January 10, 2011

Quoted, Villain Hotties, and Q & A Ilona Andrews

As a reader I always want the download on what's going on with authors. Do they have new books coming out, how the latest tour going, any thing juicy! So, I decided to bring the news to my readers. I'm lurking around all of those author blogs anyway, might as well do something productive.

General Gossip:

Taken By The Others

This is more personal news then anything, but one of my reviews has actually been quoted by an author! Yeah! So share in my excitement by checking out the post, and checking out this hot new release. Here it is.

Poison Kissed (Shadowfae Chronicles)

Author Erica Hayes is talking shop about my favorite characters in PNR and UF.  The yummy bad boys that we all love to hate, and secretly have fantasies dancing in our heads about.

Personally I love a good quirky bad boy, one who’s still devilishly hot but can still have hidden depths.  Layers as I like to call it, like an onion. So check out Hayes’ post to get more evil boy hotness advice.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)

I love reading the Ilona Andrews blog when they do question and answer posts.  This weeks one caught my interest so I decided to share the whole thing here. (Original post here.)

K writes:

Is Kate 7 the definitive last book you will write for this series? or is there the possibilty of more if your publishers buy in again with a new contract? (Same question for the edge series)I know its premature but i’m already dreading the end of the series, although I suppose in the event of an ending, I could be placated with a new series written by you… but it would still be quite sad.

This question has been cropping up a lot lately in the email.  Kate is our bread and butter right now.  The Magic series features a solid setting: there are so many factions, neighborhoods, and cool characters to keep the series going for a while.  It also pays our bills.  Most authors are working authors, with mortgages and college tuition, and children who like to be fed every day.  Very few people can choose, as Castle had done, to murder the protagonist of their main series, because it’s simply not fun to write about him anymore.    It would be equivalent to quitting your job with no prospects on the horizon.

How many books will be written depends on two factors:

a) Will people still like it and buy it?

b) Will we become creatively fatigued?

Very few series out there go past five-six books without degrading in quality.  Look at Xanth.  The first four, five books were great, and then it dissolved into silliness.  There are always exceptions: Terry Pratchett, Robert Parker (it did eventually degrade, but it was excellent for a good twenty years, despite Susan), J.D. Robb.  It would be nice to think that we were among the exceptions but that remains to be seen.  We work very hard to maintain the quality of the series, and that creates a lot of pressure.

People have various opinions about the series having a definite end at seven books: some people are bummed out when thinking about it, some people are adamant the series should end quickly.  Personally, it strikes me a little odd when people come out guns blazing to tell us that they’re huge fans of the series, but no, don’t write any more books in it.  It’s like walking up to a concert pianist and telling him, “Your rendition of Bach was lovely, now please get off the piano, we’re done listening.” You might think it, but you would not necessarily tell that to the pianist’s face.

The decision ultimately belongs to us and I am disinclined to tolerate strong opinions one way or the other.  Basically, nobody tells us what to do with our own storyline.

That said, if there is interest from the readers, who want the continuation of the series, and interest from the publisher, who feels the books are selling strongly and still have an audience, we will strive to continue writing past seven books.

In addition to the seven books under contract, there are also two spin-offs scheduled for the Magic series.  One will likely feature Andrea and the other Dali.  We already signed the contracts for the spin-offs; however, it’s possible the leading ladies will change.  I am also not one hundred percent certain as to the format: will they be first person, third person, will they feature male POV, etc.

That brings us to other changes: the Alphas, which were supposed to be a novel, for now will have to become a novella.  We will be working on it this week. As much fun as it would be to write a novel in that world, it is the weakest of our settings so far and it would need a lot of development.  Our schedule this year is very rigorous.

The main reason for the switch, however, is that we would be spreading ourselves too thin.  I’ve been seeing phrases like “fans of Ilona Andrews” and “Ilona Andrews’ long career” pop up here and there.  It cracks me up.  The first book was published in 2007.  Our “long” career consists of four years.  As much as I would like to be one of those gentle artists who simply can’t be bothered to think of practicalities. I realize that we’re still a new name and we’re basically a flash in the pan, at this point.  We must be conscious of maintaining the quality of the brand, which means not throwing every idea out there, no matter how half-baked it is.  After a long discussion with our agent, we decided to concentrate on Magic and Edge for now.

New Covers:

Everyone who follows along for the new covers knows I am not a fan of Abs covers.  This one is a little nicer because it’s not zooming up on the rock hardness.


What the author had to say:

Ok, I fully admit that I absolutely LOVE this cover!  Waiting for cover art is absolutely one of the most stressful parts of being a writer: Will the art department "get" your vision? Will the characters look anything like what they're supposed to?  Will there be a third hand in the wrong place (don't laugh... I know authors this has happened to), or an ugly font for the title, or will the overall look just make you go "ugh."?
I'm happy to say this cover makes me go "Mmmm...", not "ugh".  :)
Want to read an excerpt from Devil Without a Cause?  Go here.


Deepali said...

A great post again! Really enjoyed the Ilona Andrews Q&A, she makes a good point there with the number of books in the series!
I hope she keeps writing many more books and worlds :)

Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Glad you liked it.

The Q & A really does bring light on the number of books in a series. Hopefully burnout never gets them. ^_-