I welcome back to the blog one of my all-time favorite authors, Ilona Andrews. Gordon, one-half of the husband-wife writing team known as Ilona Andrews, is here celebrating the release of their newest title, Iron and Magic.
Interview with Gordon Andrews:
Jen: Today we are celebrating the release of Iron and Magic, the first book in your Hugh d’Ambray-centric, Iron Covenant series. Will you tell us more about the book and share with us how this book/series fits into your hugely popular Kate Daniels series? Should Kate Daniel readers finish this book before cracking open Magic Triumphs later this summer? Can new-to-Kate readers start this series without having read Kate first?
Gordon Andrews: This is the book where we, hopefully, redeem Hugh and he gets the girl. It takes place Magic Binds and Magic Triumphs, so yes, I would recommend reading Iron and Magic before reading Magic Triumphs. Fortunately, it comes out a couple months prior. We tried to explain everything, so I think you can pick up Iron and Magic without reading the other Kate books, but I don’t think you would have as much of an idea of who Hugh is and his history.
Jen: Although he’s mostly portrayed as a villain, Hugh has been popular with many of your readers. What prompted you to pen stories from his point of view? Will the books be solely Hugh’s POV or will Elara share the stage?
GA: It started as an April fool’s joke, but I remember exactly what we were doing when we started talking about how we could really make a book out of it. We were staying in New Braunfels, which is a quint very German town in the middle of Texas. We at the Faust hotel, which was reported to be haunted. We didn’t see any ghosts, but in the morning, we decided to walk down to a little breakfast place and have coffee. So we sat outside the shop, drank coffee, ate kolaches, and plotted it out. While it started as a joke, people seemed open to the idea and we were excited to write it. It’s very much Hugh’s book, but Elara has a big part, and we do see things from her point of view.
Jen: After spending so much time getting to know Hugh through Kate’s head, were there challenges switching gears and jumping into Hugh’s head? Will we see a softer, kinder, misunderstood Hugh?
GA: Hugh does not see himself the way Kate sees him. We get a better understanding of why he did the things he did as Hugh examines his life after Roland. He is still a bastard, but I think we do humanize him a bit and I think we show a side of him that Kate never saw. It wasn’t really challenging, because we knew what went on in his head while we were writing Kate’s books.
Jen: Did you know that June is Audiobook Month? We are huge audiobook fans here at That’s What I’m Talking About, and look forward to listening to Iron and Magic as well as reading it. Do you know when we can expect the audiobook? How was your search for a male narrator? Can you share with us more details?
GA: I did not know about the Audiobook month, but we are both fans of audio books and we have an Audible account we share. We are happy to announce that Steve West will be doing the narration for Iron & Magic.
We have heard a sample of Steve West’s narration and we were blown away. We were so lucky to have gotten him for this project. We love Rene Raudman and she will always be the voice of Kate, but this is Hugh’s book and Steve knocks it out of the park. He is also a really nice guy. We have spoken with him on the phone about some of the pronunciations, and he is great to work with.
It did take a while to find him and we were not sure he would take the job but again we are so happy that he did, and we think the fans will more than pleased with the job he did, he took the book and made it his own.
Jen: I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the fact that Kate is coming to an end with Magic Triumphs in August. Will readers catch glimpses of Kate and Curran in the Iron Covenant series, or will you keep the power couple away from Hugh and Elara? (This is assuming they both survive the last story!)
GA: Ohh, I don’t know how much I am allowed to say. Kate and Curran do not appear in Iron and Magic but a few familiar faces do. Spoiler alert: Hugh and Elara do show up in Magic Triumphs, however. Roland looms large in both.
Jen: Okay! I guess we’ll just have to read alone to find out more!
Congratulations on the announcement of a three-book plus novella deal to continue the Hidden Legacy series! You are also in the midst of finishing your fourth Innkeeper Chronicles tale. Not to mention you are parents of two active kids and adorable pets… How do you find the time to write? How do you keep each set of characters and worlds separate and unique? Have you ever found yourself writing about Nevada visiting the Inn or such?
GA: Thank you, we are excited to continue the Hidden Legacy series. The Maud and Arland book is coming along, but I don’t know how close we are to finishing it. We’ve had a lot going on this year. Our children are grown. Only one lives near us, though we are working on getting our eldest a little closer to home; and we recently realized that most of our animals are on the older or even elderly side. I guess it’s not as hectic as it used to be for us and we are able to devote more of our day to writing. We are looking forward to writing and traveling for many more years together.
Jen: Thank you so much for joining me today, Gordon! We are HUGE fans of your work and look forward to reading and listening more from you!
About the Book:
No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.
Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.
Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she’s trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.
Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?
As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”
Hugh and Elara may do both.
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Series: Iron Covenant #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (406 pages), e-book, audiobook
About the Authors:
“Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)
Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.
They have co-authored four NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels, rustic fantasy of the Edge, paranormal romance of Hidden Legacy, and Innkeeper Chronicles, which they post as a free weekly serial. For complete list of their books, fun extras, and Innkeeper installments, please visit their website at Ilona-andrews.com.