Fun fact: I had an entire plot line around Sterling Dixon joining Ali and her genies. Who is Sterling Dixon? He is the master of the intrepid transformation genie Gary, the one who set off everything in the story by ordering Gary to steal Tavor from the McMichaels while the universal was in between masters. So why did this plot line get dropped? Because of Tavor. 

Inspiration

After the events of book eight, The Stolen Truth, I planned for Sterling to join in on the mission to free genies. Not out of the goodness of his heart, but for his own selfish purposes – revenge. After all, it’s because of The Society that his brother died. In a matter of speaking, anyway. The technical culprits were the McMichael family. They wanted an ice genie to help with their arctic drilling operations, so faked evidence that Sterling’s brother had revealed The Society to someone outside their organization. This is a death sentence, and gave the McMichaels the right to take his ice genie (Illan). 

Following this event, Sterling ends up losing both his parents essentially because of their grief over the death of their oldest son. Hence leading to Sterling hating all The Society because he blames them for him losing his family. Because of this, he would support Ali’s mission not because he cares about helping genies but because he wants revenge against The Society and would love to take away all their genies. 

I wasn’t sure if he would ultimately be helpful to Ali’s group or betray them after realizing just how dangerous genies operating under free rein can be, so I had notes for taking the plot in either direction. But then I got to the end of writing The Stolen Truth and ran into a problem. Sterling had nothing to offer Tavor, therefore, Tavor would never allow him to join them. 

Our scheming universal genie is nothing if not practical and some Society master who doesn’t benefit Tavor is of no use to him. So that plot line got nixed. There are aspects of it I was sad to lose, but it ultimately made the whole series shorter (14 books rather than 17), so overall I’m relieved it ended up not working out.