Interview with Luisa Preissler
Mihir of Fantasy Book Critic is featuring Luisa Preissler today, the artist who created the beuatiful images for BLOOD HEIR, SMALL MAGICS, and KINSMEN. Click here to read the interview.
New Art from Jessica
Jessica, who is the artist behind the If Sky Could Dream, It would Dream of Dragons image, shared new art with us.
It’s a beautiful version of Kate’s raven tattoo. I really like that it’s not literal, but this ethereal, magical image. There is something about the delicate pencil work that makes it seem like an illustration of a book.
Jessica has a Redbubble shop and has our permission to create merchandise based on our work. If you would like merchandise with this image, please let her know in the comments.
Disclaimer: we receive no money from the sale of the merchandise from Jessica’s shop.
We now have an Instagram account. Well, technically we’ve had one for years, but we never did anything with it. That’s changed.
A few years ago, during the Urban Fantasy boom, the “book” internet offered a plethora of blogs. They thrived on the trend, offering reviews and advertising opportunities. Unfortunately, most of those marketing streams have now dried up. There are many reasons for that, but the primary reason is probably that paranormal romance and urban fantasy trend is over. Less authors are producing these books, less of them are willing to pay for advertisement, and less people are interested in reading these genre reviews.
Because of this development, we have a dilemma. How do we let Kate Daniels fans know that new book set in the world is coming out? The answer to this is complicated but can be boiled down to show up in places we previously couldn’t reach. Instagram is one of those places. If you are there, we would appreciate if you followed us.
You will likely see a bit more marketing than usual from us in the next month. We are trying to haul this wagon forward any way we can.
Also, if you are a librarian and want an ARC of BLOOD HEIR, please email me through the contact form on the website with your credentials. Choose any technical issue. BLOOD HEIR will be available to libraries, and we want to get the book into your hands in hopes that if you like it, you would consider it for the inclusion into your library’s collection.
Whoa, that is some gorgeous artwork by some seriously talented people!
Jessica Maciel says
To what pertains to me, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
It’s beautiful! 🥰😊
+1 SERIOUSLY talented.
Jéssica Freitas says
thank you <3
We’re glad Georgia is on your mind. Hilarious!
Ummmm y’all are awesome and I’ll probably buy anything you want to sell on instagram or elsewhere 😉
Robert Stockbridge says
I have tried to get my library to order Blood Heir and they tell me it is not available to them through any of their contacts either hard copy or digital.
Its not out until Jan. 8 correct? Maybe they can’t work with pre-orders. Some places get twitchy that way. Or its the self publish. If its available via Ingram or B&T it becomes troublesome.
I’m sending to our college librarian. She’s a big fan. And I’ll request at the public library too. I wished for an eARC from NetGalley so I’ll see! It doesn’t seem to be up on edelweiss and time is short until publication.
Luisa and Jessica are so talented! I would love any art and merch related to Kate Daniels that I can get. Will definitely visit Redbubble.
Jéssica Freitas says
Used our online public library ‘recommend’ button to recommend for library purchase.
I searched generally in Overdrive for Blood Heir and then at the bottom, there was an option to recommend it to the library. So I did!
Thanks for the heads-up, E. I’ve already pre-ordered the print version for my library but when I last checked OverDrive it wasn’t yet available. I’ll put it in my cart!
Jéssica Freitas says
I loved the interview!!! Luisa is such a cool person, she is always incredibly humble and kind when answering on her twitter! If she wanted to make fans curious and super excited about that possible future new illustration for House Andrews she has 100% succeeded with me.
I’m also soooo excited about your new presence on instagram Ilona, cannot wait for what you have in store for that platform. And again, you never, ever, cease to amaze me with how kind, supportive and generous you have been. I am truly humbled and so grateful for you and your kind words. Thank you <3
Do you have any plans to create art based off the Innkeeper series? It’s my favorite and I would love something from it. Thank you! 😊
Lovely art!!! I like/follow Daniel Dos Santos for his artwork so will add Jessica as well!
And followed 🙂 “I choose the wolf” squee!!
I like Dos Santos’ work that he does for Patricia Briggs.
Patricia Schlorke says
The artwork in all the books, including Blood Heir, is amazing. I am always amazed with people who can draw, paint, or other types of art, since I do not have that talent.
I can just see that post sign where the interstate signs say “Welcome to Georgia”, or where the Atlanta city limits signs are located. 😀
I wish the genre wasn’t drying up. I’m always on the lookout for new UF & PNR but it’s hard. There’s a ton of STUFF out there but most of it is dreadful. (Like every time the magical undeniable all powerful MATE BOND is dropped in a story so the work of character development, chemistry, build up, can all be skipped – makes me so angry!)
Anyway, if anyone has any recs for new or lesser known UF, please share!
Amy J says
OMG – the whole “magical undeniable all powerful MATE BOND” is not my cup of tea either. It’s a hard pass for me as well when I see it. I prefer the buildup and characters that have a choice – it’s much richer to me.
The only time i enjoy the mate bond premise is when at least 1 of the parties involved struggles to ignore or negate it. Katie McAllister does a great job with injecting humour. And I can’t get enough of Shelly Laurenston’s version. 🤩
You might try Nalini Singh’s Psy Changeling series. There is a mating bond but it usually doesn’t make an appearance until after the chemistry and build up and it often creates more problems than it solves.
I’m a fan of Nalini Singh’s stuff. I don’t hate the idea of a mate bond, when it’s done well. It’s just often not! lol
I think Jodi Taylor’s St. Mary’s series counts as UF. Lindsay Buroker has a dragon urban fantasy series that just finished on Kindle Unlimited, she is reliably excellent. Seanan Mcguire released Dying with Her Cheer Pants On which is maybe my favorite recent book. Can’t beat a zombie cheerleader, except maybe with one who is half vampire.
K M D says
LB started a second part to her Val series. I just finished the first (8th) book last night, part 2 is due at the end of December 🙂
I am a Librarian but currently not working. I always suggest your books for purchase at my local library system. I also suggest all formats. Book, ebook, audiobook for download. With pandemic I have been downloading ebooks and audio but my preferred format is the book. Sometimes the self published books get an initial NO for purchase, but I think due to the demand the library eventually will purchase it at least in book format. With the pandemic the Library has been getting more ebooks and audiobooks.
Thanks for the link and the artwork! Very cool.
Melissa Buckley says
I have never wanted to be a librarian more than I do in this moment 🤦🏼♀️😳😀 I can not WAIT until January 💕
Me too! Being a librarian is my dream job, but unfortunately where I live it’s only a part time job, so I’ve moved it to my retirement job wish list….. 👵😊
Followed! Good luck with getting more traffic to instagram! I’m so sad to hear the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genre isn’t popular anymore. I discovered it 10 years ago and I can’t imagine having no more of my favorite genre to read 🙁 I also only finally managed to convince my friends to start reading your novels. They got so hooked!
Maria Z says
You can also recommend books to your library, which is what I am going to do.
I didn’t even reach the “please follow us” part of the post before I had hopped, skipped, AND jumped over to Instagram. I already have one copy of your available for pre-order books…um…preordered. We’ll all help you haul that wagon as much as we can ♥
Noni Webster says
Telling me urban fantasy us dead breaks my heart. I have a deep love for this genre!!
I buy both the audio and ebook version of ALL of your books and so many fab authors …
I don’t know what to say to this news. I will follow on IG and do my part to brag up Kate’s stories.
Thank you for being willing to return to her world and bring us new tales.
Thank you for sharing name – off to read a new book now!
Wishing you much success on your Instagram adventures.
Wow those are awesome. Ive bought from Jess’s redbuble before. Going to add this one to my bday/Christmas list.
And I will go put in a request at my libraries to see if they can add some copies.
You guys are awesome. Cant wait to read it!
Don’t know if this helps or not but I have cards at 3 different libraries. I went on the ‘recommend to buy’ bit on overdrive and submitted Blood Heir for all of them. I’ve already preordered my own copy but I tend to do this for all the authors I like where the library doesn’t have the full selection of their works to help fill in the gaps. If the libraries know there is interest I think they are more likely to buy them. That way when people (new readers and returning fans alike) look up the author they can see the new works.
Maybe this is one way fans can help promote it. Doesn’t take much time or effort ( took me literally about 2 minutes to submit across all 3 libraries from my overdrive app) and I have found that my libraries generally will end up buying the stuff I’ve asked them to. 🙂
…. even though I’m not Korean I just had the random urge to pump my fist in your direction and cheer out “Fighting!”
I do the same thing! I’ve been checking every couple of days for weeks for Blood Heir to show up so that I could recommend and finally it has! Two of my libraries (the larger ones) tend to purchase recommended items and as a bonus, when they do purchase it, I get to be high on the holds list. 😀
I also recommend it to my library’s digital borrowing platform, even though I purchase copies for myself, in the hopes that others can enjoy it also. 😊
Seriously talented art work. Thank you so much for sharing!
FOLLOWED! My post two days ago was Innkeeper love, lol.
Paranormal romance and UF “trend” is over? Huh. I didn’t get the memo. WTH would publishers decide readers don’t want these books? I read more of these and fewer of regular romance or SF/F. Crazy.
Remember, we are talking statistics. Readers will follow a certain trend. While Game of Thornes series ran, people gobbled up fantasy romances, for example. Son of Anarchy produced a significant demand for biker romances, etc. That doesn’t meant that UF as a genre is dead or dying or anything like that. It just isn’t wildly popular.
What Kate Daniels fans don’t stalk your blog and your FB group?? Where are these so-called “fans”?? 🙂
Okay, maybe it’s just me and few others who have taken our “fan” status to the “fanatic” level!
I will just say, if there is ANY Ilona Andrews news on this site or on FB you have more the problem of us all trying to trample each other to get our hot little hands on the new stuff rather than us being in ignorance of what is coming.
Doesn’t EVERYONE have a list of favorite authors (IA at the top, of course) that they stalk and check in on regularly to make sure we aren’t missing out?
I want to make sure everyone has a chance to read Ilona. My husband thinks I’m a little crazy though.
I put in for an ARC even though it’s a long shot. Sometimes long shot wishes come true, right? Can’t wait for the book.
Artwork with detail like this is something that always just blows my mind – right along with great writing, really. I’m creative, but that just seems like a whole ‘nother level.
Stay well all!
Anne in Virginia says
Is Gordon going to re-activate his Twitter account? It’s good to cast as wide net as possible when reaching for marketing opportunities. I personally consider it a public service when I can introduce a new reader to your writing, especially in these trying times when a good story can give us needed respite.
Anne in Virginia
I have a lot of books and have lent them to other people. I’m a librarian!
I would probably drop in for a tshirt of this beauty of an image. Will have to hunt it up. Is it posted on redbubble or are we just polling for interest?
Thank you for encouraging small artists and for writing what you do….
I still love to read urban fantasy and paranormal romance. My only gripe is when authors spend more time cramming every other chapter with multiple porn scenes than focusing on the actual storyline. Fortunately, this is never the case with Ilona Andrews books, which are always first rate.
Richard Cartwright says
Ilona, or anyone else who might know, I have noticed that Hoopla (an Overdrive competitor) the Chattanooga TN library has all of the Sweep series, Iron and magic, the Hidden Legacy, and Kinsman world stories, and Edge audiobooks. Not the mainline KD novels. Is that a publisher permission thing?
Would you be willing to consider a librarian and educator in Cambridge, UK?
There is a huge following of urban fantasy books (and many other genres) on TikTok, known as booktok. I’ve seen your books recommended in videos about awesome female characters etc. This is where the people moved to when they got bored during lockdowns and got addicted to it so they stayed. It’s not just kids dancing anymore.
Valerie in CA says
In Sacramento County, California it isn’t the librarians that always make the book choices. It’s us, the readers! 😊. Although I buy your books I also recommend my library purchase them in paperback, electronic, and audio formats.
I’ve had other friends make the same recommendations and my library will sometimes purchase more than one copy. It’s based on demand. I hope this helps all authors whose books I recommended
Anyone else catch this in Luisa’s interview?? Whee!!
“there might also be another illustration for Ilona Andrews in the works. :)”
If you are a library user you can probably suggest “Blood Heir” as a purchase. My library is closed because of COVID and have suspended their “suggest a purchase” until they reopen, but when they open it again I will suggest it. And the more people suggest something, the more likely they are to get it.
Ooooh after 10,000 followers on a Business account you’ll get lots of goodies like being able to link straight to a “Buy your book” page.
In Stories, to be specific.
I don’t really Instagram, but followed you there regardless.
Charlinda Brashear says
I love paranormal romance and will Stan forever. Please keep ‘em coming!
Being a librarian is weird right now and helping connect people with books they’ll enjoy is harder than ever while our building is closed for browsing. I’m jumping on the bandwagon to say if there are books you want your library to buy never hesitate to tell them.
Barbara Bartle says
I tried to pre-order a paper Blood Heir from my local B&N and they couldn’t find it. I’d rather not order from Amazon. Will B&N be able to order it in paper closer to the release date?
Are you considering switching genres or riding things out until UF/PR comes back?
I’d assume you’re pretty insulated from trends as successful as you are?
Great interview and great artwork!
Reading blog … ‘We now have an Instagram account’ … put down laptop, actually get out of chair (it’s been a big week), go find phone, open insta … get distracted by daughter’s post, put phone down, look at laptop, pick phone up again, concentrate long enough to follow @ilona_andrews, go straight to photo of pie 😀 Apparently it’s called apple pithiver. I want some, now, without leaving my chair again 😀 😀 😀
Welcome to insta, @ilona_andrews!! 😀 <3
I’ve been consuming the scifi/sword&sorcery genre for decades and it rises and falls. The only thing that changes is the labels — until the wimmenz rose up and forced their way past the old gate keepers. Oh, sure Ursala K., CJ Cherryh, Andre Norton, and Anne McCaffrey were producing commercially successful works for years (not to mention Mary Shelley nearly 200 years ago), but it was genre dominated by men. This new iteration of speculative fiction seems to be fueled by the successes of Anne Rice and JK Rowling (nope, never read either one), and the wimmenz who said to themselves, “Hey, I can do that!” proved they could bring it. I for one, welcome our new overladies and I count myself lucky that I have a couple of library memberships (a metro Atlanta county, and an extensive library combined of multiple counties in western NC), that have House Andrews’ KD series. I would finish those books at 3 am, and immediately went to Overdrive to check out the next one or, more often than not, got in the checkout line. Eventually, I started purchasing (protip: Book bub has great deals, daily. Even House Andrews works show up) just so I wouldn’t have to wait when I knew I’d be rereading those books.
And when it comes to descriptive sexxxy time, IA, Jeanine Frost and Nalini Singh prove that isn’t the exclusive purview of male authors.
I work part-time in the Cataloging Dept. at the library, having retired after 30 years. They take purchase suggestions through the website very seriously so I will hit them up that way. (Purchasing got tired of me emailing them directly)
This might be a good way for the BDH to get the word out to their local public libraries. Most PL with a website have a “Suggested Purchase” or some such wording section for customers.
I love all of the pictures on your site, the covers of „Small Magics“, „Blood Heir“ and the new picture of Julie. I always imagined both Julie and Kate this way!
Thank you and the artist for the fine work!
Honestly I think blood heir was one of the only good things to come from this hellscape of a year.
Can’t wait to read it!!!!
Gaëlle from France says
Wow, the raven is beautiful !! I love how Slayer has steam (fume) around the blade. Absolutely gorgeous.
What beautiful art works! The interview with Luisa made me smile so much! What a joy it must be to get to do artwork for books you really love.
Next semester is my last before I get my Masters of Library and Information Sciences so that I can actually be a librarian and work in a library. Additional motivation is ARCs like this! <3
Love the artwork. That may be my favorite Kate. **smile**
I work in circulation at my library in Victoria BC, and we have always ordered your books. Will it be available in Canada? I can suggest the title to our system selector.
Not on Instagram—or any social media—but I bookmarked it to see what you post. Hoping to see the devil Roomba.
And while you certainly know your market a million times better than I do, Amazon seems to be having no problem in finding UF to recommend for me. Some has been dreck, but it did recommend BR Kingsolver, who has produced no fewer than four series I really like…and one I didn’t, which puts her in Authorlord territory.
Roger Thomas says
Now that this book is done, any thought on expanding on the last paragraph of Sweep of the Blade? Klaus as a Arbitrator? Sorry if this query is a breach of author etiquette.
K M D says
So gorgeous! I love all the cover work she’s done for House Andrews. And bonus: She’s going to do cover work for Rachel Aaron. If you’ve never read Nice Dragons Finish Last, run to go get it. An amazing series, and I can’t wait to see what new book she has coming out.
Tina K says
Love Luisa’s work – thanks for providing the interview link. and I’ve followed on IG !
FYI – I wrote to my favourite local librarian to ask her to request an ARC as Ilona and Gordon requested , and she wrote back what she thought would be a more successful method:
“Rather than requesting an ARC from this author for myself, I think it would be better for you to make a request for purchase. It looks to me as though the book is only available as an ebook (I don’t see a print record on Amazon or on our vendor’s site) but there is a record on Overdrive which is our main ebook platform. I think that if you request the book this way, it’s very likely that the library will purchase it. We always want to get the books that you want into your hands if possible! ”
It only took me 2 clicks to recommend the purchase once I signed into the library site.
So perhaps readers can find out if their own local libraries have the “Recommend for Purchase” feature on their websites.
Both of them create artwork that is absolutely amazing! Such talent!
Like so many others, I buy your books and recommend them to our library.
Sadly I have to wait 4 more days to recommend Blood Heir because I’ve reached my recommendation limit. 😄
I used up my allotted recommendation for one of the early Pip and Flinx books by ADF that was missing. 😬
If anyone uses Overdrive (app for library ebook borrowing), search for “Blood Heir”, then scroll down down down, until the “Not Owned” section appears. Blood Heir should appear, and you can click Recommend beneath it. I’m not sure how it works exactly, but I imagine the more readers request a book, the more likely to be purchased by the library.
Maria Schneider says
I am one of those blogs who used to have a bunch of followers and now have maybe a tenth of them. HOWEVER, I will be happy to blog any new releases you have. I also have a newsletter with about 900 subscribers–I can easily be convinced to put sales/specials in there and new releases. I generally include one or more of your books in the newsletter anyway if I happened to have read one in time. I believe one of the Hidden Legacy books was in my last NL…
Yup the Sapphire one. I send out a NL any time I have enough reviews, but I can blog news anytime and I signed up to your newsletter so should be better able to keep up! Love the books, love the art–keep on going! We need you out here!
Does anyone know what book (or possibly other type of media) the picture that Luisa did with the blond woman, a sword, a gun thingy, and a white tiger is for? Just based off of the cover alone, it looks interesting and I was hoping that if it was a book, that I could find it. Thanks! 😊
Found it! If anyone else wondered it’s “Mist and Magic” (sorry, I can’t underline on my phone). Now off to go see what it’s actually about! 😊
Love the raven image. Jessica, please use that image in your shop.
Will recommend Blood Heir to our local library! Bonus: if the purchase a recommended book the person who suggests it gets to be the first to check it out😁. FYI Emerald Blaze is on our library’s Lucky Day E-book list right now.
Say it isn’t so!!!!! Urban fantasy is my favorite genre along with scifi and fantasy. I hate that it is a fading genre. I think your books are hands down the best urban fantasy out there (along with Patricia Briggs) and want to see more great authors in this genre not less. I know that I will read anything and everything that you produce because your writing is phenomenal but I am reading less and less in general because books aren’t being produced fast enough for me. As it is the scifi market is so slow that I read just about everything produced each month. Anyway. Just my personal rant about something I had noticed starting a couple of years ago that is really escalating now. As you mentioned. Have you thought about tiktok? There are tons of fans of yours who would love tiktoks from you. I’m sure they would love to duet your knitting or art or dramatically read your works or create songs based on your stuff or…the creative stuff is endless on tiktok.
Patricia Ruocco Lisle Library District, Lisle IL 60532 says
Hi Ilona and Andrew!
I am indeed a professional librarian (for over 30 years –[arrgh!]) I’m working at the Lisle Library District in Lisle IL, 60532 I’m not the selector for our urban fantasy collection (I’ve got mysteries) but Gail Graziani, our Assistant Director of Adult Services does. And she is very open to my suggestions in this area, as she knows I’m an uber-fan of urban fantasy — especialy yours! (I’ve been guilty of going through the urban fantasy and new book areas and facing your books out) They get more attention then. 😉
We would love to get an arc of Blood Heir and I know we’ll be adding it to our collection here! — All best always, Patti
P.S. We have blogs for all our discussion groups, so I’m sending you one for Gail’s SFF blog, and one for my mystery one: Murder Among Friends (MAF)
I love Jessica’s work!
The artwork is gorgeous but what is blowing me away is your statement that urban fantasy and paranormal romance are over? Good grief, not for this reader. This makes me want to howl with grief and denial if it means there will be less of it published.
I read science fiction and fantasy beginning from childhood and naturally moved over to urban fantasy and paranormal romance which I have always thought had some of the most interesting and entertaining ‘worlds’ around. You and your husband of course, and also Jim Butcher, Alex Bledsoe, G.A. Aiken/Shelly Laurenston, Benedict Jacka, Rebecca Roanhorse, and John Hartness for his Bubba stories. I live in Alabama and love Bubba. I recently read Kelley Armstrong’s A Stitch in Time which I would call paranormal romance and loved it so much.
Loving the art work. Insta- followed😊
Cheryl M says
Well, once a librarian, alas, not at this point. Good luck with the marketing!
Wow to both of those artists. Absolutely beautiful work. I will definitely be hitting the follow button on Instagram; and I have never wished to be a librarian more than right now so I could get my hands on an ARC lol.
I have recommended Blood Heir to all 3 libraries I have access to, and as with all Ilona Andrews books it will have a huge wait list.I’m just thrilled I found out early from the blog that it had been added to the list so I can get a head of the stampede 😁
Patti Ruocco says
I would love to see your store’s “Kate Daniels’ raven’ artwork. I’m already a fan of yours. — & have the dragon t-shirt!
I requested my library purchase the book and they said they will!! Hooray!!
If we all do this it will give the book more exposure. Libraries usually have a request form online. It took me abt 2 mins.
Thank you Ilona and Gordon. I cannot wait!
This artwork is so beautiful. I’d love to be able to buy a shirt.
Slayer is just like I imagined it…
BTW instagram!!! I’m hyped.
Alicia Young says
I did notice the boom of writing but did NOT know that less people are reading UF and PR. Why? what’s wrong with them? are book genres fads? is that a thing? am I so out of the loop that I didn’t know it was a thing
Saleena Davidson says
I just want to say that I am glad urban fantasy isn’t dead, and I tell EVERYONE to buy/read your books. I don’t need an ARC, just sending encouragement and love from this librarian to one of my favorite authors. I will be buying it for me and my library. And you come up on my podcasts all the time. Thank you for sharing yourself on this blog, and creating worlds I can lose myself in.
Lorna Carr says
Hello, I’m looking to preorder blood heir and I can only find it on American sites. Are you planning to release it to Amazon Canada and/or Indigo chapters?
Kathleen Nickel says
My name is Kathleen Nickel and I am a Library Experience Guide with Calgary Public Library. I have had a 30 year career in libraries in Alberta and British Columbia. I would be delighted to receive an ARC of Blood Heir for consideration for our collection. The address info is:
Shawnessy Public Library
#300-333 Shawville Blvd SE
Calgary, Alberta T2Y 4H3
With many thanks in advance.