As promised, here is the recording of the Fated Blades release virtual session with House Andrews, in all of its zombie body heat, bastard wasps and secret one-eyed French Bulldog pirate baby glory hehe.
I also made a transcript, if you want to follow along or have trouble hearing or understanding something.
Yes, it is long. No, you do not have to read it all. I know someone will comment hehe. It is here to help anyone who needs it, along with some of the pop culture reference links that may not be familiar to everyone ::smiley face::.
Neither the video nor the transcript contain the spoiler session. Mwahahaha. You’ll just have to be patient. And them’s fighting words, I know.
Fated Blades Q&A Transcript from the 27th of November 2021:
Mod R: Hi everybody. I’m Mod R and I’m here with Ilona and Gordon, a.k.a. House Andrews. Wow, almost 350 of you already! We’re going to chat a little bit just to let everyone join in and settle down.
Then I’m going to take you through some very quick admin stuff about writing your questions and what the structure of the Q&A is going to be, and we’re going to get started.
I’ve got five pages of questions for Ilona and Gordon, so it’s going to be a good one! And we’re going to have either a recording or a transcript for everyone who can’t join now.
Ilona and Gordon, what was your Thanksgiving like?
Gordon: Good. It was just us and the children and their significant others. Ah, but it was nice. We had all the sides and we all sat at the table and then I went into a food coma and went to lay down. The children took pictures of each other, as they’re wont to do. And we just excused ourselves and napped.
Ilona: It was glorious!
Gordon: I put on this weird show they call the Alaska triangle, I guess in comparison to the Bermuda triangle, about all the scary, mysterious stuff that happens in Alaska. I had that on and went right down. It’s great. And I woke up and it was three episodes in, but it’s the same stuff hehe. People go missing, blah, blah, blah. But a lot of people *do* go missing in Alaska, I think it’s because they want to. I think if you voluntarily go to Alaska, you are in a sense fleeing, to escape civilization and then achieve probably a level of anonymity.
Mod R: To be honest, that’s my apocalypse plan. If the apocalypse hits, I’m booking a flight straight to the Alaskan woods and goodbye, everyone.
Gordon: Right! Zombies are going to freeze up. They’re exposed. And this is a scientific fact, exposed to this sort of temperatures the zombies will just freeze. They don’t have the sense to put on warm clothes!
Ilona: ::is so done::
Gordon: Oh, look, someone from North Carolina. I wonder what part of North Carolina, I’m also from North Carolina! ::switches accents:: You can tell by the way I talk!
Mod R: So for everyone who’s catching up. We’re in minute 3 and we’re already at zombies hehehe.
Gordon: ::replying to chat messages:: No, they won’t have body heat, because they’re dead, Katherina!
Mod R: So I think everyone has had a chance to join now. If you look down at your screens at the bottom, you’re going to see a tab which says “Chat” with 96 messages already. I’m going to type “Hey everyone” just so you know which one I’m talking about.
If you want your questions to be answered, please don’t put them in that chat because we’re going to look at it, but it’s quite impossible to follow up. To the left of it there is a Q&A section, please put your questions there if you want me to see them.
The structure of the call is going to be one hour of general chat and then in the last 30 minutes, we’re going to go into spoilers. I’m going to tell everyone “This is spoiler time”. If don’t want to hear spoilers, you need to go, we’re going to wish you good bye. They won’t be in either the transcript or the recording though.
We also have Suki with us today. I forgot to say hi to Suki. She’s behind Ilona. Hi, Suki! ::Suki lifts head adorably::. She’s not singing the song of her people for once hehe.
I’m going to start with the thing everyone wants to know: have you narrowed down your next plans to at least a top two?
Gordon: Yeah, we actually had this discussion last night.
Ilona: Yep. We are probably going to work on Hugh 2.
That’s going to be our primary focus for a little bit. And then once we get going, we also have a project that we want to work on that we’re not ready to discuss yet. But we will probably try to either work on both of them or switch on and off. Ruby Fever was really difficult and it took a lot of effort. We don’t want to be stuck in a position where we are forcing ourselves to do something.
That’s why Innkeeper is out of the running for now. We talked about it and we have Hugh 2 fairly well thought out, up to a point. With Innkeeper we have very vague ideas and we are just not ready to dive into it, it hasn’t gelled enough and we don’t want to screw it up because it will probably be the final Innkeeper book. That’s kind of where we are.
::shock in the chat ensues::
Gordon: I convinced her, I don’t know if anybody’s seen Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back but there’s a conversation between a fictionalized Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. They’re discussing things, and Matt Damon is being told by Ben Affleck “One for them, one for you”.
I’ve convinced Ilona to go that way. We may even work back and forth on the two things. So then at the end of it, we’ll have both to present. But definitely something that just seems fun for us and something that probably is a bit more commercial.
Ilona: The edits of Ruby Fever will probably land around December, so that will take precedence over everything else because we want the book not to suck. And then we’ll go full speed on Hugh 2. We’re hoping to have about two books finished to the next year.
Gordon: I think we can.
Ilona: And we may take time off and do a random novella here or there if the mood strikes us because that’s the fun part of being out of contract! You’re not as boxed in by deadlines.
Mod R: Everyone is freaking out in the chat about the “final Innkeeper” news, but everyone also wants you to be happy with what you’re writing!
Gordon: We are cognizant of the fact that we kind of owe that to the fans. That always is in the back of the mind, that there is an Innkeeper that is due. I feel like Iron and Magic 2 even takes precedence over that…
Ilona: Yeah, it’s been on hold for so long, we need to knock it out.
Gordon: And we have an idea for it, we know what we want to write and we know where we’re going. So that’s quite helpful.
Mod R: I was going to touch on that because there is a rumour floating about that you have Hugh 2 all written and you’re just holding out from publishing it.
Ilona& Godon: Nooooooooo.
Ilona: Okay. Here’s how it works: once it’s written, we publish it! We want the money hehehe.
Hugh will take about four to six months of, concentrated, just writing, writing, writing. And then we will need to line up the artists, we will need to line up the editor, the whole nine yards
Gordon: The audio narration! Hopefully we can get Steve West this time.
Ilona: We’re hoping to set up a couple of things with that: maybe a collected edition from Subterranean, with the print of both books together. It would be for people who really want print and they want a pretty, big book.
We’re also considering doing the covers with Luisa [NE: Luisa Preißler]. We’re not quite sure, because it’s turning out to where Luisa is illustrating a lot of our work. She did the Kinsmen cover, she did Blood Heir, which was just fantastic.
Mod R: Some Hidden Legacy art! She does everything except Innkeeper, right? Because Innkeeper is Doris. [NE: Doris Mantair]
Ilona: Innkeeper is Doris.
Gordon: Who is also fantastic.
Ilona: The covers for Hidden Legacy are actually a different artist, but Luisa did do the art of the three sisters [NE: Catalina, Nevada and Arabella art by Luisa Preißler ]
Ilona: We are reasonably sure that we could get a really pretty Hugh out of this cover.
At the original shoot, we had Andy, who is an incredibly handsome man. But they had a horrible time getting him to look fierce because Andy is very used to the romance covers. So they were like “Look fierce!” and he’s like ::Ilona strikes dashing pose::
Mod R: Blue steel!
Ilona: Yeah, exactly, it was like Blue Steel. And then at some point they figured out that they could get him to crouch and look fiercer. So there’s this whole roll off shots where he’s crouching in different poses. And we told them it’s not usable. And they were like “But the face is GREAT!”
Gordon: You know, in his defence, it is not easy to be born ridiculously good-looking.
Mod R: It’s a burden some of us just have to carry hehehe. Are you still thinking about Iron Covenant as a trilogy or have you changed your mind about how many books the series will have?
Gordon: We’re not sure. We know there’s a second book, it’s definitely a duology. That’s my big word for the day. The way we look at it, we just want the next book to be as good as it can be. Let’s not count on us having a third, let’s put all the cool stuff we want to put into this book, because I don’t know if there will ever be third, fourth, etc book. If there’s not, at least we don’t have regrets.
Ilona: Yes, where we kept something super cool back. We just think one book at a time.
Mod R: And you said at some point that the first book is Hugh’s book and the second book is going to be more Elara’s book?
Ilona: It will be more Elara’s book- in the sense that it will still be Hugh and Elara’s split points of view, but more of Elara’s past comes out and you will find out what Elara is.
Gordon: Straight away in the beginning of the book, actually, that’s kind of the first hit.
Ilona: We want to make sure that you feel that they’re equal partners. They both deserve equal focus books. We’ll see what happens.
Mod R: I’m going to get all the Hugh questions out now because I know people are dying to know. Is the chicken going to be revealed, are we going to find out about the chicken…and the cow?
Ilona: Yes, the chicken will be in it.
Gordon: The cow is going to be more difficult because this is obviously set before Magic Triumphs. So we’re kind of going back in time and telling you what went on.
Ilona: You will probably see the cow in the second Blood Heir. But the chicken will be dealt with.
Mod R: I feel a bit like Old McDonald. What about the chicken, what about the cow…
Ilona: And the doggie, and the horse hehehe.
Mod R: Now I feel like we’ve dealt a bit with Iron Covenant. Regarding Innkeeper, the fans wanted to know: if you don’t feel like a full Innkeeper book right now, is there any possibility that we’re going to get a few short stories from the Innkeeper universe, “slice of life” style.
Ilona: Yeah, we can talk about something like that, more a novella like what we did last year for Innkeeper [NE: Sweep with me ]. To be honest with you, the way it works is that we have a firm idea of something that is “grabby” and then we just ride with that idea. And right now, nothing really popped up.
For the last Innkeeper, there were space chickens. I know this is probably silly, but the entire novella was built around the idea of space chickens. We really liked the space chicken thing. So we contorted ourselves into a pretzels to build a plot that would somehow include space chickens. Right now we got nothing: we had a beginning, but then it didn’t make sense.
Gordon: We did kind of have the beginning of a story, but it needs to set. And it’s almost like a compulsion to finish these things, at least for me. If we knock this stuff out, we can basically have some breathing room to sit and really spend some of our limited brain power on Innkeeper. I would really feel better about it. So that’s probably partially my fault. I really feel like there’s some other things we need to do before then.
Ilona: No, I feel the same way. For example, we wrote Fated Blades in a marathon session of maybe 4-6 weeks, if that.
Mod R: I remember, you mentioned it in March, and then by April you were all “We have a draft!”.
Ilona: And it’s a long-ish book, it’s basically half of a novel size, sometimes that happens, it just falls out. And sometimes you there and it’s all “Ugh. Why. Why is this happening? This makes no sense. How do we make it make sense? Omg, we should give the money back.”
Gordon: Oh no, oh noooo. As well you know.
Mod R: The motto of House Gordon : “We never give the money back” hehehe.
Gordon: Which is why Ruby Fever is a thing now.
Ilona: Oh yes, we finished it. Oh Lord. It’s not good, but…
Gordon: But it’s done.
Ilona: Our poor editor sent us an email: “Hey, it’s not as bad you think it is”
Gordon: Yeah, you read it, right, it’s not that bad?
Mod R: I did and it is *not* bad! I did need a blood pressure cuff at some point, because the tension was…::gestures sky high::. But it’s not bad, don’t listen to them.
The fans also want to know about the Innkeeper art that you shared on the blog, I don’t know if we can talk about it, the little teasers mystery images?
Ilona: Yeah, at that point we had planned an Innkeeper novel and we got about 15% into it and just…It all hinges on this weird kidnapping plot and we could not figure out how to make it plausible, because ok, it’s the thing kidnaps Wilmos but how did it actually accomplish that, by what means? So we got hardcore stuck and we just said “Ok, let’s just finish Ruby Fever”. And we finished Ruby Fever and that took forever and a half, because that’s an ensemble cast and everything needs to be dealt with: the parentage, and the family, and the Caesar thing. Everything has to be done in this book, because we don’t know when the next one is going to be, or if there’s going to be a next one.
Gordon: Yeah, we don’t know. There may be an Arabella series, there may not be an Arabella series. So this needs to tie everything up. But honestly, if you took the consecutive days or weeks that we worked on it, it has never taken us this long to write a book.
Ilona: Picture a giant puddle of jello. And me with a shovel just trying to shovel it into some kind of mountain and it keeps flopping.
Gordon: I wouldn’t even say shovel. More like a pitch fork. It was a slow, tedious process.
Ilona: But it’s done now!
::They high five::
Gordon: Yay! We’re going to get money!
Mod R: It’s good! And all my compassion goes to you, but please do not say the words “We might not write Arabella” because I *will* cry on Live with 500 people here.
Gordon: You and Kid 2!
Our children growing up were all about equity. When they were very little, everything had to be the same. When they were older, everything had to be different, but equal. So given that Kid 1 has had the series and she is the inspiration for Catalina, Kid 2 now insists that she should have her own character series. Because in her mind, she is much funnier and deserving of a series than her older sister hehe.
Mod R: Look. Whatever argument it takes.
Ilona: She’s like…Texting, in all caps, with a bunch of exclamation marks:
And I have to text back: “Stop bugging your sister at work. She is trying to work.”
“But GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE!”
Gordon: Yeah, and then they didn’t even show up! We told them 12:00 for Thanksgiving meal, figuring they would show up around 1. It was 3, maybe 3: 30?
Ilona: We started eating, because he was: “I’m not reheating this again!” hehehe.
Gordon: Yes, I get fussy. In my family, my grandmother and probably some of the aunts, if we don’t eat, we get hangry, we get shaky. If it’s something like that I’m just eating. If they show up, they show up. Because we ate very lightly even the day before.
Ilona: It was so sad.
Gordon: How was it sad?
Ilona: Here’s how it’s sad. On Wednesday, we made all the pies. Thursday, we make all the sides and the turkey. And we did steak this time because the kids are lukewarm on the turkey.
Gordon: I could take or leave turkey. I’d rather have duck.
Ilona: So we sit down before this giant meal, and the two of us, we don’t actually eat a lot. And so, we’ve made this single plate for us. We ate that, looked at the challenge before us, and we were like: “Naps!” hehehe.
Gordon: Even pies and desserts were not had until much, much later, when I got my decaf coffee and I had some pie.
Ilona: Did you actually have anything?
Gordon: I had the apple pie on Thursday night! And last night I had the pumpkin pie and I even complimented you on the pumpkin pie. That pumpkin pie was good as hell, dude.
Mod R: Were there pie leftovers?
Gordon: Yeah! Even though I watched our oldest daughter’s dude sit down and carve one huge piece of pie and then put it on a plate with a second piece of pie. I turned into my uncle! One time when I was younger, I was eating everything, and my uncle just lost it at some point, he was like: “Damn it, boy! I wanted that thing” whatever I had eaten.
And I was like “Oh, sorry.” But I was voracious at that age. He just had it at some point, and I’ve turned into that. Unfortunately.
Mod R: I saw someone ask if Kid 1 is the model for Catalina and Kid 2 is the model for Arabella, who is Nevada based on?
Gordon ::turning to Ilona:: : You!
Ilona: I think, maybe? I don’t think I was that sensible.
Gordon: You were always very sensible. You were the most serious person I ever met. 18 years old, in college, she’s like Data, just so serious!
Ilona: You’re confusing intelligence and wisdom. Those are two different things.
Gordon: You’re conflating them.
Ilona: ::shakes head laughing:: I was not wise. Nevada is a very wise person. She’s street-wise.
Gordon: Who do we know that’s kind of Nevada?
Ilona: I don’t know. We just made her up.
Gordon: You know who it is a little bit for me? It’s probably Jeaniene Frost. Because, and she’ll kill me if she sees us, but there’s two Jeaniene Frosts. There’s funny Jeaniene Frost, who is our friend that we’ve known for years and years. And then the first time we did a shared event with her, there was the hardcore professional author, Jeaniene Frost.
Ilona: It is scary. It’s like a different person.
Gordon: Like a switch. She’s professional, she’s just business, business, business. And I was shocked. “Who is this Jeaniene Frost?”. Super professional.
Ilona: Yeah. We were kind of winging it and she was like “Well, here’s the overarching theme in my work la-la-la-la-la”.
Gordon: And we were over here like goofballs, “Oh, that sounds great. We wrote it because we felt like it”. It’s honestly a bit intimidating to be at the same table with her.
Ilona: When we’re on panels together, I just kind of hide behind her and she’s like “You take that question.”
Mod R: I’m sure she would love to hear that about herself! The fans also wanted to know about the Graphic Audio version of Innkeeper. Are there any plans for the other volumes of Innkeeper to go to Graphic Audio?
Ilona: We don’t know. We have to wait. I had this very long session with the director in charge of the production.
I think you guys will like her because she’s very, very passionate about what she does. She’s extremely committed to making a diverse cast, which was like “Yay. Win!”. Because in our work we try to represent what we see around us. It’s a little bit harder with Innkeeper because the human cast is very limited. But we have all the aliens. So it was very interesting to me the way she saw Arland, for example, or Caldenia. I think it will be a really interesting.
Gordon: I’m really excited and optimistic.
Ilona: Please don’t take it in any way as me suggesting things or anything like that…
Gordon: Ok, there’s a wasp!
Ilona: Hold on.
Gordon: You say smart things, I’ll go kill the wasp. Uphold the traditional gender roles.
Ilona: If you open the window, it will fly out.
Gordon: It will see me! If I kill it, it will be dead. How about that? Do your thing, I’ve got this. ::goes to the bookshelves and picks up Emerald Blaze::
Ilona: Don’t we have a fly swatter?
Gordon: No, we don’t.
Ilona: Why don’t we have a fly swatter?
Gordon: I don’t know. Because the children take everything.
::thumps can be heard off camera::
Gordon, to Wasp: Ah you bastard, you’re not so smart now, are you?
Mod R, trying valiantly to subdue laughter: Someone said they like the vintage baby blue fridge, me too! Is that your drinks fridge?
Ilona: Yeah, it’s the drinks fridge for the office.
Gordon: It’s not really vintage; it just looks it.
Ilona: I think we got it at Home Depo.
Gordon: I think I bought it at Best Buy. It’s a Gallant. I also have a toaster oven.
Ilona: That looks the same.
Gordon: Yeah. She won’t let me get the microwave. I may get the microwave and just bring it in here.
Ilona: My problem with the microwave is that I should be able to put a large quantity of meat in it and it should unfreeze it evenly. The problem is with a small microwave, it will not unfreeze the meat, it will just cook the edges of it and the inside will still be frozen.
Gordon: That’s true.
Ilona: You can have the microwave here, in the office.
Gordon: Yeah, I might put it in the apartment. So above us, you can’t tell of course, but this is our office and then above that, there’s an apartment. A little tiny garage apartment. But when I saw it, when we were first looking at this place, maybe four or five years ago, I was like “Dang, this is a whole apartment! Someone that’s visiting can stay here and it’s super cute!”
Ilona: Kid 2 lived in there for a bit.
Gordon: And it reminded me of when we were a little bit younger. If we would have had this when we were younger, it would have been awesome.
Ilona: So you can put the microwave there. Okay. Next question.
Mod R: Let’s get a little bit into Fated Blades. Because Fated Blades was released! Kinsmen! Everyone loved it. I’ve had messages from everyone and comments about how much they loved Fated Blades and chief amongst the questions was them wanting to know about all the Easter Eggs that you put in to Fated Blades which relate to the other Kinsmen books. Which they also love, especially Silver Shark. Everyone’s crazy about Silver Shark.
Actually: my favorite question, my favorite question! What was the inspiration for the Secare and especially the dance? I know this, because Ilona showed me.
Ilona: I’ll show everyone. Hold on.
Gordon: Can you do that?
Ilona: Yeah, I can actually share screen.
Gordon: Holy crap. Technology, bro.
::plays Secare inspiration dance video::
Ilona: It’s just an insane Paso Doble.
Gordon: I may have been the one that first mentioned the Paso Doble as a very macho, almost bull fighting moves. Which, okay, disclaimer, we do not condone it, I think it’s a horrible practice. But the dance, the Paso Doble dance is very beautiful and you can kind of see all of those somewhat martial moves.
Mod R: Especially his, he has a very martial energy. It’s very aggressive! There you go, that was the inspiration. And then they wanted to know if the Terrace cafe that sells passion cones, which is mentioned in the end, is that the same one from Silent Blade?
Ilona: I think they’re not on the same Terrace, they’re maybe one level above, on the fourth Terrace? But the passion cones are mentioned, the Escanas are mentioned.
Mod R: Olivia de Solis: is she from the de Solis clan from Silver Shark?
Ilona: She is related to them distantly. So it’s kind of the same branch of the family, but not close enough to where she would be within the kinsmen family.
A lot of that was about political frustration to some extent, because, we have manufactured the most odious politician we could for the story.
Mod R: That’s true! To finish the Easter Eggs, from the previous books, they wanted to know whether Celino’s body guards Ven is actually Venturo from Silver Shark?
Mod R: I have a prop for this next question, because I laughed so hard when it came up. I am the keeper of the BDH official tinfoil hat. [NE: tin foil hats are the symbol of conspiracy theories].
You mentioned the name Vinogradov twice in the book. Does that mean the next story is about the Vinogradov clan?
Gordon: It could be?
Ilona: There are only so many Kinsmen families!
Gordon: Because we had to transition from that into finishing Ruby Fever, we haven’t really given it as much thought to a follow-up or sequel for them.
We’ve thought about having Haeder and Damien maybe…I like those characters, but the problem is we can’t really have surprise baby.
Ilona: Yeah, their baby is very much planned.
Mod R: You know who we want? We want Karion’s secret baby, but a PIRATE secret baby!
Gordon: How would the baby be a pirate though? They’re too young for that sort of thing!
Mod R: That’s up to you hehe, you make that baby a pirate.
Gordon: We can make Tubby into a baby [NE: Charlie Tubbins, their adorable Frenchie ]. A secret, one eyed, French Bulldog baby…
Ilona: Ok, you have gone so far…Next question!
Mod R: Would you classify the Kinsmen series as a space opera romance?
Gordon: Yeah. That’s fair.
Ilona: The science in there is not so overwhelming that it would ever qualify for a hard science fiction. It is planetary space opera. In order to have a true space opera you would have to have the giant space battles.
Gordon: I don’t think so necessarily, because if you take the Cobra books by Timothy’s Zahn, by far most of them are planetary. But it is sci-fi.
Ilona: It depends, because if you take Deathstalker by Simon Green, it’s “Fly here, Fly there, bombard that planet!”
Gordon: I see what you’re saying. If the planet that we’re talking about is significantly different from Earth, and has things that are predicated on advanced forms of science, then I say: yes.
Ilona: If the Miles Vorkosigan Saga can be classified as space opera, then Kinsmen can be also, because they are similar. There we go.
Mod R: So someone was asking how you work together. And I told Ilona, I refuse to ask that question because every single interview someone asks this. But if you want to know how they work together, *this* is exactly how, they talk it out and they come up with all the things.
Gordon: Yes, except I’m sitting here ::points to where Ilona is::. But what you’re seeing, this is it. We’re in this realm, we’re talking about things, sometimes we take a little break and step outside. You guys can’t see it, but we have some chairs lined up outside. We sit and we gaze at the back forty of the Ponderosa, as it were. Not as much now, because it’s chilly, but when it’s nice, we sit out there and we talk about more things and then we’ll just come back in and write.
There is no mystery or anything. We’re always right here like this.
Mod R: Everyone wants to know about the multiverse. The BDH keeps trying to make the multiverse happen! Is the Kinsmen series related to Hidden Legacy?
Ilona: I don’t think so.
Gordon: No, I don’t think so either.
Ilona: It took us a while to hit the exact formula. I hate to say it’s a formula, but it kind of is for Hidden Legacy. In the sense that we wanted to do overpowering magical families. We just didn’t know what shape or form that worldbuilding would take. And you can see us trying it in Grace of Small Magics, Of Swine and Roses, even a Trunk fragment of the 12 clans, that was a possibility.
But Kinsmen came way, way before.
Gordon: Kinsmen predates all of it. Because Hidden Legacy is published by Avon, which is primarily a Romance inprint, it has less sci-fi or other elements like that. It really does focus more on romance and having a more familiar setting.
Ilona: CW [NE: American television network famous for its sci-fi/ paranormal Tv series] could take it and make it into a series in a heartbeat.
Gordon: Pretty people in big houses, lots of magic and pretty clothes.
Ilona: And then we get asked, why do you describe the clothes? Well, it’s part of the whole world fantasy that we’re shooting for. And other weird things, like “Why is everyone pretty?”. Because you’re in a romance novel, congratulations hehe.
Gordon: Did you do not watch soap operas with your grandmother?
Ilona: Everyone’s pretty!
Mod R: What about A Mere Formality?
Gordon: It could be put into the Kinsmen.
Ilona: Technically it is Koslov Universe, which is Questing Beast and A Mere Formality. But we needed to hit a certain word length, and at some point, someone had a brilliant idea. I think our agent probably, she suggested “Why don’t we put A Mere Formality in it? It could be the same universe!”. And we said, okay. The same universe. Why not?
Mod R: They wanted to know, what happens after Fated Blades: do the families get along now, do they continue to try to drive wedges between Ramona and Matias?
Ilona: No, they get along, but it’s a process.
Gordon: Think of maybe East and West Germany. The wall is down and it’s an ongoing process and it will probably be a generation or two.
Ilona: The kids. It’s going to start with the kids, because they won’t care. They’ll say “Oh, it’s a cousin. Let’s go climb a tree together”, whether it’s an Adler cousin or a Baena one.
Gordon: By the time Ramona and Mathias have grandchildren, it won’t matter.
Mod R: Are they going to change the way they raise the children? Are they still going to raise them as the Secare and have all these expectations of them or are they going to mellow?
Ilona: They will raise them as Secare, because it’s about survival.
Gordon: I think that would be a bridge too far and too quickly, if they would stop doing it. Because, again, it is centuries of tradition, but it is also their strength.
Ilona: I don’t necessarily think they would repeat some of the mistakes their parents did. Matias’ mom checked out completely, she was done being a mom, done with everything.
Mod R: And Ramona’s father…
Ilona: He had very antiquated views of raising children.
Gordon: But that’s any of us. We either do everything like our parents did, but I think more often we try to do differently.
Ilona: We make our own mistakes as parents, it’s almost inevitable.
Gordon: But most of the time we don’t do things the same.
Ilona: As a parent, as a family, you try to do better, and I think that Ramona and Matias would be better. I think that their children will be born into a very loving family. They will be wanted and they will be cherished, the way children should be.
Mod R: Well said! Is Rada, their planet, now in danger from the SFR or from remaining Vandals?
Ilona: No. The plot is now exposed to the SFR. It is known that they tried to have a coup, so the Vandals will have to fights the SFR now, they will have to put that rebellion down. That’s good enough to occupy them for decades.
Gordon: They’ve got their own civil war going on. They’ve got other things to do.
Mod R: A bit of a cross-over question. The flash swords from the Edge (so the Mar clan), if they had a fight with the secare, would the flash swords cut through the seco field?
Ilona: ::laughing:: That’s another multiverse! We’re not going to do that!
Gordon: That’s the question of magic versus technology, isn’t it? Ok, in the Weird, yes, the flash sword would beat the Secare. Outside of the Weird, if they could even do it, it wouldn’t be effective.
Mod R: If until three years ago, the technology of the seco blade was lost to the Secare, where do the nanobot ribbons come from that all the new babies get implanted?
Ilona: They split them. And it is actually in the text, it says that they can replicate them. If you split the nano ribbon, it will reform into two new ones. When the Sabetera Geniocracy were engineering them, they were tailoring them to the individual. That’s not the technology the current Secare have.
All they can do is copy what was before. So they split the ribbon, the ribbon regenerates, making a bunch of, basically, clone ribbons. The problem is that with the current Secare, some of the children have radically different DNA makeup, because several generations passed.
Some inherit whatever combination of the genetic markers is needed, and others don’t and there’s no rhyme or reason to it. If you could take one of the people who engineered seco ribbons in the first place, you could make ribbons that would work for Matias’ sister, for example, but the Secare simply don’t have that technology right now.
Gordon: We’ve lost the technology and that’s kind of a common sci-fi theme, this great technology that was lost or this great empire. “And then, we spread out and the great wisdom was lost, bit by bit.” Almost Atlantis myth, to an extent.
Ilona: Yes, we don’t have the whole puzzle anymore. And that’s why the bad guy at the end, he wants arms. Because they would extract the ribbons.
Gordon: Yes, we meant that to be fairly clear.
Ilona: And the two Secare brothers that died at the end. You know the families have got their arms and extracted from them. It’s morbid, but you know they did. Karion for sure would have gotten an arm, because his was cut off.
Mod R: That’s my boy!
Ilona: So now they have expanded to a number of ribbons when they pool together. The Adlers have their ribbons, the Baena’s have theirs, and now they have ribbons from the twins- to compare and contrast and see how it goes.
Mod R: Karion is a big fan favourite and he’s my favourite as well, which I think you knew, because in all the drafts my feedback was “I love Karion”. “No, I really, really love Karion”. So they want to know if we’re ever going to find out how he lost his arm. (And his pirate space baby)
Mod R: There you go everyone, I tried hehe. At the end, in the epilogue, are they already married? Because Matias says that he knew he and his wife were perfectly happy.
Ilona: They applied for a license, it’s a done deal basically. The formality of it has been taken care of. Of course, the families are going to make them have a wedding.
Gordon: So you would say they’re affianced. That was a thing that got vetoed. Because I really liked the idea of them eloping. Or one of the older relatives would organise this big wedding, with the two sides obviously very nicely divided.
Ilona: And it would have been fun to write the big wedding, but the problem was we were so over the word limit.
Gordon: Oh, yes! As much as it seems like one of those things that we did on our own and published through NYLA, there was a word limit or at least a guideline from Montlake on this. And we really tried to wrap it up with that kind of word limit in mind, because they were really nice people to work with on this.
Ilona: Because it was meant to be short fiction and… it’s longer than The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It’s technically a novel.
Gordon: But they were super cool about it.
Ilona: Oh! Do you see the person named Alison Dasho in the chat? That’s our editor!
Mod R: Hi Alison!
Gordon: I’m glad I didn’t say anything bad! Can you imagine?
Mod R: And now I was going to ask, if you’re happy with how it did, if you are happy with the sales.
Gordon: Ask Alison! It’s like that song, Go ask Alice.
Ilona: Yeah, we don’t know yet. We do know we have never hit that high on Amazon. It went to number four on pre-orders and number five at release. And that’s against Diana Gabaldon and Nora Roberts! So we’re ridiculously pleased.
Gordon: We’re pleased and hope Montlake is happy. It’s really up to them, because they were the ones that kind of sponsored this.
Ilona: This whole wonderful adventure.
Gordon: Hopefully they got their money’s worth from it.
Ilona: We’re both in completely professional mode now. Next question!
Mod R: Matias’ ex in-laws. Did they manage to escape or were they caught once all the stuff that Matias was holding was revealed?
Ilona: You know, it’s kind of immaterial actually, because the entire identity for Theodore is being a part of this political dynasty.
Gordon: At best, they are in exile.
Ilona: They’re disgraced.
Gordon: All of, not so much the money, but all of the extra trappings of power have not been relieved from him. He’s a power guy. He’s not really a money guy. He’s a perks guy. I remember watching someone and they described themselves as a “perks guy”, can’t think of what it was. But having power, the proximity to power, that is all for him. And whether or not they’re dead or in prison, all of that is removed from them.
Ilona: In a very, very tiny way, Drewery is kind of based on my dad. A tiny, tiny bit. In the sense that my dad obviously is not a politician, but my dad was one of those people who, even though he didn’t make a lot of money, half of the city somehow owed him a favor, and that was the real currency.
My dad could accomplish things sometimes that you wouldn’t have thought he could- and it would be because 10 years ago someone’s kid wanted to get into graduate school and my dad pulled some strings and made sure that he was given an extra exam or something like that and got him in.
And that’s the currency Drewery likes, he trades favors, accomplishes things for people, and that’s what he gets off on. And that is no longer within his reach. He cannot start over. He’s been disgraced
Gordon: He’s a liability. Even just to know him or to be associated with him is not favorable. So that’s what they took from him.
Mod R: I’m laughing, because everyone’s freaking out about the malignant toaster :D.
Ilona: That was actually somebody on the blog, one of the comments. She is in the Acknowledgements. It is her job to secure all these random things that are now “Smart”. And she mentioned the malignant toaster and I was “Oh, I am stealing that”. I asked permission, I didn’t just take it! But yes, it was so much fun, just the phrase, “malignant toaster” hehe.
Gordon: It’s insidious though! We were looking for a coat for our oldest daughter, Kid 1, and her criteria is very specific. It has to have fake fur, and it has to be fitted, but not poofy. She, she didn’t want to look like she just came off from skiing. So we’re looking, both of us.
Ilona: It’s a Christmas gift.
Gordon: Looking and looking. And then later, everything on my Facebook is from a jacket company. Every advertisement is for some type of coat. And I was ugh, goddamn it!
Ilona: And I told you, install an ad blocker. I offered to install that ad blocker for you. I have offered to do these things. And you said no.
Mod R: And you know why? Because Ilona googled something and then she kept getting those giant glass purple feet ads.
Ilona: Yes, that’s it, I kept getting them and it was goddam, another picture of the giant foot. So I have an ad blocker on mine. And it’s a pain, because sometimes I’m trying to do research and they tell me “You’re blocking our ads!”. And I’m like “Fine! I’ll unblock you, for this one time. Let me see this thing about Ancient Mesopotamia.”
Mod R: I will ask this one last question because everyone is writing it in, but then we will go into spoilers. So: Roman. Will he ever get a book? And if he is, will it cover what happened to Derek in the intervening years?
Ilona: Yeah, there’s a short story that we have…
Gordon: Yeah! About the Shepherd thing, it’s going to be all about the Shepherd thing…
Mod R: We’re not at the spoilers yet!
Gordon: Oh, oops, sorry!
Ilona: You know he has no filter.
Mod R: You don’t know how many emails I got all “Can you make Gordon spill some secret?”
Gordon: You don’t have to make me. I was in the Navy; we gossip like old women! We’re the worst!
Ilona: All of them gossip, the rumour goes around the base super-fast.
Mod R: Right. So just to clarify for the chat, we haven’t started the spoilers yet. I am asking about Roman and if he’s ever going to get a book, because we love him.
Ilona: We had a novella for him planned out, a short novella or long short story. We have not gotten into it yet. Maybe we’ll do that instead of the Innkeeper thing.
Gordon: I really liked Roman and we have an idea for his stuff. And the great thing about Roman is he’s almost like a nexus: from him, you could go to Derek, you could go to Julie, you could even go to Hugh. He’s connected to everybody. There could be guest appearances and different people! My big thing for him is that I want him to get the girl.
Mod R: Yesssss!
Gordon: He deserves to get the girl.
Ilona: The novella’s too short for that, we would have to do a novel.
Gordon: Yeah, but I think we should. And we know who it is, too, it’s the witch girl.
Ilona: But the witch girl right now is like a paper cut out.
Gordon: That’s what the writing is for!
Mod R: I mean, look, you know someone who’s really awesome and loves Roman…::flutters eyelashes::. We’re just destined!
Gordon: You’d be cool with his family, too, which is kind of a lot.
Mod R: And I’m a fan of Chernobog, so it’s all just right! Shamelessly begging at this point hehehe.
Gordon: Now for those of you who don’t know, think of the end of Fantasia. Chernobog pops out. He plays some music. There’s the happy dance. I don’t know why he gets a bad rap!
-The End because the Spoilers happened next-