Monday, September 20, 2010

Interview: Ilona Andrews

Okay, major squee! My week couldn´t start any better than this! Today, I´m having my most favorite authors EVER over for an interview, the amazing husband and wife team wrinting under the pen name Ilona Andrews.

Ilona Andrews

I was so nervous about this interview, I felt like a teenage girl standing right in front of Robert Pattinson (or so I thought). Yep, I´m a fangirl who is stalinkg them through their hilarious, funny and witty blog. And now, even though crazy busy with writing and the release of their new book, Bayou Moon, they decided to answer some of my questions. Please give it up for Ilona Andrews!

BAYOU-MOON1 In a few days, “Bayou Moon”, the second book in your “The Edge” series is being released. Can you tell in your own words what we can expect?

Expect a grittier less fairy tale book. Expect more regret and less happily ever after.

After reading On The Edge, I couldn´t picture William as hero of your next book. Could you tell me why I´m wrong?

I prefer William to Declan. William to me is more real, he was not born a noble, but does he tries to do the right thing. He is honest and brave, he is a killer but not cruel, he is sometimes childlike but not an innocent. This book is the story of how he becomes the hero.

What´s your favorite scene in Bayou Moon?

Probably the boat ride into the mire or the courtroom scene. (This is torture… I want to know what they are talking about!!!!)

Is it true that Bayou Moon is the last book in The Edge series or can we hope for more?

No, we are contracted for at least two more Edge books after Bayou Moon. (Thank god!)

If you could chose, which world would you prefer to live in? The Atlanta of Kate Daniels or The Edge/The Weird/The Broken?

I would live in the Edge, I feel like it is a place I would belong. Ilona would live in the Weird as she is more of a fantasy magic type person.

Your two series are quite different from each other. Is anyone of them easier to write?

If anything I would say that for now the Edge is easier simply because there is so much history already in Kate, and we have to be consistent with the characters and time-line. Plus we try to make every book better than the last and often feel that we epically fail at that.

You´ve been writing about Kate Daniels, Curran and all the usual suspects from Atlanta for quite a few years now. Would you say that the characters can still surprise you?

No not really, cause we sort of make up what they say and do. Some authors talk about like arguing with their characters and I always sort of shake my head. We are not that cool.

You two write as a team. How does that work? Who does which work? Are there some things you can´t decide on while writing?  And if so, how do you resolve those situations?

This questions is asked over and over in almost every interview we give.  :)  Writing a book together is a lot like being married; it's a journey of compromise, loud declarative statements, and very much tea.  It's difficult to break this process down into specifics, because we really do work together, from hammering out plot points to selecting the right word to describe someone's roar. But we don't really fight about it.

How far ahead are you planning your books? Do you already have an idea where the following Magic books are headed?

We are totally behind on pretty much everything. We have no idea really what will happen until we sit down and hash it out. I wish sometimes we had the sort of characters that would tell us what comes next or what they want to do. We are however, open to suggestions.

My love for Urban Fantasy honestly started with Magic Bites. Would you say that there is one book that started you love for the Fantasy genre?

It is hard to look back and say there was one book that really did it. Robert E. Howard was huge for me growing up. I also very much enjoyed the Dragon Lance books.

MAGIC-BLEEDS In Magic Bleeds, Kate gets herself a very special pet. How did you come up with that idea?

Some Grendal came from Luka Brasi, my big dumb Mastiff, and part from the fact that Ilona really likes poodles and thinks they get a bum rap for being fru fru dogs.

Kate and Curran´s rocky and fragile relationship has taken us readers on quite a ride. They´ve finally found each other. Is it going to be Happily Ever After for them from now on? Can you share a little teaser?

Yes, I think that they will stay together, but like a real relationship they will have both good and bad times. Not sure about a teaser, I mean they don't break up in Kate 5. I am working on a short story where they go up to the mountains to get away from the pack after Magic Bleeds.

Ilona, you´re a native born Russian. Would you say that your Russian heritage influences your writing?

Yes of course it influences my writing. I grew up reading Russian fairy tales and folk stories.

If you could work together with any other author, which one would it be?

For me it would have been either David Gemmell or Robert B. Parker, but sadly they have both passed. For Ilona it would be Meljean Brooks. She is great and we would love to work together with her on something.

Would you say that your mood has an influence on your writing in general and the story in particular?

Sure, I think how you're feeling comes through in what you write. I listen to music to help set the mood, Ilona will usually read or watch something.

In retrospect, would you change anything about your writing and writing career?

I think we would re-write Magic Bites. Other than that, not really. We are what we are and we write what we like. We have been very lucky that we have great fans that support us.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Music, books, TV shows or real life?

We are huge fans of comics, cartoons, manga, anime. We draw a lot of inspiration from those things as we both tend to be sort of visual. Also cheesy martial arts movies, love those. Also computer games, we play and have fun geeking out with all that stuff. I think tv is really more of an escape or time out than inspiration. Hoarders and Intervention help us feel less screwed up.

A question that I am always curious about (but could be kind of personal) is: are your characters based on people you really know or maybe even a little bit about yourself or are they all purely fictional?

Good question. Actually a lot of the characters are at least somewhat based on people we have known. In high school my best friend was Deric Gant, upon whom Derek Gaunt the teen-age werewolf is based. Ted Monohan is also somewhat modelled on my Uncle, who was in law enforcement and grew up in Texas. Julie is a bit like our oldest daughter. I think for Ilona, Kate is a bit like her, and for me William has some similar traits or background.

On your blog, you once posted a hilarious story about a fake rock someone sent you. Was that the weirdest thing you´ve ever gotten? Or are other gift from fans that sometimes make you wonder?

Yeah, the fake rock takes the cake. We have gotten some gifts from fans, but we strongly discourage the sending of goodies. But thank you James for the cool stuff.

Tell us something about your favourites:
Favourite authors?
Charlaine Harris, Jeanine Frost, Nalini Singh, M. Marr, Cormac McCarthy, Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman, Meljean Brooks, Leigh Brackett, Terry Pratchet.
favourite paranormal creature? Werewolves,
favourite all time hero/heroine? Captain Blood, Flash Gordon, Margaret Landor (from marriage most scandalous) and Sookie Stackhouse.
favourite all time villain? Alan Rickman as the Sherriff in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.
Which one do you prefer, book or e-reader? E-reader for Ilona, graphic novel for me.
favourite distraction? knitting and messing with my iTunes.

Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land_Cover Three Comrades Is there a book you love above all? One that had a great influence on you or your life?

Probably Stranger in a Strange Land for me, and The Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remaque for Ilona.

On your homepage, you state that you never wanted to be a writer (which is quite unusual for writers). After all the success of your books and all you´ve been through, would you still prefer to be a scientist? 

Ilona says it would depend on how much she would get paid. (I guess I´m speaking for all fans if I say please please not!!! Scientists are boring in comparision to the awesomeness of you books and wrinting!)

Is there any question you´ve always wanted to be asked? And if so, what would be the answer?

Yes, it would have to be "Dear Ilona and Gordon, on behalf of the British government how would you and your family like to come and live in the United Kingdom?" Hell Yeah!

A question that is inspired by another interview I did with an author: If you would be Superman, what would be your kryptonite?
iTunes and yarn, that is where all the money goes.

Iron Duke What are you reading at the moment/planning to read/waiting for to be released?

Waiting for Meljean Brooks' Iron Duke and reading From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris.

And just for the heck of it: as someone who lives with three cats, a dog and two rabbits, how do you deal with the daily madness of having pets? How do you stop your dog from chasing after everything that is moving faster than the average human? Any advice?

We have one cat but with the dogs we try to train them well and spend a lot of time with them. They are a lot of work but they also love you unconditionally (the dogs I mean, cat seems to simply tolerate our presence). Advice? Give them lots of love, get them spayed or neutered, and treats seem to work for us. (Spending countless hours petting them, trying to ignore the fact the the cats always sneak into my bed and giving all of them their favorite food also seems to help by the way!)

And finally: Is there anything you want to say to your/my readers?

Thanks for reading the interview, hope you like the books if you have read them and if not we hope you will give them a chance.

I can only second that. In Urban Fantasy, there is hardly anything that is better than Their Kate Daniels series and as for The Edge series you won´t be disappointed as well! Go and check out their fantastic website and blog, it´s always worth stopping by. Thank you so much for all the awesome teasers! And don´t forget: Bayou Moon is coming on September 28th!

Thank you so much for doing this interview here! It´s been a real pleasure and honor for me! Please come back anytime you want!


Jennifer said...

Great interview! I'm also a stalker, er, fan of their blog. I check it every morning because it's a consistently good way to start the day. :)

Van Pham said...

awesome interview, i love learning new things about my favorite authors. :D

Kulsoom M. said...

Great interview! I love the Kate Daniels series, and I'm always checking in on their blog - I love how they're so open to their fans :)

Anonymous said...

what an absolute awesome interview! THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Stranger in a Strange Land: one of the best books I have ever read, hands down.

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