New Hints about Sherwood’s Identity!
I had the rare and utterly fabulous opportunity to meet with Patty and her equally wonderful trusty assistant Ann during DragonCon. We had a lovely breakfast together and I got to ask some questions. I worked hard to not fangirl. I failed. (Rubs hands together maniacally.)
Hey. Whatsup with Sherwood? (Good, good, casual but interested.)
Obviously, the big mystery is who he is, but Patty’s known who he is from the beginning. He popped into her head full-blown, and while his appearance felt very odd to me, like he came into the story line out of nowhere, Patty said it was “very important that he be in the world before the Marrok cut Adam’s pack off.” (WHAT? Leans in a little. Don’t blow it now, Joelle. Keep calm. Takes a cleansing breath and hides it by drinking orange juice. Almost chokes. Smooth. So smooth.)
Yes, Sherwood is very old, and yes, he is related to Bran. (I’m sorrrrrrrry. Can you say that again?)
THEN, Patty let this DROP—and I had to confirm it by email. I am quoting her.
This is Word of Patty – WOP – “He is not anyone who appears in Shifting Shadows. Several of the people in Shifting Shadows know him. And –You already know that Bran knows who he really is <grin>.”
So—gospel. My mind is ping-ponging now…Let the guessing game…BEGIN!
If that is not enough, get this, on page 269 of the hardback edition of Storm Cursed, if you read carefully, I noticed that Sherwood’s wolf says that being broken of the bad witches’ spell is, “Like being parboiled alive, as I recall,” which implies this happened to him. I asked if this was true, and Patty confirms that yes, this did happen to him in the Middle Ages and he wasn’t a king. (Whoooooo, boy!)
I asked about Sherwood’s wolf as compared to Brother Wolf (who I love) and Patty said Sherwood’s wolf was like Brother Wolf if Brother Wolfe was as old as Sherwood’s. (MIND BLOWN.)
Next subject: What’s up with Wulfe?
Wulfe is a Wizard/Witch/Vampire…ugh, and he is well and truly broken. (Tricksy author.)
He was a Power and Bonorata broke him. Yet, another reason to dislike Bonorata, if you ask me. He is a white witch, which is amazing, and there is no such thing as being a white wizard. (It’s just not a thing. Sorry Gandalf.)
He will get worse before he gets better, but Patty isn’t sure what happens to him. He could die. For realsies. She wouldn’t say. The whole “Be at Peace” thing is complicated and Patty wouldn’t clarify because she likes to taunt us. Did Mercy collect someone else, or did Wulfe collect her? We don’t know. (Bad, bad, writer. Oh, I mean, good, good, writer. I sorta dig Wulfe even though he’s nuts.)
I did ask Patty if the hand really got chopped of or if it was a trick and she said it did get cut off but witches can work with connective tissue so it was reattached. WOP – “Or regrew. Or possibly he made himself a new one. He won’t tell me–and I did ask politely.”
(I don’t think it was nice of Wulfe not to tell his literal creator the answer considering she asked nicely, but that is Wulfe for you.)
Next subject: Talk to me about Ben.
Mercy breaks the “fourth wall” and talks to the reader about Ben’s swearing noting that she edits out some of the words. Patty says she did this on purpose; obviously, it was a writing choice. It wasn’t her favorite but she felt it was necessary because swearing is important to Ben’s character but not all readers like the swearing so it was a way to deal with it.
Ben will, at some point, get a girlfriend (!) but he has more healing to do yet. He was abused, as we know, and it was his mother who he really betrayed him. He knew his dad was a monster but he expected his mother to protect him and she didn’t. He was a good little boy and she let the monster hurt him. He didn’t rebel until he was a teenager. That is a lot of trauma to put behind him. (Poor, poor Ben. I want to hug him. Group hug, anyone?)
How did the Pirate Game come about?
Patty wanted a bonding activity that didn’t involve hunting and blood and she thought of World of Warcraft so she made it up and had fun making up all the ridiculous things they say.
How do you know about cars?
When Patty and her husband, Mike, were broke they learned how to fix them. And they were old VW’s. Vanagons and Jettas for the most part.
They had a mechanic that Mike learned from and Zee is based on that mechanic. His name was Buck. Buck died before the first book came out but he did know there was a character based on him.
So, that’s it! Post your thoughts about Sherwood’s identity or any thoughts or feelings. I’d love to hear them. Thank you to Patty and trusty assistant Ann for the breakfast and interview.