A: Octopuses are wonderfully intelligent "aliens" with eyes like ours and skin that can see. Their arms taste and feel and act on their own with independent brains. The combined octopus brains (main brain plus eight arm brains) can have more neurons than a human brain! They may seem like aliens but are truly from Earth.
Octopuses can live out of water if they stay wet. They can chase prey up into the shallows and onto land. Octopuses routinely escape tanks and wander about out of water. Some even run like cats! One octopus escaped from her tank, ate rare fish in another tank, and returned to her "home". She traveled secretly, at night, when people were gone. She was seen on video when a monitor was installed to learn what was happening to the fish.
After baby octopuses hatch, most types do not migrate and return; they stay where they hatched. The Dragon Dreamer world is Earth-like, with a few differences. Earth octopuses are extremely clever, often outwitting people. Some change color and shape-shift their bodies to hide or mimic other creatures. They can change colors as they dream.
But the octopus life cycle is different in the books, more like that of some sea fish: hatch, leave on the currents, and return later. Also, Dragon Dreamer octopuses have a longer life.
When I began writing, little was known about octopus interactions in their natural setting. However, octopuses are smart and curious. Some types mimic other sea creatures so perfectly that you can't tell the difference! The starfish you see could be a shape-shifted, color-changed octopus! Octopuses form friendships with people in tanks and in the sea. Therefore, it seemed likely that an octopus could form friendships with other octopuses.
And . . . I was right! Several octopus villages have now been found. I was prescient!
There was no name for a group of octopuses, so I chose the term "pod". The undersea Dragon Dreamer village fits my world, and this also fits the real world! Of course, there are a few fantasy elements. :-)