Q and A #61

Spoiler warning if you haven’t read Ride the Storm. Although, if you haven’t, why haven’t you? Go, run to the bookstore! Now! Now!

Ahem.

So.

1) Why does Cassie call Pritkin’s smile evil at the end?

Because they’ve been dodging around this thing they have, and there’s no way to really do that anymore. He doesn’t have anything hanging over his head, no parole, no exile, no anything. He can have a life now, for the first time in a century, and she is fair game. It’s on.

2) Gertie! I hate Gertie! Why Gertie?

Gertie would like to remind you that, without her selfless adherence to duty, Cassie would not have had the hellhound to help her in her first big battle (she would never have met it), or the key to what Jo was up to (she never would have figured it out if Gertie hadn’t thrown her in jail), or enough time to eek out a victory in the final battle (Gertie, and the posse she assembled, is what held up Ares for so long). So Gertie helped, even if she didn’t mean to!

3) Did you have a favorite character from the Arthurian legend that you really wanted to bring into Cassieverse?

Morgaine. 😀

4) Does Cassie regret being with Pritkin? She acted a little skittish when he said he remembered everything.

She isn’t skittish, she’s nervous. This is a huge change for her and she hasn’t really had time to absorb that yet. Plus it just seems so strange to have Pritkin back. It’s what she was working toward all this time, but had almost come to believe she would never see. So she almost doesn’t know what to feel here. Also, see question 1. You’d be nervous, too.

5) From Chile, your characters are so beautiful and charming, and the plot is excellent, have you ever think in product a movie or a TV series from Cassie Palmer stories? I’ll love to see that. Excuse me for my bad English.

Your English is very good! And yes, there was a group interested back in 2011, but the cost would have been prohibitive. Magical effects are expensive! I don’t even want to think what Game of Thrones spent on those dragons this year (although it was worth every penny imo). But, yeah, a Cassie Palmer show wouldn’t be cheap.

6) Why is Cassie described as having curly hair in the books but always has straight hair on the covers?

Lol! Because my publishers have an irrational dislike for curly hair! Honestly, that’s kind of the truth. Marketing comes up with this stuff, and decided on a straight haired model, I have no idea why. Personally, I think Cassie’s out of control hair is a good representation for her life right now, but that’s just me.

7) Have you ALWAYS known about Pritkin’s origin from the day you began writing the story (in your mind or on paper), or is that something that formed organically with time?

I always knew the major arc of the story, just not all the connective details. I usually tell people that my writing style is kind of like the old colonial (US) way of making a road. They didn’t have the money to build proper roads everywhere, so they would go through the forest every few years and mark up trees here and there with red paint. Travelers could see the marks and know that they were still going in the right direction. I also have markers I use to keep a story on track, big character/plot points that need to be in there, and which I have to know ahead of time. But all the stuff in between them is organic. I can’t tell you a good story if I know every bit of it already myself. Then I lose interest, as it feels done to me.

8) Will there be a short story/novella to expand on what happened between the defeat of Ares and Cassie waking up at Dante’s? Or will this be explained in the next book?

I’m not sure what you want to know. What would you like to have explained?

9) Okay, I realise this is a super weird question, but I’ve been having a bit of a debate with other fans about how far Pritkin’s sex ban extended. When they said ‘all kinds of sex’, did that include, uh, self-gratification?

No, there was no ban on masturbation. But you have to remember that, to an incubus, and therefore to the incubus part of Pritkin, sex is food. It’s a pathway into another person’s life energy, the same way blood is for a vampire. But you can’t feed from yourself. So masturbation would basically be torture for Pritkin. He’s already starving, he gets set up in anticipation of a meal, and then . . . nothing.

10) My question is about the demon “sex.” It said Pritkin sent all he could back. So does one person end with all of the energy normally or do they have control?

No, it’s normally a mutual feeding, but the incident at the end of RTS wasn’t normal. Pritkin had gone without for so long, and his incubus was so starved, that it generated more power than usual (and it usually generates a lot). It fed on the pythian power and multiplied it, to the point where he couldn’t absorb any more. They were both about to be burnt up if something wasn’t done with it, but Pritkin was too groggy from everything that had happened to him–remember, he’d literally just been reintegrated–that it was up to Cassie to figure out what to do. And she did. 

11) Since Cassie is half goddess does she need to feed that side of her by consuming demon energy, much as Pritkin must feed his demon incubus side? Does it affect her control of the pythian power?

She doesn’t need to, no. There’s no part of her that’s starving as Pritkin’s incubus side was. But she can use it, as her mother did, as demonstrated at the end of RTS. Her heritage was one reason she wasn’t destroyed in that situation, as Pritkin’s wife had been. It’s also why she doesn’t look about sixty right now.

The pythian power usually “uses up” pythias, because of the strain it puts on them. They age faster and die sooner than most magical humans, living lives that are roughly half as long (depending on how much power they use during their tenure in office). But Cassie, other than for being exhausted, has shown no signs of advanced aging, despite using more power in the last few months than most pythias do in a lifetime. So her mother’s genes do come in handy at times.

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