God bless brothers.
Around 11-something Sunday night, the phone rang.
"I suppose this is my little brother."
"Nope." (muffled laughter)
He had read the entry about killing my villains, and immediately guessed which one I meant. We spent an hour or so discussing the story in general and the villain's death in particular, especially the mode of his death.
The weapon is small and ordinarily not an object associated with murder, but that's not a problem. The villain is such a strong character that his actual moments of dying have to be spectacular. I spent much of Sunday night (and now Monday morning) pacing back and forth before the computer, contemplating the scene, uncertain how to pull it off.
The Wonder Boy calls, and in short order has a fantastic series of ideas for a memorable death.
That's why the first book will be dedicated to him and his wife: all those phone calls or long nights where we worked out sword fights, the special properties of a certain substance, the behavior and growth patterns of a particular mythical creature when it is young, and other such details required of a sprawling fantasy.
Dad will get a mention, too, for his help regarding metals and smithing; Mom and a few friends, for reading all or part of the manuscripts. This has truly been a group effort.