Recap: Atlanta Book Signing with Ilona and Gordon Andrews


Posted August 10, 2014 by Jessica in Jessica, Miscellaneous / 94 Comments

SO. A lot of you have probably noticed that I haven’t been around a lot the past couple of weeks . . .

There’s a very simple reason for that . . . and that reason is—ILONA ANDREWS.

This is ME with Ilona and Gordon Andrews. Ilona and Gordon Andrews, my FAVORITE authors. Did I mention that this was my very first book signing? 'Cause it was. My very first book signing was with my FAVORITE authors. How cool is that?<------SO COOL.
This is ME with Ilona and Gordon Andrews. Ilona and Gordon Andrews, my FAVORITE authors. Did I mention that this was my very first book signing? ‘Cause it was. My very first book signing was with my FAVORITE authors. How cool is that?<——SO COOL.

YEP. I’m not shy about sharing my Ilona love, and if you’re friends with me on Goodreads, you know the first half of my absence was due to my last minute decision to say, “Who cares that I’ve got a least a dozen books I should be reading? (<——NOT me.) I want to reread Kate Daniels  AGAIN, b/c Magic Breaks  is the last book in this story arc, and I’m not going to miss something, b/c I haven’t read the books in a year.”

So I did.

I’m sorry I’ve neglected some of the blogosphere (but not too sorry, b/c KATE). *shrugs*

Then I had to get over my EPIC book hangover, and after that . . . after that I had to get ready to MEET MY #1 FAVORITE AUTHOR, OMG.

Seriously guys . . . the second I started doing this blog thing, and learned about the book cons, it became my life’s ambition to make it to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention next year, and meet Ilona Andrews. <——I need a new life’s ambition. 😀 😀 😀

OKAY. First you need to know how awesome the Andrews are. They didn’t even have to do a book signing in Atlanta. They were given the option of taking the day off, but they said, “NOPE. We don’t need no stinking day off. Six cities in six days . . . pfft. We got this thing.”

And not only did they sign on for six book signings in six different cities in six days, but (as they are apparently wont to do) they arranged “Meet and Greets” before the actual signings at nearby coffee houses to give fans a chance to just hang out in a casual environment.

And that’s what is going on here (ALSO—the chickypoo in the hot pink shirt is my bff Katy, who was awesome enough to drive 3 hours roundtrip with me, after only getting 3 hours of sleep the night before, b/c nightshift—can we get a round of applause for Katy!):

group3

There were probably around 50 people who showed up for the Meet and Greet. We were arranged in an arc all the way around the Andrews, and how lucky for us that this particular coffee house had stadium seating, right?

Once the Andrews arrived, we had about an hour and half to ask questions, beg for spoilers, see the cover of Kate #8 (it’s amazeballs), and generally just fangirl the heck out.

By the time all of this—both Meet and Greet, and the book signing—was over, I had THREE HOURS of digital recording, which accounts for the second half of my absence. I’m not going to tell you how long it took to transcribe all of it, b/c it’s embarrasing, but trust me . . . it was a LONG time.

group2

I really wish you hear them for yourself, b/c 1. they are hilarious, and 2. Ilona has a fairly thick Russian accent (which is just cool to listen to). Everything I transcribed, from the spoilers and whatnot, are word-for-word verbatim, so even if you won’t be able to tell when her voice goes all sing-song, if you read it with a Russian accent in your head, you can still get a pretty good idea of what it sounded like. PLUS it’s more fun that way.

The very first question was about Nick (Nolastname for those of you haven’t gotten around to reading Magic Breaks yet *looks down nose in condemnation* *taps foot*). Don’t read the spoiler unless you want to know both what Nick’s last name is, AND some spoilery background info that I don’t feel guilty sharing, b/c they shared a less detailed version on their blog.

View Spoiler »

Before Kate #7 came out, there was a lot of discussion concerning certain aspects of the story arc, predictions about the answers to long-running questions, etc., and one of the questions I encountered the most was, “What are the longterm implications of Kate having a intimate relationship with someone?” ALSO—for those of you who are getting sick of people NOT dying, there’s an explanation for that in there as well.

View Spoiler »

Other random Q & A’s:

1. YES, Gordon does intend to write more Curran POVs. The next one most likely will be from Magic Rises to give us some insight into his . . . *coughs* . . . . objectionable . . . *coughs* . . . behavior.

2. YES, the dragon from Magic Tests (the novella included at the end of Magic Breaks) is the same dragon from the Jim and Dali novella, Magic Mourns, and Magic Mourns takes place first in the timeline.

And the dragon question set off a whole slew of novella questions, and you remember how I said the Andrews were awesome? Check this out (it’s about halfway down):

Ilona: We try to do like one mythology per book and Magic Slays was our modern take sort of, and we took the whole idea of like an atomic bomb basically and covered our magical device. We actually got a really, really angry email [from some woman] who felt, even though it was not specifically stated that the creator was autistic.
Gordon: That the creator was what?
Ilona: Autistic.
Gordon: Oooh.
Ilona: She said that it was really unfair that he was treated that way, which is, we didn’t write the character as autistic. You know . . . I see how it could be taken that way, but it was . . . it’s very interesting what people get out of a book, but we also had somebody—we were actually in the copyedit stage—in the original draft of Magic Breaks Doolittle actually walks. B/c he healed. And at the copyedit stage we got this email from this gentleman who said, “You know, it’s so nice to see a disabled person portrayed as an able, functioning member of society. We have nobody, well, we have Professor Xavier, you know, and we just do not have those role models and I’m disabled . . . ” And we read that, and I was like ooohhh . . . Doolittle cannot walk.
Gordon: We gave him like, “I can wiggle my toes.”
Ilona: That’s right. The value of Doolittle to that person supersedes the value of Doolittle to us, so that was one of the cases where we altered the narrative. In general though we don’t do like people who like write us, “Can you wriiiiite where Derek and Julie get togeeether, and then they have babies . . . ” We don’t write to order.

In Magic Rises a beloved character dies, and there was discord in the Andrews home over it. *snickers* If you want to know the details . . .

View Spoiler »

And finally someone did ask about Christopher. It’s not terribly spoilery, but yeah, it is a little bit, so, again, don’t click on it, if you don’t want to know. There also a brief explanation for why someone a lot of us REALLY wanted to die, didn’t die:

View Spoiler »

Thus concludes the Meet and Greet portion of this post.

Ilona and Gordon1

So about two minutes before the book signing was supposed to begin, we all walked from the coffee shop to the bookstore where we more than doubled our number. Atlanta had the biggest turnout of any of the book signings. (*fist pumps*) ALSO—you may be surprised to learn that I am apparently NOT the biggest fangirl, b/c someone made the Andrews a picture book that catalogued all of the different versions of all the different covers of the Kate books . . . SO THERE.

That, of course, prompted them to show the cover to Kate #8 again, but this time we got a funny story to go with it:

Ilona: Here’s the thing—they asked us what we wanted on the cover, and since the book is not written yet, we said, “A girl, a sword, and a lion.” (<——*snickers*) And our editor actually got fussy with us, and she was like, “I will need a little bit more than that.” Okay. “A girl, a sword, a lion, and we want it to be green.” (<——*snickers AGAIN*)

Actually, the next book will be a little bit more about . . . umm . . . we’re hoping to do some Arabian Nights mythology in there . . . and here’s how weird they get, right? So we are, we’re discussing the cover and the fact that Arabian Nights are in there, and she’s like, “You know what we should do? We should have crumbled buildings on the cover again, ’cause that’s GREAT.” So I’m like, YES, okay, crumbled buildings. [Editor——>] “We should have a crumbled mosque.” I’m like NO, we shouldn’t.

Hahahaha!!

People, we will not have any crumbling houses of worship on the cover. We actually got a really nice email one time from a Rabbi . . . over the contents of Magic Bleeds. They were like, “while you research into Talmud is sound . . . here’s why the theory wouldn’t work in real life.” We were kind of not planning for it to work in real life . . .

SEE. She’s hilarious.

There were probably another half dozen anecdotal stories, as well as a lengthy introduction to their next book Burn for Me, but this post is already ridiculously long, so I’m forced to cut it short. (<——HA!)

If anyone is a crazy fangirl like me, shoot me an email (jessica@rabidreads.com), and I’ll send you the transcript.

Ilona and Gordon2

So that is it. Life should be getting back to normal now that I’m not spending several hours everyday transcribing, but honestly—I regret nothing. And seriously, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email if you want more Ilona and Gordon. I’ve got funny stories about their daughters, about the (in)accuracies of their alternate world maps, crazy doomsdayers in Savannah, HOW THEY MET AND THEIR FIRST DATE. Hit me, people!

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.

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94 responses to “Recap: Atlanta Book Signing with Ilona and Gordon Andrews

  1. Oh my gosh I am so very excited for you Jessica! And what an awesome friend you have to make the road trip with you on so little sleep, she does deserve kudos!

    Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!! I really do love this duo, they are amazing and so darn nice and funny!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Sunday Post

    • Thank you! And yeah, she really is great. Totally keep me from losing my mind/going fangirl crazy/etc. too 😉

      You’re very welcome, and they really are. It’s wonderful when the people you admire live up to your expectations, and even exceed them.

  2. YAY Katy! Now, that’s a true friend. I’m SO jelly that you’ve already seen the cover of Kate #8!! And, WHAT!? You are not the biggest fan girl? Looks like you have some work to do, Jessica. 😉

    I’m glad you had a blast at your first signing. When I started reading your post, I was like ‘it’s not that long, why did it take her two weeks to write?’ Then, I expanded all of the spoilers and was like OOooh. LOL I met them at RT 2013, and they were so much fun on pannels! The back-and-forth between these two is priceless. You can tell that they’re married.

    Great post & pics. Look out Dallas, here you come!

    • Jennifer from The Book Nympho  

      I loved seeing them at RT in 2013. I’m going to one of the Kim Harrison signings this fall and I’m really thinking about doing the Houston one since the Andrews will be there with her.

      And if nothing comes up I’m going to RT in 2015 so I’m hoping they will be there since it’s in Dallas and would be easy for them to attend.
      Jennifer recently posted…Romping with Coreene Callahan. Take the Dragonfury Love Match Quiz

      • I can’t even fathom meeting Kim Harrison and Ilona Andrews at the same time, LOL. I really hope you get to do that.

        And yeah, it seems like they always hit RT Con, so hopefully I’ll get to see them again at that. *crosses fingers*

    • Yes, she really is. And the cover to Kate #8 is fantastic. Kate actually looks like Kate for once. HA. Yeah, I’ll definitely have to get on that, LOL.

      Yeah, it was over 3000 words when I finally said enough, and that wasn’t even 1/3 of the material I transcribed. And I bet, there back-and-forth was great. I really enjoyed how obvious it was that it really is a close to equal split between them on the books. There are certain characters/aspects of the books that are completely Gordon’s jurisdiction, and prior to this, I had kind of thought that he pitched in on fight scenes/male dialogue, the end.

      Thanks, Carmel! *crosses fingers*

  3. I am kind of kicking myself because, well I live near Atlanta and didn’t know about this! >.<

    I love the interview questions. I'm glad you had so much fun! 😀

    • Oh no! If you friend request me on Goodreads, I post general updates anytime something like this is going on–when all the Kate books were on sale for $2 each, when they were having there live Booktalk Nation interview, when they posted their book tour dates and locations, etc. I don’t know if you’re on Goodreads, but I’m definitely enough of a fangirl to keep you from missing out in the future if you are 😉

      And THANKS—it was fantastic.

  4. Oh you lucky, lucky girl! I’m so glad you were able to accomplish your life’s goal so quickly, Jessica. And meeting the Andrews is an amazing experience. I ‘met’ them last year at RT but I didn’t go to a meet-n-greet because, um, I’m a dork and was too nervous. But then I talked to Ilona on the elevator and realized that was silly but it was too late. Oh well, I plan on going to RT next year so I’ll make sure to hang out with them. 😉 I’m very happy that you’ve spent the last few weeks in bliss. But I’m glad to have you back. 🙂

    • Right, LOL? Now what am I going to do?! And yeah, seriously not one thing to be nervous about, but at least you know now. And I hope you go to RT Con next year too, b/c even though I’ve met them, I still plan to go. See you in TX, lady!

      Thanks, Brandee! Glad to be back. I missed you too 😉

    • GAH. I need to catch up on Elemental Assassin myself. I’m like 3 or 4 books behind. Can’t wait for you try Kate. Just remember to give it through the second book before giving up, if you don’t like it, b/c book 1 is a bit rocky on the world building front 😉 And yes, BFF is awesome, and so are the Andrews. Totally worth the trip.

  5. Berls from Fantasy is More  

    OMG how great! I haven’t made it to a book signing yet, but my first one will be on October with Kim Harrison and a slew of other authors, so I’m not complaining too bad. But that casual meet and great is say too cool – if they do this everywhere they go by day 7 they must be beyond exhausted! Travel plus having to be “on” for all those hours? Yikes. They’re amazing!

    I actually have yet to even start this series… yes, I know, it’s on my list. I even own like two or three of the books!

    Kudos to hour friend, she gets like a best friend award or something. Is she at least a fan? Because if not, then her award just got bigger loo. I hope you’ll still plan on RT 2015 because it’s here on Dallas and there’s no way I’m missing that when it’s in my city! Woot!
    Berls recently posted…#COYER-SV Update | Sign-up Cut-Offs

    • I’m sure the Kim Harrison (and others) signing will be fantastic. I’m actually really disappointed that she’s not hitting Atlanta this time, b/c she nearly always does, but there’s always future signings. And I can’t wait to see what she has next for us after THE HOLLOWS concludes. An YES, they are so amazingly friendly and down to earth. LOVE them.

      I’m not even going to say anything. I know you’ll get to them eventually, and when you do, and you’re all, “OMG, I can’t believe I waited so long to read this series!!” I’ll just sit there and smile knowingly 😉

      And she totally does, and yes, she is a fan (b/c ME), but she still deserves an award. And I am definitely still planning on going to RT Con 2015. See you there, Berls!

  6. Krista

    Wow, thanks for the transcript!

    I always thought it was weird that Kate and Anna were not close, but I guess that back story makes sense.

  7. Because I’m lame and have not read a book by Andrews (I really do need to get started on that) I skimmed the event just in case I read it soon, I don’t want to get spoiled 😛 but man, that’s awesome you get to meet the fantastic duo! I have notice you’ve been quiet and I figured you have a pretty good reason…and you do! I think if Nalini Singh and Kresley Cole end their series, I would probably do the same so I support this cause. Sometimes we just have to read for ourselves. The author is like this power couple! I’m so glad you had a great time Jessica! And thank you Katy for being an awesome BFF 😀
    Amir recently posted…Review: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Stacy King and Po Tse

    • Man, Amir . . . I really hope you check it out sometime, and I hope even more that you LOVE it, b/c it is my FAVORITE UF series. The first book is a little rough with some confusing world-building, and the Bad Guy is GROSS, but with your love of horror, I don’t think that will bother you much 😉 And Kate and Curran have the slow burn/antagonistic romance to end ALL slow burn/antagonistic romances. And I did have an awesome time—both with the reread AND the book signing. Glad to be back though!

  8. Katy is a gentlewoman and a scholar. Every fangirl needs her bff to keep her in line at these epic moments, am I right? It sounds like you had a BLAST! I’m so happy that meeting Ilona and Gordon was everything you thought it would be! Next life’s ambition…to be the next Ilona Andrews?!?! I could see it 😉 And you better believe that I’ll be emailing about that transcript. I NEED to hear all about their first date! 😀
    Danya recently posted…Review: Skinwalker by Faith Hunter

    • She is, and YES, lol. I’m pretty sure if she hadn’t been there to keep me in line, I’d have acted a fool. Especially b/c it WAS everything I thought it would be. And that would be a worthy ambition, for sure. Consider the transcript sent 😉

  9. OMG, OMG, OMG, I so wish they came closer to me this year because I totally would have went. I can’t believe this was your first signing. You couldn’t have chosen better authors. These two are freaking hilarious. When I saw this last year, I was cracking up the whole time.

    Thank you so much for writing this all down. I love hearing all the spoilers. I never thought too much about the no one dying around Kate thing, so that was new to me. How did I miss that!
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Kindle & Nook Freebies #92

    • I really couldn’t have—it was fabulous AND hilarious too.

      And I didn’t really notice it either, LOL. I don’t pay attention unless people start dying. People living doesn’t make much of a dent beyond, “YAY! They survived!”

    • YEP. It kind of was, LOL. And you WILL come back, b/c before Anne and I are through with you, you’ll love this series too. You haven’t seen snark until you’ve seen Kate snark 😉 *plots and schemes*

      Thanks, Kat!

  10. How Awesome – your first book signing with none other than the Ilona and Gordon Andrews! How did you contain yourself – lol … I love the fact that they actually had those “Meet and Greets” at the local coffee houses. I’m avoiding those spoilers, so tempting though. So happy you were able to do this and that you had such an amazing experience, Jessica! 🙂
    kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Adult Book Review: Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

  11. You KNOW that I love this post! And you know why I do, right? *nods head* That’s because you turned me into an Ilona Andrews fan! I so wish I could have been there! They really do sound like a down to earth couple aaaaaaaaaaand I can also tell you had a great time. Seriously, there was no one more deserving to meet them than you! <— True story. ♥
    Cristina recently posted…Is The Movie Ever Better Than The Book?

    • I did, I did!!<------and that makes me at LEAST as happy as it makes you. I wish you could have been there too, but we'll totally see them at RT Con, and that will also be epic 😉 Thanks, Cristina! MUAH!

  12. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!! THIS IS SO AWESOME JESSICA! And look at your face! You’re so adorably happy, it just makes me smile. What a truly amazing opportunity this was, I’m so envious that you got to meet them, but I could hug you for this recap as it allowed me to be there vicariously through you.

    And more Curran POV? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. So excited:)

  13. Katie  

    Hi, if you’re willing to send a complete stranger a transcript, I’d love to read it!

    I love what you have here! Especially the answer on Kate and intimate relationships because I was wondering about that.

  14. Roxanne

    Love your summary! Will probably be emailing you with the transcript request – I’ll be sure to put in the subject heading. Thank you very much for sharing!

  15. YAY!! I don’t think anything can’t get any better than your first signing being with your very favourite authors!!

    And your bff Katy is a real trooper! I know how tough night shifts can be!

    And having the meet & greet before the actual signing… that’s such a cool thing!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #55!!

    • You know, I can’t either, LOL. It. Was. FANTASTIC.

      She really is. She was on night shift that entire week, and doesn’t usually work nights, so it was even worse than usual.

      Yeah, they are very fan-friendly 😉

  16. I’m dying of envy after reading your recap. I want to meet them… I’m dying to meet them. I love their books and for what you tells us they are as great as their books.
    I want your transcript… please, pretty please with a cherry on top.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  17. Barbara

    Hi Jessica! Thanks so much. I’m a HUGE Andrews fan and I loved the transcript. Could you email me the rest of it? I’d love to read any thing Kate Daniels related.
    Thanks in advance!