A discussion and FAQ thread for those who read Wildfire. 🙂 Read at your own risk.
I have trouble picturing Kate’s sword moves…
I feel like I have linked so many videos by now over and over. If you search the site, you will find out. Here is one more. This one is of Zaporozhets Cossacks, so it’s slightly different. Their shashkas are a bit more curved, but the principle is the same. Look at the second guy closely. You’ll see him switching from defense to offense. The plan was that if you got knocked off your horse, you needed to cut your way out of the crowd. The outfits and hair styles are historically accurate, and they are showing the tradition of Cossack wrestling. Traditional soundtrack as a bonus.
Hope this helped.
We are home from the tour. I see you guys have been busy. Let us begin. Spoilers below. Read at your own risk. 🙂
Why is my comment is stuck in the moderation queue?
This website uses a plugin that relies on outside databases of email and IP addresses to weed out spammers. Somewhere along the way your comment or IP got flagged and even though we added you to approved list, your comments end up in Pending queue. Normally I fish them out a couple of times a day, but we were on tour. You are all approved now.
Why didn’t Rogan levitate his vehicle over the children?
Because, as explained in Burn For Me, he can’t levitate people. His magic doesn’t work on biological threats and levitation requires specific mages. Had he tried to levitate the car with him and Nevada in it, he would’ve turned them both into human hamburger.
But earlier Rogan levitated a car to move it out of the monster’s way…
No, he didn’t. 🙂
“A car raced down Miriam Street and fishtailed, trying to avoid the potholes. Rogan waved his hand and the vehicle swerved left, out of the invisible apparition’s way.”
Andrews, Ilona. White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel (Kindle Locations 4874-4875). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
He nudged it, forcing it to turn.
Why didn’t Rogan use his magic in the cistern to break the walls and pummel the bad guy with it?
You guys read the book really fast, huh? 😉
After teleportation, Rogan and Nevada landed in the arcane circle. Had they tried to exit it, it would’ve knocked them unconscious. See Rogan POV for details on arcane circles. Had Rogan attempted to use telekinesis, nothing would’ve happened.
The boundary of the circle is where our physical reality meets the arcane realm, the ‘place’ where we reach to get swarms for swarmers, for example. It’s a small hole in our space. Nothing can penetrate the circle while the null space is active. You can stand on the street and lob grenades at Pierce, and they’ll just bounce off.”
Andrews, Ilona. Burn for Me: A Hidden Legacy Novel (p. 190). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
The pavement just outside Adam’s circle had turned dark and soft. He was melting the road. I jumped out of the car. Heat bathed me, blocking my way like a wall. A car door clanged as Mad Rogan leaped out of the vehicle. A metal pole holding up a streetlight snapped in half and flew like a spear toward Adam Pierce. The pole hit the circle and ricocheted, spinning back at us through the air. I gulped.
The pole reversed and punched the invisible boundary of Adam’s magic circle, grinding against it. Mad Rogan grimaced. The pole clattered to the pavement. “Null space,” he said. “Come on.”
Andrews, Ilona. Burn for Me: A Hidden Legacy Novel (p. 191). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
Rogan has two types of magic: his regular telekinesis and his supermove, which earned him all of his fun nicknames. Because arcane circle Howling drew created null space, Rogan’s telekinesis wouldn’t work. The null space cut them off from the rest of the reality.
Rogan stroked my back. The harsh expression on his face told me everything I needed to know. We were trapped. The inner boundary of our circle cut us off from the rest of the world and from David.
Andrews, Ilona. White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel (Kindle Locations 4974-4975). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
This left only the supermove, during which Rogan acts as a conduit between himself and Astral Realm. He can initiate the sequence, but he can’t control it, which is why in Burn For Me the following exchange takes place.
“Stop him!” the man screamed.
“He can’t be stopped,” the original woman howled over the roar of the falling buildings. “He can’t hear us or see us! We have to wait it out!”
Andrews, Ilona. Burn for Me: A Hidden Legacy Novel (pp. 50-51). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
He will literally go until his magical reserve is drained. He doesn’t even know it’s happening. Because of the special nature of this magic, the entirety of the circle no longer exists in our world.
When Rogan used the magic that made him the Butcher of Merida, it didn’t just generate a null field. It punched a hole in reality. Nothing could touch him within that circle, but his power would pierce straight through the rock and the campus above us. The first pulse of his magic would crumble the ground above us, and the next would trigger a collapse. Even if I managed to stop Rogan again, as I had done before, by the time we were done, the campus would be in ruins, partially buried, and the waters of Buffalo Bayou rushing into the depression would drown the survivors. We would survive. Nobody else would make it.
Andrews, Ilona. White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel (Kindle Locations 4960-4965). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
As David so eloquently explained, had Rogan used his superpower, he would’ve broken through David’s circle but also destroyed the college above them, killing thousands of students. Rogan sacrificed himself to save Nevada and everyone above the cistern.
Why do Bern and Leon have the last name Baylor?
They were legally adopted by Nevada’s father and mother.
What about bonding?
Bonding only occurs among animal mages.
Is there discrepancy in Augustine’s middle name?
But in Burn For Me Nevada sees a note marked ASM and says it’s Augustine Something Montgomery.
Nevada sucks at reading cursive and Augustine does deeply hate his middle name, so it’s not exactly the most legible scribble. 😛
How can EG (Evil Grandmother) remain member of the House Tremaine if she is the only Prime alive?
“Question!” Leon said. “If she is the only Prime, how can she still be a House?”
“Every time a new Prime is registered, the Office of Records checks to see if the family has two Primes,” Catalina said. “If there are two living Primes, the family is recertified as a House. They don’t take away the family’s rank until the last Prime alive at the last certification dies.”
Who is Caesar?
What does dual mean?
Dual is used to describe someone who has a secondary magical talent unrelated to his or her primary magic. Quite a few Primes are dual, like Rogan, for example. Usually the secondary talent is much weaker than primary one, but it’s considered to be a desirable trait.
What does Arabella’s magic–
Really, now. Wildfire is less than 60 days away.
Will there be more than three books?
It depends on sales. There was a significant break between the releases and paranormal/UF is in decline, so the deck is stacked against it. We’ll know next week, when the first sales numbers come in, if this series is alive or dead.
If the sales numbers suck and the publisher will not want more books, we will still write at least one more and self-publish. We won’t leave you hanging. 🙂 That’s all for now. Very tired.
“Why do your books get better later in the series?”
Just so you know, with the pre-release nerve-wrecking crunch, I read that as “Your first books in the series are not good enough.” 🙂 If you can’t laugh at yourself and all that.
It’s not that the books get better. It just feels that way. A series can be done in two ways: episodic and progressing, and we mostly do progressive route in terms of character development.
Comic books are classic examples of episodic series. A typical episodic Batman comic book goes something like this: Batman faces a thorny problem; Batman gets his butt kicked, literally or figuratively, which causes him to reexamine himself; Batman wins through some clever twist, resolving his internal issue or seemingly making progress in it; but, and this is the crucial part, at the end of the story the status quo is restored and it’s as if the story never happened. The reader gets their emotional payoff, but the world of Batman and Batman himself remain largely unchanged.
Robert Parker’s Spenser stories are written in the similar vein. Children grow up, friendships are formed, cases are solved, but Spencer himself remains unchanged. Conan the Barbarian books are episodic. Sherlock Holmes stories are mostly episodic. Stephanie Plum is episodic. Things sometimes change for a book or two, but they inevitably return to the status quo.
To put this in Kate Daniels turns, Magic Bites and Magic Burns are somewhat episodic. There isn’t that much character progression. Or, another way to look at it, if we took Magic Dreams, but at the end, instead of Jim and Dali having a date, Jim remained oblivious and nothing happened. The characters would’ve come full circle and we could’ve done another story, again drawing on Dali’s unresolved crush for the emotional payoff.
The episodic nature of the series has several advantages. For one, it is easier to write. You’re essentially writing the same book over and over in different ways, starting with the same setting and same character. You never have to one-up yourself and reach for bigger and bigger stakes, you just have to have different stakes. You’re writing another fun adventure in life of the character. For the reader, it means more or less the same emotional experience and payoff. While that sounds like a bad thing, it’s not. Let’s say Writer A writes funny mystery books about a group of quirky characters in a small town. When I buy one of those books, I know exactly what I am going to get: a mystery wrapped in some humor and fun cameos by my favorites. I can count on that. It also has an additional benefit of letting the reader enter the series at any book and not be lost.
The downside of the episodic series is that no permanent change takes place. It’s difficult to read several of these in a row, because after the second or third one, the reader will catch on to the pattern and their attention will start to wander. But, if the writer is releasing one or two books a year and there is a break between the novels, episodic series works and can grow to have a huge fan-base. A lot of you really like the Edge series, which was episodic in nature.
A series that is progressing means permanent change for the characters. It doesn’t just mean that people die, but that their death permanently affects the main character and their world. There is an overall story arc that takes place over the series. The books, although they can stand on their own, are part of the whole. If you put all Kate books together, you will get a very long cohesive novel.
LOTR is a good example of a progressive series. Permanent world-changing things happen. Main characters undergo a significant change. Game of Thrones is a progressive series. Deep changes take place and they can’t be undone. A progressive series is harder to write, because it must have character development, and it’s easy to screw that up by having the character face greater and greater enemies and giving the character bigger and bigger powers in an attempt to one-up the previous books. Occasionally authors fail to create a compelling character arc. The character starts off strong, and the first book blows everyone out of the water, but there is no build or evolution in the sequels, and the second book is okay, and by the third book fans of the series are telling you to not read that one and just stop at two. Progressive series also presents a barrier to the reader of having to read from the first book to get the complete story. Just the other day I saw someone on Twitter recommend KD, and the other person looked at it and said, “Nine books? Eh… I don’t have time for a long series.”
Progressive series requires greater investment on the reader’s part; however, when done right, it offers big payoff. The readers get to watch the characters develop and they form a deeper connection to them. They know that when bad things happen, they could have permanent consequences, and it makes for a gripping read. Reading the next book is almost like catching up with old friends. Progressive series mimics life, because we change as we grow older. As a friend of mine once put it, “Reading Author A books is like eating eclairs. You can’t eat more than two in a row. But when Author B releases a book, it’s an event.” Author A wrote popular episodic books. Author B wrote a progressive series. Look at Game of Thrones. The delay in these books inspires a shocking amount of hate. There is a reason for that. These books link into one giant story. The readers formed personal emotional bonds with these characters. They require the story arc to be resolved.
KD was conceived as an episodic series, but in the third book, we went with something personal for Kate, because the reactions to Bran’s death in Magic Burns taught us that if we hit something personal, we’ll get a big response. So we went with Derek being injured, and once we wrote the book, there was a permanent change in Kate and Curran’s relationship and exposure of Kate’s true magic. That wasn’t a genie we could put back into the bottle. (As an aside, where does the bottle come from in that saying? It was a lamp, not a bottle.) We could have, but returning Kate and Curran to the status quo and sweeping her magic under the rug would be sending a signal to the readers that nothing in the series had long-term consequences. It’s one thing to write an episodic series; it’s another to wave the progression of the characters in from of the audience and then take it back. It’s the same reason why we canned an amnesia plot at one point in the series. The readers had invested in the relationship and throwing amnesia into it would be just jerking their chain for no reason. A lot of people really like Kate and Curran as a couple now, forgetting sometimes that they started as a paranoid, borderline-crazy merc with no friends and a cold arrogant ass of a Beastlord who thought all humans wanted to murder his people.
Hidden Legacy is a progressive series. The characters undergo permanent change. It’s even more apparent with Hidden Legacy, because the success of these books is riding in a larger part on character development. That brings us to the other drawback of the progressive series. For the story arc to work, we have to start at the lowest point of character development, at a place where the readers connect with the characters (hopefully) but they also see large issues. Nevada, who is a likeable, selfless, competent young woman, still lives with her parents, has been hiding her magic and not really practicing it because it’s easier, and has really strong preconceived notions about how society works, not all of which are accurate. On other hand, we have Mad Rogan, a war hero who may or may not be a psychopath, who has all these resources and is seemingly doing nothing with them and whose moral code is shrouded in mystery. Does he even have one? (Spoiler: he does.) Over the course of the trilogy, we got to pull these characters apart and show them change. Nevada and Rogan of Wildfire are not Nevada and Rogan of Burn For Me, and that’s what makes it fun. The readers will see these characters grow and evolve, and hopefully enjoy the process.
So that’s why the later books in the series seem better than the earlier ones. It’s because you, as readers, got to see the entirety of the ride, witnessed all the changes, and saw the characters become the people worth of friendship and commitment.
We are watching Buffry for the first time ever. We’re on Season 2. Best thing since sliced bread. 🙂 Do not spoil it for me.
Writing question when will we start to get installments again? Friday’s just aren’t the same lol
When we’re done with Hugh and KD 10. Hugh’s book fits into the storyline so we kind of have to knock it out before we start Magic Triumphs.
In Stephen King’s book “On Writing” he says that the writing process for him is like an archaeological dig. He knows that there is a story there, but he doesn’t know the details or the end until he starts writing. Do you write like that? Do you have a general idea and direction for a story and then start writing? Or do you find having an outline helps?
Either way, do you always know the ending to a story? Or have you ever been writing when an ending came out of nowhere and changed what you were doing?
No, we pretty much know the beginning and the end. Not the finer details, but the general gist of the arc. Having outline helps but we keep it brief. So a typical hypothetical story might go something like this.
Main outline, usually done on dry erase board.
- Ascanio wants Derek to help him with Julie, because she’s been acting weird and now disappeared.
- Weird things Julie does: redacted for spoilers
- Stuff that would be too spoilery
- Good guys win
Then we start outlining block by block as we write. So block of scenes gets outlined and written, the second block of scenes gets outlined, and then written, etc.
Block of scenes;
- A bunch of kids hire Derek to get their “kitty” out of the attic.
- Ascanio makes fun of Derek, but comes to help for funnies.
- Kitty is a horrible monster with a litter of young.
- They’re tired and beat up, Ascanio tells him Julie is missing and she has his car keys.
Individual scenes are unpacked as they are written.
“You let her borrow your car?”
“Have you seen her drive?”
The bouda shrugged.
“Why the hell would you do something that dumb?”
“She said please.”
I looked at him.
Ascanio shrugged again. “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
We usually know the final scene, but occasionally it does change. Like we wanted a firmer HEA on Wildfire, and our editor wanted it more open. We left it more open.