First, I'm pleased to say that Royal Street will be published in print in the UK in September by Headline Publishing Group. River Road, book two in the series, will release about the same time as it does in the U.S., in November. There will be new covers for the UK print editions, so I'll show those to you as soon as they're ready!
On Wednesdays, I'm doing annotations for Royal Street by chapter (for past chapters, click on the Easter Eggs tab). Now that we're out of the first five setup chapters, there will be fewer annotations, so I'll try to cover more than one chapter a week.
In the Sentinels world, hydromancy or scrying--a form of divination--is an elven skill, so most wizards can't do it. DJ can, since there are elves in her family tree...in itself unusual because elves rarely mate outside their own clans, much less their species. Hydromancy works different ways in different fictional worlds. In the Sentinels series, it's an inexact science. It can be done with the use of a charm, or--to make it more powerful--using something belonging to the person being scried. DJ uses it after Hurricane Katrina to try and find Gerry. She also uses it in River Road and in book three, Elysian Fields.
This use of hydromancy in chapter five offers an early look at DJ's character. To me, her greatest strength is also her greatest weakness. She is loyal often past all reason, and she will simply not give up when someone she cares about is in trouble, even if it means breaking a few rules and maybe even when the person doesn't deserve her loyalty. Sure, it gives her a few "too stupid to live" moments when she follows her heart rather than her head, but that's who she is.
The killing of National Guardsmen in the city after the storm was not factually based. That was just setup for this story.
DJ is an empath, but I needed some way for her to control it so that she didn't get overwhelmed by it. The idea of the "mojo bag" came up in a conversation with one of my crit partners as we brainstormed about ways she could do this.
That's it for this week. Be sure and stop by tomorrow and meet urban fantasy author Mike Shevdon, who'll be here talking about his fabulous Courts of the Feyre series!