Extra! Extra!: J. R. Ward's The Shadows Signing Event Q & A (SPOILERS)

WARDen fans! Here is the Q&A from "An Afternoon with J. R. Ward" that was this Saturday, April 4th in Cincinnati, OH. This Q&A as always is full of spoilers, so tread lightly. 

Q: Who is the next book???
A: The title is “The Beast” ….I bet you know who that is about. We were going to do a short story, but there was too much to fit…he was too big to fit in a small….story. (crowd shouts: That’s what she said!)

Q: Can you elaborate on anything that’s going on with Rhage?
A: Ummmmm. He has some survivor’s guilt going on there, and there are some issues that he and Mary have to work out. There’s also one aspect of their life that will come to fruition. (crowd yells: BABY!!!)

Q: It’s more of a comment than a question. There were a lot of haters for The Shadows. For the way it had to happen, you did it perfectly.
A: Well, thank you! I totally understand people’s reactions.

Q: Are we going to see a lot more of s’Ex, the executioner?
A: Oh, yeah, I’m totally in love with s’Ex, too. (Crowd laughs at double entendre.) I want him to have his own book, his own love. I think he’s going to be protective of Trez, and s’Ex probably won’t be going back to the Territories, but I think iAm will definitely be going back and forth.

Q: What’s going on with Rhage? Is he going to be pardoned by the Scribe Virgin and have his curse repealed?
A: B**ch can’t get out of her own head long enough to fix anything. You’re going to have to KR on that.

Q: Can you or will you elaborate on how Xhex became an assassin?
A: I’m not sure what there is to elaborate on. She just came out that way.

Q: How do the Brother’s get the golden retriever hair off them?
A: Can you imagine the doggen? Just wrap one of them in duct tape and rolllllllll.

Q: With the demise of Mr. C., will Lash be coming back?
A: Yes, but we have to get through the next book and we have to get to Xcor and Layla. So, it just means getting to the point where he returns.

Q: With women coming in to the training program, will find out that women were already included, back in the day?
A: There is no back in the day for women (being involved). This is something new.

Q: When are humans finding out that there are vampires?
A: It’s coming. Remember when the sh*t was hitting the fan (Crowd: Which time?) So it’s going to come out that people have been videotaping and posting on Youtube. There was a scene, way back in one of the books, where the kid was videotaping, and it happens this time. So, yeah, that sh*t’s going to get posted.

Q: Back in the day, before they lived in the sanctuary, there were Chosen breeding with the Brothers. Could we find out that the Chosen had offspring by different Brothers?
A: Originally they were only to breed with the Primale. Eventually, they were serving the Brothers with blood and sometimes, they would fall in love and have children. The breeding program is no longer in progress. It is possible that the Chosen had children by more than one Brother.

Q: Have we met Assail’s sibling?
A: That’s a Keep Reading.

Q: Will we find out Craeg’s parentage and is it significant?
A: That’s a Keep Reading, too.

Q: After the introduction of the training program, will there be shellans who want to enter?
A: Probably not, because those who can and want to, like Xhex and Payne, already are.

Q: Are we going to hear more about Payne’s ability to heal?
A: We’re going to learn that her ability to heal costs her more each time she uses it. And, I’m not sure what the answer is, whether she needs to refresh by going to the Sanctuary. Or there’s other consequences.

Q: Are Adrian and Eddie going to be Lassiter’s next assignment?
A: Yes, and Lassiter will get his own book.

Q: I get the drift that Bloodletter is his calling and his handle, but is that his name?
A: Bloodletter is his handle but not his real name. Can you imagine that on his birth certificate? His driver’s license. Why, sir, perhaps you shouldn’t drive….

Q: Was Bloodletter one of the Brothers guarding Wrath the Fair, in The King?
A: Maybe….

Q: Is he related to the Original Brother, who had two lines: Wrath, and perhaps an aristocrat of whom The Bloodletter is of the line?
A: Yes, he was.

Q: Selena said that she would be waiting for Trez and whomever he falls in love with.
A: I think some day that Trez will find someone to love, but it will be a long way off. You have to remember that vampires live five or six hundred years. And Serena gives him permission, says to him that if you find someone, to fall in love and live his life.

Q: Will Devina be in Lassiter’s book?
A: I think she will be in Lash’s book. Even assholes deserve love.

Q: Is Throe the new Havers (as the most hated character)?
A: Oh yeah he has bad juju. There are definitely some things to work out with Throe.

Q: What happens when Throe runs into Xcor?
A: That’s a Keep Reading.

Q: Is Layla going to have both twins?
A: She needs to have those babies. We need to move along because there's so much more to come after that.

Q: Will De La Cruz be part of the “humans finding out”?
A: Hmm, I think he needs to see Butch again.

Q: You always write about how the males bond and give out their scent, but can it be unrequited?
A: I’m sure that happens.

Q: Now that Selena talked with Luchas about being lucky to alive, does he have a better will to live?
A: I think he does. And I’m sure we’re going to be seeing more of him, I’m just not sure right now which series he’s going to track in, whether it will be the BDB or the Legacy Series.

Q: Since Rhage is all up in his estrogen-fueled feelings, why is not the Beast all, dude, there’s nothing wrong with us, calm the eff down…
A: The Beast is non-verbal. So, not like he can just say that. (crowd laughs at image)

Q: Why is it that the Brothers can't scent Xcor on Layla and know she’s lying.
A: It’s because she’s pregnant, and it would be disrespectful of them to get close enough to scent her.

Q: About Saxton’s HEA (Happily Ever After), can you tell us the when and who and what book?
A: Cannot answer that. Keep Reading.

Q: If feeding from humans doesn’t give vamps enough strength, like when Z was trying to survive on just human blood, how does Payne keep going feeding from Manny?
A: Payne goes to the other side and that rejuvenates her.

Q: Do we know for sure that Butch and Manny are connected?
A: Yes, they have the same father, and that guy didn’t keep it in his pants, so there may be more of them out there.

Q: Will Murhder be coming back?
A: Yes. I thought he was showing up in this book, but then, he didn't but I know he comes back. He has to come back. But when he does, the stuff about him and Xhex is going to come up and out, and that's going to mess with John Matthew's head. That's going to be a lot for JM to take.

Q: I’m curious about the sympaths and if we will learn more about them?
A: Weird six finger things. If humans become aggressive toward the Shadows and sympaths, it may become a case of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Because there is some serious sh*t coming. There is also a penal colony out west that may come into play. To keep the action going, more people have to come into the story. So, I think we'll see all of those groups getting more involved.

Q: You had said that in honor of the tenth anniversary of Wrath’s release, there would be some sort of party or celebration?
A: With the release schedule for this year, we just couldn’t make it happen. But, maybe next March to celebrate Rhage and the Beast? We’re going to work on something.

Q: I love Godd*mn Cat. Will we find out more about Godd*mn Cat? (This is what iAm calls Boo.)
A: We will, yes.

Q: Will we see more of Fritz and his personal life?
A: He loves his job, but I can’t imagine writing his sex life. Nope….imagine a basset hound…nope…nope.

Q: Will there be a resolution to the death rate amongst females and births?
A: I don’t think so because it’s just part of nature.

Q: Throe went to Xcor to avenge his sister’s death, and the one who saved Tohr was shot in the head, so how can be Throe be Autumn’s brother? (This was a confusing question, and the transcriber may not have gotten the whole thing correct, but the answer is the same.)
A: Keep Reading.

Q: Will we see more of the next generation? (Little Wrath, Nalla, Aggie, etc.)
A: I would love to see what happens when Z finds out Nalla has a boyfriend. But I don’t know how that would work. Would they be set in the future? Not sure yet.

Q: Will there be weeding out of the Bastards?
A: Oh, yeah, there will be. Leaky, messy, with a weed eater weeding.

Q: What’s with all the twins?
A: There are a whole lot of twins. I’m interested in what’s going on. Just the other day, I was like, wow, there’s a whole lot of twins in here. I know, I know, I is slow.

Q: Can we get a pronunciation guide?
A: Maybe, we'll have to think on that.

Q: I thought John Matthew knew about Butch and Xhex? (having slept together)
A: I think JM is going to have a hard time with it.

Q: Is JM a Brother?
A: Not yet but he will be; I just don’t know when.

Q: Is wrath ever going to see his son?
A: No, he’s blind and there’s no fixing it.

Q: Layla is having twins. Will that be a problem with the birth and one won’t be ready?
A: Welll…(there was a lot of side chatter that ended with): But I promised I was finished killing people and that both would make it…

Q: Now that iAm and Boo are BFFs, now that iAm’s not at home as much, will Boo go Ninja cat?
A: Boo will have separation anxiety.

Q: Why did Qhuinn only see one twin? (In his vision)
A: I would answer that, but I can’t.

Q: The Scribe Virgin has been missing. Why did she decide to make herself known when she did? (In The Shadows)
A: I think because she knew the suffering Selena’s death was causing, and that she felt motivated which I find interesting. Someone said that if, as a deity, if no one is worshipping you, then you are as good as dead. So maybe she’s realizing that. And you know the most logical person for her to end up with?? (Crowd shouts: Lassiter) Right, so Vishous would be his stepson. That sh*t is hysterical. Call me Daddy! (crowd roars)

Q: Vampires usually have one mate, so when Tohr goes to the Fade is it going to be like Sister Wives?
A: Yep, just like Sister Wives. Tonight is your night, tomorrow’s yours. I’m gonna divorce you to give the fourth wife healthcare….(laughter)

Q: Saxton’s HEA, could it be one of the recruits?
A:You’re just trying to get me to say! I know who it is. Just not telling you.

Q: With Layla, Xcor, and the twins, will they break the kids up?
A: Hell no. The solution is there, it’s just going to take us a while to get there.

Q: Can you tell us if there is one boy one girl?
A: I’m not saying.

Q: What is going on with the Scribe Virgin? We saw her for a hot second but what’s going on with her?
A: She needs to get laid in the worst way. She needs to run off to the Bahamas with Lassiter and watch Beaches and Maury.

Q: About the Legacy series and opening with Blood Kiss. Will there be a signing event?
A: Yes.

Q: Did I hear that Phury and Cormia have a son?
A: Aggie is Phury and Cormia’s son, yes.

Q: Process question: Do you write scenes down as they come, if they’re for the future?
A: No, it stays in my head. I also have a research assistant who helps keep things straight. Occasionally, we make mistakes but I don’t write it down.

Q: We know Butch and Manny are brothers. Could they be related to Michael in the Story of Son?
A: It wouldn't surprise me if Michael was related to Murhder, with the hair. And it wouldn't surprise me if Clare and Michael’s kids come into the BDB stories sometime in the future.

Q: Does Layla make it through the pregnancy?
A: Yes, she does.

Q: Are Cormia and Phury ready to have a baby?
A: Yes, they are.

Q: Are we going to get more Brothers coming through the training program and how?
A: Chosen will fall in love and have more children.

Q: So about the V, Lassiter, Throe conflict?
A: I can’t say anything about that.

Q: Layla’s babies, could one be Xcor’s and one be Qhuinn’s?
A: No, that’s not possible.

Q: Does Butch get sick of V’s music?
A: You wouldn’t win an argument with V over the lint in your own bellybutton, so Butch has gotten over it. And is probably deaf now.

Q: Butch needs a vampire little sister.
A: He’s great with kids, but I don’t see a sister right now.

Q: So, in the Legacy Series, we’ll have basic training flashbacks?
A: Yep, basically.

Q: I was glad that Trez got closure (by getting to see Selena in the Fade).
A: I knew that Trez had to go through the Cleansing, but I didn’t realize the purpose when I saw the scene. I thought it was wonderful that Trez was talking to Selena, even after she was gone. And, Trez had to come back in order for iAm to have his moment with maichen.

Q: Will we see a cure for this genetic disease?
A: I don’t know but this is the problem with a breeding program that has a limited gene pool.

Q: Will we see Butch and Marissa in Blood Kiss?
A: Yes, but we won’t see them have kids yet.

Q: Will Paradise be the only female in the training program?
A: Nope.

Q: Will we ever get movies?
A: The rights have been purchased for The Bourbon Kings and the BDB is being looked at again.

Q: Will JM and Blay be inducted into the BDB?
A: Yes but I don’t know when.

Q: Would you build the mansion, based on the images in your head?
A: I would love to have a miniature model built someday.

Q: Could you do more Slices of Life?
A: I don’t know about that or another Insider’s Guide. There just isn’t time.

Q: There will be a signing for the Bourbon Kings, and for The Training Center Legacy Series?
A: Yes, end of July for The Bourbon Kings, possibly something in Nashville and sometime in December for Bloodkiss.

Q: They consulted with Havers about twins and that sometimes the second twin develops late. You slipped a line in about triplets being rare…is she going to have trips?
A: Nope.

Q: Will there be sisters inducted in BDB?
A: Yes.

Q: Back to Rhage’s mood issues. Could it be his dragon curse and the Chosen’s moods?
A: Nope, it’s survivor’s guilt. It’s almost impossible for him to get over the fact that Mary was saved and these other shellans weren’t. There is some sh*t for Mary and him to work out…but it will be fine. Women are really attracted to him. He sees no one but Mary, but if it were a matter of he’d been with another woman when they first got together, and for her there’s a kernel of insecurity, that’s going to have to come out.

Q: iAm is going to spend a lot of time in the Territory and Trez will be with the Brothers. Is it possible that Trez will become a Brother?
A: I think that might be a great solution for him. He’s definitely going to need something to focus on.

Q: You said that the Legacy series would be more focused, and you mentioned Butch and then Paradise and Craeg, so where’s the focus?
A: It would be split between Butch and then Paradise and Craeg. The Legacy series is a great opportunity for more traditional HEA (Happily Ever After) and to focus on the original Brothers and more details of their lives that I just can’t show in the bigger books.

Q: Do you have any advice for writers?
A: Runnnnn! Save yourself!!! Seriously, though, don’t listen to anyone. Write what’s in your head. I don’t believe in critique groups or creative writing classes. Don’t listen to anyone, including me. When in doubt write. Write even when you thinks its crap. Next piece of advice: educate yourself. Pick books you like and deconstruct them. Get a pad and pen and go through these books and decide what did you like. What worked? What did you like? What didn’t you like? This develops your inner editor, then apply that to your own work. The voices in your head and the pictures in your head will always be there. Don’t worry.

Q: How are Butch and Manny related?
A: They are half-brothers. They have the same father.

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