I wrote the first novella with absolutely no idea about what came next, or if it would be a one-off. But questions arose even in the process of writing it, which I threw into book 1 along the way. Exactly how does the world work? Where do the demons come from? Where does Lavender go from here?
As of this volume, I have four novellas sketched out to complete this story. That’s abnormally short in the light novel world, but hey, I say “light novel INSPIRED” for a lot of reasons. And after that, maybe I can explore something else in this world. We’ll see.
Written in December 2022/January 2023, mostly between Christmas Eve and the end of January, so all of the Christmas vibes were kind of retroactive. (Volume 1 was written in September/October 2022. I meandered around a bit before deciding to dive back in.)
I don’t think I mentioned in the last notes page that each installment has 13 chapters named “episodes” as another anime reference. It’s not universal by any means, but 13 episodes is pretty common as a half-season / batch of episodes, a.k.a. a cour. This story is planned as 13 x 4, or 52 chapters total. Metaphorically as long as a Gundam series or Fullmetal Alchemist, which sounds a lot longer than this feels. Huh.
I set that framework for myself for the first novella on a whim (along with everything else about the first novella), and keeping it gave me more structure for plotting the other volumes. I’m used to writing in a VERY freeform style, so it was some good practice with outlining within a fairly tight structure.
Again, all the new names come from fantasynamegenerators.com. Including, verbatim (I believe it was from the “necromancer” generator), Drekar Nightshade. Which was just… chef’s kiss. (Drekar was unexpectedly fun. I should have known.)
Around the middle of this book, I had planned to bring in another Visitor to take over at the bar so Gustav could get a break, and to explore some other reactions to being isekai’d. It also seemed like it would be fun to let Lavender pay it forward in getting another new Visitor acclimated to the world.
The character started out kind of jokey, then started to feel like a real character with layers and pathos (I tend to do that to myself a lot, see also Gustav and Francesca)… but then I couldn’t figure out a plot use for them, in the “if you removed this character, the story would no longer function” sense. They took up too much space / too many words, and I didn’t feel like I could spare that in a book this short.
So the new Visitor got cut. RIP New Visitor. Your outfit at the winter ball would have been fantastic. I wound up turning you into two different characters in books 3 and 4.
- The cover of “Hazy Shade of Winter” by the Bangles
- “Closer” by Tegan and Sara
- The national anthem of impostor syndrome, “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads, not so much because of the impostor syndrome but because… well, read it literally
- Not an orchestra and released after Francesca got isekai’d, but the vibes were right: my tone-setting song for the happy ballroom scene was this “bardcore” cover of the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights“, performed by Cornelius Link.
- My tone-setting song for the ballroom showdown was “Crypteque Shopkeeper” by Danny Baranowsky, from the Crypt of the Necrodancer soundtrack. The Shopkeeper adds that extra over the top flair.