Warning: this will contain major spoilers
Twever and Ardo appear in Echoes of a Storm, Scions of the Storm, and one story in A Storm Filled Night. Ardo appears in A Dark and Hungry Storm and When Ardo met Ozzy, a short story.
Well, what can I say about Tremendous Twever, the Beast of the Granite Mountains and his invisible pet, Ardo?
The pair came about for two reasons:
1. I needed someone for Nathanial to talk to as an equal
2. I needed Ardo for Jane to use to kill her attackers.
Originally, they were just bit players in Echoes, however, with Nathanial hiding away for most of Scions, I needed someone to take a bigger role in the book, and these two pushed their way to the front. I am so glad they did.
Taking Twever by himself for a moment – I am really quite proud of the character of Twever. His personality and speech patterns are very much West-coast Scots, though without the Scottish dialect, and slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect!! He was also a joy to write, as I could get away with anything with Twever, due to his clownish behaviour. However, beneath all the fun and silliness, there was a very dark and sinister side to Twever, and I was very careful to drop that aspect into the story, every now and again.
What Twever also allowed me to do was show a more human side to Nathanial West. You could never say the pair were best friends, but they were equals and Nathanial could talk easily to Twever about what was happening to him regarding the Midnight Man, etc. My favourite scene between the pair has to be the sandwich-making scene from chapter seven in A Day in the Life of Twever (or Two Fiends Do Lunch), as it sums up their relationship perfectly.
As I have said previously, the thing I am most proud of with Twever is the Twever/Katrina storyline. I still think this is the best storyline I have written to date. At its heart, the storyline is a love story, a very honest and a very gentle love story, that threads itself through a very dark book. The end to the storyline is very sad and (it’s confession time again) I have to admit that my eyes were slightly moist when I wrote the conclusion to it.
What can I say about Ardo? Well, he (and he is most definitely male) is a large four-legged invisible creature. He is owned, if that is the correct word, by Twever, whom Ardo likes to call “the Idiot”. Since no one except Twever (and one other person) can see Ardo, there is some debate as to what type of creature he is. Some people think he is a dog, while others say he is more cat-like. When asked, Twever just says, “He looks like an Ardo!!”
Ardo’s hobbies are: getting his ear scratched as much as possible, watching people have sex – he likes the faces they make – and killing small fluffy woodland creatures. Lisa W., the lady who proofreads my work, summed Ardo up brilliantly with – ‘a Hannibal Lector mentality with the emotional depth of a five-year-old in the body of a hellhound’.
Ardo died, along with Twever and Katrina in Scions of the Storm; however, when it came to writing A Dark and Hungry Storm, I had created a character called Rosie, who was a small girl and a total innocent. There was no way she would survive without a protector. I was struggling to work out how I was going to protect her when I suddenly realised I had not killed Ardo!
Yes, he had been badly wounded, but he was an Earth Spirit (or, at least, partly an Earth Spirit) and had been buried in the earth – so that was perfect! Ardo would survive to protect the little girl (as long as she scratched his ears!). I was then hit with a barrage of ideas regarding Ardo and everything clicked into place. I had been mentioning a character called Death Claw, who had vanished hundreds of years ago, and, suddenly, it made sense that Ardo and Death Claw were one and the same. From there, the storyline wrote itself.
Just like Scions, the end to A Dark and Hungry Storm is very deliberate. We have Ardo/Death Claw fighting to save Rosie from those that are trying to hurt her – or to put it another way, we have the savage beast protecting the innocent from the evils of the world, something Twever and Ardo had been doing throughout the entire storm series!