Hi everyone, Mod R here.
There was no spoiler session, everything is out in the open, so tread carefully if you haven’t read Magic Tides yet.
As usual, disclaimer that all plans discussed are still but a glint in the authors’ eyes, and until it’s on the Release Schedule, it’s not official. This is House Andrews being very transparent with us about their intentions, and we want that to continue, so please let’s keep this in mind.
The transcript is for everyone who has accessibility issues or wants to read it.
I got the feedback that it’s difficult to look for specific answers: the CTRL+F key shortcut allows you to search for key words on the webpage you’re viewing. Also, clicking on the YouTube logo in the lower right corner of the video allows you to watch it directly on the YouTube website/app. Hope that helps anyone struggling!
Welcome Home, Kate! Transcript from January 22, 2023
Mod R: Hi everyone and welcome! I’m here with Ilona Andrews, which is Ilona and Gordon. Gordon is heroically with us today, even though he’s still a little bit under the weather! And, of course, our most favorite participant, Mr. Charles Tubbins.
Except for the January bugs, how are you both feeling? How do you feel about the release?
Gordon: What release? ::laughs:: I don’t even know why I’m here. She tells me to go places!
Ilona: ::further giggles:: Is this how it’s going to be today?
Gordon: Yeah. I’m here, that’s it! No- I think we’re doing well. I mean, there’s been a few health scares in the family, but it’s all resolved at this point. Hopefully.
Ilona: Yes. Hopefully we’re good. I’d love to be good. I’d love for it to stop happening, if we could, at all. If the children could not do anything for two seconds!
Gordon: It’s kind of remote now because they’re mostly out of the house. And it’s just us. And the doggies. And the kitties.
Ilona: And the spider.
Gordon: The spider. Oh yeah. God, I need to get on ordering some crickets for him.
Ilona: He had crickets less than two weeks ago. He’s a spider! He stores them.
Mod R: Another person who is home- finally! – is Kate. I can’t resist anymore. Kate is back! KATE IS BACK!
It’s like a hug. We missed her so much! And I think I speak for quite a lot of people when I say I didn’t even realize how much I missed her until I started reading. Did it feel the same to you? Were you writing and at some point felt “Oooh yeah, there she is. Kate is back. The guts of my enemies!”
Ilona: It was very easy. We had a lot of fun writing and it wasn’t a difficult novella.
Gordon: I would say it was easier than some of the previous, later Kate books, because at some point there’s a lot of history, some of which the fans know more than we do. This was just an easy restart.
Ilona: Yes, it was a very easy reboot because the last few Kate books felt like you were chained to a weight and you were dragging it forward. We had to tie everything up, finish everything nicely, make sure that everybody had a good feeling at the end of it.
That world was so big and Wilmington is a little bit smaller. We’re not doing the super-giant 50 million factions and all the craziness. So it felt good. I enjoyed it, I really did.
Gordon: It was a chance to have a few new characters. And I think the only returning character we see is probably Grendel and it wasn’t a thing where we need to make sure this character does this or that.
Ilona: It was a lot of fun to write and kind of weird too. We started pottering on it and then potter, potter, potter, BOOM there was a novella.
Gordon: Plus there were no publisher pressure and deadlines- and we didn’t even spring it on our agents until it was basically done.
Ilona: Poor, poor Nancy.
So it’s Friday, right? End of the day. And I’m calling her and I’m like ::butter wouldn’t melt voice:: “Hiiii Nancy!”
She goes: “Oh. Hi?” You know, she’s already in weekend mode.
And I’m: “We just sent you a 40,000 words novella. Please check it out, it’s set in Kate World. We’d like it to go out in a couple of weeks. Love you, bye!” Click.
She was super nice, but I don’t think it even registered.
And on Monday it was like: “What?! What is this thing? Why, what, how? When did you have TIME?!”
Mod R: “It’s Kate!”
Gordon: It was fun! That’s probably the plan from now on. Well, although now she kind of…
Ilona: Oh no, we had to have an agency meeting regarding all the sales and all the things.
Gordon: What we call in the South a “come to Jesus” meeting…
Ilona: During which things were said in a very thoughtful, most polite way. Such as: “Let’s have a six-month lead time, or at least three months of lead time… let’s not do that again.” Hehe.
Gordon: It was fun to work on something that nobody knew about except for us. And when we finished it, we could just say “Here, this thing is done”. We’re going to probably try to do it again.
Mod R: At least with the Book Devouring Horde! I think the BDH had a lot of fun in the surprise week. “Here’s the release of Sweep of the Heart” and then Woooot! New Kate! SURPRISE!
Gordon: And we released it, and it was all done! And that’s kind of the plan we’re going to work on again. We’re going to work on the next one…
Ilona: Unfortunately, it will not be quite as much of a surprise.
Mod R: And when you say next one…do you mean the next one in the Wilmington series?
Mod R: Mwahahahahah! YAY!
Ilona: We have some semblance of a plot, yes! The pre-order should go up probably next month, but we’re looking at a larger pre-order period, so maybe beginning of summer release.
Gordon: Because we have to give our agency a heads up this time to do all the stuff that they do, as opposed to just slipping it under their door. Yes, it will be another novella.
Ilona: One of the wonderful reasons why this is working out so well is because the shorter works, half-novel size at around 40k words, allow us to have a shorter commitment to the project but still budget for the year.
Because we don’t know how long one of our secret projects will take, we don’t know how long Hugh 2 will take. We don’t want to be stuck there writing for 10 months with no income.
So these work well because it’s a relatively short production time, and once it’s done we’re clear to go on to the longer projects without worrying about how we’re paying the bills.
Gordon: And another upside of this is that we can give it to Nancy and you guys can have it within three or four months- as opposed to a publisher where you can sometimes turn in a book and it’s a year, a year and a half, depending on their schedule. By the time you guys get it I don’t even remember…did we write that? I have no idea. And you can get bumped [Note: off the publisher schedule]. I feel like we have more control over it this way.
Ilona: We’re trying to get enough lead time to do the audio release. That’s the sticky here. And what we’re hoping to do is to release the audio for the first Wilmington and the second one simultaneously.
That’s where the plan is for now. We’re still looking for a reader. The reader we wanted is very booked so are not sure if we’re going to be able to jump into her schedule or not. Hopefully we can figure something out.
Gordon: Someone’s asking, is Derek going to be in the second novella? No.
Ilona: No, no.
Mod R: So the Wilmington cast- you want to keep it separate for now? You’re sticking with Wilmington people in Wilmington.
Ilona: Yeah, we’re laying a lot of groundwork there.
Gordon: There will be a surprise guest from Atlanta, but that’s all I’m going to say for now.
Ilona: Yes, but it’s probably not somebody you’ve seen before and it’s going to be fun! I promise!
Gordon: Someone asked what happened with Renee Raudman. I think she started her own studio. And I’ll be brutally honest, at some point it became an issue of what we could pay.
Ilona: It’s not so much even the payment, although her rates are high. It’s a combination of things. She really slowed down on recording; she was mostly running the audio studio. The second issue was that she voiced so many of our characters, they began to blend, and we got repeated complaints regarding that.
And the third issue is, and I’m… as much as I hesitate to mention it, Kate still sounds like she’s in her twenties. And Renee does not at this point, for obvious reasons. Life unfortunately does not stand still for us the way it does for Kate.
Gordon: So we’ll find someone, by the time of the first and second audio.
Ilona: We need somebody with a really good voice who can basically deliver the aggression that Kate has, but at the same time not go over the top on the delivery of the one-liners. Because Kate is a lot of times deadpan. It’s that thing where sometimes people do it kind of, to use the term, Joss Wheadon style. It’s like: one liner, one liner. ”I delivered the line. Here, I delivered another line.” We don’t want that.
Gordon: Someone is asking about the male narrator for Hugh. Steve West! He was great! Amazing.
Ilona: When Hugh 2 is done, we’re going to hopefully bring him back. And that is one of the other issues with it.
Not only do we have to write the novel, but we have to coordinate with the audio reader to make sure he has a hole in his schedule where we can fit everything. So the plan is to try to start work on Hugh 2 this year. When it will be published, we can’t tell you. Because we just don’t know how long it will take and we don’t know what is the audio availability.
Mod R: So there are no fixed dates for anything. Just to recap, because I can see people are still joining. There’s another Wilmington series book in the works, scheduled roughly for the beginning of summer, and then you’re probably doing a Hugh sequel for the rest of the year. And there isn’t yet an exact date for the audio of Magic Tides.
Ilona: Yes. We are not completely sure if Hugh 2 is going to come first or if Maggie will. We’ve been wanting to work on Maggie for a long time!
Mod R ::whisper chanting:: : Maggie, Maggie, Maggie!
Gordon: And I feel like if we do the second Wilmington series, it kind of gives us carte blanche to work on Maggie.
Ilona: …to work on our passion project so we can knock that out.
Mod R: I’ve seen Maggie, the BDH hasn’t seen that much of Maggie, but I can vouchsafe that Maggie is awesome and you will want to meet her!
Gordon: If we were really smart, we would do the second Wilmington, we would finish Hugh and then we’d be like, okay, we did two sequels, now we can do the secret Maggie project.
Ilona: It’s that thing when we stick in a single world for too long, we get really fatigued.
Mod R ::from chat:: : “Who is Maggie?” Maggie is a new character in a new world. A new, *very* fantastic world.
Ilona: Mod R got to read a little bit of it.
Mod R: There is a small snippet of her on the blog, yes.
So, going back to Wilmington, there are a lot of questions about how come you picked Wilmington, where you stationed there whilst you were in the military? How come you wrote about North Carolina? Did you do a lot of research into Irish settlers in North Carolina?
Gordon: I mean, I grew up in North Carolina. Not in the Wilmington area, more in the mountains. But it’s spoken of as a very nice place, especially if you live in the mountains, which is as far in the state as you can get away from Wilmington. A lot of people will mention how nice it is on the coast and how it’s a very different place. When we are finally able to divest ourselves of Texas, it’s a place where we would like to possibly relocate to. ::replying to chat:: Hey Asheville, we used to go there all the time! So it would be that thing where we write about the place where we are. I’m hoping that we’ll get to do it. I really would like to have the sea. The girls are getting to where they don’t need us to physically be here as much.
Ilona: Basically, what is happening is that his Florida plan got nixed because of all the hurricanes and the problems that they’re having. So he’s upgraded. He’s like ::putting on accent:: “Ain’t goin’ to be Florida? I’m gon’ go back to North Carolina.”
Gordon: Yes and I joke about this, but I feel like I’ve come to a certain age where I’m legally required to move back to either Florida or North Carolina.
And Florida’s right out now, guys, I’ll tell you. What scares me is buying a place there, it’s our dream home, and then a hurricane comes and destroys it.
Ilona: And the other thing is, the logistics of it are very difficult for us if we have to evacuate. We will never not have a menagerie of animals.
Gordon: Where would we go? We’ve got dogs. We’ve got cats.
Ilona: We had friends who during the last hurricane season were without power for a week! What do you do? I actually watched… oh my gosh, complete name fail. This is the child-being-sick fatigue!
Thea Harrison! Got it. Thea Harrison tried to evacuate with her dogs, and that was a lot of fun- not! So we are hoping, maybe- we’re going to go and visit Wilmington and see.
Gordon: And it just seemed like it’s close enough to Atlanta that people can come and visit them. But that it’s also removed enough from it, in a different state. It’s where Kate and Curran went to have a nice Happily Ever After and have the sea.
Mod R: Very low key..
Ilona: Very, very low key.
Gordon: If you’ve been to different parts of the South, Atlanta is its own thing. It’s like the capital of the South.
Ilona: It’s this massive metropolis.
Gordon ::to chat:: : Oh, Asheville is low risk, but it’s also way too close to where my family is. So that’s right out. It’s an hour from where all of my relatives live in the mountains. So no.
Ilona: Well not only that, but Asheville is fun until you try to drive up to the hospital on a slope that’s like ::shows steep incline:: because something happened.
Gordon: I like Asheville, we used to visit all the time. It was an hour from us. We would drive there.
Ilona: That was the big date! We would go to Asheville, maybe go to the movies, and sometimes ::fancy tone:: we’d go to Red Lobster!
Gordon: Yeah, we would go to the mall.
Ilona: They built more malls!
Gordon: We had a very small theater in Silva, Jackson County, North Carolina. And if we wanted to see a movie like The Crow, we would drive an hour to Asheville to see it, for instance.
Ilona: It was either you drove to Asheville, you could go to Waynesville, or you could pop over the mountain to Franklin, except our car basically never got to Franklin. It did not like the mountain, it’s a steep mountain. But yeah, that was fun!
Mod R: I’m kind of jumping all over the place because I can see a lot of talk in the chat about how they would like a Kate Daniels Graphic Audio version- that is happening! [Note: More on what Graphic Audio is]
Ilona: I can probably play Curran’s sample for you!
Mod R: Oh, that is good! The sample is from Curran’s POV of the “Here kitty, kitty” scene.
Ilona: Here’s the thing. He just did a cold read: they gave him bunch of lines, he doesn’t have the context for it.
Mod R: I saw a message from the devs on Facebook. I think the pre-orders are going
to go up in February for a March release of Magic Bites. [Note: Liar, liar, mod on fire! The preorder is already up and the Magic Bites release is in April.] It’s still not exact on the dates, but that’s kind of the timeline.
Ilona: Okay, let’s see if I can make this work. Let me know if you can hear it.
GA Curran at video timestamp 20:03 “..if there is a next time. What kind of woman greets the Beast Lord with ‘Here kitty, kitty’? I am the Lord of the Free Beasts.”
Mod R: Yeah, it is very fun when you hear it! I really had goosebumps. And his wife is of the BDH! So you know that’s going to be a very high-pressure home whilst he’s recording hehehe.
Ilona: ::jokingly:: They did a horrible job selling him to us! Nora, who is in charge of the production, and usually really excellent at communicating emailed us “Well…Listen to it and let it sink in. Maybe listen to it a couple of times. He’s a great actor. We usually use him for angry Scottish dwarves!”
And based on that I though “OK… That does not bode well.” Because we had rejected 3 Currans so far, this is Curran number four. We’re very picky.
But the voice is fantastic and he can purr, and he can growl, and he does All the Things!
Gordon: Yeah, we’re really excited for that! And the fact that his wife is a fan is just great.
Ilona: Apparently nobody knew. And when he told his wife, she was like “OMG!”
So we’re really hoping that all lines up and know that they’re doing their absolute best. Mod R has a lot more information on it than we do, we had to delegate because of all of the stuff that was happening on our end. And there are some things that we were able to fix that we weren’t able to fix before. For example, Magic Bites still uses “shape changers”- which should be “shapeshifters”. Because that became the industry term over the years. And “shape changers” is difficult to say, whereas “shapeshifters” flows. Various small stuff got fixed, so we are super stoked for this production!
Mod R: Going back a little bit, not even to Wilmington, going back to Atlanta- this question showed up a lot. What is happening with the people who separated with Curran and Kate when they left the Pack? How come they didn’t also join them in Wilmington? Are they still special status? Are they still living in the gated community?
Gordon: That’s where their lives are. Just because they’re no longer with the Pack per se, they still have lives in Atlanta. Jobs presumably, loved ones, family. We forget sometimes, it’s very easy for us personally to just get up and move to a place.
Ilona: But most people have stronger roots. Right now we’re staying in Texas because we have a wonderful house and all this stuff, but most importantly, the kids are here. Once the kids figure out what they’re doing, then we’ll see where we’ll end up.
::to Gordon, who has been gradually sliding out of the frame:: Don’t do it. I will pull you right back into the shot!
Mod R: The chair waves hehehe. Chair Tides! Never mind Magic Tides. It’s the chair!
Gordon: I do have to let Ms Sookie in, the bulldog. And Nykie, our granddog.
Mod R: Hi Nykie!
Ilona: So we did a DNA test on her, and I don’t think the test is accurate. She came back 40% Pitbull and we’re like, there’s no way. We’re demanding another doggie test. But our daughter is now convinced that she owns a vicious Pitbull.
Gordon: Our younger daughter found a picture of a very long but very muscular Bulldog-Pit mix of some sort and the caption in the family chat was: “This is how Kid 1 sees Nykie!” hehehe. There’s no way!
Ilona: As far as the Atlanta crowd goes: they’re still there, some bleed-over occurred. Mahon did not separate and George and her husband kind of went back into the Pack. The second novella will deal a lot with Pack politics.
Gordon: It’s a lot of setup for Blood Heir 2. We said this before, a lot of the things that are going to happen in the Wilmington Years books are going to ultimately pay off in Blood Heir, it all comes to a boil. We’re turning the heat up on that.
Ilona: You’ll see how it all sorts itself out. And the groundwork is being laid for different things, because Curran thinks long term. And you can see them starting stuff. Curran and Keelan. Keelan really thinks long term and pretends to be dumb, but is very decisively not.
Mod R: We love Keelan very much, and there are a lot of questions about all of this, so I’m glad that we got to the subject: is Wilmington far enough for them to have their own Pack separate from Atlanta? What is Keelan’s purpose – because he is clearly playing people, he clearly has a purpose!
Ilona: Keelan came and saw Curran and he was like ”Yep. This is it”.
Mod R: This is my person.
Ilona: Exactly. Keelan was always looking for someone to follow, in a sense, someone that had a greater path or purpose.
Rimush and Keelan are kind of similar in a way, except Rimush is just very out there with it. Keelan is more subtle. And when they sent him off to Wilmington, which is still in the Pack territory, they started sending him renders to train. So there’s an entire generation of really badass young people who think Keelan is the shit, right? What he says goes! Which was incredibly short-sighted on Jim and Desandra’s part.
Gordon: We’ll send our strongest people to this really charismatic, badass guy!
Ilona: So this entire generation of combat specialists in the Pack has swallowed whatever Keelan is feeding them hook, line, and sinker.
And what Keelan is primarily feeding them is: “Curran is great. Curran is amazing. This is how you Pack.”
With a long lifespan, longer than regular people anyway, Keelan can afford to take seven, eight years to sort this out. And if you notice, he’s very committed to Conlan already. He’s like, okay: Curran. Conlan. Consort. Ever so merciful.
Mod R: Protect the consort!
Ilona: Keelan is very grateful to Kate for many different reasons. She taught him sword fighting, all kinds of stuff. So it will be interesting to show you guys how it all shakes out. We’re excited!
Gordon: We have plans. If it’s any consolation, we have a plan for how everything is going to go. And we’ve never been pantsers We talked the other day and I was so surprised…
Ilona: Jessie Mihalik.
Gordon: She’s completely a pantser. And I was like “Wow”. I admire that, but that’s not us. We have to know what we’re doing going forward. Or at least think we know what we’re doing.
Ilona: In essence, you know, it’s very easy to see Jim in this whole picture as a bad guy. He’s not the bad guy. Jim is at, at the core -although it’s not very clear- kind of a bleeding heart.
This is not a spoiler, but Curran was very careful throughout the series overseeing how many people they admitted to the Pack and they did not admit everyone. Jim lets everyone through. If you go to Jim and you tell him “Hey, I’m being oppressed by humans” Jim says “You’re in!”.
There’s no verification, there’s no check, there’s no anything. He takes everyone. He’s trying to save everyone. And the Pack has grown enormously large and unwieldy. It doesn’t work. The current administrative structure for it doesn’t work. So Jim had to pivot and allow more and more power to go to individual clans just to keep things running.
Again, he’s very good at what he’s doing, but it’s just too much. And he’s also tired. If you look at the presidents, there’s this wonderful site that shows you US presidents before and after the four years, it can be devastating. They go grey, they visibly age, they just become weary.
Jim has been doing this for a while. He’s tired, so he’s doing his best, but it’s not quite working. As to what the relationship between Curran and Jim is…I know that Curran is all “That asshole!” and Jim is “Must not be friends” but in the end, they worked together for a long time. So wait and see as to what develops. We promise you that it’s not as terrible as it appears.
Gordon: I’ll even say it, there’s not going to be a giant bloody showdown. They’re not going to duel for Pack leadership or any silliness like that.
Ilona: It’s not how that whole thing shakes up.
Mod R: That was a very funny question you got “So like, are we meant to like Jim or not, which one is it?” hehe. That is up to you!
Gordon: That’s up to you, yeah. And here’s the thing. Jim doesn’t care whether you like him or not.
Ilona: He’s doing what is best for the Pack.
Gordon: It’s not his job for everyone to like him.
Ilona: Jim is efficient and smart. He’s not necessarily the most charismatic dude out there, but if you notice the Pack is still intact. There haven’t been major civil wars. There hasn’t been a blood bath.
So clearly he’s an effective leader.
Gordon: So just in case, Curran is not going to go down to Atlanta and kick Jim’s ass and get the Pack back. It’s not going to play like that, guys, no.
Mod R: Going from Jim, who suffers from a little bit of a charisma deficit, to Keelan, who has no such issues…We love Keelan! He steals the show every single time. Was he as much fun to write as he was to read?
Ilona: He was tons of fun to write! We enjoyed it! Here was this shorter, stockier guy, with a giant claymore. It was so much fun. And the whole bit where she’s riding on the road and he crawls out of the rushes on the edge of the river, and she looks at him and goes “Don’t see me. Please.” And he’s like “CONSORT!” And then he has to jump in the corn for a little bit in excitement!
Mod R: He needs a moment! Hehehe.
Ilona: There is a really funny bit with him in the second one, where he is like “Don’t do this! When we see some magical, weird thing, we don’t poke it with a stick! We ask the Consort! Please Consort, tell us what this is?” And Kate says “Umh…I have no idea.” “So how are we going to proceed?” And she says “Well, I’m going to poke it with a stick.”
Mod R: And we were wondering about his background and him being descendant from the Irish werewolves. People were curious if Derek has similar roots…
Ilona: No, different. They’re different roots, different mythological origin, different type of werewolf. Keelan is actually what he says he is, he’s descendant from the Werewolves of Ossory which is really interesting. If you get a chance, read up a little bit, it’s a real historical thing where they mention that there was a Werewolf Kingdom in Ireland and they were amazing fighters and they were very badass. In our mythology, he’s descended from there.
Derek is an entirely different thing. Derek- well, he became a werewolf, but also he acquired his powers in a different way. And that’s something that might come up either in Blood Heir 2 or we might do a short story that shows how the whole thing took place.
Mod R: Gordon once said that it’s linked to Roman or that Roman can tell us things about it. So, you know what I’m going to ask…
Ilona: Yes. Roman gets it.
Gordon: Roman could explain!
Ilona: Derek tells him the story and Roman is just like “Oh God.”
Mod R: So maybe it could be like a really short story, Ilona. You know, your specialty!
A short story, just 5,000 words…[Note: referencing the ongoing teasing about word limits perpetrated by Jeaniene Frost ]
Ilona: I get no respect. No respect! Nobody respects me at all.
Gordon: That could be done. In a weird way, Derek and Roman are kindred spirits, both on *how* they have their powers and the nature of their powers. The role that they play- or assume- and the kind of responsibility they reluctantly put on.
Ilona: Because when you look at Roman, what is he? Well, he’s a priest of the Dark God blah, blah, blah. But also this combination of clergy, psychologist and enforcer. He’s a link. A guardian of his community primarily, that’s what he does.
On one side, he’s trying to mitigate Chernobog from doing weird crap, but on the other side, he’s actually protecting his people against the darkness and unclean things. He even bitches about it in one of the books, I think it’s the one where Kate and Curran get married: “When there’s a wedding, call my cousin. But when some supernatural filth steals a kid and is dragging him into the sewers, get Roman!”
Gordon: Someone’s asking, was Roman an Army Ranger. Yes. Roman is an Airborne Army Ranger.
Mod R: He’s very, very true to character. If you have, like me, an Eastern European father or similar masculine figure, he is very true to how those guys view responsibility and being put upon. That’s how I perceive it.
Ilona: Yes. Okay, so I know that it completely does not work physically, but you know how Harrison Ford in later years had that weary, kind of fed-up-with-everything attitude that he portrayed in film? That’s kind of how Roman is. He is just like “Ugh.” He is put upon, continuously, to do his thing. So we are not planning on letting Roman go. We actually- when Kate ended- we suggested a Roman novel to Ace, and Ace passed.
They just wanted more Kate. They were not interested in like a tie-in or a spinoff.
Mod R: Well, their loss.
Ilona: You guys kinda missed out, but we’re not planning on not working with Roman.
Mod R: So, because that is obviously a continuous question, will we learn what happened to Derek? And how he transformed and gained his powers?
Ilona: Yes. But that’s more Blood Heir 2 territory. Not this year. If we’re doing anything else in the KD World this year [Note: extra from the 2 Wilmington Years novellas] it’ll be Hugh. Because you guys have been waiting for a long time, and I think we can now tackle it.
Gordon: And that’s why, if there’s something about Derek or something about Roman, that’s probably going to be put in Blood Heir because we have to be very careful about what we work with, what we’re writing and when it gets out. So Hugh would be a separate thing and then a lot of the ancillary Atlanta characters will be put into Blood Heir.
Ilona: And that’s one of the wonderful things about self-publishing: if it doesn’t go well, we can walk away from it a little bit, let it percolate, work on something else, come back to it. We realize that we’re not the fastest writers out there, but we’re hoping the books, the stories that you get from us are our absolute best effort that we’re capable of at that particular time. We want it to be good.
Mod R: And they’re amazing.
Ilona: That’s kind of what drives it. You know, that’s why the audio is late. We want it to be good. We didn’t just go and pick the first available reader for stuff.
Gordon: I’ve seen comments where we’ve been accused in various cases of phoning it in. And I wish that that was the case. I wish that we were able to do that because our lives would be a lot easier.
Mod R: It’s…not the case. Lol.
Gordon: But unfortunately, whether the readers believe it or not, we did our absolute best.
Ilona: Well, you know, you had the front row seat to the struggle.
Mod R: The way I see it, it was the pandemic and everyone was suffering and begging to go home and see their loved ones. You wrote Blood Heir and Julie and it was a bit out, it was a skip in the storyline. Now you’re filling in the timeline.
Ilona: It was premature. The plan wasn’t to do Blood Heir, but unfortunately, I can’t even explain how much fear and scariness and suffering we got in our inbox. I think people felt very alone and isolated. And they would write and say things like “I can’t see my mom, she’s in the ICU. I just need something!” And we had to do something.
One of the things we did was that we put the Innkeeper collected edition, the first 3 Innkeepers, on sale for basically nothing. I think it was like 99 cents or so. And that wasn’t enough. So we had to kind of pivot and do something else. And the only thing that we could think of that would get everybody excited was Julie. We weren’t ready to go back to Kate yet, because we were super tired of it, so we did Julie and it was premature. In a perfect world, that’s not how it would’ve been. In a perfect world it would have been Hugh 2, then probably Wilmington and only then Blood Heir. That’s not how it shook out, so here we are.
Mod R ::catching up::: Gordon was eating Tubby!
Gordon: I pretend to eat his ears. It makes him happy!
Ilona: He’s just super conditioned now when we’re on Zoom, he comes in and he’s just insufferable. If you notice, or you probably can’t see it on camera, but he’s nudging me continuously. Heeey, I’m here.
Mod R: Gimme pets!
Gordon ::to Tubby::: Yes. You are cute. So cute. We’ll get you a brother that’s bigger than you.
Ilona: Gordon wants a Boxer.
Gordon: I do. I want the Boxer and here’s the thing. I want the Boxer so that initially Tubby can boss him around when he is little and then eventually he’ll be accustomed to it when he gets bigger.
Ilona: Yeah…How did that work out with Artha? Artha comes over and Tubby lays down.
Gordon: Our younger daughter has a huge German Shepherd that she got from a puppy.
Ilona: She has two German Shepherds now.
Gordon: And well, Tubby would boss Artha around when they were little because he’s slightly older than her. They would run and because she had too-long puppy legs, he would crash into her-he’s quite dense- and knock her out. But now she’s enormous. Now when she comes over, he just lays down and hides. He’s scared of her. The thing is, Artha is very protective.
One time she was with us, I think our youngest daughter was sick or she was asleep on the couch. And Artha will literally stand over her when she sleeps, she will bark at you. This one time I went through the living room and I just had it, “Goddam it Artha, this is my house and that’s my kid, you won’t bark at me!”
Ilona: And because she had, at that point, jumped on top of Kid 2 and tried to protect her body, she looked at him like in a cartoon and kind of slunk away slowly.
As protective as she is, she still remembers who trained her. And that was me! She has not forgotten.
They had to do away with their body bag, they have a torso of a dude now, they call him Bob. Because when our Kid 2 or her boyfriend would punch the bag to work out, Artha would attack the bag. Whatever they punched, she bites. At some point she ripped it apart, and we’re like: okay, yeah, maybe not. No more punching bags.
Mod R: I think the chat is going to explode if I don’t ask about Hugh. How many kids does Hugh have? And is the little girl that Elara and Hugh saved in Iron and Magic, Deirdre, one of them? Did they adopt her?
Ilona: You have to read the book to find out! But more than a couple, as far as kids go. He has a lot of children.
Gordon: He’s so happy! He’s that guy that just looks at his children running everywhere and is like: “Yeah. I made those!”
Mod R: I’ve got children. I’ve got a moat. What more can I want?
Ilona: He’s got a moat, yeah. He’s also one of those put upon characters where it’s like “Well, there’s this weirdness in the woods. Clearly there was human sacrifice. Ugh…”
Mod R: LET ME GUESS, YOU’RE GOING TO CALL ON MY WIFE!
I really love that he’s always talking in all caps hehe. I just call him Prince CapsLock at this point, because he’s just: WHY IS IT ALWAYS MY WIFE?! PUT DOWN THAT COW!! If there is Hugh merch, it has to be in all caps!
Ilona: But that’s what it is! This is a guy who’s used to screaming, roaring in the middle of the battle field to make himself heard.
My grandfather used to do that. My grandfather during World War II was a Submariner. He was in the Pike. And they would have to shout across the submarine apparently, because technology was very low key at that point, and those submarines were death traps, hammered together as quickly as possible.
And he never lost that. We had a garden, large-ish, a couple of acres. The worst was when you had my grandfather on one side and my great-grandfather on another side- both men elderly at that point- screaming at each other at the top of their lungs to be heard. They were not upset. It was just like ::LOUD NOISE::. And that’s kind of what Hugh is doing. When Hugh wants to be heard, you’re going to hear him, no matter what’s going on!
Gordon: And I do think it’s put on: someone in the chat says UMC Combat Engineer! One of the funniest things I remember when I was in the Army: I worked very closely with the Marines, I was doing some communication stuff for them. It was us, the Marines and the MPs. I was walking with one of the Marines, and he SCREAMED at these poor kids, they jumped like three feet off the ground.
And then he looks at me and smiles and I’m like “You’re a bad guy, Sargent!” But he thought it was so funny. They were just minding their own business actually, they weren’t doing anything bad, but he just let loose.
Mod R: People are asking for updates on the merch store…
Ilona: It’s being worked on!
Honestly, guys, I didn’t do anything last week. You know what I did last week? I laid on the couch. Well, no. I cleaned, I cooked, I made Theraflu. I made sure that he was okay. I made sure that our oldest was okay. She’s got an antibiotic resistant infection and it’s horrible. That was it.
The problem with the merch store is kind of twofold. Here’s where we get into trouble:
For example, 1 out of every 10 mugs will arrive broken. That’s about the right ratio. And it doesn’t cost us to reprint the mugs because if it’s broken, it’s their fault, but I’m sitting there and I’m filling out support tickets, going like: “Hi. Broken mug. Picture of the mug” “Hi, broken mug.” etc.
Some people got sent the wrong stuff, that had to be sorted out. Then there was a tote bag catastrophe. And now, with the final wave of Christmas orders, some of them just got lost in the mail. We have some DHL that didn’t arrive. And they’re very good about reprinting all of this, but it takes time because they have to put in the order. I have to explain what the problem is. Then I have to email the person, tell them it’s approved. Or it’s not approved, and then I have to go round and round until they do approve it.
And so all of this is awesome, but when you consider that we’re only maybe making a couple of bucks on each order, it ends up being incredibly time consuming.
Here’s what we’ve got now. If you look at the store now, you will see the Call me Kate line. You will see the first “Here, kitty, kitty” is here. So I need to go and manually input all of that stuff in.
We found a store in the UK that can print T-shirts for us, but they’re literally out of every freaking size. So we’re waiting a little bit to see if that populates and they restock their stuff, because we don’t want to open the store and then UK people aren’t able to order anything. Sitting on that too.
But you are not alone: during the agency meeting, Sarah Younger, who is the other senior agent at the agency told us “I really wanted to order a sweatshirt for my mom and you closed the store!” I was like “I can manually…” And she said “No, I will wait.”
Gordon: I still think we should, just get one for Sarah.
Ilona: I don’t know the size or anything! So we’re trying to get all those ducks in a row and get it running.
Gordon: But ultimately, I will say this, it’s nice to have the store and I’m really glad everyone likes it. For me, I think at some point it’s better for us to just be writing.
Ilona: Here’s what he does: It’s 11 at night and I’m doing the store stuff and he is like “ Honey, how much time are you spending on the store? It seems like you’re always working on it.”
Gordon: You could be spending time with me!
Ilona: There you go!
Gordon: Watching murder shows on the couch.
Oh my God, you guys! There’s a show called Floribama Murders. And for our non-US friends, it’s a specific area of Alabama that borders Florida and is sometimes referred to as the Redneck Riviera flat out. And you know when you watch murder shows, someone inevitably always says: “This doesn’t happen here. Our town is super nice. Nothing bad ever happens here.”
This nice middle-aged lady goes, really deadpan too: “Yeah, we have some really horrific murders here!” And I was like: “Holy shit! She said the quiet part out loud.” She was just “Oh yeah. People get killed here aaaall the time.”
Ilona: So guess who is sitting there and watching all the murder shows again?
Gordon: Hell yeah.
Ilona: It’s us and five animals on the couch on top of us. Because when Kid 1 is off, like right now, when she went to spend time with her boyfriend because her doctor is in Austin, everybody gets Kid 1 deprived. And it’s three dogs and two cats, and there’s no room for anybody else. I end up buried under there somewhere.
Mod R: Three dogs, two cats and MUR-DURR.
Ilona: And murder. So much murder.
Gordon: You know, my favorite was Kenda, for a while and then Kenda transitioned into a thing where they weren’t his cases.
Ilona: “American detective”
Gordon: That’s super good. “Snapped” is always super good. “Accident, Suicide or Murder?”, that one’s pretty good. Just so much murder. The stuff with cults, that’s fascinating to me. Because I grew up in the 70s and if anyone can relate, cults were huge in America in the 70s.
Like there were the Moonies and all these different… Oh, Cruise Ship Killers! That’s really good too, as I’ve never been on a cruise ship! Oh, my favorite of all time, they stopped making it: Ice Cold Killers.
And it was exclusively murder set in Alaska or the Midwest during winter. It seemed a bit niche, but it was really cool.
Ilona: So he would put the really iced over murder show on and be so happy that I brought him food, a bowl of stew or tacos or something.
Gordon ::to the chat:: : I love Forensic Files. The only thing is, it puts me straight to sleep. Our youngest daughter and I, we watch Forensic Files and it’s like a lullaby. For Ilona and our older daughter it’s like “Oh God. This is terrible.”
Ilona: And they’re all “Horrific murder! Snooze”
Mod R: Speaking of horrific murder… what happened with Cutting Edge? Is the firm still going?
Ilona: No, they closed it down pretty much once. Kate was Cutting Edge.
Julie left. Derek left. Andrea was already not involved in it as much, Ascanio went with Andrea and Raphael. There’s really nobody there to run it without Kate to run it. But don’t worry about Kate! She’ll be busy. There’s some re-evaluation going on with Kate, where she now had about seven years of calm waters.
And that’s part of the reason why she got out of Atlanta. Part of it is that they tried, actively, to keep her out of being involved. Because the less she was involved, the less possibility there was of her claiming the city. Atlanta is this mishmash of different factions. And they were very nervous about her being there. She’s so powerful and they know what she’s capable of, when she gets involved, terrible things might happen. It was hard for her. In the second book, when she talks about it with Erra she says she felt smothered because they tried their best to wrap her in a bubble wrap.
And at the same time, you had Gastek and his Golden Legion, and they’re still all at it. They’re just *her* Golden Legion and they kept trying to put her on this wonderful pedestal the way they did with Roland, and that is just not the place she wants to be.
Mod R: And also, for Conlan, it was fairly impossible to have a normal life and normal childhood.
Gordon: Just be a little boy!
Ilona: If you notice, he is doing really well in Wilmington. He’s having pirate adventures and making friends and…
Gordon: He’s got his dog.
Ilona: He’s got his doggie, he’s got the Fort he can explore. He is having fun and he should have fun. He’s a child.
Mod R: We loved his POV! Are there others, in the future Wilmington books? Will they carry on with split POVs?
Gordon: Yeah, I think so. To see how *he* see them. It’s a new perspective into Kate and Curran, through his eyes, because they’re not “Kate and Curran” to him. That’s just mom and dad.
Ilona: At some point, he deadpans and says “Well, mom was a witch when she wanted to”. And you’re like…ooh, I wonder where, I wonder what Kate did for him to make that remark! I think it’s a lot of fun to mess with.
Mod R: And we really loved the parenting scene of Curran sitting him down and explaining about leadership and setting the boundaries. It was really interesting to see how Kate and Curran address the fact that they’re allowing Conlan to have contact with Roland, but they are setting clear limits and explaining to him, in a very intelligible way, what it means to be Roland and what Roland’s interests are.
Does Conlan see himself more as a Prince of Shinar or more as a shapeshifter? Or does he just see himself as a little boy?
Ilona: I think shapeshifter.
Gordon: Shapeshifter. Because here’s the thing: his only exposure to Shinar, the idea of Shinar, is Roland. And that’s almost an “away place” where he goes. He gets to see his father as a shapeshifter in real life! Do you see what I’m saying? And now he has Keelan, another shapeshifter. If you notice, when he saw the shapeshifters, he was comfortable with them. Even Ms. Jynx. He understands that. And right now, it’s probably easier for him as a child- when he’s eight or nine years old- to just say “Yeah, I’m a shapeshifter.” That’s an easy identity to put on.
And they do try to temper, like you say, his time with Roland because if they were to prevent him from seeing Roland it would be turn into this cool grandpa that they don’t let him see.
Mod R: Yeah. Forbidding something is the sure way to make a child yearn for it.
Gordon: They’re going to let him spend time with his grandfather and develop his own opinions.
Ilona: Roland always has an agenda, and this is something that Curran and Kate explain to him, and Kate never forgets it. Even in the second novella, she talks to Erra, they have a fire call and she’s, Erra’s like “This and this and this and this” and Kate reacts with “Why are you always on my ass?” And Erra goes “Well, if you want somebody to tell you how wonderful and special you are, go see your father. He wants you to fail, so you’ll run to him and beg for his wisdom.”
That’s what he lives for. So it’s never forgotten that Roland is a poison spring. And to go on with the poison analogy, if you take a little bit of poison every day, you become immune to it. And that’s what they’re trying to do with Conlan. They’re trying to get him to see Roland in actual light versus just a wonderful, super-amazing, great-grandpa who’s going to show him the secrets of the universe.
Gordon: And that’s the thing. He can, to some extent, show him a lot of the secrets. Roland does have a lot of knowledge, massive amount. And to deny Conlan that knowledge, that contact or that part of his family would be doing him a disservice.
Ilona: Roland didn’t start out as a bad guy. Roland started out as a very sensitive person who was a prodigy. He was incredible, he was a genius. Everybody told him that he was a genius and capable of great things. And then he failed to prevent his family from being slaughtered and it had a catastrophic effect on him.
Gordon: That’s a really good question right there. Does Conlan know Roland murdered his grandmother?
Yes, I think, he has to know, and obviously Roland had to put a different spin on it.
Ilona: But in the end, they told him, he knows. And there are some things that Conlan isn’t ready to do. If you notice in the novella, he isn’t using the words of power, he’s not quite there yet.
The amount of pain and issues that result from using the words of power usage… he’s not capable of it yet. And there are other things, for example, he didn’t make blood claws in the novella. Why? Well, because he wanted to kill and handle the problem on shapeshifter terms.
Gordon: It was a shapeshifter fight. He was with his dad, it was a shapeshifter thing. I think if there was a scene in one of the next two books where he’s with Kate, he might do some more Kate-like magic things.
Ilona: It was very important for him, because there were other shapeshifters present. When we’re children, especially, we’re looking for a tribe. Good or bad, that’s why gangs are very successful, they recruit children who are looking for a place to belong- and Conlan, to some extent, is looking for a place to belong as well. And the shapeshifters are clearly a very good tribe to belong to.
Mod R: There are a lot of questions about whether Roland will escape his realm? Whether Rimush and his other nine pals who witnessed Kate being written in the Book of Heirs- do they have access to Roland, do they have the blood bond, can they make trouble?
Ilona: Nope. Here’s the number of people who can visit Roland: Kate, Conlan, Julie, Erra -although she NEVER goes for reasons that will become apparent in later story, they don’t speak- and Hugh. That’s it. The five.
Mod R: And there’s no escape for Roland because he *is* the anchor of the realm.
Ilona: Yes, that’s it. There is no escape. He would cease to exist.
Mod R: So, whilst his influence is dangerous- Kate saw with Julie, what happened when she completely forbade any relation. Because she told Julie multiple times, don’t go to Roland, don’t speak to him. So she also carries that lesson, right?
Ilona: Julie’s a special case because Julie had to fend for herself on the street for a while when her mother descended into alcoholism. Julie was responsible for feeding Julie, sometimes for feeding her mom. Julie was responsible for making sure that they weren’t homeless to some extent, because her mom would bring the money in but she wouldn’t do anything with it. And if Julie didn’t grab the money, all of it would go into the bottle. So this is a child who learned to be self-sufficient, and that it was up to her to make sure things were okay. And that carries through to adulthood. That is a childhood trauma she never outgrew.
She will always take responsibility upon herself to make sure things are okay.
Mod R: And by things are okay: her first priority always has been “Kate has to be ok”.
Ilona: It’s Kate. It’s the family. It’s Conlan!
Gordon: Oh, I’m going to do a huge spoiler!
Ilona: No, you’re not.
Mod R: No, no! Please don’t. I *will* mute this chat.
Ilona: You can do it! Please don’t. Save some stuff for the books!
Mod R: Resist! Be strong!
Gordon: Alright, alright…We do eventually have to tell them though.
Ilona: You already told them once! That’s it. Save some impact for the novel. Delayed gratification!
Mod R: Yes, exactly. Where were we? I completely forgot…
Julie’s person! The way that Keelan’s person is Curran, Julie’s person is Kate, right? And she will do whatever it takes.
Ilona: And Conlan also, she is very attached to him, because it’s her brother. Something that she never had, she wished she had, and now she does. The surest way to make Julie drop whatever she’s doing is to do something bad to Conlan, and she will come and rain whatever holy hell she can.
Mod R: Going back a bit to how Conlan sees his parents…there was a bit of confusion about how Kate and Curran look now, physically. Curran has lost the divinity attributes, including his height…
Ilona: Back to just regular Curran.
Mod R: But, of course, his age and his lifespanare impacted by the fact that Kate and Conlan love him and they have the ability to prolong the life and wound resistance.
Ilona: Yes. He hasn’t aged. Kate hasn’t aged, she probably looks about 28 or so.
Gordon: You would see them and think that for some reason they had Conlan when they were very young. But they didn’t. And it may cause them to be judged a bit later, even as Conlan himself reaches adulthood. People may look at him and go “God, how young were your parents when they had you?! It’s just ridiculous!” or “How long have you had that dog?” And he’d be like “Oh, since I was a baby, before I was born.” And they would think no, that’s not possible.
Ilona: But it is possible. Grendel has a nice part in the second book, because there’s some fighting and Grendel gets to be involved.
Gordon: Yeah. I was actually saying, I regret when I did the final fight with the piggies and the Minotaurs that I didn’t include Grendel Hulking out a little bit.
Ilona: Yes, but he was protecting the regular people inside.
Gordon: But I’m going to rectify that in the second one.
Ilona: Yes, there’s going to be more Grendel time. GRENDEL TIIIIME!
Gordon: Sometimes, you forget, guys. It’s like “Oh, I wish I had done…”
Ilona: Yes, but when you are writing, we were always taught- and we ended up making this into our philosophy- that you tell the reader the bare minimum to make the story make sense. Because we live in a kind of fast-paced time and we don’t have the luxury of opening a Fenimore Cooper novel and sit there and go blah, blah, blah description of the lake for five pages.
Gordon: I kid you not, there’s an entire chapter in one of his books- and it might be The Last of the Mohicans- about a sunset. Or sunrise coming over a lake. A whole goddamn chapter of the book.
And you’re like, okay. Get to the monkey!
Ilona: You know, have you reread it recently? Oh, it does not hold up.
But that’s the thing. We are so conditioned to make sure that we keep it lean and mean. To the point it’s funny: somebody was criticizing, I think it may have been in Innkeeper: “Well, there’s three different flowers mentioned in this paragraph. Too much description!” One little paragraph of flowers, right in the middle of a giant fight!
So, you know, we sometimes forget about certain elements. We’re not perfect. And sometimes you add something and you think: “That’s great, it’s interesting, but it’s taking away from the pace.” And you take it out. That’s why a lot of times we get confused. Wasn’t X in the book? And everybody’s like: “No… it’s not in the book.” Well, it was in a book originally!
I’ll be honest with you, once we’re done looking at the book, which by that point we have edited the manuscript probably upwards of eight or nine times, we’re so sick of it. We don’t really read the published version. It’s pretty rare for us to do that.
Gordon: And sometimes I remember a thing that went into the cut files as being in the books, and I’m: “Well, what about that?” Yeah, no, we cut that- remember? Damn it.
Mod R: I read it *much* less than you, and even I had a minute when people were asking about Rimush. The Horde either really love Rimush and he’s their favorite new character from Magic Tides, or they’re very worried about him and the way he phrases things with Kate.
And I was replying to someone and saying “Well, Rimush says xyz at some point, so…” And then I realized, ooop- no, no he doesn’t, not anymore!
Ilona: No, he doesn’t! It got cut!
Mod R: So what about Rimush? Should we fear him having his life’s purpose tied to Kate behaving in a certain way? Or is he going to become an ally?
Ilona: The royal family- and they’re split, because the royal family of Shinar had several houses, if you notice, Roland was In-Shinar, Era was Im-Shinar, and each had their own palaces with their own staff and their own ways of doing things. Erra has her own cadre, people that went to sleep with her and now woke up and Roland had his.
The two groups don’t like each other.
They’re not necessarily allies. And the reason why is that belonging to the royal family of Shinar was a dangerous endeavor. They killed each other, they were in competition for who’s going to become the greatest and the biggest. In that sense, there was not as much family loyalty. Erra’s and Roland’s alliance was, in a lot of ways, forced upon them by the fact that everybody else got killed.
Mod R: And we see Erra’s entourage being quite mad at Roland! Namtur in Blood Heir is super pissed off!
Ilona: Roland has done something that caused an irreparable rift between him and his sister. She’ll never go see him. And she’ll be angry for centuries to come. Which will just go to show you, once everything is laid out, the enormous effort of will she expanded in Magic Triumphs to speak to him and pretend everything was fine.
But when all this shakes out, now that Roland is gone, his people are adrift. We’re talking about generations of people who basically made it their life purpose being part of that executive structure that Roland used to govern Shinar. And now everybody’s adrift.
And Rimush was very young actually when he went to sleep, basically a teenager. And because of that he was bit impressionable. Now that he is older, he is looking to recover that purpose. Rimush very badly wants to be somebody’s hero! He wants a purpose in life. He wants to mean something. And he is enormously powerful- when he says “I’m the seventh blade”, he is not joking.
Gordon: He wants things to be what they were. He knows they can’t, and he feels cheated out of that because he was very young and he didn’t get all of it. And he thinks that he could make it like that a bit again.
Ilona: Yes, he’s a person born out time in a sense.
Gordon: He should have been born a few generations before.
Ilona: When he could have been all he really could be. And now he’s looking to Kate as a guiding light, in a sense.
Would Rimush ever turn on Kate? No, he would not. And if Kate said for example “Hey, I am not going to do anything for several years”, Rimush would sit there and wait. Until she was ready.
Gordon: He can wait forever.
Ilona: But he’s one hundred percent convinced that she is that old ideal for which Shinar strived. Because of that, he wants to serve.
Gordon: He is her Keelan, in a weird way. He’s convinced that she is going to fix everything.
Ilona: Or at least that she will try and he will follow her and help her do it. He also has some really funky powers besides piloting vampires. That’s his minor, he majors in something else!
Gordon: Someone asked about him and Ghastek. I think he would hold Ghastek in bit of contempt, actually.
Ilona: Yes, because Rimush would see Ghastek as a necessary evil. Another tool that the queen may use to further her ambitions. But Ghastek serves because he wants immortality. Rimush serves from moral conviction. And that will probably make Rimush regard Ghastek in a slightly derisive manner. Also, just the matter of their ages, there would be conflict there if that meeting ever happened.
Mod R: But Rimush is undercover, right? At the Farm, Barrett doesn’t know who he actually is.
Ilona: No, Barrett doesn’t know, no idea.
Mod R: People were asking, well, how can you he be loyal to Kate if he’s loyal to Barrett? And no, that’s not…
Ilona: He’s in Barrett’s Farm because that’s where his father put him. He’s there to inform his father on what Barrett does. Barrett is very dangerous. When Hugh says that he’s dangerous when he’s smiling and when he’s not, he doesn’t say things like that lightly. Barrett is a very dangerous dude. You know, if we had to cast him, it would be Tom Hardy.
Mod R: “I’m here to fight!”
Ilona: He has that violence simmering under his skin. Oh gosh. The Kray Brothers were just so biased…
Ilona: They portray a really bad time, the discrimination, the brutality of it. The old London Hardmen. They hated each other, if you were a little bit different, they hated you…
Gordon: ::replying to chat:: Would Kate and Curran chaperone a field trip? That would be funny! I think Curran would so it!
Ilona: And you know what, Kate would put on a sundress and go and chaperone!
Mod R: Be in the PTA hehe.
Ilona: Yep, they would absolutely do that.
Mod R: What is happening with Erra and the federal government? That was another really big discussion point. Is Erra not really in charge of New Shinar? Is she just the watchdog of the feds?
Ilona: No, no. A lot of this will come through later, but in the very briefest terms: the federal government has had a chance to recover and rebuild because the initial crisis of the Shift weakened it to great extent.
They’re now rallying up. They’ve been building for a while, and they’re reaching out to different places and powers and people, trying to regain their former structure. So they’re making deals. They made a deal with the Angevin, with the Order, down the road the Order will get federal status. They’re also reaching out to random powers and Erra happens to be such a power. Erra never wanted to rule her own kingdom. She consciously stepped away from that. The whole New Shinar situation: view it as a kind of underground federal installation basically, operating in California in an effort to control that region and prevent powers that were anti-democracy, anti-government, who wanted to make their own kingdoms and their own fiefdoms, from emerging and causing a massive trouble. That’s what Erra is doing. She’s not necessarily taking orders from them, but she has made a certain deal.
Which is part of the reason why municipal powers are coming to see her and join her. She’s more “allied with” rather than “subservient to”.
And not many people know. In fact, most people do not know. Julie is very, very careful when she goes to the order because of Maxine. She sits there and she thinks along those party lines very clearly. “Yes, I am here to make a kingdom.”
Gordon: Poor Maxine should be retired!
Ilona: Yes, but you can never know if she’s still floating around there! So it all has to be ;;in authoritative tone:: “Yes, we are going to do this!” which is very conflicting when you look at Julie’s previous stance, she was very pro-democracy. But she is toeing the party line, which is something that comes into play in Blood Heir 2, because at some point Derek is just going to ask her:”What the hell is going on?”
Mod R: And Nick! He REALLY grilled her. ”Did you do it all to be a princess and get dressed in gold?” And she tries and tries, but Uncle Stupidhead…
Ilona: She tries to make circles around it, without saying it or even thinking it! She’s just trying so hard. You won’t appreciate that conversation until Blood Heir 2 comes around, because it clears out a lot of it.
Mod R: And whilst we’re in Wilmington and filling in timeline, are we going to find out a bit more about, specifically, how Desandra and Nick got together?
Ilona: I don’t know if this is a Wilmington thing. That’s maybe more of a Blood Heir. They’re kind of that set of characters.
Ilona ::to chat:: : To clarify things, guys: Julie *does* know about the deal of federal government. Julie was educated in Atlanta in a very prominent liberal arts school, she is not going to come out in favor of an authoritarian government or really even monarchy. That’s not who she is, that’s not what she does. But will she sit there and, and faithfully toe the party line because that’s what she’s supposed to you? Absolutely. Yes. Unlike Kate, who has a problem lying, it’s just very obvious. Her little save during the Farm, omg ::giggles:: “Oh, I was supposed to flinch! Damn it!”
Julie would have never made that mistake. Julie is super good at lying. She lies to herself even!
Mod R: We have unfortunately reached the end. Thank you so much for taking the time and being with us, especially when you’re poorly. Thank you so much for the book and especially for bringing Kate home!
“Guts of my enemies!” forever.
Ilona and Gordon ::laughing::
Ilona: When I saw that Sophia drew that, the little BDH logo, with “Guts of my enemies” holding them up and his little glowing eyes, it was just the best!
Mod R: KATE! We loved it and we’re so looking forward to seeing more from that whole world, be it more Wilmington, more Julie, more Hugh. And we can’t wait for- well, I can tell the BDH: believe me, you can’t wait for Maggie! Maggie’s amazing as well! And thank you so much for all the work that you put in also with the merch store and all the fab designs that are going to wait for us.
Being with Kate again just really felt like the Bad Times never happened!
Ilona: Thank you so much Mod R for moderating! And being so awesome, we really appreciate it.
And the BDH, thank you so much for coming to see us. We really appreciate you all! We’re so glad that you came back to see Kate again!
Gordon: And thank you for being with us for a small part of your Sunday morning! We know it’s early!
Mod R: Everyone sends thanks and lots of love! We’re going to see you on the blog this week! Bye- bye!