve seen a little bit of them in this book. Will they feature a bit more prominently now that the Big Bad has been revealed? Will we see their reactions to all the missing Ad-hals and Inns…
Ilona: Probably not, the Assembly…
Gordon: Hold on. Excuse me. Go ahead. ::opens door for the various puppies gathered behind them, talking to the hounds:: What a nice downward dog! That’s your yoga mat. You did the big stretch. Oh, what a big stretch!
Ilona: Um, what were we talking about now? Here’s the thing. The Inkeeper Assembly was always meant to be a kind of HOA. They basically have admin powers and they give star ratings and things like that, but they can’t really force any particular Inn to do anything. And you know the moment Gertrude Hunt is mentioned, their eyes probably start twitching “What else? What now?!” Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
They’re very limited in power, but very committed to using it. But we are not planning to have a huge conflict between Dina and the Innkeeper Assembly. If they do show up, it’ll be more comical, the way it was in this book, rather than any kind of serious threat.
Gordon: Some of them are well-meaning.
Ilona: Some people are well-meaning, and some people do crazy stuff. Some HOAs are decent, like our HOAs- you want a dumpster? Have a dumpster. Please don’t litter. And everybody can get behind that. Versus HOAs that are like “If you paint with the wrong shade of beige, we shall fine you $25 a day until you repaint it.”
Mod R: So it’s not a great conspiracy in which the Innkeeper Assembly is keeping information about Dina’s parents hidden…
Gordon: No, they’re not nefarious, they’re not a shadow group. They’re not a cabal. I think the key word is they’re *older* innkeepers, and of course they have ways to do things and they *so* want to help her do things their way, like well-meaning aunts and uncles.
Ilona: Yes, exactly.
Mod R: Whereas Dina is now very established…
Ilona: She’s respected, because everyone watched the event take place.
Gordon: And they [NE: the other Innkeepers in the Assembly] all passed on it. And they wanted to see how she does. Well, she did okay.
Mod R: And she’s is the high risk Inn, the special circumstances location and specialist. So it’s going to kind of overwhelm them in their “we have one guest and our biggest worry is what tea they like” kind of way?
Mod R: Can you tell us a little bit more about Magnolia Green and of how it lives now through its graft inside of Gertrude Hunt’s branch on Daesyn?
Ilona: Each Inn, when they root through the earth, they create their own little dimension, almost their little microcosm, where it’s Inn territory, the Inn grounds. And that’s the area where they can bend physics and build rooms and do all kinds of crazy stuff. If you have one Inn ground already in existence and you try to bring a second Inn and try to let them root through the same grounds, then the weaker Inn will be dead and the bigger, established Inn will be damaged- because two Inns cannot exist within the same space.
Gordon: It’s almost like you can’t go back in time and shake your own hand. All the bad things will happen, theoretically.
Ilona: Or it’s like attempting to bring two aggressive dogs into the same space, it’s just not going to happen.
What Dina does is very tricky, because it’s a cutting, it has no root. And just as in grafting: let’s say you have an apple tree, you slice a limb and you graft a pear branch onto it. Well, you are not going to get apples on the pear branch. You’re going to either get some kind of hybrid, or a pear. And that’s kind of what is happening. She takes the cutting, she gives it to Gertrude Hunt.
And it was basically like handing Gertrude Hunt a pan of burning oil. You have to open a window quick and get it out. [NE. Do not try this at home. This scene is performed by a professionally trained Inn]. Gertrude Hunt really ran to the best place to take it outside. And here was the problem. Most of the Gertrude Hunt’s doors were not suited for a tree to grow, they didn’t have the right environment. In Baha-char, there is no space. One branch is an ocean, one’s a desert, the other is snowy etc. So it took it to the best suited door, which was the Daesyn door. And once it thrust through the door and rooted, the cutting is now drawing resources from Gertrude Hunt. The cutting itself is Magnolia Green, but it doesn’t conflict with Gertrude Hunt because it uses Gerard Hunt’s roots.
Mod R: And does anyone know at this point whether it will stay a tree or…
Ilona: You have to read the next book. It’s possible it will stay kind of a weird, magical tree. It’s possible it will develop. We don’t know at this point, but even, even if it did develop right, it’ll be part of Gertrude..
Mod R: And Dina is its Inkeeper. Because there was a lot of speculation of, oh, now Helen is going to be the Innkeeper of the tree.
Ilona: No, Dina is responsible.
Gordon: Helen couldn’t be the Innkeeper of it.
Ilona: Theoretically, Dina could kill it. She could force Gertrude Hunt to kill Magnolia Green. She has that power. But she would never.
Mod R: That was so very heart-wrenching, when she stepped on Karron and she had all those thoughts about the corrupt Inn and how horrific and grotesque it felt to her. And then we get the realisation, progressively, that oh, OH…::gasp::
The moment of discovery, it is the Inn that she was born and grew up in. That link was amazing.
Ilona: It’s horrible because it needs to be understood. This guy is not playing. He means what he says, he’s an actual serious threat. Writing that part was very difficult because I’m a softie. We would write a little bit, and I’ll cry a little bit, and I’ll write a little bit more and I’ll cry a little bit more. And at the end I wasn’t even sure, is this is even English, or is it just emotions on the page? So I’m glad that the ending landed.
Gordon: We did want to convey that. I’m glad that you picked up on it as well, how horrific it was to see it in that state. Especially because it was so different than what she remembered. It’s terrible to see a burned-out building, but if you remember when that was your home or a beautiful hotel that you went to as a child, and now it’s just this wrek, burned husk, it’s much more.
Mod R: Another theory that I’ve seen around and wanted to clarify: the new door, with or without Magnolia Green, was always going to open on Daesyn, right? It wasn’t Magnolia Green that decided.
Ilona: No, no. It was Gerrude Hunt. The branching of the Inn takes a long time. It was looking for Helen and Maud, basically.
Gordon: lf anyone wondered why, it was looking for Helen and Maud!
Mod R: And that was the theory, that Magnolia Green influenced the new door because it also has a link to, or will recognize, Maud.
Ilona: Yes, but Magnolia Green had no idea where Maud was. It was Gertrude Hunt and that’s why it took so much wood because it’s a far branch, it takes a lot of energy and a long time.
Gordon: Remember they’re dumping cords and cords of wood into it.
Ilona: It’s been branching into that area for months. And it finally was able to do it. It’s probably so happy, it’s like “Yeah! I got there! Where’s the baby? Show me Helen!”
Mod R: What do people see when they’re on one of the planets that the Inn branches on, when they look at the Inn door? We know in Baha- char it’s an actual door, what happens on that desert planet, for example? Do they just see a door appear in mid-air?
Ilona: Whatever Gertrude Hunt chooses to show them. Sometimes there’s absolutely no sign that the door’s there.
Gordon: It’d be cool if it was kind of a shimmery mirage, because the caravans stop for water.
Mod R: But it’s camouflaged usually, it seamlessly blends into the whatever planet it is, right?
Ilona: Yes, exactly. You would never know. Let’s say you were on the snowy planet [NE. Where the Higgra date happened in SotH]. If Dina hadn’t made that building, but instead, just a door- if you approached it, you would never know. It would seem she popped out of thin air.
Gordon: Imagine a mountainous range and there’s just a small cave opening.
Ilona: It depends on what the inn wants to show, but like Gordon said, there’s usually some kind of environmental feature that identifies it. A cave, a passage between two trees or something specific that has a marker.
Gordon: It’d be cool if one was a well.
Ilona: Yes, jump into the well, end up at the Inn! [NE. Team Dark Horse, please do not jump into wells. This isn’t Health& Safety gone mad, there are safely marked Inn doors available at all major book retailers]
Mod R: Will we see more of the Mukama, are they going to be attracted to the new Inn door?
Gordon: Even I can’t spoiler that for you. No more. Next book, next book!
Mod R: Understood! Can the Inn completely sever a door, once it made a branch, does it dissolve?
Ilona: Theoretically, yes. But I don’t see why it would: you cannot enter the door without the Innkeeper’s permission anyway. Because they manipulate physics and space, let’s say the cave opening could simply close. No matter how much you dug, you wouldn’t get into the inn.
Mod R: The Bad Guy, his name is Sebastien North? Because there was also a bit of confusion whether it’s him or was the name of his previous Inn Sebastian North?
Ilona: He’s Sebastian North, it’s the guy.
Gordon: We did say that before, though. It’s not a “who”, it’s a “what”.
Ilona: Yes, we did, but we’re allowed! We can red herring people!
Mod R: And you do it so well! Was he not active for a long period of time and was the disappearance Dina’s parents Inn been his “return”? Or has he been disappearing other Inns that people are not aware of?
Ilona: His power grows exponentially. I don’t want to spoiler too much, but basically terrible things happened to him.
He left Earth, he bummed around a little bit and then he obtained some power and it took him a while to merge with it or rather, get control of it. But once he did, he started expanding it, and that was relatively rapid. Specifically, he has been very active in the past 10 years because every time he does something, it increases his power. He can do more, he can do it faster. If you look through the books, you’ll notice Ad-hals have been disappearing for a while, that’s him doing it. In a sense it’s like the Nikola trucks, the electric trucks that were basically a fraud.
Gordon: We’re not talking about Tesla, there was actually a firm called Nikola! We watched it on American Greed.
Ilona: They made a truck that had no engine. It never worked. They pushed it down a field with a very low incline and by the time the truck rolled down, it obtained speed for them to film a really awesome commercial where they’re shooting down the highway. And that’s what our guy is, slow, slow, slow- but the longer he goes, the more powerful he becomes.
Ilona: He just went about it in a horrible way. His point was valid, his solution wasn’t good. Overpopulation is bad but instead of saying: well, perhaps we could choose to not have as many children or whatever, he killed half the world. There we go, problem solved. And in a few years, we’ll do it again.
Gordon: The thing is though, especially if you read the comics, the Mad Titans, he’s just like a farmer guy. Whereas Darksied always seeks dominion, to rule.
Ilona: Rule over all life.
Gordon: He’s got the whole Omega, this anti-life equation. Really old comic. Ok, I’ll tell you the story! ::visible excitement:: Breathe. Comic break! Jack Kirby was upset and he left Marvel briefly and he went to DC and he created Darksied and the New Gods and all this cool new stuff! And then he went back to Marvel and that’s how we got Thanos and the Eternals.
Ilona: “The wonderful things you made for this other company when we were nasty to you, make them for us now!”
Gordon: Make them for us, but just kind of, file off the serial numbers a little bit. Darksied predates Thanos but anyway, I could make a whole Zoom about all this, I know way too much about that stuff. ,
Mod R: We’re unfortunately nearing the end and I’ve got some very short-fire questions about all the beloved candidates of the Interstellar Bachelor show that we’ve all enjoyed watching so much!
What happens with Unessa going to the Otrokars, is that’s going to end well?
Ilona: It’s going end very well! Yes. We wanted to redeem- redeem is the wrong word but- Unessa was basically picked up by the Dushegubs when she was very young.
Gordon: We don’t really know where from, who sold her to them.
Ilona: But they had her and nothing Unessa does is really her fault, she just literally doesn’t know better. She’s trying to be the best Dushegub she can.
Mod R: Very Stockholm syndrome.
Gordon: Yes, and we all want to please our parents.
Ilona: She’s a human being. She probably thinks of the trees as her parents. If you take a child and you raise them in horrible conditions, they’ll still love their parents. Even though later on they’ll realize, oh my God, this was horrible, there’s still some kind of weird bond there.
That’s just how we’re wired. With Unessa, the great thing about the Hope Crushing Horde is that they can take almost anyone in and find a place for them.
Gordon: ::chuckles:: So inclusive, very inclusive.
Ilona: They find her a place and she will become a more proper human.
Mod R: Slash Otrokar.
Ilona: Yes. She’s physically incredibly fit, she’s very strong, very fast and she’s smart. Uneducated, but she’s smart enough to survive the pressure cooker of the galaxy.
Gordon: And that is a strength actually, that the Horde can absorb someone, bring them in and find the thing they’re good at.
Mod R: I love that bit of worldbuild [NE. In Sweep in Peace, Chapter 4] where it’s described how if you give a problem to the Vampires, they’re all equipped to solve it, whereas the Otrokars have a specialized guy who can do that very well and the rest keep him alive, and each of them develops in their strength.
Ilona: They’re very good at that. Unessa would not survive in a Vampire society, they would force her to conform, because they have a certain standard and you couldn’t explain to them “Well, she just doesn’t think this way.” The Horde is much more flexible and “Okay, what have we got to work with?”
Mod R: Is Nycati going to succeed in taking the throne?
Ilona: Yes, of course he will.
Mod R: And will he go then and find his lady, whom he serenaded? Will he propose to Bestata?
Ilona: No. Probably not. They had a moment. It was a lovely moment. It’s gone.
Gordon: That’s the thing, he is now a king and kings don’t necessarily marry for love.
Mod R: Someone asked, did you name the Hope Crushing Horde after the BDH? No, it was the BDH who named ourselves after the Otrokars, hehe!
Ilona: We did not name the Horde that, that was your thing, your choice!
Mod R: We chose it. What about our beloved fish? Go beyOond! Jazz Fins!
Ilona: Oond goes back to his planet. He is super thrilled and celebrated. Unfortunately, he didn’t fully survive contact with reality to some extent, because he is a pacifist and he is all about creating a society. But like Sean said, the Oomboles don’t understand the function of predators in the environment. Or rather, they choose not to. And they have a looming environmental disaster on their hands. I’m sure the Dominion will help them solve it, but Oond will forever be celebrated in his community as the hero who went and assured that they would be rescued from the mess they have created, at great personal risk! It was so scary!
Mod R: Great personal bubble risk! A hero! Will Bestata survive the implosion of her House?
Ilona: Yes, yes!
Mod R: Because she was, in her very sneery way, a great vampire.
Ilona: She’s an excellent vampire, amazing she’s honorable, she’s strong, she’s a leader. It’s just unfortunate that the elders in her House who were misguided.
Gordon: Why would you waste a talent like that?
Ilona: The Warlord is not an idiot.
Mod R: We touched upon this a little bit in the other session: it’s not that the candidates themselves will necessarily come back, but we will hear about them sometimes, right? Some guests will come to the Inn and bring us news?
Ilona: Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure.
Gordon: Like the Ko-koo, they’re very reoccurring.
Ilona: The Koo-kos are the reoccurring character. And that’s an example of something that the BDH really liked. Oh, they love the First Scholar. We got so many comments about “Will the First Scholar be coming back?” So, of course, we brought him back. The Horde will always be reoccurring. Dagorkun obviously shows up. Yeah. I’m sure that it will be fun. Like Maud’s first look at the Donkamins, she’s like “Erm…”
Gordon: I don’t think the Donkamins will come back.
Ilona: Where will we be putting them at the wedding? Probably nowhere. That’s where! Because nobody will eat as long as they’re swivelling! The Donkamins were based on this weird, I don’t remember Japanese or Korean comic, where there was a ghost woman. And you don’t realize she’s a ghost woman until at one point, without any warning, her head just falls backwards and she looks at the character behind her with her mouth upside down and there are things in it. And I was like: oh, that is the greatest thing. We need to do this thing!
Mod R: Well, we are at the end now and we have to thank you again so much for the wonderful advent week, where each little door was a big present. Magic Tides coming on January 17, and of course Sweep of the Heart, which has made us so happy this past year and now had the amazing end reveal. And we know that Maud is coming at some point!
Thank you so much for the merchandise store and for taking time today to chat with us and tell us about all the exciting future projects. Everyone is sending thank yous and loves and gratitude in the chat!
Ilona: Thank you for reading our stuff. And for coming here, thank you so much. You make it all possible, we really appreciate you being here.
Mod R: There’s a question about going on holiday. There will probably be the recording of this and the transcript posted next week.
Ilona: I think yes, we will wind down a little bit for the holidays. What you will be seeing from us until probably New Year is just very light, family rambling, slice of life posts…
Mod R: There were requests for Christmas tree pictures, please!
Ilona: I will post some. We’ll do the tree, we’ll maybe do a recipe or two, but nothing book related. You’re safe until the next year!
Mod R: January, when big things are coming!
Ilona: ::answering the chat:: Eggnog recipe? We buy it from HEB.
Gordon: I say, “Woman, we need more eggnog”
Ilona: And woman orders that and it’s on the way.
Gordon: She asks me, do you want HEB eggnog? And I’m like, yeah, I want HEB eggnog!
Ilona: As soon as Thanksgiving is over, he starts on the eggnog!
Gordon: Oh, also, I do have to specify I don’t put alcohol in mine. I’ve never learned to drink eggnog mixed with some kind of spirit.
Mod R: So… you like custard!
Ilona: Yes, basically that’s it. We did do a holiday cocktail one time, which was cream based for the kids, and it was absolutely delicious. And then I looked at the number of calories that ended up in it, and I was like “I cannot drink this ever again!” Hehe.
Mod R: Well thank you so much again, and we’ll see you for more fun light stuff on the blog!
House Andrews: Bye bye!