Hi everyone, Mod R here with Saturday’s recording and transcript as promissed. You can also watch it directly on the IA YouTube channel.
But first, a warning: This is the spoiler party. Spoilery Spoilerington McSpoily, mostly for Magic Claims, but also for the Kate Daniels world in general, and one big one for the future of Hidden Legacy. As usual, nothing that isn’t already in a published book is set in stone.
We all love Luther, so let’s use his method:
Mod R: What does the chat contain?
BDH: Spoilers for Magic Claims, clams, clams, clams.
Mod R: When do we want them?
BDH: Only after we read the book, book, book, book.
Don’t be Jimothy.
Transcript of the Magic Claims Spoiler Party
Saturday, June 17 2023
Mod R: Hi everyone! Hi Ilona and Gordon! I’m Mod R and I’m going to be hosting today for about an hour and a half. Yes, I do look wide awake this time- it’s not 1:00 AM for a change! We’re also joined by a full set of 6 puppies, right? Everyone’s present and correct. You’re going to see them popping on and off screen.
Gordon: Here we go, our newest. She’s not ours, really.
Ilona: She is a granddog. Not one of our regular dogs.
Mod R: Hello Mona! We’re going to introduce the puppies as they pop up, and probably Tuna’s going to appear at some point as well?
Ilona: She might be inside the house, I think we are safe from Tuna.
Mod R: And we are in the beautiful new setting, the redesign of Ilona and Gordon’s office.
Gordon: The kids did it.
Ilona: Yes, we got kicked out and told: “We’re going to fix this for you. So you look professional.” So professional!
Mod R: A lot of updates and a lot of guests! How are you? How did release week go? This fabulous release week with everyone loving the book, even more than usual!
Ilona: Oh, so tired.
Gordon: We had a release? That’s probably why you keep dragging me down here to talk to people.
No, I think it’s been great! We’re so thrilled with the reception of the book and we’re so glad that people enjoyed it. We really enjoyed working on it. So maybe we’ll get to do another one. ::sees Mod R drinking out of Hey Kitty Kitty cup:: Oh, you’re just busting out with merch today, aren’t you?
Mod R: Product placement. I had a spot of early shipping, because Mod Prerogatives.
Kitty cups! Apparel! I’m all kitted out. So speaking of the store, any updates? I know there are a lot more orders than Ilona naively anticipated hehe.
Ilona: Yeah, Ilona anticipated 500 orders tops. We have gotten over 2000. In fact, we have gotten so many orders, we filled half of them so far. Here’s what happens: the store takes the money from the customers, and keeping it in escrow. And then they pay us that money in chunks, so we can actually pay the supplier to get the merchandise. And then the money goes out from us in chunks, so we can fulfil orders.
It’s a vicious cycle. We have to sit there and wait until the 20th, until they deposit the second big chunk so we can fill the rest of them. There was such a big volume of sales they actually broke up our payments.
Gordon: I think some of the vendors may have been unprepared as well, based on their messages.
Ilona: The poor German vendor! We’re out of T-shirts. T-shirts are in. We’re out of T-shirts again! T-shirts are in. Just email me when you’re done!
Mod R: You know that’s the common theme. No one’s ever prepared for how hard the Book Devouring Horde shows up, when we show up!
Ilona: Audible was ruefully unprepared, apparently. When Small Magics got pirated and this lovely person tried to return and get the refund, she called them: “Hey, you know, I want to tell you why I’m returning this book.” And they’re like “Is it Small Magics? We know!”
That was a giant disaster. And we had that going parallel to the release. We had: the audio book for Magic Tides and Magic Claims, finishing up things there. Then we had the pirated audio issue. On top of it, we’re trying to help our oldest daughter purchase a house, which is a very long and drawn out process.
Gordon, jokingly: Now, the upside is that she won’t live here anymore.
Ilona: And she’ll take some of the grand dogs with her.
Gordon: She’ll take at least three of the dogs with her!
Ilona: It’s just been an enormously busy, hectic time. The only thing we wrote this week was the Conlan short.
Mod R: Which is on the blog, for everyone wondering.
Ilona: The warlock mushrooms. It’s called No Heroes, just look through the blog. But that was it.
Gordon: We wrote almost 3000 words in a couple of hours there. So if we could repeat that on Wilmington 3, we could really knock that thing out.
Mod R: That’s very good anticipation to my next question, which is: how many Wilmington Years books do you estimate there will be?
Ilona: As many as the inspiration strikes us.
Gordon: I think it’s safe to say that, obviously, two are out and we’re really planning on one more after that.
I wouldn’t want to commit or say we’re going to do something beyond that. We have tended to do things in threes. When we did Hidden Legacy, it’s was 3 and 3. That tends to be kind of our sweet song, the trilogy. Like the first Star Wars movies- a trilogy. It’s perfect.
Mod R: But we want more! We always want more because we are the Book Devouring Horde! All the things that are in plan, or beginning now, figuring out the new Pack, building the new Keep etc: will we see that more in Wilmington sequels or will they feature in the Blood Heir series?
Ilona: Sometimes the readers take things a little bit differently than we intended. In the beginning of Magic Claims Erra says “eventually the pack will fall”. “Eventually” means a year, two years, 10 years.
We’re talking about a person who has a very long lifespan. And some people were really upset. “In Blood Heir, the Pack is still going!” Yes, but you can see the massive cracks that have formed, which is what was anticipated at the time of Magic Claims.The situation is deteriorating. So in Blood Heir 2, if we get around to writing it, you will see the Pack collapse.
Gordon: It will be in a Julie book rather than a Kate and Curran book.
Mod R: I think people imagined some sort of coup? Like an instant “Jim is going to fall, it’s a power crash”. From one day to the next, things are going to happen. And it’s more of a process, right?
Ilona: Imagine that there is a bridge. And the bridge is cracking and crumbling. It’s a concrete bridge and it’s falling apart.
And meanwhile, without anybody knowing, there’s a second bridge being built right under it. So when the top bridge cracks, it falls a little bit, but it’s caught right away by the second bridge and nobody gets hurt. That’s the aim of the plan, what Curran is trying to do.
He’s trying to make a soft landing, instead of a collapse that results in violence. It’s a very layered problem. One, you have to basically have a smooth transfer of power. Second, you have to make sure that people who are going to stay in Atlanta are well taken care of.
This is where our wonderful new Alpha of the cats comes in [Note: Karter, the weretiger]. He’s got this well in hand. He could be the Beast Lord, he just doesn’t want the job, but he’s going to take care of the people who remain in Atlanta. The majority of the Pack members don’t know. However, there’s a great deal of people that have been trained by Keelan, and a lot of them know. They’re just keeping it to themselves. Everyone understands that if they don’t keep their mouth shut, there will be a bloodbath.
Gordon: Yes. When I think about the transition, the end of something – in a Pack with shapeshifters, it can result in violence. And that’s the main thing: try to minimize that violence and loss. It’s also not going to be a question of “The king is dead. Long live the king.” It’s going to be different.
Ilona: An elected kind of situation. They’re not building the new Pack necessarily, they’re building the new *place* for the Pack, but also for other people. The Pack has been so heavily modelled on Mahon’s vision, and at the time, when it was formed, that was probably the best they could do. Their heart was in the right place and that system functioned, but it demanded so much of the person in charge and required them to be extraordinarily powerful, and you just won’t always have that.
So they will decentralize the power structure. They’re putting additional safeguards in place and all of that will take time, resources, a lot of people, finding that key person to put in the right position.
Gordon: It’s also very important to them that if this happens, there isn’t an adversarial relationship between the Wilmington pack and the Atlanta Pack, that it’s all part of a sort of confederation of Packs.
So it’s not “If you stay in Atlanta, you’re not with us.” People will have the ability to move back and forth, or stay where they are.
Ilona: We have it all thought out, we just need to get to the point where we move all of the pieces of the storyline into place.
As we’ve said before, we kind of jumped the gun with Blood Heir. It wasn’t meant to be published when it was. It was a COVID book. We were trying to keep the spirits up, trying to help people cope, with a serial on the blog. And now, we have to go back and manoeuvre a little bit to lay the groundwork for Blood Heir 2, so that it makes sense.
Mod R: So regarding the timeline of the Wilmington books, which is always asked about: they will all happen before Blood Heir? The ones so far, they’re about two years, a year and a half before.
Ilona: Yes. It goes: Magic Binds, Iron and Magic 1, Iron and Magic 2, Magic Triumphs, Wilmington 1, Wilmington 2, Wilmington 3 probably, Blood Heir 1 and Blood Heir 2.
Mod R: And since we touched upon this a bit, the Pack during the main Kate Daniels series. Some people were thinking “You’ve come up with this introspection of Curran admitting his weaknesses and that when he was a scared 15 year old, that was the best that he could do, and that’s the best Pack that he could put together.” Did you always write the Pack, even during the main series, as something unsustainable in the long run?
Ilona: In a sense, yes. If you look at the main series, you could see the moments where the Pack fails Curran in a massive way. They attack his mate when he’s in a coma, when Kate disappears they don’t want him to go after her etc.
Even times when they’re bickering constantly – you get the sense that it’s not so much a collection of people that are held together by the same purpose, but more different factions jostling for influence and power.
Mod R: They’re all held together by one person who has to go and solve everything.
Ilona: Yes. And it also contributed a little bit to Curran’s…I don’t want to say arrested emotional development, that wouldn’t be exactly the correct term, but close. He looked at the world in a very clear cut, shapeshifter way, that didn’t necessarily survive the collision with someone who had normal human interactions.
In Magic Bleeds, when he and Kate finally consummate the relationship, the next morning, he is like: “That’s it. You’re coming with me, blah, blah, blah”. It’s not something you typically would do when you’re dating someone, expect them to abandon their lives and come with you. It’s not how ordinary people think. So you do see a little bit of Curran being the product of that environment and then becoming, over the course of series, disillusioned with it.
Mod R: And is it the same thing that’s happening to Jim at the moment? Readers in particular were asking, where is Dali throughout all this? How is Dali allowing Jim to do all these things, especially dragging his son into it and letting all the Alphas deal with the shifters he lets in.
Ilona: You have to remember, Dali is a person who really wanted children. She has them now. She’s raising the kids. And she’s fulfilling her part as Jim’s mate, the Beast Lord’s Consort. Jim isn’t doing anything that looks bad, he is rescuing people who are persecuted by humans. That’s the way they’re both looking at it.
Dali has an additional dimension to it. You remember when she rescued Yu Fong? She knows exactly how badly the humans can treat shapeshifters. To her, what they’re doing is a noble pursuit.
Gordon: In her mind, Jim is not only doing the best he can, but he’s helping people, saving them. And she’s always sort of idolized Jim, in a weird way. At first, she was scared of him. And now he’s her husband, he’s her mate, he’s the Beast Lord. I don’t want to say that she has like rose-colored glasses on, but…
Ilona: He also treats her like she’s a princess. Jim thinks she walks on water! So it’s very hard to separate that from trying to look deeper into the cracks, or even seeing the cracks appear. In a sense, Jim insulated himself from those cracks by pushing it all onto the individual Alphas as a “This is your problem”. So if you ask Jim or Dali how things are running, they would say things are running great.
Gordon: “We give the Alphas a lot of leeway. People can come to us and we take them in and help them. We built a hospital, we did all those things.” They’re not looking at it in a way where this is all unsustainable. They see it as something that will work forever- it’s almost the situation where you can’t see the forests for the trees. They’re in it.
Ilona: Like Curran was before Curran had to separate and got to really have perspective.
And you know, Jim’s days are full. They’re Packed!
Gordon: Clever girl! ::high five::
Ilona: Hehe. Jim is doing things all the time, so is Dali. They’re trying to run the Pack, they’re trying to parent. It’s easy to make them into villains, but they’re not. They’re doing the best they can.
Mod R: Someone keeps asking about spoilers. Guys, this was announced as the spoiler session. We can’t really help it, there will be spoilers. The previous Q&A is already on YouTube if you want to watch it, fewer spoilers there.
Ilona: We won’t hold it against you, but yes, this is where the spoilers happen.
Gordon: ::to Zoom chat:: How would Aunt B handle this [Note: the situation with the Pack]? Aunt B would be killing people, guys.
Ilona: You know, there’s this point where Andrea gets fed up in one of the books and she’s like “Who is this kinder, gentler, Aunt B that they remember?!”
Mod R: Aunt B would have never done this to us!
Gordon: Right? It’s almost like the grandparent thing. If you asked my kids or my nieces and nephews about my uncle, he’s the nicest old guy in the world. Grandpa was the sweetest guy! Me and my cousins, we look at them: what the hell?!
Ilona: Yes, they are softer. And let’s hope we are much kinder and less abusive to our children. And hopefully they’ll be even better than we did, and so it will continue.
Gordon: We get to be semi-cool grandparents now.
Mod R: Speaking about kids and how we try to do our best to raise them: of course, everyone’s in love with Conlan! With the Conlan short, with Conlan in Magic Claims. But why wasn’t there a POV of his in Magic Claims?
Ilona: It didn’t need it. He has a part in the battle, but it’s much more important for the story to focus on Kate and Curran, because if you notice, we packed a lot of symbolism into it. It’s them accepting who they are, renewing their commitment to each other to some extent. Making the best choices, collectively, as parents for their son.
Gordon: He was shipped off for the most part and showed up late. And it was a reaction to the fact that for the majority of the previous book, Magic Tides, Kate and Curran were separated, each of them was doing their own thing.
For this book, we really wanted to make sure that they were together. Had there been a Conlan POV, it would’ve been when he visited Roland. As a peek into the relationship between Colan and his grandfather, their interaction when it’s just the two of them, no parents.
Ilona: But it would have been very jarring. Every time you switch the point of view, there’s an adjustment.
Gordon: It didn’t seem organic. We always try to keep in mind what people will like, but we also just have to tell the story that we have.
Ilona: We may write you something from Colan’s point of view as an extra scene to go with it.
Mod R: Everyone wants to know why the fancy school people had to come to Fort Kure in his first weeks of attending there?
Ilona: You mean Ms Vigue?
Mod R: No, there’s a bit in Magic Claims where Kate says the first time the school people visited, Conlan put the ugly orange flag on.
Ilona: Oh, it was damage control! Doolittle, who is one of the sponsors of the school, reached out to the school to see how it was going. And he got Ms. Vigue who told him the same kind of stuff she said to Kate.
After that, Doolittle called the person in charge of the school and said: “Do you know who they are? Let me fix this for you. This is who they are.” So then, of course, a delegation came from the school to assure them that they’re loved and admired and amazing. (The reason I know all of this is we were going to write this short, but ended up not doing it.) The school people come and talk to Kate and Curran, “oh we’re so sorry, you’re so special blah, blah, blah, blah”. And at that point, after they leave, Kate looks at Curran and says “Well, now we have to pull him out.”
They will solve this problem later. Because of the way things work out, they end up building the school for him where they are, at the new Keep. For him and the other kids in the town.
Gordon: That does, logistically, make a bit more sense than him going to Wilmington and trying to be anonymous. ::to the Zoom chat::: Yes, the Pender Forest School! That’s awesome.
If anybody knows how fancy private schools work in the South: when you’re a donor, or an alumni/donor, you have tremendous power behind-the-scenes. A lot of pull power. You’re sort of revered, and they bring pretty foreign girls out to parade at meetings for you.
Ilona: You know those 90s dresses that were like kind of long and old-timey style? Picture me in that dress, with hair rolled up into best-looking-hair-for-church type of hairdo. They would trot me out in front at these alumni lunches with, I hate to stereotypically say this, but rich old ladies: “Oh, you are from Russia. Oh, we rescued you. How amazing. How lucky do you feel?”
It wasn’t just me. They took all the international kids. Except for the Japanese kids, of which there were several at the private school. But the Japanese kids worked out an amazing defence! When they didn’t want to do something, they spontaneously stopped speaking English. You would talk to them and they would reply in Japanese- and they also presented a united front doing it. So they got out of going to the alumni lunches. I wish I had thought of that!
Mod R: Are we going to see the kids from the No Heroes snippet, will they go to the Pender Forest School (since it’s now been named)?
Ilona: If you guys like them, I’m sure something could be worked out.
Mod R: Another question about the forest, now that I remember. Conlan looks at the picture of Pender forest and says “Ninja forest!” And a lot of people didn’t get that reference. What does that mean?
Gordon: It’s a bit of an anime trope. Or manga.
Ilona: Also in the Asian dramas.
Gordon: There’s usually a bamboo forest and ninjas who move ridiculous, superhumanly fast through it. It’s a classic shot, of quiet forest, there’s nothing happening. And then all of a sudden there’s just ninja after ninja after ninja through the trees.
Ilona: The bamboo forest is filled with really tall, straight growth. Very beautiful, cinematic because of the bamboo – I know they’re grasses technically, but they look like trees. And that’s what Conlan relates to when he sees the pines.
Gordon: That’s his perspective, he could just imagine the scene, he’s a little boy ::to Zoom chat:: I don’t know if they do it in Naruto, our daughter watches that. I grew up with it in the 80s and 90s, in things like Ninja Scroll. And sometimes two ninjas go against each-other in battle, and there’s a background of the forest.
Oh, someone’s wondering. The dogs are eating sticks ::pan to the pups in the background:: That’s what they do. They find sticks, they bring them somewhere where the floor is clean, and then they make it not be clean.
They do this for us. They’re very selfless in that respect.
Ilona: It occupies them. We would give them treats, but if we do, they would fight over the treats right now. We can’t have that. It’s like a game of musical chairs with the treats and we don’t want to present that to you.
Mod R: Another bit that everyone really loved, of course, was Kate and specifically Conlan being with Roland and seeing how Roland is interpreting his second chance at having an heir through Conlan. The readers want to know about the teachings and training. There was a particular puzzlement regarding Conlan making blood claws in Magic Triumphs – how come in Magic Claims, when Kate makes blood armour, Conlan says he can’t do that yet?
Ilona: Here’s an interesting thing. Let’s say you have a gun in your hand, and somebody runs at you with a baseball bat raised. The overwhelming majority of people actually forget that they have a gun, and respond by throwing their arm up.
You have to be trained. Some people do it naturally, but the majority of people have to be trained to remember that they have a gun. Unless they are already in the shooter stance, they’re not going to actually shoot the person running at them. Why? Because instincts take over. That’s why we have boot camp for military personnel.
This is kind of the same thing. Conlan was a baby, something hurt him, he was bleeding, he lashed out. What he wanted at that point, instinctively, was bigger claws, and the magic obliged and made him bigger claws. Blood armor is so complicated, by comparison.
Gordon: It’s deliberate. And it’s not natural. He’s a shapeshifter, he wanted big claws. Putting on armor requires forethought and practice and, how do I form it?
Ilona: Kate spent so much time just learning how to make a gauntlet in the books, and she’s an adult! And she knows how armor works and what she’s doing. How do you make a moving gauntlet that doesn’t block your hand in a claw-like formation? It requires a lot of work, a lot of practice. He is just not there yet. He is still a kid, he will get there eventually. But I don’t know if it would ever feel that natural to him. He can still make blood claws if he wants to, he just hasn’t.
Gordon: If I’m Conlan, my thought is:“Why would I need armor? I just won’t get hit!”
Ilona: Yes. Or “If I get hit, I’ll heal.”
Gordon: I just don’t think he’s going to be bothered with it, because it would require him to really put forethought in, as opposed to just dodging, or healing, or striking.
Ilona: It’s a different fighting style than what Kate does. We’ll see how it develops, but I wouldn’t expect him to particularly be obsessed with the blood armor.
Gordon: He’s in a very interesting position too, sort of like a buffet: he can take what he wants. From his dad, from his mom, from his grandfather, his grand aunt etc.
Ilona: Who he calls grandma.
Gordon: He’s going to pick and choose what he wants, what he feels natural and comfortable with. I hate to say it, but he’s never going to be probably a skilled magician/wizard like his grandfather.
Ilona: Also Roland is trying very, very hard to make him into a version of that.
Mod R: “I AM THE ORIGIN OF HIS BLOODLINE!” I love that line so much hehe.
Ilona: When you read that scene, you see Roland laments the fact that Conlan is leaning towards more practical things like siege spells, battle spells. Whereas Roland at his age was this remarkable prodigy, all about making wondrous mechanisms that everybody admired and loved. Conlan is just not that. Roland is trying, but he probably won’t succeed.
Gordon: I feel like Kate and Roland are a bit outnumbered by shapeshifters. He has his dad who he admires. Now he has Keelan. When he sees his other grandfather, who’s a giant bear, things are very simple. “You make your hand real big. And you hit someone with it, boy. You’re a lion.”
Mod R: We talked about this at the Magic Tides release, he is also at that age where he wants to identify with something. And he’s got a group of shapeshifter friends in Atlanta and he’s got Keelan and all the people around him. It’s a lot easier to identify with that friends gang and with the Wilmington pack?
Ilona: Yes, than with Roland. Shinar is very abstract for him.
Gordon: Even his great-aunt or whatever you want to call her- she is geographically very far away.
Ilona: And that’s on purpose to some extent. Erra does realize the fact that she is out of her age. She requires Julie, a lot of times, to explain things to her or to make political decisions that would not ruin things for them.
Gordon: Erra has Julie. Kate and Curran have Conlan. That’s a fair division of the younger generation.
Ilona: Julie also very much wanted to belong. It’s just that she never really fit into the Pack, not being a shapeshifter. But through all the circumstances, and what happens with Moloch’s eye, she ended up fitting beautifully into New Shinar.
The people absolutely love her, she is the heir, she is their princess, she is treated with great respect. To a poor orphan kid that grew up on the street, was betrayed and lived through her biological mother being murdered, the fact that she has a place with them is a really great thing. It makes her feel safe. And feeling safe is a huge motivator.
Mod R: Since we are talking about Julie and Moloch and the Prophecy- now that Kate knows that Julie’s appearance has changed, would it be okay for Julie to go and meet Kate? There are many conspiracy theories.
Gordon: No, no. I still think that Kate would recognize her. It’s something in the eyes.
Mod R: When she looks at the photo, immediately, she was “that’s my kid”.
Gordon: And even, I don’t know to what degree, someone like Curran, would recognize her scent.
Ilona: No, her scent is different, everything is different. Derek loves her and Derek knew her instantly. Didn’t even need to see her face, her big secret. But if Julie goes home, Kate dies. And I’m a little bit tired of stating that, I thought it was abundantly clear in Blood Heir.
Gordon: That’s the prophecy and that’s what we have to work with
Mod R: So the conspiracy theory is based on what Sienna says at the end of Blood Heir to Julie: “If one day I wrong you, will you forgive me?” Combine that now with Kate knowing about Julie’s changes – are the witches actually manipulating things? Are they keeping Julie away uneccessarily?
Ilona: No, no. Okay. It’s complicated. But yes AND no and…
Mod R: …and we have to wait for Blood Heir 2, we know.
Ilona: Yes. There’s got to be something left to the actual books!
Mod R: Okay, the chat is about to explode. I’m sorry, but I have to ask about Hugh and how is Hugh the cousin and not the brother like he was in Magic Triumphs?
Gordon: Guys. He’s not adopted. He is Erra’s biological child! Break it down, sister girl.
Ilona: When we were very much younger, we wrote this amazing, terrible D&D knock-off. It had carnivorous cannibalistic hobbit ninjas, and it was just absolute crap. In it, we had this character who was a jester to the king, and he was dark haired, he had piercing blue eyes and he was tall. And then there was also the Dark Mage, who was dark haired, with piercing blue eyes, and tall. And we were workshopping a scene at that point through the workshop where we were trying to become better writers. And we had a bunch of comments that said: “I wonder who the dark mage is.”
Ok. So let’s see. There’s a woman, who is huge, physically powerful, dark haired, a very good general. There’s also a man who is huge, powerful, dark haired, and a very good general.
Gordon: This woman’s brother took an interest and put all of his resources into finding and then acquiring said child, plucking him from the streets somehow.
Mod R: When she’s first introduced, the woman says: “I mostly had boys.” They were aggressive, warriors, charismatic.
Ilona: Yes. And then the child is bound, and when Roland lets go of the binding, mysteriously, that child can still use all the blood powers. You have got to put two and two together!
Mod R: As to how she woke up later than his birth? We will have to do that dirty thing and w*it.
Ilona: Read Iron and Magic 2, it explains it. But is it a retcon? No. It was always this way. There is a reason why Hugh and Erra never met during the main series. And he states that at some point, that he’s never met her. Why? Because they will meet in Iron and Magic 2.
Gordon: If Erra had had a *whiff* of any of this, she would’ve killed her brother. Honest to God, there’s no force on Earth that would have kept her from it.
Mod R: And that is why Erra never goes to visit Roland!
Ilona: She never speaks to Roland. And you have to admire her- because by Magic Triumphs, she knows about Hugh already. You have to admire the sheer steel will of that woman, who has that conversation with her brother on the lawn, trying to convince him to help Kate. Well, she’s also a ghost at that point, so she can’t really kill him- but she doesn’t completely rip him to pieces. Because she is so angry with him then!
Mod R: There you go, confirmation: he is Erra’s son. *How* he is the son, we have to wait.
Gordon: Well, sometimes when two people really love each other…
Mod R: And if you want to know who his father is, that is also somewhere hidden on the blog [Note: Not so hidden, here it is]. Someone is asking- but Julie is still able to make blood armour and weapons. Julie still has the blood! It’s just the bond that was broken by Kate’s short death, right?
Gordon: Yes. The collar came off, but that’s it.
Ilona: This is also going to be explained a little bit more in Iron Magic 2. What Kate did when she saved Julie from going loup was not all necessarily required for the binding. Kate did not fully know what she was doing.
Gordon: That is why Roland was reaaally mad at her at some point.
Ilona: What Kate did to Julie went beyond the normal ritual. It was very, very dangerous for Kate, she should not have done it. Roland didn’t do all of that to Hugh, he already had the blood. But you have to wait and let us write this whole thing out.
Mod R: And it kind of ties in with one of the other questions, which was how come Roland’s entourage, the Owls and all the Swords of Shinar didn’t immediately go to Erra as soon as Roland was trapped in the pocket?
Ilona: They’re absolutely different. Remember, she’s In-Shinar, he’s Im-Shinar. She had her own palace, she had her own staff, her own ruling base. Although she wasn’t head of state, Erra had a lot of executive power. She was also head of the army, her entire cadre of advisors is completely different. Roland’s people would not be welcome. No.
Mod R: In Blood Heir we see Namtur, Julie’s honorary uncle, and I think if he ever met Roland again, he would tear him off limb from limb!
Ilona: Yes! Namtur also knows what happened. And oh, they hate Roland. They hate all of his entourage, they hate everything about that. Yes.
Mod R: So there you go, chat. You can chill now about Hugh and what is Hugh and how it’s Hugh hehe. Again in reference to the prophecy, isn’t Kate now the queen *who rules* because she’s got all this new land, she’s got the Owls, she’s got the people…
Ilona: You have to look at the wording, in Magic Binds I think:“promise me you will never rule the land you’ve claimed.”
Atlanta. Erra doesn’t want Kate to rule Atlanta. She doesn’t say “promise me you will never rule any land you claim” or “a land you claim”. Sorry. Bulldog sniffing the microphone. It’s referring specifically to Atlanta.
It was very crucial for Erra to break the Shar. The Shar is the power, the kind of magic instinct which compels them to hold onto the land. Because Kate was in real danger of becoming a tyrant. But Kate died and that broke Julie’s bond and also broke her hold on Atlanta. When she came to, Atlanta didn’t recognize her anymore as the land that was claimed by her. So this is a whole different ballgame. There aren’t going to be any issues. In fact, Erra repeatedly pushes her to claim land.
Mod R: Someone was saying in the chat, thank you so much for breaking down Roland’s manipulation of Kate through her thoughts. And well, actually, Kate doesn’t know about *all* of Roland’s manipulation! As she doesn’t realize why Erra is pressuring her so much to get protection, get people around you, use your magic. All of this is because both Roland and Erra know about the Moloch threat?
Gordon: Yes, yes, yes. And they’re trying so hard, and it was a very good phrase Ilona said, if Moloch can be caught between a hammer and an anvil, there’s a better chance for Kate to survive.
Ilona: They both, even though Roland and Erra do not speak and do not coordinate- they think somewhat similarly. They’re siblings and they’re ancient rulers who have played this game before. They know how to take care of an upstart power, and so they’re trying to teach Kate, or guide her, towards becoming stronger.
Mod R: Moving a bit away from the prophecy. Kate and Curran are together throughout this whole book, we see them being badass together and we see them grow and step into a new stage of their lives together. And that’s not something that we usually get from the romantic arc of books. Couples get together and then they kind of freeze in that happy ever after romanticness [Note: shut up, it is SO a word!] Was it fun to write them grow, hand in hand?
Gordon: Yes, I think it’s natural, married couples, they grow…
Ilona, collapsing into giggles: WIDER!
Gordon:… together. No relationship is static. Otherwise you tend to not be a married couple anymore.
Ilona: It’s interesting to me, because sometimes you meet a married couple and they seem completely different, and then something happens and they’re immediately in-sync.
Gordon: You meet them and think, oh, they’re so different. No, they’re more alike than you realize or perceive, because if they’ve been married for any amount of time, there’s a commonality there. It just may be very private, but underneath that surface level of “She’s so outgoing and he’s quiet” there’s connection.
Mod R: Are they rich now? Because all this growth is good and all, but what about the Benjamins?
Gordon: This is the way I answer this: “They’re comfortable.”
Ilona: They’re rich.
Gordon, jokingly: No, we don’t say rich.
Ilona: The problem is though, they don’t necessarily know what to do with it. If only they knew someone enthusiastic…
Gordon: I’ve got the scene in my head where Kate is showing all these things to Ascanio, and he’s like “And what are you doing with this?” What do you mean what are you doing with it? “It can’t just *sit* here! You have to do something with it!” Cause that’s how his mind works, all this money needs to make more money. However much you have, why isn’t it working for you?
Ilona: Oh, I meant to say one more thing! I saw the questions on Facebook and a couple of different places: what happens when they go to see Roland?
They disappear from our world and they reappear where Roland is. Once they leave, they pop back into the exact location where they were. If you remember, Julie at one point is in that basement thing…
Mod R: in the Citadel.
Ilona: In the Citadel of Moloch, yes. She will go back exactly where she was before. And you can sometimes see an outline of them that’s transparent, where they’re supposed to be. Sometimes it doesn’t happen, it depends how high the magic is. So it’s not like Conlan could go to Roland’s from the shifter safehouse and then pop over in Penderton, no.
Mod R: They can’t travel through Roland’s pocket dimension.
Ilona: No, you go there and then you come right back. That’s it.
Mod R: Moats, moats, moats. There’s a lot of moat discussion. Can they afford a moat? Do we have to start a petition to get Curran a moat?
Gordon: He can have a moat in the forest, I think. Ilona is right about this, a moat on the beach is just problematic. Because of their proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its tides, it’s not practical. He can still grouse about it, but I think where they will be for the majority of the time now, a moat can probably be wrangled up.
Mod R: Because no sooner did you confirm that there will be a Wilmington 3, that the Book Devouring Horde very steadfastly got to the job of naming it! The suggestion was “Magic Keeps” but only because, and I quote, “Magic Moats would probably not work”.
Gordon: Yeah, that’s great! Magic Keeps, it works either way, it’s clever.
Ilona: Moat is not a verb hehe, but yes, Magic Keeps would work. Yes, totally.
Mod R: That was the other, real-estate-Kate and Curran, question. They could be getting calls again from the Sunshine Realty hehe. What happened to Kate’s Savannah house, Atlanta apartment etc?
Gordon: Didn’t Savannah…her house was torched, guys. They burned it to the ground in the main series, I’m pretty sure. Or blew it up.
Ilona:, Something happened there. She still has the apartment in Atlanta, there’s nobody there. They still have their house in Atlanta, too, in the subdivision. They come back to visit. It was one of the things that was essential, so their Pack preparations are not exposed, they have to maintain their schedule. In summer, they go over there for a couple of months. So Conlan can visit with his grandparents, they can make an appearance.
Mod R: And they will keep the Fort on the beach because for now they’re keeping everything that happens in the forest away from the Atlanta Alphas?
Gordon: For when they need to meet with someone that’s not necessarily in on everything, yes. Those people meet them at the beach, Fort Kure. There’s a wonderful series- this is going to seem completely a propos of nothing- but if anyone has seen Letterkenny. When Wayne is going to fight somebody, he says “End of the lane way. Don’t come up the property”, he meets you at the front to fight. So Fort Kure is now where they meet people, not necessarily to fight, but when they don’t get to know or tour the fort in the woods.
Mod R: Of course, we’re very fascinated with everything that you tell us in the books, but all the more fascinated with all the things you don’t. And one of the big things that isn’t mentioned – because it’s meant to remain an enigma, right?- is what’s happening with Derek at the moment. Is everything that Derek is doing in Alaska, becoming the Beta of Ice Fury, is he on a mission from Curran?
Gordon: No, no, no. He did that on his own. Curran did not send him undercover into Ice Fury. He decided he needed to go and I think Ilona said it so well the other day, sometimes you have to go and be a different person, get a fresh start, to become the one you’re meant to be. And that was Derek’s thing in Ice Fury. He wasn’t the same kid that he was in Atlanta. When he comes back, he’s a different Derek. And you have to do that sometimes.
People change from experiences and travel; we are the sum of our education and our lived experiences. If you live your whole life in the same little town, with your parents, who get you your job etc, you never change. The Thomas Wolf quote “You can never go home again”: it’s not so much that home changed, it’s you who are not that person anymore. I could go back to where I grew up right now and I wouldn’t know anyone and no one would recognize me.
Ilona: Super simple explanation: when the two of us just started out together, in a little tiny mountain town, there was this one super-nice hotel. It was expensive and if you got to stay there, it was amazing.
Gordon: I saw the NC State basketball team there once!
Ilona: Four or five years ago we went back. ::dramatic pause:: That hotel is so shady! And the carpet smelled bad and the rooms were small and it was grimy. And I was looking at like: “It had seemed so grand!”
Gordon: It was amazing to me as a teenager, in high school. Probably even when we were in college a little later, it seemed enormously grand.
Ilona: And it’s not that it wasn’t maintained well, no, it’s the same level of maintenance, but you’re different.
Gordon: And it’s not that we’re spoiled. I mean, we are spoiled with hotels, but like Holiday Inn is fine. This just seemed shabbier, darker, smaller. It didn’t change that much, but we did.
Ilona: We do also get to be hotel snobs, because when the publishers send you on tour, they always book you into really nice hotels. And when you get there they’re like “Oh, the Authors are here!” And at that point, you got up super early, you got on the plane, you haven’t eaten, you get to the hotel, you’re praying for an hour so you can basically do yourself up before you go to the appearance. And they’re go ::fancy tone:: “Hi! You are the Authors!” Yeah, that’s us.
Gordon: I would not say boujie, but the children would. We probably are with hotels.
Ilona: But it’s not our fault! I have had a number of “enthusiastic arguments” with our publicity people, saying things like “Holiday Inn. It has the Wi-Fi, it is reliable”
Gordon: Yes, it’s not that we need to be in a super fancy place, Holiday Inn, wherever you are, it will be the same. One time we were driving to Louisiana and it was like the ocean *fell* onto the road.
Ilona: They had closed I-10. Louisiana and Texas border was just closed, the gas stations were under water.
Gordon: I didn’t even think it was safe to pull over, I could not see. And then we saw a Holiday Inn, it was like the sky had parted, we went and they were so nice.
Ilona: Omg, the next thing we know it’ll be ::ad voice:: “Gordon and Ilona Andrews love the Holiday Inn”
Mod R: Yeah, you should push something more expensive, just say how good Glenfiddich whiskey is or something, get yourself a crate!
Gordon: I have never learned to drink brown alcohol. I don’t like the taste of it, I never acquired it. I get that people like it, but I’m a simple guy. I like beer, beer tastes good!
Ilona: We stopped drinking a while ago, not that we were heavy drinkers before- my father was a binge drinker, so I’m very conscious of that. Our bar area in the house is now my tea area. But one time, we were trying to buy a really nice present for a couple that enjoys Glenfiddich. We’re sitting there reading: “Hints of pine, swamp water, but never overpowering.”
Gordon: Peat. Peat water.
Ilona: And we were like “Is that…good? It sounds disgusting.”
Gordon: I remember, in the Navy, I was on a training and they made me a Jack and coke. And I kept adding coke. “This is horrible, I don’t like this”
Ilona: Our characters are sophisticated and they drink cognac. Linus drinks whiskey, but not us.
Mod R: Sorry to interrupt, but I saw a question that absolutely horrified me hehe. Does Derek only start to like Julie in Blood Heir, because she now looks like Kate, because he has a thing for Kate?
Gordon: Omg guys, no, no, no. He liked her when they were kids!
Ilona: He always liked her. When Ascanio attacked her, he beat the crap out of him and told him “never ever touch *that* girl”, specifically.
Mod R: And also, when Saiman even hints at the fact that he could take Derek’s shape and would Kate want him then- Derek immediately starts calling him The Pervert!
Ilona: Whilst we’re on the same page: BDH, you know I love you. But you have to stop shipping children. We do not support this practice. With No Heroes, it started: oh, were the magic mushrooms a courtship gift? No, these are kids, they were magic mushrooms! Please don’t do this. We already removed every single comment of that sort, and then your feelings will be hurt.
Let them grow up and be adults and then you can ship whatever you want.
Gordon: And that’s exactly the thing with Derek and Julie- he let her grow up and be an adult.
Mod R: There’s only about four years between them, right? Like she’s 14 and he’s 17-18 kind of thing, so it is a teenage crush. And also Julie spent those nine months with Erra in the pocket realm made for her, but for her it was like four years had gone by.
Ilona: So they’re basically the same age at this point.
Mod R: Speaking of that, another conspiracy theory- I should have made another tinfoil hat- in the beginning of Magic Claims, Kate says that Erra was away for nine months at some point. And of course that immediately jumped to: “Erra was pregnant! Erra has a secret child!”
Ilona: Read Blood Heir. Julie was gone for 9 months. Well, the nine months is somewhat symbolic, but not in that way.
Gordon: ::to chat:: Oh, Arabella. Do you guys want a spoiler?
Mod R: Yes, please!
Gordon: Arabella is going to end up with the Bear! [Note: Mihail Berezin, the Bear of Kamchatka at the end of Ruby Fever]
Mod R: Yaaaaaaaaaay! Imagine me doing goal rounds around the football pitch.
Ilona: We can’t even write that book, we can’t write that series. Because right now, Russia has lost its goddamn mind. And it’s very problematic to have a Russian hero. It’s just… I don’t, I get so mad. That’s it.
Mod R: But speaking of new projects, what *is* getting written is Maggie? And it’s very surrounded by mystery. And the Book Devouring Horde really appreciates the snippets that have made it onto the blog [Note: here and here and here], but we want to know if we are to be kept in this mystery about what the plot and the character are like, until close to release?
Ilona: We want to be able to write it free of any kind of expectations.
Gordon: It’s kind of a new thing for us. We haven’t done it before, it’s other world fantasy.
Mod R: It’s a completely new project, not a sequel, not linked to any of the existing worlds. Just to clarify for everyone.
Ilona: No. There’s no connection. Not even with the Innkeeper, it’s a totally separate thing. We think that you will enjoy it, if you enjoyed our previous work, because it still has the elements you would like. It has a protagonist that you can relate to. Let’s say as much.
The thing about Maggie is that we want to go all out. Get it to where we like it and then we’re not sure what happens next. Because the original plan was to maybe self-publish. But then, we showed it to our agent and at first she was very lukewarm on it, like “I don’t know what this is.”
Gordon: Oh, you were so butthurt.
Ilona: I was butthurt! I was like, this is so amazing, because it’s current and it’s this and this and this.
Gordon: I think you actually said: “Why doesn’t she appreciate me for the gift I am?”
Ilona: I have never said that, but thank you.
Gordon: Ok, paraphrasing.
Mod R, losing it: Oh my God. Bwahahahaha.
That is so much of a joke, because let me tell you a bit behind the scenes how Ilona is. She emails me: “Hey, Mod R, would you, just as a favour, would you like to read the draft of the new book? But are you sure?” And it’s like, what do you think, woman?! Every single time “I don’t want it to be an imposition, just look it over if you have time” And I’m, with my usual composure, ::puts on Uruk-hai voice:: GIVE ME!
Gordon: We do use you, fairly or not, for a bit of a litmus test. And if you’re down with it, then we figure we’re on solid ground. If you came back with like “Hey guys, this isn’t it.” We know we’re in trouble.
Ilona: But now that sometime has passed and we had a sit down and plotted the course, which is what we do in the beginning of each year with our agency, so everybody’s on the same page. Because we can’t do the Magic Tides again. We threw Magic Tides at them and there’s so much that goes into getting the book to publication! And we were like, last minute, here’s the thing, can you just upload it tomorrow? And to their credit, NYLA dropped everything and did it, but it was not a nice thing to do. So we’re going to do our absolute best to not do that ever again to them.
Gordon: In all fairness, booze was sent to the office!
Ilona: But with Maggie, when we were planning in the beginning of the year, we showed them, these are all the projects, blah, blah, blah. And Nancy was like: “Maggie! Let’s do Maggie!” She kind of stays with you. Maggie has something that makes you come back to it.
Mod R: If you’ve ever had a specialist interest, ever were really, really into something, Maggie will speak to you. Let’s put it that way.
Ilona: Yes. You will connect to Maggie, especially if you’re a fan of books.
Mod R: And luckily, we are what? The Book Devouring Horde!
Ilona: Exactly! ::sees a wasp:: Oh, there’s something buzzing!
Gordon: Strike it, Centurion. Strike it roughly!
Ilona: It might be a bee.
Gordon: Mona, eat that bee!
Ilona: Do NOT eat the bee!
Mod R: Whilst we’re dealing with exterminator problems, I can tell you probably that Maggie is more sort of fantasy world, but not urban fantasy…
Gordon: Well, it’s urban in a way, it’s set in a city. It is not urban modern fantasy.
Mod R: I don’t know how spoilery we can be. It’s in a world that is not our world.
Gordon: ::to chat:: Medieval Urban Fusion. That’s great! Think you just made a new thing. MUF!
Ilona: That’s it, I love it! Can you write that down, Mod R? I’m going to use that for the pitch! And it was Megha I believe that said it, so yeah, put Megha on the list so she will get an ARC once we’re done.
Gordon: And we’re going to steal your name as well and put it in the book.
Ilona: We’ll mention you actually!
Mod R: ::giggling about Roman mentions in the chat:: This is my private giggle, because obviously Facebook was freaking out about who was the cousin who wanted to kill Kate. Was Roman the cousin? Was Nick the cousin? And I told them, if you want the main hint that it’s not Roman, it’s that I’m so chill about it. If I had found out that Roman has a wife and kids and everything, I would’ve scheduled a 3 hour Zoom straight away! I need all the details!
Gordon: No, no. Roman and Kate aren’t related, I don’t think so?
Mod R: Evdokia does say that Kalina was from their community,
Ilona: Yes, the community. But, you know, we can’t do go down the road of everybody’s related to everyone. Then it’s a soap opera thing and there’s an evil twin and we’re in trouble!
But as far as Maggie’s concerned, and our plans: we are probably going to try traditional publishers with it first. We want to stay relevant, we want to make the Book Devouring Horde even bigger, and we’re not sure quite how to advertise in this new environment that we’re in.
We would like to get into BookTok and all of those things, but at the same time, it’s just a different ball game from when we started. And it’s possible that a new publisher, a traditional publisher will allow us to do that.
Gordon: :: to Mona the puppy:: What do you have? No. Trash. Trash.
Ilona: Please pause for this intermission.
Mod R: So basically, the next release might be Wilmington 3, even if Maggie will probably be finished first, if she goes through traditional publishing. I’m just keeping the Horde in the loop. Because you’re going to keep on not announcing projects until they are done, right?
Gordon: That’s the plan. We would like to do that.
Ilona: We’re going to work on our thing. And it’s possible it’ll not even go anywhere, but we’re going to try. Meanwhile, we’re probably going to give you some small snippets from Wilmington, and other places, and hopefully keep your interest up. We know you like to keep up with the Wilmington crowd!
And when we know what is happening with our project, we will absolutely let you know if it’s going to be traditionally published or not. They would probably give us the marketing, but also take 75% of our money! Because we get 25% of the profits with a publisher. So it’s kind of a big, big trade up. That’s a lot of money.
Gordon: And what if it’s a really big advance? Well, then you have to earn out that advance.
Ilona: Yes. And that’s so much pressure.
Gordon: I think we have gotten soft in a way. Self-publishing has worked for us for the last couple years.
Ilona: Especially this year, we were able to get on schedule, we were able to put everything out in the way we needed it. And by the year, I mean the last 12 months.
Gordon: And that’s another thing, timeline wise: we could give a book to a publisher and it could not be out for a year and a half or longer. It could get bumped. For me at least, a bit of it is a control issue, we have a lot more control. When we finish a book and tell you guys it’s done, we don’t have to add “oh, but it’s not available for a year and a half.”
Mod R: And also a bit more leeway with the word count, which is something the fandom cares about! When Magic Claims turned from a novella into a novel, it wasn’t a huge problem.
Ilona: Because we control that sort of thing too! The only problem was with the audio, because we contracted for a novella and then had to say: It’s longer, significantly longer. We weren’t sure if our audio reader would have availability, but luckily she did. Hilary is amazing.
Mod R: If you want to hear the audio samples of Magic Tides and Magic Claims, go to the blog.
Gordon: I do think when it comes down to deciding between self-publishing and returning to traditional publishing, it’s a matter of the overall control.
Ilona: And the pressure that is just crushing. There is a sweet spot before you make too much money for them, where they kind of leave you alone. And that’s where we were for the second contract with Kate, the second 3 books. It wasn’t so corporate. And then once you start making the money, it becomes this pressure cooker.
Gordon: Deliver, deliver, deliver. And of course, I get their side of it, they need us to finish the book. They need it to be a certain length, and even if it’s on the schedule, it gets bumped because of something else that probably makes more financial sense for them. It just doesn’t make sense for us.
Ilona: And then I get angry. Let me tell you: a certain publisher is reissuing a certain book. We’re going to keep it this way. We asked for three elements on the book cover: a carnation, flames, and an arcane circle. We get 10 prospective covers: a red peony; a white peony; a lotus; a rose; a rose that looks like it was formed out of the asphalt; two roses that looked like they were formed out of the asphalt; a carnation, but at an angle that is impossible to recognize as a carnation; another rose. And you’re like ::mimes looking perplexed::
Mod R: And the fans, we’re very, very passionate about all these details! And with traditionally published books, we have to understand that there is no author control pretty much, over who the audio reader is, what the cover looks like…
Ilona: Nothing. But here’s another announcement! We do know that some of you guys really like to have nice hardbacks. We are trying! We have the Iron and Magic and Blood Heir coming out from Arcane Society, with very beautiful illustrations[Note: The preorder links are not available yet.] The sort of thing to buy and keep and put on a shelf, like an heirloom version of the book. And we have the rest of the Innkeeper series coming out from Subterranean, after the first edition covered the first 3 books a few years ago. The contracts have been signed.
Gordon: That’s a publishing level that I’m very comfortable with, working with Subterranean. I’ll give them a shout out. They’ve always been great.
Ilona: We do recognize that there is a hole in our catalogue that we need to fill. We’re trying to do it through them.
Oh, while I’m on the subject for this. Something happened this release that hasn’t happened before. We do our Print on Demand editions, they are done by two printers.
They’re printed at Amazon for the Amazon customers. So you can get Prime with your order and customer support and all those things. And then there is also an Ingram Sparks edition, which is completely separate- primarily fulfilling orders for the bookstores and libraries that don’t want to order from Amazon.
Don’t order the Ingram Spark version on Amazon, order the Amazon printer! If you are a Prime member, your POD listing for Magic Claims or any of our books will have a Prime sticker on it. That’s the Amazon edition and it will generally be available within a couple of days, they’ll tell you exactly. If you have a printed book that you ordered from Amazon and the status of it says “We don’t know when it’s coming”? You ordered Ingram. Cancel the order, and order directly from Amazon.
We don’t know why Ingram chose to distribute to Amazon!
Mod R: I do know, actually. So with Ingram, it’s all or nothing. You can’t opt out of retailers or territories, unfortunately, and de-select just Amazon. If you are pushing through Ingram to go to the international shops, the indie bookstores, to libraries, it will also go to the retailer that is Amazon. You can’t say no just because they’ve got their own printing. But we are going to put everything on the blog and link it. [Note: it already is] The current order link on the website for Magic Claims is the one you want, for Amazon KDP, which is the Amazon printer.
Ilona: The reason why Mod R knows all of this is because she actually liaised with our NYLA publishing team more on this issue than I did, because I’m just trying to get through this week in one piece.
Mod R: We have more announcements! Questions about Graphic Audio adapting the Wilmington series- and the answer is…
Gordon: We don’t know.
Mod R: They’ve just gone into recordings for book 3 of the main KD series, they have another 7 ahead. So it’s a bit premature to respond about Wilmington.
Ilona: ::replying to chat:: My shirt says “Easily distracted by dogs”. I felt it was appropriate, we couldn’t leave them in the house unsupervised. Usually we have somebody to watch them during all of this, but today it’s kind of a chill Saturday day.
Gordon: My shirt, this one says Oregon. I got in an airport somewhere. It was really cool initially, it had built-in headphones, whatever your device was in your pocket, there was a cord you could hook and it worked as headphones. Until I washed it and then it didn’t work anymore. The other one says Pepsi. Which is ironic, I don’t really drink Pepsi, but the kids got it for me. It makes me think of, no one will get this, but there was a really old SNL skit where they kept saying “Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, Pepsi. No Coke.” in a Greek diner. It was weird, with John Belushi.
Mod R: And we all know what my T-shirt says. ::product placement BDH t-shirt:: There’s a lot of talk about Luisa Preissler and art in the chat- and speaking of art: there is another announcement! Are you ready to tell them about the comic book?
Ilona: Oh, yes! So we are super, super stoked. Clean Sweep will become a graphic novel in print. They’re taking the Tapas model and they’re printing it. It’s coming from AndrewsMcMeel and you should be able to find it in Target, B&N, Amazon and all of the places. [Note: Release date is March of 2024, but the preorder is available on some sites already]
Ilona: So if you were not down with Tapas, you don’t have to be. You can buy it in print and read it that way.
Mod R: And this has been a long time coming, right, for both of you? I remember you talking about it years ago that it’s what you’d wish for.
Ilona: Tapas actually sold it to AndrewsMcMeel and didn’t tell us. They’re contractually allowed to do that, of course. But a little bit of extra money came in and nobody mentioned it, we didn’t know what was going on. And then suddenly, oh my gosh, it’s for sale right now. You can preorder it at AndrewsMcMeel. Our agency notified us and said yay, this is amazing. And then within five minutes of it being up, somebody found it and linked it, I think in the Facebook fan group!
Mod R: We find out EVERYTHING. The Horde is everywhere!
Ilona: Apparently hehe. I also had a surreal moment. I’m processing the orders from the store, and we’re trying to review most of the orders to make sure there’s no weirdness ::gets distracted by dogs, per the t-shirt:: Oh, oh, she stole another thing.
Gordon: I didn’t think she could do that.
Mod R: Mona! You see, this is why the mastodon is called Mona in Magic Claims.
Ilona: Momo! Don’t eat that! Oh, it’s just styrofoam.
Gordon: It’s not good. I didn’t think she could do that. She took the bottom out of the basket.
Mod R: Oh, the décor!
Gordon: Mona is tearing apart the decor. Bear pig!
Ilona: You are a bad dog. How about you lay down somewhere?
Gordon: She’s very young. She is the dog of our oldest daughter’s suitor, shall we say, also Bradley. And so we end up with her a lot, which is great because Tubby gets along with her. They do this bulldog thing where they lay next to each other and they kind of snarl-fuss at each other, but nothing actually happens.
Mod R: Speaking about things that made it in the books from real life. Everyone was asking, did you have the magic clams at the end of the book from the beginning or did you introduce them?
Ilona: That’s for you guys.
Mod R: It was a shout out! It’s an Easter egg for us.
Ilona: Yes, so you guys can know that we are actually listening!
It was so funny on preorder: “But we can’t find it!” And then when you actually tried Magic Clams, Amazon gave you the right listing, it figured it out. All the jokes, the memes, oh my goodness. Even I now auto-type “magic clams” when I write it.
Mod R: It just doesn’t sound right. People will say Magic Claims in the comments and I’m looking at it, something’s wrong, do I have to fix a typo? Hehehe.
On that note, thank you so much for hanging out with us on a Saturday, giving us so many spoilers and entertaining us. And of course, thank you so much for all the work you do with the store and everything, and most of all for sharing your stories with us. A lot of thank yous and love are coming through the chat as well. It’s been a brilliant week, and it’s a brilliant, brilliant book.
Ilona: We’re so glad to like it! Thank you so much.
Gordon: Thank you so much, everyone! I’d still be working in a casino without this. I can’t do that anymore.
Ilona: I woke up on Wednesday and I was just exhausted. I had a bad night and it’s the thing you do on the release, where you roll over and before you do anything else, you check on your phone that the book is available and nothing went catastrophically wrong. And the book is available on Amazon and I scroll down and the first review says: “It’s fantastic.”
And then I just laid in bed, smiling, for five minutes. It’s worth it, it’s all good. It made me feel so, so nice. Thank you so much guys, that was a moment I’ll remember. In the middle of all the chaos, that little moment of bliss that was just mine and special!
Mod R: We’ll see you on the blog everyone, and thank you for joining and having fun with us! Bye bye.