Monday, January 18, 2010

INTERVIEW: Ilona Andrews

So, special treat today is an interview with Gordon, one of the masterminds behind the pseudonym Ilona Andrews, author of the simply amazing Kate Daniels series. This series began back in 2007 with the publication of Magic Bites, and has since grown to include two more published novels with a third due out in late May and a short story published in last year's Must Love Hellhounds anthology. It is such a pleasure to have been given this opportunity and the time and effort that went into answering these questions is truly appreciated. I hope y'all enjoy!

(1) ILONA ANDREWS is a pen name for your husband-wife team-up. Why did you decide to use a pseudonym at all and once you had, how did you decide on the name?

We took our names and sort of put them together. Andrews is my Grandmother's maiden name and Andrew is also my first name, but I prefer Gordon, Ilona is my wife's first name. We did not feel comfortable using our real names as we are somewhat reclusive and the publisher also said that for the genre a female name would appeal more to the fans.

(2) How do you guys divide the work-load?

We sort of discuss or hash out the plot before we sit down to write it out. If we both agree on an idea we like then Ilona writes the first draft and I edit or change it and send it back to her. This happens several more times until we finallysettle on a finished draft. Honestly Ilona is more the go over it and over again type, while I am more of a "it's done, leave it alone, next", type person. So we fuss and fight until we are both happy with it.

(3) Right now you’ve got two series going; Kate Daniels and the Edge, both with very unique takes on our world. I’m sure you get this a lot, but what was the inspiration for these worlds?

Well, we do live in Georgia, so that has to be some of it. Also, we are both Sci-fi and fantasy fans who are intrigued with the idea of the Earth going through cycles of tech and magic. We both grew up with cartoons likeThundarr and He-Man in which sorcery co-exits with super-science and advanced technology. As far as the Edge goes I think we all would like to believe that we could leave our mundane world and step into a new and frightening one.

(4) Coming up next for you is the publication of the much-anticipated fourth Kate Book, Magic Bleeds. Now, if I’m not mistaken, this series is set to be seven books long, so Magic Bleeds is right in the middle; does this have any impact on the events taking place in the book?

I don't want to be to spoilery, wait that is not a word, but everything changes and not just for Kate. This book is sort of the transition from the early books where Kate was sort of unsure and outmatched to a more confident and capable Katewho knows what she can and what she has to do. Perhaps most importantly the nature of Kate and Curran's relationship is resolved, for better or worse.

(5) It’s been said that this is a rather emotionally-charged book; did you have any sort of aids to help you get the mood right? (i.e. particular music, images or movies)

We watch a lot of anime with our daughters and they usually have conflict and emotional content. As far as music goes Nine Inch Nails, Stabbing Westward and Rage Against the Machine are good if you want to get all worked up.

Also coming out this year is the second Edge book, Bayou Moon. What can you tell us about it?

Bayou Moon is William the wolf's story. It is his chance to be the hero and get the girl.

(7) These two series are unquestionably different; was it difficult for you to go from writing Kate to writing an Edge book before going back to writing Kate?

No, actually it is very nice to take a break from Kate and write something different. I think it helps to make both series better than if we wrote them all back to back.

Recently, you’ve had the publication of a couple of short stories, among them the adventures of Andrea and Raphael while filling in for a recovery Kate in Must Love Hellhounds and the upcoming story of Saiman and Kate’s first meeting in Dark and Stormy Knights edited by P.N. Elrod. What other short stories are in the works?

Yes we will have a story in an as yet unnamed anthology to be released in 2011 with Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook and Sharon Shinn. The stories all center around angles or angelic beings.

Did you find it difficult to write short stories compared to the novels?

I think we have always found it harder to write short stories. There is a definite talent to it and I think we are better at novels.

(10) As mentioned previously, Kate’s story is set to end at book seven and the Edge, as it stands now, will be finishing with Bayou Moon. Have you considered what will be coming next for you?

We are not sure. We have sent out proposals for Edge 3 and 4 as well as a few chapters of other stories which we hope Ace will pick up as a series, fingers crossed. As far as the Kate books, if people want to keep reading them we would be more than happy to keep writing them.

(11) A number of your readers have expressed interest in having various characters having their own series (such as Julie and Derek or Nick the Crusader). Is there the possibility of spin-offs?

I think that goes along with the previous question in that if we do more Kate books or books in that world they would eventually have to be about other characters. I started a Nick book but need to work more on it, a grown up Derek and Julie could also be an interesting idea for a series.

(12) Finally, some random questions about you:
a. What are your hobbies aside from writing?
a. We work out, Ilona dances and I lift weights. Ilona knits and I play computer games. We read when we can, Ilona likes romances while I prefer heroic fantasy as well as Sword and Planet books.
b. Could you please describe your dream day?
b. My dream day would involve a big breakfast followed by a day at the beach or on a boat. That evening we would eat take out and watch cheesy movies.
c. If you found a genie, what would be your three wishes?
c. I guess I would wish for and end to hunger and war, for myself I would want to be immortal or simply to stay the same age and to be able to speak all languages

Awesome. Magic Bleeds is due out May 25th and look for Bayou Moon to hit shelves (always wanted to say that) later this year. To learn more about Ilona Andrews and her books please check out her website by following this link.


Anonymous said...

Awesome interview! Greatly looking forward to Magic Bleeds and Bayou Moon!

e_booklover said...

Great interview! It is very hard to capture the elusive Gordon :D

The Queen B said...

Great interview! Loved hearing more from Gordon :)

Anonymous said...

AWESOME interview!!!

LuigiGirlNZ said...

Fantastic interview! Loved hearing Gordon's take :D