Well, technically I think Reynard’s last name is “the Fox,” but close enough… Thad, Reynard, and Micah are the fathers of Diana, Cleo, and Aldra Malimore, the heroes of a fantasy serial currently in progress.
(Reynard, Micah, and Thad chose to settle on the couch after their oldest dog, Shah, secured the perimeter and chose a corner.)
Me: Okay, gentlemen. This’ll be pretty short, since there are three of you. What’s it like being parents of celebrities?
Micah: It’s not all that much different. The girls have always been interested in doing big things. This time, they’re doing something more people can see. Paparazzi kept trying to camp outside the castle for a while. Thad shoots lightning bolts at them from the towers and Shah wanders outside and looks at them like he might sneeze, so they freak out and leave. There was that one who tried climbing up the wall to get a picture of Diana in her nightgown, but after I turned him into a frog, they stopped…
Thad; The academic community hates the stories. It’s hilarious. Diana gets so offended, but I TOLD her that if these things got published, we’d be snob-targets. The locals like it. I think that will be good in the long run. Might even lead to some popular political advantage.
Thad: Well, you never know…
Reynard: Mm. I’ve been a celebrity before. It’s just a different set of constrictions and things to take into account. Being a fox, you can find ways to bypass attention.
Thad: Mm, that’s right. I think we all have had our times in the spotlight, and I’m proud of how our daughters are stepping up to use it positively and dealing with the parts they may not enjoy so much. That was something I never handled well.
Me: What about your own appearances in the stories? Do you think people are getting a good impression of you?
Thad: Well, my appearances consisted of two lines so far. I got to be the generic Lord of the Manor both times so I don’t think anybody has an impression, but I don’t give a fuck what the audience thinks of me either. I like what Reynard and Micah have added. Quite enough for me.
Micah: Reynard’s scenes are always great. I’ll have a substanstial dialogue in August, and I’m glad I could help Aldra in that situation. I don’t want to consider very much about what the audience will think of me. The focus should stay on our daughters.
Reynard: Thank you. I didn’t remember I’d been in them that often, actually. I help when they ask me.
Me: So, what will you think if you start being in stories of your own?
Thad: Well, I still won’t give a fuck what the audience thinks. It’s different being the central figure of a story. Public perception of me has widely been either “Malimore, the great general and orator” or “Malimore, the dark sorcerer.” It’s been completely calculated and controlled on my part to give the impression that I have no vulnerabilities, but having myself shown in the light of a teacher or as Reynard’s magician is more of who I am. What I think of it will depend on how the writer does it.
Micah: I’ve been in theater, but I was always more comfortable writing than acting. I don’t know what I’ll think until I see it, but I’ll probably be embarrassed and everyone will think I’m cute, because that’s usually what happens.
Reynard: You are cute, baby.
Micah: (blushing and mumbling)
Reynard: (smiling) I’m curious about how we all look, sure. And I don’t want any misunderstandings that’ll come back to haunt me. But really, it is what it is. I like seeing Thad and Micah in print, it’ll be fun.
Me: Okay, last question. The stories are about your kids, and you mostly just make cameos. Are you surprised at the stuff your daughters get up to?
Thad: The externals, no. I’m not surprised. I’m aware of most of the goings on because it’s part of my role. I don’t pry into their business, but it’s my job to know what’s going on with the Thieves Guild and the Royal Court. The Kheldors are my protectorate, so I have to know what’s happening there. When those things intersect with our daughters’ personal lives, I’ll hear about it sooner or later. I just try not to interfere with their personal projects and relationships, they asked me to. That’s difficult because I could fix 90% of it for them, but I have to step back. I’ve been surprised by some of the emotional arcs. I didn’t know Aldra was having some of the problems she had in Doubling Back, and I did not like finding out that way. I didn’t know Diana thought I didn’t respect her as much as the others, either, and that comes up later on. I understand they’re adults and they’re not going to just TELL me everything, but I wish they felt like they could.
Micah: Mm, I agree with Thad. I know most of what the girls get into, but I’m less aware of how they feel about it and their personal relationships because they don’t tell me those things unless they’re already stuck and upset.
Reynard: Yeah. It doesn’t surprise me what they do. But they do surprise me.
Me: Okay. Anything else you’d like to add?
(Shah would like to add he thinks his sisters have exciting stories and are awesome)
Thad: What he said.