Ione set up a meet between Jack and her late contact's people, in The Devil You Know Chapter 12.
Jack is a busy person. He has other projects on the go besides the work he's doing with Ione. This is where Mara, who was only supposed to be his co-pilot, came in handy. Jack can't be expected to do all the work himself. Back when I was prepping The Devil You Know, I had some idea of who Jack is and what he does. As the story was written, more of Jack's working style came out. He is hands-on, but he is well aware of appearances. Thus, well, Mara, plus all the other trappings he surrounds himself with. Jack was fun to write, though.
Ione finally revealed why she uses her middle name. Should be obvious, but the explanation provided many extra words towards NaNoWriMo's word count. The goal here wasn't so much to tell why Ione uses her middle name as show how she felt about having to share a name. Names are part of our core; changing one is a major deal. Finding out that you have to share something so personal means shaking up one's own being, especially when young. Ione's solution was to use her middle, a name that is rare in the wild. In contrast, Jack doesn't worry about being lost in a crowd with his name. Such is Jack.
I used a real location for the hotel in Paris. Le Bristol exists and has an Imperial Suite, which could be viewed on the hotel's website. It is that lush, just from the photos. Again, the purpose for using real locations was two-fold. The first was to give a sense of realness for when the oddities began. If everything is weird, then the deliberate and needed oddness won't stand out. Jack should be standing out right now - he's shady and enjoying the expensive things in life. Creating a fictional hotel wouldn't have driven that home. The other reason is that it was far easier to just use an existing location. Unlike Unruly, where I'm involving schools and want to make sure that there's no impact on minors, The Devil You Know features adults going to a luxury hotel. The risk for the hotel is far less than it is for high school students in Oshawa; Le Bristol is not a hive of scum and villainy unlike The Academy for Unruly Girls.
Glenn Frey's "Smuggler's Blues", from the album The Allnighter, turns out to be a very useful song for me. I've referred to it for gaming, particularly for espionage RPGs and Shadowrun. While I don't associate the song with cyberpunk of any flavour, it captures the criminal element. I wasn't alone; an episode of Miami Vice was based on "Smuggler's Blues" and guest starred Frey as a smuggling pilot. And, yes, Ione was a mere baby when the song came out.
Mara was fun to write. I mentioned that last time and I'll mention it again. She is Ms Fanservice, and there is a reason that will be revealed later. For now, she's a contrast to Ione. Where Ione has maintained a professional demeanor in her life, Mara gets away with being a hedonist. Ione is a private person, in part because she can't really talk about work. Mara doesn't really have a brain-to-mouth filter, though some of it is for effect. However, Ione does need someone to confide in. Karen is on the other side of the Atlantic. Ione doesn't really like Mara, mostly from first impressions, but she needs to vent to someone and Jack doesn't have a sympathtic ear. And, yes, Mara was not lying about her underwear status.
Friday, problems back home and meeting Pascal, in the The Devil You Know Chapter 13.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, the expectations of nostalgia.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.