Okay, so here's the secret history of Liz Hawthorne's family:
Way back when I started writing fan fic in 2003, there were a large number of GBI franchises that were fan-fic based; the Ghostbusters West Coast
, which I joined, was far from the first; the first was Ghostbusters Nightsquad, but it was soon followed by Ghostbusters UK, the Canadian Ghostbusters, NOMAD, and others.
When I started to try and meld everything into a semicoherent universe, there were some rough edges. Nightsquad, for example--with their cooperation, their backstory
was revised to take place during "Back In the Saddle" instead of the Gozer battle, and Jen's father was defined
into Egon's half-brother (so Egon was still his Mom's only child, as "Till Death Do Us Part" and "Ghostworld" strongly implied). No fuss, no muss, right?
Well, then it came to the Canadian Ghostbusters
, as created by longtime Ghosthead Jay Tigran. In the CGB origin story, he introduces his character as Ray Stantz's nephew. So because Jay is a pretty cool guy, and as with Jen he was in the community before I was, how could I make that work?
I eventually reached out to Jay, and a couple of possibilities were mentioned. First and foremost, by this time I was aware of the Mueller novelization and Ray's sister Jean...but Jay, perhaps understandably, decided that being the son of a bisexual who lived on a California commune wasn't his speed. So I told him I'd already seeded a different possibility...
It was even before I'd mentioned the idea to Jay--in truth, even before we at the GBOT brain trust had officially decided that Liz was indeed going to be Ray's wife and Eric's Mom--that I'd dropped this into the fourth chapter of The Zodiac Imperative
"You have a sister?" Ray asked, genuinely curious.
"An older sister, back in Nova Scotia...she hasn't left our hometown in her life, is settled down with a husband and an adorable little boy..." Liz looked away, with a bit of a wistful smile.
Mention of Nova Scotia was not a coincidence--that was where Jay was from, and where he set the CGB's adventures. Which is the crux of the idea I proposed to Jay a while later: his character, Jay Brushett, has an aunt named Liz Hawthorne who became a wizard. Aunt Liz eventually marries Ray Stantz, and, thus, Jay Brushett is still Ray Stantz's nephew.
Jay liked the idea, worked with me on creating some of the details of the Hawthorne family (not
the real name of his mother's family, if you were wondering), and I waited for the opportunity to unleash the story on world. I always figured at latest it would come out in the story of Ray and Liz's marriage, which "Love Songs: Believe" is part of, and, well, there you go!