Moving Onwards

One month to go to Forged!

Alex Verus #12 has been coming along very well the past few weeks – going on the assumption that the book will be the standard 90,000 words, it’s now 70% done.  I’ve got the feeling that it might end up running a little longer than 90k, but we’ll have to wait and see (and it probably won’t be much longer, in any case).

No other real news.  I’m just working away and counting down to Forged’s release date.

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Ask Luna #172

From: Kevin

Do you think diviners may have an affinity to bond with imbued items and/or using Elsewhere? The only reason I ask is because I think divination is one of the few magic types that doesn’t directly affect the physical world, and Alex and Richard seem to be the top wielders of imbued items/otherworldy powers. Maybe diviners can access the spirit world better because of their mindset?

Or another possibility is you know how fire magic is terrible at defense yet Landis as far as we know has the best defensive magic in Great Britain? Do you that the best mages are ones who take their magic types weakness, fire’s lack of defense, diviners lack of directly affecting the world and through skill/determination/sacrifice are able to drastically improve their strength?

Sorry if that last part is completely obvious but I guess it’s kinda of like lifting a thousand pounds with your bare hands, simple but almost impossible to do because as far we know no other fire mage comes close to Landis’s defensive skill, and all the other diviners seem to be information gatherers.

But in any event do you think both parts of my question has some truth to them or am I just overreaching?

I don’t think Alex is good with imbued items and in Elsewhere because he’s a diviner, I think he’s good at those things because he’s Alex. As in, it’s because of the person he is, not because of the powers he has. Though he has those powers because of the person he is, so . . . maybe very indirectly? But as far as I understand it, he got those particular skills just by practising a lot and being willing to do some pretty weird and dangerous stuff that most mages wouldn’t touch.

And I don’t actually know if Landis has a special talent for defence. It’s more like he’s just really quick and practised and efficient, so he can block attacks that would get through against anyone else.

So I think it’s more that, if you want to keep on getting better, you eventually have to address the stuff you’re bad at and either focus on that until you’re good at it, or find a way to make it not matter.

From: Michael

Why don’t guys have a stash of IV glucose solutions on hand?

Anna can pretty much heal anything, maybe not cancer the way she described her life magic to work (although if she could manipulate the bahviour of NK white cells even that isn’t off the table), but anything trauma related if she gets to it fast enough you will live.

The only problem being that she needs energy for the healing to take place. For that she usually uses the energy of the body she is healing, and her own. The energy we are talking here about appears to be organic in nature – since people she helped heal are always thirsty and hungry, signs of intense metabolic processes.

A 5% glucose solution is, besides the 0,7% NaCl solution the most common used IV drip you can get and it solves both problems – it safely hydrates the body while providing energy. You can get it without a prescription in any pharmacy, and putting in an IV can be learned in 20 minutes.

It is the easiest solution to the most basic problem they meet when dealing with heavy injuries, especially when they consider Anne. So why not?

Honest answer? I don’t know. I don’t really know anything about glucose solutions or how the body processes energy, so it never occurred to me to ask.

If I had to guess, it might be because there’s something about glucose solutions that doesn’t help very much for some life-mage reason I wouldn’t know about. But it might also be because that’s just not how Anne learned how to do it. It’s actually a really common thing with mages. They learn some specific way to do a spell, and then they stick with it. So maybe when Anne was learning to heal she didn’t have glucose solutions around, so she developed her own ways to recover her energy and the patient’s energy with just regular food, because that was what she had and that was what she had to make work.

Or maybe not. It’s not like I can really ask her these days.

From: jamescagney22

So I am just following off the question asked by Geli in 166, about Richard not keeping Alex close despite putting all that effort into training him. Now Geli has a good point about Alex being a backup/legacy in case Richard fails with his power grab but I think now that we know Richard is a diviner it could be something related to their magic type.

I get the feeling that Richard has a lot of respect for Alex in the sense that he is very capable with his magic/getting results and thus he doesn’t feel the need to micromanage like he seems to with Deleo. So as long as Alex is working towards his ends he does not have to be on his side per se… until events in Burned and Fallen forced Drakh’s hand. Plus as a fellow diviner perhaps he figures that giving Alex a freer hand will get a better result then if he tried to use more forceful measures… which backfired on him in tremendously in Fallen.

So my questions are

A. Are diviners typically loners/work best with their magic when they are left alone? I know this might seem obvious but Alex and to an extent Richard are well rather social/politically active that is is hard to see that.

B. Do you think diviners have a different view of time then everyone else has? By that I mean do you think seeing the future makes the short and long term future more fluid in the mind of a diviner? Hence Richard waiting for Alex a few years to join him would be no different then it would be yesterday? I hope I am phrasing this right.

Yeah, the way Alex explained it was that from Richard’s point of view, he’d won against Alex every time before, so when Alex showed up for what was the twentieth time or whatever, Richard just let things play out because he was confident that he’d win again.

Oh, right, the questions.

For A, yes, definitely. Alex is more of an introvert than pretty much anyone I know. Back when I first knew him, I think I was basically the only person he talked to besides Arachne. Even when he got into politics, he was never that comfortable with the social side of things, and after a work day, he’d want to go off on his own to recharge.

For B, no. I mean, they do see the future differently in their weird diviner way, but Alex gets bored and gets tired of waiting just the same as everyone else. I think Richard being willing to wait so long is because he’s just really patient.

From: Allison

Hey Luna I was watching Avatar the Last Airbender the other day and I was curious if some Elemental Mages had some overlap. Specifically…

1. Have you heard of any Fire Mages who could also use Lightning?

2. Do Water Mages have any healing abilities whether it is only on themselves or if they could also heal other people.

3. Can Earth Mages also manipulate metal or other materials like plastic, rubber etc…

Sorry if these are off base just thought it would be interesting if there was some connection!

Heh. Yeah, I remember when that came out. I think I’d have really liked it as a kid.

1. No, fire mages don’t get to be lightningbenders. You’d think there’d be some overlap, but there isn’t much of one, beyond the usual edge cases. I think it’s because they do such similar things.

2. Water magic can’t heal, but it’s sort of healing-adjacent, if you know what I mean. When you do get elemental-life hybrids, it always seems to be water that’s the element they can use.

3. For metal, sometimes. Metal mages are their own type, but earth and stone and metal mages are all in the same sub-family and they overlap a lot. I’ve never heard of them having any kind of connection with rubber, though.

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After Verus

So with Alex Verus #12 creeping slowly but steadily onwards, I thought I’d talk a bit about something different – the ‘what are you going to write next?’ question.  I’ve been asked it a ton of times by now, but it’s difficult to give a good answer because I’m not sure myself what the answer is.  

I’m definitely going to keep on writing full-time, and the odds are pretty good that I’m going to end up doing another series.  I’ve played around with the idea of doing a standalone novel just for a change, but I don’t know if I will.  I’ve always liked long stories – I like the sense of adventure you get from setting off on a journey where you get to see the characters grow and change along the way.  And writing a story as a series rather than as one giant doorstopper makes it more manageable to write and read.  

On the other hand, starting a new series completely from scratch is a scary prospect.  A book series is a huge investment of time and effort and there’s no guarantee that it’ll pay off.  I’ve got a decent-sized readership these days, but just because they like the Alex Verus books doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll like the next thing I write too.  

The other possibility is to write another series set in the Alex Verus universe, using the same setting and possibly some of the same characters as well.  In a lot of ways it’s the safe option, because I know I’ve got a guaranteed group of readers who’d be interested.  The problem is that it feels a lot like too safe an option – it feels a lot like treading water.  Spin-off series are pretty much never as successful as the original, and I’ve always had the feeling that that’s because they’re inherently less interesting.  

There’s also the fact that doing something new and scary was how I got the Alex Verus series in the first place.  When I wrote the first draft of what would eventually turn into Fated, I’d never written anything like an urban fantasy novel before.  If I hadn’t been willing to take the risk and try something new, I’d probably never have made it.  

That said, assuming I do a new series, I’ve got the feeling I’d like to stay broadly within the urban fantasy genre.  I’ve written books in a lot of genres in the past – children’s, children’s fantasy, science fiction, adventure, and even an epic fantasy novel that holds the dubious honour of being the only book of mine that I’ve ever abandoned a few chapters in.  I like all those genres in their own way, but there’s something about urban fantasy that really appeals to me in a way that others don’t.  It has all the things I like about epic fantasy, while still being tied closely to our world.  

But as to what kind of urban fantasy . . . well, I’m still figuring that out.  I’ll let you know when I do!

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Ask Luna #171

From: Kevin

1. Have you or Alex ever talked to Hermes with the dreamstone? Do you understand him like you would a human or is and have you learned anything different about him?

2. Has Vari adjusted his fighting style/magic since he got his mage name? I heard he changed his sword and he also started using regular fire instead of heat blasts, is he changing his style after learning from Landis or is he just expanding his move-set so to speak.

1. Alex has. He understands him pretty well, though they seem to get on more of an emotional level. I don’t think Hermes really ‘talks’ in the way that we do.

2. Nope. The name’s just a name as far as he’s concerned. He doesn’t treat it as anywhere near as much of a big deal as most Light or Dark mages do. Don’t know whether it’s Alex’s influence or Landis’s.

From: Chuck

Hey, Luna!
I’m sorry if someone asked this already – I wasn’t able to check through all the archives, so if they did, apologies! Have you and Alex ever discussed whether Deleo’s mask could be an imbued object, and if so, what it does? It seems to have some sort of effect on her mind beyond what a simple mask would do. I realize there’s probably no way to be sure… Also, if it is, do you think that Arachne might have made it for her or Richard, and why?

Thanks,
Chuck

Really really unlikely. Imbued items are pretty much the opposite of subtle – they radiate so much power that even sensitives can spot them from the other side of a room (not in an ‘oh, that’s a magic item’ way, more of a ‘what the hell is that?’ way). Mages can spot them through a brick wall. And Alex’s magesight is better than most – there is no way he could look straight at an imbued item for that long and not figure out what it was.

You do get the occasional imbued item that has some capability to hide or shield itself, but they’re not all that common. And it’s hard to imagine Deleo doing that good a job of keeping it secret. So I’m pretty sure that Deleo changing her personality when she puts on a mask has got nothing to do with the mask and everything to do with her.

From: Kevin

Hey Luna I noticed that Alex seems to in terms of magic have a lot of traits in common with time magic since he seemed get along with Sonder and the auxiliary mage Abeyance well enough. And it kinda of seemed like space magic overlaps with time magic in terms of them being analytical/book smart for lack of a better word.

So my question is have you noticed personality traits that diviners, time, and space mages have in common and what traits makes them noticeable different from each other. Not looking for an in depth analysis just obvious stuff.

They tend to be ‘smart guy/girl’ types – intelligent, analytical, read a lot, that kind of thing. The kind who’d be in the chess club rather than the sports team. Beyond that, it probably varies too much to pin down.

From: Nate

You once mentioned that you’d find a Alex/Vari slash fic funny well…
https://archiveofourown.org/works/19283494
What do you think Alex/Vari’s reaction would be upon reading this?

Oh god my eyes.

Okay, I’ve changed my mind about it being funny. It feels REALLY wrong reading this stuff about people you actually know.

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First Chapter of Forged Online

The first chapter of Alex Verus #11, Forged, is online!  You can read it here.  

Advance warning for newer readers:  this is not intended as a standalone novel.  This is the second-to-last instalment in a 12 book series, and Forged builds VERY heavily on what’s gone before.  If you jump into book #11 without haven’t read book #10, Fallen, you are going to be totally confused as to why the hell the characters are in the place they are, and why Alex is following the person he’s following.  

Okay, with that over, go have fun!  Forged comes out in the US almost exactly two months from today, on November 24th, with the UK edition releasing a week later.  

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Updates, Releases, and AMAs

Update time!

First bit of news is that Alex Verus #12, the final Alex Verus novel, is 50% done.  If you’re wondering how I get these estimates, from past experience I go by the rule of thumb that each book will be around 90,000 words.  Sometimes they run a little bit longer – Bound I think holds the record at 110,000 – but usually it’s a fairly safe bet that the full novel will be around 90-95k.  With the most recent chapter I’ve finished of Alex Verus #12, the manuscript’s sitting at 46,000 words, so I’m going to call it halfway there.  I’d been hoping to finish book #12 at about the time of the release of book #11 – at the moment it’s looking like I’m going to miss that deadline, but probably not by very much.  

On the subject of book #11, Forged, here’s an updated release schedule!

• September 25th:  First chapter of Forged will be posted on this website.  
• November 24th:  US & Canada release of Forged (paper, ebook, and audiobook)
• December 1st:  UK & rest of world release of Forged (paper, ebook, and audiobook)
• December 3rd:  I’ll be holding a Reddit AMA on r/fantasy.  

For those of you who haven’t read a Reddit AMA before, it stands for ‘Ask Me Anything’ and it’s an opportunity for you guys to ask you anything you like about the new book, the older books, the new book, or the series in general.  I’ve been doing one of these a year and I enjoy them quite a bit, so do come along if there’s anything you’d like to ask.  

And finally, in unrelated news, the ebook edition of Fated is on sale in the UK for 99p!

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Ask Luna #170

From: Kevin

So apparently the theory that Richard made Alex specialize in short term/combat divination to control and strengthen him is more like encourage an existing skillset. Now at first I couldn’t see how being good at avoiding danger could be a specific type of divination that could be useful for multiple things but then it struck me and here is my question.

Is Alex really good at codebreaking/investigating compared to other diviners? I remember that Alex could break into those Death magic bracelets and discover that nearly unbreakable Chinese scroll that he gave to Richard and he seems to be able to codebreak really fast in general. That type of divination seems to be at the other end of the spectrum from the long term stuff if that makes sense.

As far as I can tell, most diviners don’t do that kind of stuff at all. They specialise in staying really far away from problems so that trouble doesn’t find them. It’s path-walking that they go in for, because that’s what lets them keep everything at arm’s length.

General rule, if it’s a kind of divination that works up close (so opening a safe, dodging a bullet, climbing a wall), Alex is probably better at it, just because he spends a lot more time on that kind of stuff than most mages do.

From: Lisa

Do you think it’s possible that Richard and Morden might not be as close of allies as we think they are? I only ask because of two reason.

1. Remember when Morden asked Alex to work for him? I get the feeling that Richard at the time and to this day still views Alex as his apprentice/Chosen and thus only he is allowed to have dealings with him since apparently Dark Mages are territorial about that sort of thing. Now sure if Alex is a Dark Mage that works out but having another rival mage do it? That could cause major problems, a moot point since Alex didn’t take up the offer but regardless making an offer to another mage’s apprentice seems to be really stepping on their toes.

2. Another thing is that before the raid on the Vault Morden was handling the Light Council, and Richard the Dark Mages, and as far as we know after Morden broke out he has been training adepts, which seems like something a subordinate would do. Now Richard getting the Jinn might have smoothed this over, and Morden could be on the Light Council after the war was won but without it?

Do you think this might cause a power struggle between them now that they don’t have their trump card and that they are now two big fish in a small pond so to speak?

We didn’t have any definite ideas one way or the other before, but a couple of things that have happened lately have been making me think that the answer’s yes. It’s not as blatant as a civil war breaking out, or anything like that, but the more you look at the two, the more they seem to have different priorities. Everything Richard does is all aimed at getting more powerful – sometimes it’s hard to tell how, at least straight away, but if you look back on it, it’s easy to say ‘oh, right, it’s so that he could do that thing to build up his power base even more’.

Morden’s way more complicated. He obviously knows what he’s doing, but he’ll sometimes do stuff where it’s really, really hard to see how it’s benefiting him. It feels like he’s playing some weird long game which isn’t just about himself, if you know what I mean.

Maybe things really would have turned out differently if Alex had said yes to working for him. Not necessarily better though.

From: Rick

Hello Luna I was curious before the war what did Vari do with the Order of the Shield? I think he mentioned that he and Landis were after some mage criminals so did they do similar war to the regular keepers are they kinda of like a SWAT team that only go in really dangerous situations?

Pretty much. The idea is that the Order of the Shield are supposed to be more military, and the Order of the Star are supposed to be more police. So anything that’s obviously going to end in combat gets assigned to the Order of the Shield. Oh, and magical creatures are their department as well, though there aren’t many of those these days.

In practice things are a bit different. The Order of the Star will hang onto cases that are high-profile or political or seen as important for whatever reason, even if it’s something the Order of the Shield should really be doing. Also, the directors at the Order of the Star don’t like handing off difficult stuff, because they think it makes them seem weak. So the lower-rank Keepers from the Order of the Star end up super overworked because their bosses want to look good, while Vari and Landis actually have (or used to have) a fair bit of free time.

(In case you haven’t guessed, this is something Vari likes to complain about.)

From: Richard

Hey Luna so I noticed all of the elemental magic seem to have their own strength and weakness’s. However there are three that I cannot seem to find a drawback in.

Do you know what Ice mages weakness’s are? They seem to have the offensive ability of fire mages but with better defenses do they have some flaw that I am overlooking?

And do Death and Force Mages have an obvious weakness as well? I only put them together because they seem to be designed for combat, so is the only way to take them down is by skill or is there something I am overlooking?

Ice magic’s main drawback is that it’s slow. Attacks are a little slower, direct spells take a little longer. You can dodge an ice spell if you’re fast – dodging a fire spell is a lot harder.

Force mages, their issue is that their magic only works really well in straight lines. Other mages can make bubble-type effects, force mages have to make weird geometric shapes that tend to have chinks in the armour somewhere.

Death magic’s weakness . . . when it comes to combat, they don’t have any. They’re fast, strong, and tough, all at once. The problem they have is that their magic doesn’t really do anything EXCEPT combat. If it’s not hurting or killing someone, or directly helping them to hurt or kill someone, they suck at it. Great in a fight, not so useful for the 99% of your life where you’re doing something else.

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Ask Luna #169

From: Fade

Hi Luna, how are you? In a great many of your recent questions people seem to be asking you about things that just aren’t really in your wheelhouse, and I imagine that must be a bit of a pain. So I wanted to ask something you might be more inclined to answer: What are the most interesting items that have come through your shop? Interesting, funny, silly, or powerful, many of the items we’ve witnessed so far have been… creative. Like the chilly cup, or the book that you forget you’ve read. Anything else you are willing to share?

Are you still tapped in to dueling circles? Have you won any new tournaments? Thanks for your time!

I’m more or less retired from duelling these days. Sounds funny to say I’m ‘retired’ when I’m still in my twenties, but that’s how it feels. Partly it was a case of not having the time, but mostly it was that it just didn’t have the same pull any more. I felt like I’d got all I was going to get from it.

As for the first question . . . I once got sold a bunch of magic sex toys. They came as a set. Pretty sure they were all made by the same guy.

I haven’t told Alex, because I’m absolutely sure that if he ever found out, he wouldn’t stop making fun of me for YEARS.

(And no, I’m not telling everyone what they were. There’s enough weird fanfiction out there already.)

From: Nicolas

Hi Luna. I have questions about differents type pf magic.
1-are there such thing as tech magic? Like manipulaing radio waves,the internet and televisions
2-are there any magic that makes food tastier?

Tech magic, yeah, various kinds. There are a few different types of mages that can do stuff with electromagnetism – light, electricity, darkness, that kind of thing. Actual technomages who can only work with technology are a bit rarer, but you do get them. Pretty common as adepts, though.

For food, it’s kind of hard. There are lots of types of magic that can mess with food one way or another, but making it actually taste GOOD is trickier than you’d think. Probably the ones who have the easiest time are mind mages – they can just mess with your senses so that you think it’s nicer than it is. Whether you’d trust a mind mage enough to let them do that, though . . .

From: Lisa

So there have been a few things regarding the events of Fallen that have me thinking you guy might have secret allies on the Council.

A. When Alex and Anne were freed from the Council’s strike team it struck me as too easy kinda of similar to how Onyx got into the Fateweaver’s prison which we know was Levistus’s doing. This is shakiest one I know and by itself it doesn’t prove anything and it could be Richard’s cabal really is that good but there are several other things.

B. Knock on wood but you and Vari haven’t been sentenced by the Council by being an associate of Alex. Now maybe initially they assumed you guys weren’t high enough of a priority but after Sarque you think they would go all dictatorship and go after you unless someone was blocking them. Now maybe Vari’s being Order in the Shield and you being a Light Mage might offer some protection but it seems to be you would need someone higher up to keep them from coming after you.

C. Finally this is what clinches it for me, Talisid knows about the Hollow and hasn’t revealed it to the rest of the Light Council. It took them several hours to track Alex down before he got the Fateweaver. Now maybe Talisid was trying to buy Alex some time but that doesn’t fit with what we know of him, being a Guardian through and through. The fact that he hasn’t still revealed it makes me certain that a faction on the Council is looking out for you.

So the obvious question is why they would do this, and the simplest answer is they want Alex to take down or weaken Richard significantly which as it were he already has. Also Sarque and Levistus seem to be the ones who embodies the corruption and brutality in the Light Council and what do you know Alex has taken out one already and is well on his way for the other.

Of course if the Hollow is semi public knowledge then this all of this means nothing, but if it isn’t do you think you guys have back up on the Light Council?

Well, it’s not like we’ve been left all alone. The Keepers have visited both me and Vari, and they haven’t been friendly.

But you’re right that they haven’t come down on us as hard as they could have. And, like you say, there are a few places where they could have gone for us really hard but didn’t.
So something’s holding them back. The question is . . . are they doing it because we’ve got secret allies on the Council? Or is it because they’re leaving us be as part of some plan? Or is it just because they’re incompetent and too busy arguing? It’s really hard to know which, and that’s kind of worrying.

From: Ryan Johnson

Hey Luna!

Covid has my first trip to the UK in September postponed until who knows when. I’m trying to look on the bright side, so at least this gives me more time to plan an even better trip!

Any recommendations on must visit places in London, especially for food and drinks that you and Alex love?

For food and drinks, a lot of the Indian restaurants are pretty good. And the pubs are good places to hang out. It hasn’t been that long that I’ve been able to do stuff like that, so I think I appreciate them more.

Other than that, the Heath is good. I don’t really go to most of the tourist sites, but if I had to pick one I’d probably say the London Eye.

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Forged – Schedule

It’s been a while and I’ve had a few questions about it, so here’s the release schedule for Alex Verus #11, Forged.  

• September 25th:  First chapter of Forged will be posted on this website.  

• November 24th:  US & Canada release of Forged (paper, ebook, and audiobook)

• December 1st:  UK & rest of world release of Forged (paper, ebook, and audiobook)

I get asked a lot about the audiobooks, and I always give the same answer – general rule is that they’re made available at the same time as the paperback and ebook releases.  I haven’t had any specific updates about book #11, but as far as I know the audio version should be coming out on schedule, with the same narrator (Gildart Jackson).

I’m also planning to do a Reddit AMA in early December to follow the book’s release, if there are any questions you want to ask!

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Ask Luna #168

From: Kevin

Do you think Richard coming back either exactly or close enough to ten years later some form of gate magic requirement like the bubble realm in Syria? I think Alex mentioned in Chosen that it was about ten years so have you ever heard of special conditions needed to travel to other worlds and back to this our own, since it is almost certain Richard went to one to study the jinn.

Probably, yes. I don’t really know any of the details, and right now we’ve got more immediate problems to worry about.

From: Adam

Dear Luna,

A couple of simple questions.

1) It seems as though your family were unusual in that they had a link (albeit a terrible one) to magic that spanned generations. Are there many (any) other families like that, whether the link is good or bad?

2) It seems as though each country does its own thing magically,and mages have a pretty easy time flitting around the globe. Given the times I was wondering does the British light council have any kind of travel advisory system? If so what would get a country on the do not visit list?

1) Probably quite a few, but they don’t advertise. It’s really hard to set up those kinds of family curses or bloodlines but once you do they tend to last, so even if there aren’t many mages doing them they do add up.

2) I think there’s a kind of travel advisory thing, yeah, but I haven’t looked at it. Western countries are generally safe but there are protocols. The more unstable countries are another story, and there are a handful that the British Council just get on really badly with for some reason (no, I don’t have the full list).

From: Alicia W.

Hey, Luna, how’s things?

I have what I hope are some easy, “softball” questions that aren’t too personal.

1. I’ve seen pictures of the typical “English breakfast” (was even served a traditional English breakfast a time or three when I visited London 20 years ago). I’m talking toast, baked beans, fried eggs, sautéed tomatoes and/or sautéed mushrooms with bacon and/or sausage. It seems like an awful lot to eat early in the morning. Alex doesn’t seem like too much of a “foodie” from what he’s said in the books, so he doesn’t strike me as the traditional English breakfast type. How about you? Sorry if this is a silly question, but for some strange reason I am curious about what you both like to eat for breakfast.

2. Can you give us some examples of the most annoying or amusing questions or requests you’ve gotten from customers at the Arcana Emporium v. 2.0? Alex seemed to get particularly annoyed when asked about:
a. sparkly vampires
b. stage magic tricks
c. love potions, and
d. what the admission requirements are for Hogwarts

3. Can you tell us how to get into Hogwarts?

Thanks!

Alicia

1) I’ve hardly ever met anyone who eats a full English every morning – they’re too big! I think you’d be more likely to find someone eating one at a pub or cafe than in their house. Then again, maybe I just don’t know the right kind of person.

For breakfast I usually have cereal. I got into the habit a while ago since whenever I did any kind of real cooking it tended to go badly and I just didn’t want to face that first thing in the morning, and now it’s a routine. Alex usually has toast with either a piece of fruit or a raw carrot. (He likes the things, don’t ask me why.) Probably not a very exciting answer, sorry!

2) Ugh, too many to answer. I’ve had all four except the Hogwarts one for some reason (I guess the kids who grew up reading those are too old now). The ones that bother me aren’t the annoying ones, they’re the creepy ones. There’s one guy who kept on coming back asking about how life magic could be used to give people heart attacks/brain aneurysms/strokes. As in, CONSTANTLY asking, and digging for details. When I finally told him to get lost I started getting ‘anonymous’ emails to this address asking the exact same thing. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the worst questions I get are worse than the worst ones Alex used to get.

3) Okay, NOW I’ve had all four.

From: Charles

So I just realized something, you know all these questions you are getting about why Richard didn’t go after Anne and Alex after she connected with the Jinn? Or why didn’t he reveal she was behind the prison breakout, and why Morden was imprisoned for so long without any apparent gain?

Do you think Richard might have problems we don’t know about specifically with his Cabal that may explain these actions or lack thereof? I get the feeling that people are acting on incomplete information that without context could skew how they view things but what do you think?

Lastly, I was kinda of confused about you guys not knowing what Richard’s and Morden’s plans are? You think they might have something else planned aside from overthrowing the Light Council?

Yeah, definitely. It was something that Alex drilled into me. Always remember that what Dark mages are most worried about is other Dark mages. Their biggest enemies are other people like them, so the best way to deal with them is to avoid getting their attention. If you can do that, it won’t take long before they’ll start something with another Dark mage, or another Dark mage will start something with them, and they’ll be too busy with each other to bother with you.

As for their plans, well, that seems to be part of it (Richard, anyway, I’ve no idea what Morden’s endgame is). But practically everyone on the Dark side and the Light side wants to get more powerful at the expense of everyone else. When I say we don’t know what their plans are, I mean the specifics.

From: Logan

Can Alex pathwalk reading books and retain all the information? I just thought it would be pretty awesome, but wasn’t sure if it works like that. I know he got a lot of information pathwalking in Morden’s place in Fated, but it mostly sounded like physical actions where he could see a result, as opposed to pathwalking long hours of just reading say, a French text book, and suddenly he speaks French.

No. Or, yes, he could, but it wouldn’t actually be any use because it doesn’t let him learn things any faster. So he could path-walk reading a book, but that wouldn’t let him do anything that he couldn’t do already by just reading it. To memorise huge loads of info like that you need mind magic, not divination.

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