I’ve listened to the entire audiobook of Hail Mary by Andy Weir. It was a good book. It had a lot of science.
I did not like the way it ended! Yeah, yeah, I get the set up for it and bitter sweet and all that, but I did not like it. I didn’t want bitter sweet, I just wanted sweet. My feelings cannot handle bitter right this second.
Do Not Like.
I usually color mandalas with very shiny glitter pens while listening, and the closer we got to the end, the more drab my mandalas became. Bleah.
And there you have it, my fussy book review.
Anyway, onto the fallout from the previous post. Fated Blades is Kinsmen, not Innkeeper. We haven’t selected the name for the innkeeper things yet. We don’t know if this is a novella or the final novel of the parents’ arc. We know nothing, John Snow. Except for the plot. We know that.
The preorder link for Ruby Fever on UK is probably real. Two days ago, the editor emailed requesting “copy,” a short synopsis of the book, which was supposed to be only used internally. We requested that it is kept off schedule. The book is going excruciatingly slow. Gordon and I are forcing ourselves through it. We have now passed all stages of making it easier and are down to the ultimate option: no deadline. This means the book will be done when it’s done. The pressure of having a deadline would make things a lot harder.
Apparently, despite that discussion, Avon feels that the book should be out on August 18, 2022.
I’d like to know the source of their optimism. Because it sure as hell not us or our “amazing” progress of writing 40K over the last 3 months, which is 1/3 of our typical writing speed. We should have been done by now… 3 times over.
Ironically, the book is good, apparently, from what everyone that read what we have says. It’s not the matter of quality. We just deeply hate it.
If the book is due on August 18, 2022, it must be in 8 months before that which would make it December. So we have a deadline of December. I’d scream, but I would scare the dogs.
Austin has gone back to Stage 5 COVID. The COVID is spreading at the fastest, most aggressive rate since the start of the pandemic. Right now there are 10 ICU beds available in the entire Region 0, meaning we have 10-ICU beds per 2.3 million people.
Trying to think of something nice to end the post with. Umm…. Well, turns out my medical appointments went better than expected. That’s something. No more cardio tests for a bit.
Yesterday there was a scorpion on the AC vent in Kid 1’s bathroom, which she saw by chance. It fell and we killed it before it stung her, so yay.
Kid 1’s boyfriend is slowly improving. Also yay.
I’m going to go into the office and write at least 1,000 words.
Whee! Posting first cause it’s my birthday! I’ll go read now! Have a great weekend!
Happy Birthday and congrats on first post! 🙂
Thank you! It’s the little things in life that bring joy!
Happy birthday ????
Happy birthday to you!^^
Happy Birthday!(a bit late????)
I don’t care how long the book takes. I read them over and over and over and over for years on end. Thank you so much for making it good.
I’m sorry it’s hard. If it helps any, please know the effort you are putting in will bring me probably hundreds of hours of comfort in the years to come, and that you are so much appreciated.
I completely second this.
Completly my opinion as well!
I agree too
Plus 9 million!
YES to this.
I’m along for the ride. I don’t care if it’s a slow ride. I’m literally fine with going back and re-reading because there’s so much flavor in the books and world-building and I just ~enjoy~ being in your worlds. It’s like visiting old friends (each series) and it’s provided so many hours of an entertaining but safe place (mentally) to be right now, that I’m good with re-reading and when you’re done with whatever, that’s cool, too.
Patricia B. says
+1 ::warm fragrant tea ::Soothing hugs:: 🙂
Absolutely! I tautoko this 100% ❤
Taylor H says
What Daisy said! Hours and hours of joy!
Pollyanna Hopson says
I completely agree also
I go through phases where I just want to listen to the same thing over and over. It might be a song, podcast, music artist, tv show, or audio book. Right now it’s Emerald Blaze. I think I’ve listened to it 15 times in the last month while I work or knit.
I’ve loved all the snippets y’all have released so far. When I read them I hear the characters in Emily Rankin’s voice which is fun.
I totally ship an Eeyore / Tigger pair, especially when Eeyore is female and Tigger has seen some shit, so he’s not so annoyingly bouncy. Like, seriously, hold still for a minute or she’s going to have to tranq you. It’s for your own good.
Side note. Anyone imagine all these sharp shooters playing laser tag or paintball? Such carnage. How would they even pick teams?? Draw lots? Guys vs Girls? House Baylor vs House Rogan?
There was a Suzanne Brockman book that had Navy Seals, CIA, FBI and civilians playing laser tag – it’s been a long time since I read that series (Troubleshooters).
That was a fun series, I think I’ll reread it.
Or rather listen to them repeatedly. At this point the puppy knows the sound of Renee Raudman’a voice equal Mom’s needlework or knitting time and heads for the ottoman to get ready to flip on my legs.
Alison Parker says
Everything Daisy says it’s absolutely how I feel. I’ve already listened to the Innkeeper set, Nevada’s, all three of Catalina’s and I’m headed in for The Edge set now.
Thank you so much for all your brilliant writing!
+1 more Daisy!
+1 I’m rereading Blood Heir right now, after coming off deadlines that had me working 3-4 hours a day *at our family beach vacation*. This was an outrage.
I will just keep reading your back catalog, and those of a few other authors, plus the occasional new one that catches my eye. William Kent Kreuger’s This Tender Land was the latest. It wrapped up a little neatly, but I still highly recommend.
+ another 1
Lynn Thompson says
Same here, also.
I just wish this weren’t a book you were hating to write. That sounds unpleasant. I hope it’s just that the process of writing it has been hard and that’s what you’ve been hating. It would be sad for you and for us if it was the story itself you hated.
I also hope you take the time you need to take, for the sake of your mental and emotional health. Despite my very real eagerness for more, I’d much rather you took the necessary care of yourselves first.
This sums up pretty much how I feel too. Reading your books pulled me out of the dark hole I was in after a crazy scary mono-mono pregnancy (the last month of which was spent inpatient for constant monitoring), 4 months in the NICU and another 3 months in the cardiac ICU with multiple surgeries for one of my littles. I went to that dark place again a few months later when I lost my dad unexpectedly, and we had another round of surgeries with several setbacks for my little one. There are several authors whose books I have re-read but it was your books that I consistently turned to when I needed a place to escape to for short periods because my reality was unbearable over the last 3 years. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for creating magic with your words.
((Hugs)) I hate it when you need happy and get disappointment. Hopefully your next read or listen will give you what you need from it.
Good luck with everything and to all the people pushing for a deadline: ???????? (or obscene hand gestures, it’s up to you).
Huh. Got a weird error when I tried to post. Let’s try this again.
My brother and SIL live in Austin. I asked them if they had any scorpions let. I mentioned my favorite authors had an incident. I can’t remember the town you live in but I can always remember New Braunfels (mentioned in HL), so I say you lived around there, which isn’t far from them, I don’t think. Anyway, he said they didn’t have scorpions (a neighbor had an issue with a snake) but my brother has exterminators come in every 3 months.
Joann K says
*offers soothing tea*
Ruby Fever will be great!
I’m so sorry you are struggling with Ruby Fever. Of course, the BDH wants to read it, but not at the expense of misery for you and Gordon.
Book suggestion for you with a hopeful ending. Small problems come up and they get solved. People talk to one another. People help each other. Bullies lose.
I don’t do manga or anime but those who do say it has that sort of feel.
The Book of Firsts by Karan K. Anders. Here is a review: https://www.rachelneumeier.com/2021/07/06/recent-reading-the-book-of-firsts-by-karan-k-anders/
I should have read this first. I just recommended this book as well. I adore it and am thinking about a third reread. +++ 🙂
I read it three times in 3 days! I’m with you, Lupe!
I am excited to hear about a new Kinsmen thing. Yay!
Have a good day…. and while it is so unfortunate that you hate Ruby Fever that much, it is a mark of what good writers you are that you deeply hate a project and other people are telling you that it is a good book.
I wish you a happy weekend.
Sara B. says
… Not sure if I interpret the authors’ words as hating Ruby Fever, the book, so much as hating the process of writing the book. Hope that is true, that this is just having a difficult gestation, and not of disliking the resulting offspring …
Looking forward to anything you write from any of your worlds. I want to know what happens with Dina and Maude and Helen. I want more of Hugh, and Julie, et al. I want to know more about the Baylors as they develop as a house and their allies. I want more George & Jack and co. I want more of those weird little worlds glimpsed through the works in your “trunk”. So, yeah, sorry the process may be painful for you, and I hope that you think the rewards (emotional and monetary) are worth it.
I love slipping into these worlds and losing my self from reality for a while. It’s a mark of a great writer when you can read the same books over and over.
Cheryl M says
I’m wondering, what part of “no deadline” do they not understand? I mean, really??? Hooray for the BF’s improvement, dead scorpions are a good thing, and drink tea and have Gordon give you a massage.
I feel your pain- apparently my third choice property has possible surface flooding issues the survey will take place on Wednesday so we should find out either Friday or Monday whether I need to start again. Again. Meanwhile the woman who wants to buy our house is ringing every week to find out what is happening-which is not a lot. Back to the 3 hours a night sleeping until the survey report results are in…
Stay safe ????
I’m curious, why do you hate Ruby Fever (or hate writing it)?
If you knew what you’re hating about it right now, would you be able to work around that?
I love your books and eagerly look forward to reading it, but like another commenter said, I don’t want it to come at such a high cost to you.
Moderator R says
Ilona addressed this in the comments on this post https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/advances-how-they-work/ . It is a combination of mismanaged burnout related to publishing pressure, pandemic and negativity from certain readers who directed a lot of hate at Catalina as a character.
Carysa Locke says
I always struggle to wrap my brain around readers who hate, well, pretty much any of the characters in Ilona’s books (other than bad guys, and even then). But to go out of their way to tell the author they hate them…I can’t even. Catalina is my favorite heroine in HL so far…and I loved Nevada.
I’m with you on not understanding the hate, I love Catalina, and I didn’t think I could love a Baylor more than Nevada. And the sensing that hate to an author, well that seems really rude!
I don’t understand the phenomenon of hate-watching / hate-reading things. Life is too short to read, watch, or listen to anything that you aren’t enjoying!
While I might say that book isn’t for me in a review on Goodreads, I would never dream of contacting the author with my criticisms.
Love Catalina. Love her Granny just as much!
This. I thought I couldn’t identify with a character more than I identified with Nevada, then we got the Catalina books, and I somehow love her even more.
Me too. No understanding of the haters. Catalina is a great character. Ignore the haters. They are a small and insignificant group. So many more people love your characters.
Johanna J says
Catalina is a great character! The naysayers just need to chill and go read something else.
It is said that 1 (one) negative experience needs 11 (eleven) positive ones, with the same topic, to be canceled out.
If we, BDH, could write a lot of comments expressing why we like and value Catalina, maybe it would help to annihilate some of the negativity thrown at her?
I like that Catalina is a thinker! She thinks first, and she thinks her actions through, including all possible paths of further development and the consequences.
I like that House Andrews never sold Catalina cheap. Some authors describe their characters as naive (or even dumb) at first, to allow them some room to became more clever and mature when the story continues. Not the case with Catalina – she always has had her brilliant brain. She was a bit shy and inexperienced first, but it is normal. It feels realistic – that’s how a clever introvert personality would develop, growing up surrounded by extroverts, especially older sister.
I like Catalina, because she is an introvert, it is actually very refreshing! Especially because she grows her powers and matures as successful introverts do in real life – without wasting their time, trying to convert to something they are not and never would be.
I like how Catalina makes her decisions and carries her responsibilities – conscious and without much visible drama.
Catalina is loyal to her family and friends, has a strong backbone with a quick flexible mind…
Hey Moderator R and BDH, what else? What are your positive thoughts about Catalina?
^^This probably says it better than I ever could, but as an introvert I really identify with Catalina. She is a wonderful character! Her growth in the books is so organic and realistic.
Jumping on this!
One of the things I love most about Catalina is that she has always had a crush on Alessandro, and everyone knows it. So I like that that made her more vulnerable and unsure. I like that she can be naive and inexperienced so she didn’t have walls up. It is realistic for her personality and life experience. I love Nevada and I’m so glad that Catalina is not just a younger iteration of her sister.
Hopping on as well! Catalina is a great character!
I love Catalina´s protectiveness of her family and how that is the driving force that motivates her.
I love that she´s not the usual run-of-the-mill pseudo-snarky heroine whose unthinking rudeness masquerades as supposedly refreshing honesty – Catalina always considers the impact of her words and actions on others and whenever she can, she avoids hurting people. That´s why she was so hesitant to move against Albert´s father, even though it was an obvious security problem for her house.
I love how Catalina holds on to her principles and the agency´s third rule. She and her house need money, but she´ll take pro bono cases when it´s about things that outrage her sense of moral decency (like the theft of the monkey). She´s constantly navigating her way between adapting to that society of sharks she´s been thrown into and holding on to those things that are too important to let go. It´s low-key, but all the more poignant once you notice it.
I love that Catalina has to struggle with fears on a personal level that aren´t related to questions like “how do I save the world?”. It makes her so much more real and also continually provides a contrast to the world of Primes.
I love how much Catalina grows during her trilogy. In the second book, I think she sometimes doesn´t quite see just how good she is as Head of her House, although she is aware that her House is strong. Incidentally, that leads to one of my favourite Catalina quotes: Who would attack a House as dangerous as ours just to marry me?
I love Catalina´s relationship with Alessandro and how it matures as she gets to see past his numerous Alessandro personas to the real Alessandro. I love Nevada and Rogan, but Catalina and Alessandro strike me as more multi-layered and complex. (I also prefer Alessandro over Rogan, but that´s a different topic.)
So, I love Sapphire Flames. I love Emerald Blaze. I know I will love Ruby Fever. I will love everything with Catalina (and Alessandro).
I love Catalina’s compassion. And I love her courage. She thinks ahead, identifies situations that will wreck her (especially emotionally), knows that she could back out, and proceeds anyway because to her it’s the right thing to do.
Love Catalina!!! She is the whole package. Of all the Baylors, she is the one I would pick first for my team, regardless of the game.
I love Catalina’s plans to short circuit her evil grandmother’s scheming.
I relate a lot to Catalina, the way she internalizes and worries.
I think that Nevada’s books are easier to read because she is a lighter, more straightforward character. Also, her problems are simpler. Not easier, but Catalina has a lot of twists and turns to navigate.
I look forward to seeing her face the next book with Alessandro firmly in her corner and Arabella cued in to some of evil grandma’s overtures. Nothing like a support structure to back you up.
I love this post, ???? agree a I can’t express it was succinctly (queen of the rambling…especially at 4pm on a Friday) I’ll leave it as that 🙂
This is such a great idea!
I love Catalina because…she is bright and kind. It wasn’t too much for her to look after Matilda, and Matilda listened to her.
I, too, wasn’t sure if I could love anyone more than I loved Nevada. And I really do love Nevada. And I have loved Catalina even more in many cases precisely why so many others of the BDH. She is very loving and compassionate, so very bright. She is highly intellectual in how she deals with the world, even when she has to do something that hurts her. Being a Prime is so hard for her. Being the Head of House is even harder because it isn’t organic to her. She is so relatable. And while I love Rogan, I love Alessandro more. If I had a choice between the two, I’d take Alessandro. But if I couldn’t have Alessandro, it would have to be Rogan.
I am so sorry there are such a**holes out there who not only hate something the Author Lords have made, but to hate on it and tell the authors how much they hate it. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. Don’t tell the people who made it you hated it because who cares what you think? I cannot fathom the mindset of people who would think there was any situation wherein their sharing said opinion was relevant.
House Andrews rocks. Their books rock. Catalina rocks. Haters can suck rocks.
Lynn Thompson says
+1. Fellow introvert in a family of huggy huggers.
I love the introvert bit too! I also love her conscious path of personal growth in order not only to survive, but to support her family and be the best version of herself that she can be in a pretty tough world! I love how she makes space for love and human connection in the midst of craziness. I love her quiet strength and dry sense of humor (kudos to HA on that one!). I love how she’s aware of the ways she’s different from Nevada, who ran the family before her, and yet she respects her own strengths as well as Nevada’s and doesn’t only measure herself in relation to that standard. (As a younger sibling, I definitely can learn from that example.) I’ll be cheering whenever Ruby Fever comes out, whenever anything else you write comes out, and whenever I reread the amazing work you’ve already written! I hope something delightful and surprising happens to House Andrews today.
I’m so sorry that haters affect House Andrews. What I remember is when they first mentioned writing a Julie book and a bunch of people said that they hated Julie. I would like to remind Ilona and Gordon how successful Blood Heir was and how much we all adore it. Haters are an extreme minority and only deserve to be ignored. I don’t want our beloved authors to publish anything that they hate. I will wait any amount of time for something that they’re happy to give us.
Melisa M. says
I love Catalina because she is thoughtful, loving, and intelligent. She makes lists stays organized, and has doubts like all of us. Yet, she is tough and can be scary when it is needed.
She is more introverted and she’s not trying to “fix” herself but she does learn and grow along the way. It’s so refreshing and relatable! I love all the crazy and outgoing heroines too but that’s not me. I can see myself in Catalina more.
And don’t get me started on Alessandro. I could talk about him for days! I love his playful and arrogant side as well as his serious/intense side. I love him so much…he’s the reason I wanted that magenta pill (if you remember that pill post you shared.)
He is the perfect fit for her and I have no words for how much I have loved their romantic journey. I could read about them for the rest of my life…and I will as I have reread the other 2 novels like 50 times.
I loved Nevada but she couldn’t rely on her younger family members. Whereas, Catalina is closer to them and since they are her age they can all work together. I love that she is so close to Leon and Arabella because it brings them into the story more (especially Leon.) Even Cornelius and Matilda get involved more and I love them too!
House Andrews, I hope you hear the real readers who adore these characters and you find your love for the novel again! We are so excited!
But all that said, I also hope you get the space you need to write and I will happily wait till you are ready! Take your time!
@ModR – thank you for the insights, and +1 to everything everyone else here has said. Catalina is lovely!
Hurrah!!!!!!! I love Kinsnman!!! hurrahh!!!!
I heartily agree. I loved the Kinsman universe and keep hoping for more books in it. It’s like getting a delicious sundae that has no calories and they give it to you for life.
How did I not connect Fated Blades with Kinsmen?!
Y’all. We get more KINSMEN.
I am so sorry that the Not Deadline is apparently attached to a deadline.
I am supremely grateful for book length novellas.
I hope things smooth out sooner than later. Y’all are due for something to be Less Batcrap Crazy.
Try The Book of Firsts by Karan K Anders. It’s the best book I have read all year. Not my usual genre. It’s been described as a gentle scifi, manga-esque slice of life and it’s fabulous. Perfect for my need for comfort and good things and good, competent people communicating well with others.
It’s long, but I loved it so much that I immediately read it again. And then the author’s other short story.
I really can’t recommend this enough. Hope it helps!
Another go to comfort reread for me is Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie. For when you need to hit things with a frying pan out sheer rage. Your books are also in my comfort loop, but you already know about those.
And I always hate pieces that I struggle with. Hate them. Sit them in the studio, face to the wall for months until I can look at them. But those are usually my most well received paintings. Xo
Oh! Or Murderbot! Short, sarcastic as hell, funny, novellas in outer space by Martha Wells.
Did I mention short? Sometimes it is so nice to not have a long commitment.
Ditto on Murderbot!
Yes! All the snark! Murderbot rocks 🙂
Bill from nj says
Ooh murderbot is the best! It is sardonic in its own right, I adore these books.
Johanna J says
Me too. Ditto on Murderbot!
Patti in Ohio says
I LOVE Agnes and the Hitman! Also, Getting Rid of Bradley, which was the first one of hers I read. And can’t forget Bet Me. They are all hilarious. It’s always nice to hear that someone else likes the books I like. Wish she was still writing…
I love pretty much everything by Jennifer Crusie but Welcome to Temptation is my favorite. When I need cheering up, I like to listen to the audiobook of Terry Prachett’s Wee Free Men. Those Nac Mac Feegles break me up! Wishing you easier times ahead.
Getting Rid of Bradley is my all-time favorite of Crusie’s books with Manhunting running a close second.
I follow her blog religiously. Good book Thursday is the best. And she has some projects in the works, but seems to be struggling with finishing. Still, the blog is good fun.
Faking It is my favorite, but that is because it greatly informed my thinking as an artist after art school messed my brain up. I reread it regularly to reset when my inner voice gets too negative.
And Maybe This Time! I read it every October as my spooky prepping for Halloween read…
I love Getting Rid of Bradley! I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to it, it just makes me happy and so amused. Most of Jennifer Crusie’s books have just been fun.
+1 Agnes and The Hitman. Cracks me up every time I read it. Speaking of which…
I forgot about Agnes and the Hitman! haven’t read that in years. It was written by Jennifer Cruise & Bob Mayer. They also wrote Don’t Look Down. Both are great fun reads. I always wished they would have collaborated on more books. They mix comedy, action & romance. How can you go wrong with a food writer who goes by Cranky Agnes & her defensive or perhaps offensive weapon of choice is a frying pan.
BTW: I also love Catalina! Ugh to all the complainers & WOOHOO for another Kinsman story!
They did one more, Wild Ride, which is the only Crusie book which really didn’t work for me. Probably because I spent the first 3/4 of the book expecting the main characters to become romantically interested in each other and they never did. Letting go of the expectation was jarring.
Agnes and the hit man is wonderful – especially when you are just feeling cranky because you just can’t stay cranky.
It is good therapy
I loved that book too.
Oh god, Agnes and the Hitman! I have read that so many times. I haunt Jenny Crusie’s blog too because of the author and the folks who converse in the blog.
Debi Murray says
Usually, the more an author hates it, the more I like it…so there it is. But I am not liking the stress it is putting on you.
My feelings can handle bitter just fine and I hated the end. Not to put too fine of a point on it, I thought it was absolutely preposterous.
And he’d done so well up to that point.
Here’s another book recommendation with action, magic, real problems solved and an old(er) lady protagonist!
Tanyth Fairport Adventures by Nathan Lowell. Three books in the series, first one is Ravenwood.
Also really enjoy Penric & Desdemona fantasy series by Lois McMaster Bujold. Novellas, 10 in the series. Very fun.
+1 for the Penric and Desdemona series. Despite the fact that bad things happen, the gentle humor in their relationship and the unfussy but deeply felt ethical underpining of those stories make them a comfort read for me.
Karen the Griffmom says
+ for Penric as well. I never thought I’d like anything of hers as much as the Vorkosigan Saga, but the Penric books are just as frequently reread.
Yes! I have been listening to Lois McMaster Bujold’s entire opus this summer. It’s been great and one of my total comfort go-tos.
+ wherever we’re up to on encouraging but not pushy comments. There’s nothing more like the feeling that you *have* to do something (we made the deal, we shook on it…) to make it seem immediately less appealing. It seems you are finding moments to work on other, more enjoyable projects at the same time. Of course we are all lurking on the blog to get hints of when that will be… the blog being its own good fun to read. But we can be patient if need be.
Many thanks for all the happy (re)reading hours you have *already* delivered!
Paula O says
++1 for Penric and Desdemona
This one of my favourite series of books and I never know their schedule! I just check every once in a while and go squee when I find out there’s a new one available. Always a happy day
Loving Catalina’s story arc, love the Innkeeper series but happy writers bring out gems like Blood Heir so keep writing quality and I will keep buying irrespective of schedules.
Fated Blades is Kinsman? Love Kinsman universe! (does happy dance)
I’m doubly clueless because I thought Fated Blades was mystery work but am happy to have a new kinsman and will take whatever Innkeeper you find joy in writing. I would rather wait a decade for a book that a healthy author [duo] wrote because I want the best for the ones who bring me such joy.
Patricia Schlorke says
Yay to the Kinsman story coming out!
Yuck to everything else. At least you don’t have a poisonous African cobra slithering around in your neighborhood. A neighborhood in Grand Prairie (between Dallas and Fort Worth) found out that the snake got out of its cage because of a malfunction. The owner is helping out with Texas Game and Wildlife to catch the sucker. When I heard that, I thought “I’m glad I’m nowhere near there.” 😀
You off to write, me off to CMS reports.
Everyone is having a hard time with everything. We understand and we’ll be patient. I’m sure we will all hate everything associated with the last 2 years.
We are living the Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”
It’s like the stages of grief, we grieve the loss of what the world used to be. I hope you feel the love and support of your fans.
Take your time, stay sane and point us at the pre-order buttons when you feel it’s ok
I’m sad that you guys hate the book. If you could flush Ruby down the toilet today, no regrets, ignoring the BDH getting ready to storm your castle, What Would You Write today, right now? Perhaps nothing? Take a year’s sabbatical?
Being the selfish, greedy BDH member that I am, I wish u God speed in finishing Ruby so you can take a Very Long vacay/staycation and I can consume your efforts like the glutinous book addict that I am. ????
Kristine Ahlskog says
Sarah A. says
I LOVED Hail Mary. Something about the ending didn’t sit as well with me as I would like, but I can’t put my finger on it. Though, the more I think about it, the better and more fitting it seems. I’m also not sure the ending you were looking for is possible considering the story.
On another note: do what you need to do for you. The BDH has your back!
I loved it too, but had a similar nagging ‘not quite right’ feeling about the ending that I did not have with Artemis or The Martian. I now think that maybe it was a bit rushed and felt like box-ticking. The (highly satisfying) emotional arc was complete and then there was a minor plot-dump to end it. It didn’t leave me wanting more the way Andy Weir’s previous books did – but I still thought it was terrific overall.
Wishing you the very best with the recalcitrant RF. Sounds like you want it done more than any of us eager fans just to get it out of your life! Just out of curiosity (and sorry if this has been answered previously) but are book deadlines normally agreed between writer/s and publisher or imposed by publisher? And are there any consequences for missing them?
Moderator R says
This post about how advances work might clarify a part of the consequence question 🙂 https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/advances-how-they-work/
Fascinating! Thank you. I remember reading that initially but had not considered it in terms of missed deadlines at the time.
I loved Hail Mary, too! Now I want to reread the ending because I felt so much hope at the first read because of the “children”. Can’t say anything else without spoilers so I’ll leave it at that.
Also, will wait to read Catalina & Alessandro whenever it’s ready. She’s fascinating and I so loved watching her grow up and into her powers.
Without spoilers: what bugged me the most was the lack of character growth. He started as a passive, loner coward scared of human relationships and even with everything that happened, he still ended up as a passive loner coward. He had learned so much. But in the end he hid, doing exactly what he had done before, and limiting his interaction to being who admired him because doing the other thing was too hard. He was too scared of what he would find, so he once again opted for the audience that thought he walked on water.
So, true fact, Andy Weir is my cousin (technically step cousin, but his dad married into my family before I was born so he’s always been my cousin).
He’s not great at character development. Artemis was delayed like 6 times and almost canceled because he couldn’t figure out the character development piece for the longest time – I remember him showing up to a family holiday super stressed about in the middle of writing it. He’s incredibly smart, knows a lot of the science he puts in his books, and comes up with great plots & fun dialogue, but he flat out told me the character development piece doesn’t come easy to him. So he’s probably agree with your assessment of the book, if he ever stumbled across it.
Tell him if he ever needs a beta reader, I’ll help. 🙂
I thought Hail Mary ended with real redemption. That could only come with his character growing. (PS I’ll beta read, too!)
Have you ever finished a book that you’ve disliked while writing it? It’s weirdly distressing to think of you writing something that doesn’t bring good feelings. With the stories being extensions of yourselves through your imaginations, that seems an impossible task. Maybe Ruby Fever needs to be something else all together. Maybe it’s not a Ruby.
My sister told me about a show called SWEET TOOTH. Fantasy with an apocalyptic disease thread. I watched the first 2 episodes and had to stop. Too stressful, to much of worry what will come on the next episode. Not anticipation.
So I totally understand your reaction to that book.
RUBY FEVER will make me happy, whenever it comes ????
Flowers, chocolate and cookies.
Hope everything gets better.
All the hugs, love and best wishes for you and yours. ????????
Kinsmen! Yeah! Love, love, love it.
To be honest, I would be happy with any world. I would love more Innkeeper. I’m waiting patiently (eh, not so patiently to be honest) for Ruby Fever. I have read Hugh’s book over and over and can’t get enough! I’d also love to hear more about Maude, her daughter, and her handsome vampire (In know that is Innkeeper – but away from the Inn). Loved Julie and Derrick………
So, in short, ANYTHING you want to write about will wind up on my Kindle bookshelf. ???? You do you!
Amanda P says
First thing I thought was Yay new Kinsmen book date!!
I’m watching Christmas Movies to make me happy today, I did my NEBOSH National General Certificate exam Weds and it was 24hrs, literally, yes it took me that long and I am not happy with my performance.
All I keep doing is going over what I think I could have done better, it’s draining me. So Christmas movies it is then till Mon when I have to go back to work and be pestered about it all over again.
Hope you feel happier soon, Enjoy your weekend 😀
I live in Florida and every time DeSantis opens his mouth, I can feel my stress level rising. Cases are out of control here but we have no accurate data because of suppression from the governor and his administration. They are even going to the Supreme Court to try to lessen the restrictions on bringing back cruises even though the cruise lines are mostly fine with the restrictions. It’s a mess here so I understand when my friends talk about Texas.
I’m sorry that Ruby Fever is such a pain for you and Gordon. As much as I love your books and can’t wait for it, I don’t want you to be suffering for it. Hopefully, things change and it’s not so painful to finish it no matter the deadline you set.
On a better note, YAY for a Kinsmen novella. That’s what I was hoping for because I love the Kinsmen series and it would be great to have more stories. Going to reread Silver Shark as a mood booster.
So sorry that RF is such a grind. I realize that contracted books must be written, but sorta mourn all the fun stuff you might have written instead.
Oh, well, if it sounded fun at some point, I’m guessing your “sticky” memory will bring it up later – or at least I hope it will.
I never even thought that RF would not be a great book. You two just don’t let bad books get out of the house. However, the fact that you won’t have to revise the first part is good to know. At some point, there will be a book and I will pay for it. (and hug it – and love it – and call it George — uh no!!!) But I will happily read it multiple times.
Thank you for keeping the BDH in the loop. I wish I could suggest something to make you happy in the short run. For me, it’s re-reading my favorite books, including all of yours.
Thank you for that, too.
I won’t call it “George” because he’s in the Edge/ Innkeeper world, not HL.
Kommiesmom: “and call it George.” You are definitely part of my tribe.
Yeah for more Kinsman.
Sending positive vibes for good writing! I really admire your perseverance on a book you hate.
When my kids say, “I don’t want to!” my reply is “I have to do things I don’t want to do every day. Welcome to life on planet Earth. Get used to it.”
But doing it is actually much harder than saying it.
I also don’t care how long the book takes. I wish you could take a break from it. Of course I want it, but not at the expense of your sanity. Would it help if you went outside for the screaming? My daughter lives in Austin. Their warning level has been raised. She and her husband both have been vaccinated. They’re coming for a visit at the end of August. I hope that happens. It’s been a very long time. I’m determined to not allow all the covid worries get us down.
Sending safely distanced hugs. ????
I love the sound deadlines make as they fly right by!
I actually don’t – so I totally get the stress even when you’re informing the ones setting the deadline that it’s not realistic. Take a deep breath and take your time.
I also hear you on Covid. I’ve not missed a DragonCon in over 20 years. I don’t begrudge losing the cost of the ticket, but Legacy Hotel rooms are nearly impossible to come by. But it’s also not worth my health – so some sort of hard decision will be made here shortly. And I hate it – and how we got here (which is as close to political as I’m gonna get).
Can’t wait to read the new Kinsman novella! It’ll be pre-ordered about 5 seconds after I see the pre-order link (as per usual) 🙂
Yes yes yes! A Kingsmen book, and apparantly a long one as well! I can’t belive it, I really haven’t thought there would be more books in the Kinsmen world. Great news that made me really happy today, thank you very much! 😀
1. Reading your books is like looking at a full stop and the realising it is the world and all of the other planets.
2. Reading a meh book is pants.
3. Naughty publisher. Don’t forget you have the ability to set the BDH on them. Of course you won’t, you are both too lovely for that carnage but knowing you can sometimes helps
4. Glad there are no scorpions in the UK
sending love and light from Oxfordshire UK xxx
Well, I guess I will take Hail Mary off my reading list. After a traumatic experience with a mystery I read in grade school I always check the end of the book first. If I don’t like the end I don’t read it, life’s too short for unsatisfactory endings…
Take care of yourself and your family, the BDH can practice patience for a while.
Judy Schultheis says
I understand your not wanting bitter. It’s why I read the things I do.
I am eagerly awaiting Ruby Fever along with many of your other fans. I do understand how you could personally hate it, though.
Things are getting worse here in Oregon, too, on COVID related matters.
I hear the biggest fire we have is almost under control; but I’m not believing that till it’s listed as out or it starts raining again. For whatever reason, the winds are blowing most of the smoke off toward the east which, since last summer was hideous air quality here in Portland, is a decidedly welcome relief.
I hope you and yours continue safe and everyone needing to gets completely well quickly.
Angela Knight says
When writing is going well, it’s the best high ever. When it isn’t going well, there are few things more frustrating and torturous.
When I get jammed up that bad, it usually means I’m trying to make my book go somewhere Tinkerbell, my psychotic muse, does not want to go. I have learned I have to walk around and cuss until she tells me what she DOES want to do.
But your mileage may vary. Good luck.
I do feel your pain. I mean that literally. Tinkerbell is being a little biyatch at the moment.
Frances Leask says
I feel for you. The current flat feeling is so draining.. There must be a light at the end of the tunnel but one has to work so hard to find it. Virtual hugs and hopefully good wishes will provide some relief
Beverly U Battillo says
Just saw a text by my friend Debi Murray so I am really thrilled! HEY DEBI!! (waves excitedly). Anyhow, I am very sorry that it seems the more you suffer the more we enjoy! There should be some kind of monitor on the books you write that is activated every time we start to reread a favorite! At least then maybe you would be somewhat compensated for your level of suffering. For fans like myself who find that I get tremendous pain relief when I read your books, I would gladly repay you for a portion of the gratitude I feel for what you do! You give me hours of pain free enjoyment.
This, so much this. Authors who take you so out of yourself and into their world that you forget the pain are so wonderful it’s difficult to express!
Totally agree with your short review of Hail Mary. The “science” was too DENSE and made the story move at a glacial pace. And the ending left me ranting at my poor husband (who has no interest in science fiction).
Kisses and hugs! Hope things get better!
Sara T says
My son is heading back to Austin in two weeks for his senior yr at UT.
He is fully vaccinated of course, but now I am rethinking this. 🙁
Sarah Webber says
Thanks for the warning on Hail Mary. I’m so sorry for your writing struggles. I will love it whenever it arrives.
Jane Mayhugh says
No one needs bitter right now only sweet. You deserve sweet. Sending some sweet your way from sunny Oregon.
Yays are good! Cardiac tests done, Kid 1’s boyfriend getting better, scorpion dispatched with prejudice.
Reading with light hearted/sweet endings: Lisa Shearin – S.P.I. series and Raine Benares series.
Innkeeper and S.P.I. re-reads have gotten me through this last year and a half.
Good luck with the writing… I fell asleep last night while reading yesterday’s blog comments and dreamed of Hugh and Elara. I have no idea as to the content. Lol I remember thinking how my hair turned grey/white at an early age, which is true.
The covid stuff is so disheartening. We’re all fully vaccinated in my house thankfully… but I feel the uncertainty again about future after school care for my daughter and all that.
I enjoy coming to this blog so much. Best for everything, health and well-being to your house and family.
Byron Matthews says
I loved Project Hail Mary. It was a wonderful novel.
A teacher tested positive for Covid at my 7 yr olds daycare. Military logic states they will only test him IF he has symptoms AND had a first person contact with a positive person. So we had to get a hasty letter from daycare to say it was his teacher and the entire class is now home on restricted movement.
We waited 3 hrs for our turn to be swabbed. They will only test him. If he is positive then they will test us. As you can imagine, it hurt he melted right down and we are now awaiting his results.
He has some sniffles but its allergy season in North Carolina year round so we really arent sure but hubby is working from home and 14 yr sister is stuck inside as well.
Also our roof developed a leak since Monday and now that we have a bit of sunshine I had to cancel maintenance team. At least until we know if our kid is sick or not.
Sigh. I am with you there my books need to be HEA. No bitter in the storylines for me.
I have watched several Hail Mary’s on a football field and most don’t end well. The quarterback telegraphs to the whole field that he is going to do it. There is not enough time on the clock to do anything else.
Most of the USA is getting kicked in the butt again over the latest iteration of COVID. It’s no surprise the anger and frustration is near the boiling point. We can try to do good things for each other.
Kat M. says
Kat M. says
My needs are simple, y’all.
Karen the Griffmom says
Add a chocolate chip cookie.
Polina Makeeva says
I agree with your Hail Mary impression completely. Loved every word until the ending.
The bitter part was expected, but not wanted. Well… without it, it would have been the Martian all over again. And so what? Who cares. Can I please have an extra serving of “they lived long, happy lives and everyone became friends”
Maybe Andy Weir will write the Earth point of view next.
New Kinsman…great. lol all I can say is I love the snippets and want to read the next book… Be it Fated Blades, Ruby Fever, Innkeeper, IC2 or something else in Kate Daniel’s world, truthfully will be happy to get it. Thanks for both your hard work. Sorry the RF is not playing nice…just asking if Catalina needs another short novella to wrap it up like you had to do with Nevada, if that might help it work. Just an idea, I can’t write even a bad short story, so I know I don’t know a thing about this, so please don’t take it seriously, or a demand, or personally…except the part of thanks and I love your books.
But WHY do you hate it?
Also, thanks for convincing me that Texas is not a place I wish to live. #noscorpions
I have ALL your books on my iPad. I had to drive from Northern California to Southern California which can be a 6 to 12 hour drive depending on traffic. I listened to One Fell Sweep and then Sweep of the Blade even tho I have read both of them. It made driving up and down I-5 so much more enjoyable. I have to do it two more times before this stupid contract is done. Hidden Legacy will playing on the next drive.
I know I will enjoy Ruby Fever when it comes out. I can wait because I know it is worth it! So glad to hear the medical went well!! Sending virtual granny hugs!
barbie doll says
There is nothing harder then writing/doing something that you absolutely hate, even if it is good. I too am looking for the positive and I just can’t find it. Glad on the medical side. Thank you for your keeping going.
We don’t have scorpions in Ohio. I personally would welcome you and your family with open arms!!!!
Jennifer Avalos says
I’m sorry you are going through this difficult period.
I currently am rereading Blood Heir and listening to the audio book.????????♀️
Then I will probably start rereading one of the universes and work my way through them all.
Maybe you are itching to explore a new universe of your creation?
Good luck and lots of love.
Russ Brown says
I can’t believe I would be saying this, but…if you really hate Ruby Fever, don’t write it…now. I recently purchased a book I had eagerly been waiting for, only to discover that the author didn’t want to write it. And it showed. A lot. I was extremely disappointed in the (lack of) effort put into that book, as well as the outcome. If you aren’t contractually bound, put off RF for something you don’t hate. If you are…I wish you luck.
Yes, a little bitter, but the redemption!! Learning so late in the book how he came to join the mission, and then to see him choose to risk his life–give up his life–for his friend’s world was worth it!
Sorry to hear about the bed shortage in Austin. Los Angeles was in that phase in Dec 2020. It doesn’t matter if everyone you know/interact with is doing ok/making it through. There is still a weight on your heart.
May your tea stay hot and your yarn untangled!
Mary Carter says
Having just gone through a bunch of cardio tests, I’m very, very glad to hear yours went o.k. !!! Definitely counts as “something nice”. (I would have been glad even if I hadn’t had tests, needless to say! Scary stuff.)
I’m currently on Chapter 10. It’s going slow because my husband wants to listen also.
Nancy K Upchurch says
Good luck, I’m sorry this book is such a PIA for you both. As an insatiable fan, I will say that your books are always worth reading again and again in the end. Not many authors have that level of world and character building. Thank you. 1,000 times thank you.
What a great day this has turned into, I would have bet my life, seriously, that I have read everything you two have written. Where did “A Mere Formality” come from? A well hidden Easter Egg for this fan. Two rereads a new short story and then a new novella. Yeah!
My Foxy friends are now talking about how terrible “the psychological warfare that has been used to divide us on masks” is. They are also getting horribly sick right and left. Lots of summer flu going around central Illinois right now.
Got to have my HEAs right now, my world is too grim for anything less.
It’s so hard when people you like say or do things that make no sense, isn’t it? I think that is the hardest part of this year for me, losing so many people one way or another.
Same here, but I find that the friends who are left and a few new surfacing from my long past are just wonderful. I don’t take them for granted and value them as never before.
I’ve read that one several times and I like it. Somewhere he authors said it was based on a dirty joke (or maybe I misread that). If that is the case, I still cannot figure out the joke. If anyone wants to share?
Moderator R says
Hehe, it wasn’t a dirty joke, it was a dirty line. Someone bet them that they couldn’t write a story based on the line “Will you [perform oral gratification on me]”.
Mod R potty mouth censor there :D, but hope you can find it in the text now.
Thank you so much!now I will reread again.
I woul preorder and wait as long as it takes as lonng as you finish before I’m dead
(It was ment to be encouraging, but got sooo dark, sorry)
Bill G says
Ha!!! I’m not the only one loving mandala coloring with glitter pens!
Crochet didn’t inspire me anymore. I guess I needed a break. I tried color pencils at first but they were boring. I of course HAD to color sort all 100 pens first before coloring… They don’t have a number sorting system like colored pencils. I basically scribbled on printer paper till it looked right. I never thought to listen to a book while coloring. >.<
I'm excited about the new novella *cough* novel coming out! I'll have to buy audio and ebook this time. But being Kinsman, I'll probably order a hard copy too.
I hope that all the time and energy you two are putting into Ruby fever pays off for you. That in time, you can look back and know it was worth it. I know as a fan, I'll love it anyway.
My husband makes pens as a hobby. He'll make one and I'll think it's amazingly beautiful. All he can see are the faults. "See that micro gap between the wood and the metal?" "See how the wood dips too sharp at the tip?" He'd use the all fancy terms which I can't remember, but you get the point.
The publishers know how professional you both are. Love kinsmen series almost as much as hidden legacy. Thank you for any books.
I read Hail Mary instead of listening to it. Due to how I read I skipped a lot of the science. I always skip some in books but every time I reread it’s a new book. I liked that it was different but I get your point.
Months ago my doctor was screaming at me that “this is not over. Doctors and nurses are tired.” She did not want me to fly because of health reasons. Already had my shot.
The book I can’t get out of my mind is Miss Benson’s Beatle. 15 pages in and I said strange and stopped reading. Then I went back and was hooked in another chapter. Its not exactly a feel good or a feel bad book. But I keep thinking about it and I’m really glad I read it. Its something more.
Carysa Locke says
So many hugs. Honestly, the struggle is real. I get it, and I’m sorry you guys are facing (maybe) deadline pressure.
A few posts back, you asked if anyone is playing Genshin Impact. At the time I was not, but now I am. I can say I am thoroughly enjoying it. The art style is very pretty, the characters are cute, there is lots of strategy around building your party, and you can unlock coop, which I just did. I’m trying to get the husband to play so we can coop together, but he hasn’t yet. I definitely spent a few dollars to unlock some better characters, but I figure most games cost $60, and if I want to spend less than that to unlock some fun things on a game that is nominally “free” then I am an adult, and give myself permission to do that.
Anyway, I am finding the game to be great escapism at the moment. It is kind of complex with all of the layers – crafting, so many currencies for different things, the meta of character builds and leveling, and so on. But most of that is easy to figure out and google, so I’m getting used to it.
If you like anime or manga I would also advice watching or reading One Piece. Its a big epic story, but also funny and full of hope.
I would classify the first few hundred episodes light harded fun 🙂
I agree about Hail Mary. But that’s life. Try no science fiction: checkout ‘the last bookstore in London’
Donna A says
Chocolate and salty snacks. Not necessarily together. Unless you want to. These are the foods of cheerfulness. Yum yum.
Yay 🙂 Take the little things & hang on to them.
Bill from NJ says
A bright note, did you see the sweater the British diver Tom Daley knitted in the stands while watching other team mates or waiting? It is gorgeous, to commemorate him winning the gold in synchronized diving, it will be auctioned off for charity.
Suzette M says
I want a t-shirt that says- I’d like to know the source of their optimism.
+1 God, Yes!
Paula O says
I thought the audiobook of Hail Mary was fab and could live with the ending. The only problem was that the narrator also did the Bobiverse books and occasionally Ryland Grace sounded like Bob being all sarky
The snippets we’ve seen of Ruby Fever have been wonderful. I really want to read this book, but in your time. I’m sorry the series I love so much is giving you such a hateful time, but I’m selfishly glad you are persevering so I will see more of the Baylor’s some time in the future.
Glad you got the scorpion in your daughter’s room. Those are scary.
Caroline Barton says
I’m sorry that you are finding Ruby Fever difficult. I love the way Catalina grew as a person in her trilogy. I do not understand people who criticize writers. Read the book or don’t. No need to be a jerk about it.
I love everything you write! So I am excited about a new Kinsmen book!
Hope you have a quiet and restful weekend.
As long as you don’t leave us hanging with Ruby Fever for 20 years, I’m good. I’ve been waiting for Captal’s Tower from Melanie Rawn since 2002. Yes good books take time, but writing 2 books in a fantastic trilogy and setting up a bunch of mysteries for the fans that never get solved in the third book is just cruel :-/
Take your time. We aren’t going anywhere.
The last 1.5 years have been stressful and unproductive, even for the introverted who love having to stay at home all the time.
If you deeply hate this final book in the Catalina trilogy, will this impact the possibility of an Arabella trilogy?
I love the HL books and now am deeply afraid…..
Thomas Coakley says
Regardless of how long it takes for your books to come out, I’ll be waiting anxiously to read. I have reread Hidden Legacy so many times I have lost track. I thought I timed the new Kevin Hearn novel, but when I found I finished book 1 and book 2 was a couple of weeks out I pulled up Burn For Me for another read.
Bill from NJ says
I am sorry to hear Ruby Fever is a burden. I write for my own enjoyment ( IE it is likely crap),so I don’t have pressure, bit I know how hard it is to write something that doesn’t want to flow. I have a story I have been trying to finish and it just isn’t happening.
Here in NJ it isn’t a crisis, where I live the vaccination rate is like well over 70% fully vaccinated and it shows,the hospitals are not overloaded. On the other hand we may end up w more restrictions bc certain counties that let’s say went orange in the last election lagged and they are getting killed. A lot of the ppl who got vaccinated are mad that the ones refusing to ( and not surprising,refused to wear masks) have dragged us down again. It was looking like we could have some normal and to be blunt stupidity is making that not happen.
Glad to hear s1s boyfriend is doing better. One of the myths out there is young ppl have nothing to fear, it doesn’t affect them, the young have really low vaccination rates as a result ( my son and his chamber group, in their mid 20s, got it as soon as they could back in April,they got it bc they teach kids).
Only thing I can tell you with RF is that I think those who hate Catalina are doo doo heads and 99.9% of your readefs would beat them senseless for saying that.
LOL!!! “doo doo heads”!! Thank you for the quick time travel trip back to 4th grade insults!!
Ilona, I just want to thank you so much for taking Covid seriously- I am an ER nurse near New Braunfels and all the surging we are doing right now is exhausting and overwhelming. I’m 9 months pregnant and it is so scary because OB patients who get this are not doing well. It’s easy to see all the people who come in after having done nothing to mask or vaccinate over all this time and think that no one cares about anyone but themselves any more. You reminded me that there are a lot of people sitting at home just as worried about the beds and those taking care of them as we are. I’m a huge fan and have lurked for years and it’s just so great to be reminded that we have people like you in our community! Thank you and Gordon for all the escapism you’ve allowed me over the past 18 months too 🙂
Moderator R says
Oh Krystal, I wish you and the baby nothing but the best. May you have the easiest delivery!
Patricia Schlorke says
I agree with Mod R. Please stay safe and wishing for you an easy delivery. ????????????
Krystal, I hope that you have a safe and uncomplicated delivery of a child that will love and drive you half crazy for decades to come.( only half crazy because the other half crazy is a prerequisite for Nursing ????).
Suzette M. says
Wishing you a healthy delivery of your baby!
Your books are always good, even when you hate them. You hated the Edge series at the end, and the books are good. You wanted to stop Maud‘s book, and it is one of my – no, the BDHs favorites.
So, I know this will not help with your hate and your pressure, because part of the pressure _is_ always being good. But at least you can stop being surprised that we like your books even if you do not like them yourselves. 😉
A little anecdote about one of the greatest musical performers of our time, Steve Barton, who is BTW buried in Austin: two colleagues were watching him from the side of the stage. One (gazing at him adoringly): „He is so good!“ The second: „It‘s not his best day today.“ The first again: „Yes, but he is so good even when he is bad!‘
Glad your cardio tests came out good. ???? Hope your family recovers soon!!
Yay for kinsman. Sucky HL is painful. I love this series but wish it wasn’t painful for y’all to write.
Johanna J says
You’ve got this.
Ruby Fever will get done by the publisher’s deadline or it won’t. If the publisher is smart, they’ll give you whatever time you need. Just don’t let it burn you out on writing. Write what keeps the juices flowing.
We love to read whatever you want to write. As long as someone doesn’t leave me with a cliffhanger at the end of a book, I’m good. A tease is okay, a cliffhanger no. We’re ready for whatever comes next.
I also can’t do anything with a bitter sweet ending right now. We’re getting enough of that in “real” life.
Thanks for the review on Hail Mary. I started it, but just returned it to the library upon reading the comments from you and the BDH. I only want a HEA right now (I will often read the last chapter of a book if I’m worried that it’s not going to end well. Then I say, well, that saved me 6 hours of reading!). Thank you BDH for your comfort reading suggestions! After re-reading all the Hidden Legacy novels, I’ve turned to re-reading Patricia Brigg’s Alpha and Omega series.
I am thrilled at the thought of a new Kinsmen novella, and I wish you both the best on Ruby Fever.
I felt the same way about the ending of Hail Mary. At the same time I was relieved he didn’t pursue the obvious alternative bc I felt like that would have been even more heartbreaking (trying to avoid spoilers) bc of what the situation would’ve likely been.
Sucks that Ruby Fever isn’t going well and it’s causing you sm grief, but health is the most important, so the positive test + recovering child are def better things!
I hope that you’ll both be happy with the finished work whenever it gets there – it’d suck too to grind so hard only to end up with something you never want to look at again.
Also, I am Excited(!!) for new Kinsmen – that’s how I got hooked into the BDH haha.
All the best!
I am glad your health is doing ok, and deadlines are soul crushers. The world seems to be spinning out of control again, after letting us take a breath of fresh air this Spring. I guess we are back to our present normal. Sigh *** Always enjoy your musings. X ???? X
Marjory Connors says
Your books are excellent with great dialog, interesting people and great world creation. Writing is beyond me but I can sympathize. Keep at it, you two are wonderful at what you do. You both have many fans out here rooting for you.
As for covid, all anyone can do is model the behavior you want to see. With or without reason, many folks are just plain scared.
Oh dear, sounds exhausting, thank you for doing it.
I am reminded of our Queens mother -Ingrid, she supposedly said “you will have to learn to want to do what you must do”
Not sure it translates well from danish.
A book recommendation if you can tolerate the word book these days
Katherine addison, The goblin emperor and the witness for the dead.
The first one describes the young unwanted half-goblin prince to the elven empire, child to to the late 4. Empress, who inherits the throne by accident.
The worldbuilding is done really nice, since the Prince is woefully ignorant we learn about the court as he do.
The second book follows a different caracter from the first book in a another setting than court.
Great reads both of them.
The Addison books are fabulous. It’s a fascinating world that she has created. Good reader on the audio books too.
The Goblin Emperor is fantastic. I am working on the Angel of the Crows right now and saving Witness for the Dead until I can get a reread in.
Kelly Standridge says
I’m sorry this book is such a struggle for you. Be like Simone and just say no – it’s okay to have mental issues and life stuff that take precedence over work and deadlines. If anyone is disappointed, that is their responsibility, not yours. Pull your own happiness wagon, and let everyone else pull theirs.
I agree about the Hail Mary book. It was a great book but I was bummed for days after I finished. I wanted a happy ending. Not ….this is life and sorry about that.
Marie S says
Glad to hear the good news on the tests front and that K1’s boyfriend is improving. Long may it continue.
Sorry to hear the COVID situation has deteriorated so much. In London, UK, it feels like things are pretty much back to normal, just less people around. We are not back in the office full time yet.
Pesky scorpions! You really need your eyes on the situation all the time it seems.
Happy writing and of course EB is great. Wishing for you that it turns around. So hard when the joy is missing. We can’t wait for publication regardless of when.
Marie S says
Argh… I mean RF, not EB. ????
YAY! A new Kinsmen story!
(Or more accurately)
YAY! A new Ilona Andrews story!
(Have I mentioned before that I have loved everything of yours that I have read?)
Didn’t you struggle when writing Steel’s Edge? How does Ruby Fever compare to that?
We recently had a scorpion commit suicide by drowning himself in our toilet the other day. I guess all the stress from COVID was too much for him.
I second the recommendation to read Penric and Desdamona novellas by Lois McMaster Bujold. The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls, which are also set in The World of Five Gods, are excellent. Any of the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett are great to reread – funny, sarcastic commentaries on people, politics, society and culture all with happy endings. If you haven’t yet, try Naomi Novik’s latest book Deadly Education. A warning – the wait for the next in the series has been excruciating.
I hope your days get happier!
I second Terry Pratchett and Naomi Novik! (Her Temeraire series is also cute, although it does drag somewhat at times.)
As comfort read I´d also suggest anything by K.M. Shea. She has a whole series of fairy tale retellings and also two completed urban fantasy trilogies, all of which have happy endings without bitterness.
Maybe you could by some pretty yarn? It really sounds like you need a “perk me up” thing. Sending good vibes, hugs, and unicorn sparkles.
I’m cheered up by watching Tom Daley, the British diver, knitting his way through the olympics. If you haven’t already seen him, look him up, it’s endearing!
Kinsman – awesome new. I love Silver Shark and read it every year or so.
Silver Shark is one of my favorites. A definite comfort reread.
Ditto. I just yesterday!
Grr. I just reread yesterday.
Jackie Kennedy says
Hope you find a better book soon! I know what it’s like to to be disappointed in an ending.
Have a great day!!!!!
YESSSS Kinsman is my favorite. I’ve re-read Silent Blade and Silver Shark more times than I can remember. Can’t wait for more!
Steve lucas says
No matter what anyone says screw Avon’s deadline do what you can. When its out I will purchase, I will love!! and needy beast I am, I will probably always want more.
Thanks for all your work on everything you do for us readers / fans. *I for one am truly grateful
Please take care of yourself. Order some new pens. New Pens always bring joy.
I don’t know how you two do it. I am taking an English writing class and I can barely write an essay with 750 words. I will say that my writing is improving. I am 51 so it isn’t that I am just out of high school it has been “cough” a few years since I have been in any type of school. Just writing this is scary. You take as long as you like and if you don’t like the book we will wait. Love your books! Happy typing!
I’m sorry your Mental Health Day gift was disappointing. I gave myself a mental health day gift by streaming “The Suicide Squad” this morning. I’m ready to go back to all the other crazy crap now.
You should pick another gift for yourself.
Maybe this picture will make you smile a bit? 🙂 (I bet you got it already like thousand times but what if not?)
I’m sooooo sorry you guys still hate Ruby Fever. I am so looking forward to this book and I know the entire BDH would ditto that. I will undoubtedly reread it as many times as I do the other books, so think about the joy you’ll bring us!
I wish I could do something or say something that would help you. The only thing I can think of is, once it’s done you can spit on it, throw it in the trash can, set it on fire and scream “I’m finally free!” Of course, if it’s only on the computer, that may be a bit difficult lol. But it sure worked for my mortgage, he he.
Very glad to hear your doctor appointments went so well! Thanks for letting us know.
And I’m glad to hear kid1’s boy friend is doing better! So happy I’ve had my vaccination. The couple breakthrough cases I know of have been so minor.
@Ilona – here’s a fan question for you, have you been watching the Olympics fun of diver Tom Daley and his yarn-tastic creations?
You’re awesome and I hope you keep on keeping on. Try to enjoy your weekend!
I think everyone is the entire world is collectively going through mass burn out. I hope things get easier and better for everyone.
omg a new kinsmen!!! I did not expect this gift! I am so excited 😀
And yeah…. I am at this point of just complete frustration with the US and covid. Its not even like we don’t have vaccines! I was so looking forward to getting back to a more normal life, but this just keeps dragging on and on because…. people are dumb. It feels like all of my self-isolation and social distancing have been useless and I’m kinda tired of it….
nevertheless, guess this day is looking up because I’m looking forward to this novella 🙂
Bliss Crimson the Mooncatx says
Do you give yourself goals, like 1000K words for X amount of time in a day? Or X thousand words/pages per full work day? I’m thinking of writing some original work (instead of only fan fiction) and I’m trying to determine what is a good enough amount of writing daily would be good while holding down a full time job.
With fan fic it’s just what you feel like on any given day, because you doing it just for pleasure. But if I do something original, I want to have a schedule, so I can keep on track with the goal of finishing a full story, novel length, in a year’s time frame. Just a question inspired by your throw away line 🙂
It is so sad that writing Ruby Fever has been such a slog for you & Gordon. Every snippet I’ve read thus far only fuels my desire to devour the whole enchilada:) Hopefully the end result will be worth the angst!
This is the first time I will be leaving a comment…. Stuff Avon and any one else… You’ll get the book done when you are ready. Would I love a new book- Hell yeah. I’ve read and bought every book you have ever written. I’m excited for every new book, but not at the expense of your mental health. I’ll do what I always do while waiting. Re-read all of them again. My KD books are a bit tattered and my Edge series is getting the same. IK are doing okay as they are in eBook,
But I digress, The point is you will get it done when it is done.
Love and support from Sydney Australia ( I’m currently in my 7th week of lockdown)
i will happily wait until whenever you finish the book. oh i’ll totally be impatient in my own head, because waiting is hard. but i want the book YOU TWO want to write, not the book you’re forced to put out under time constraints. do your thing. i’ll be here waiting. (hell, i’ve been waiting 10 years for patrick rothfuss’ next book. you’re nowhere near that!)
If you’re hating the book, try killing off one or more major characters. Pretend you’re George R R Martin. No one says you have to keep what you write. Let it be cathartic while picturing your more annoying fans in tears, ugly crying. 😉
You will finish that gosh darn book when you finish it. And I will buy it. Hopefully we all live that long. That was a joke, a very bad joke. But I can understand feeling that way about it. At this point, the only way out is through. Keep slogging and we will try to be entertaining here in the comments. Good thing you and Gordon are in charge of writing here. Hang in there, we still love you and buy your books.
Laura R says
I don’t know if it will help, but your fans adore you both no matter how fast or slow the writing is going. We will wait with great anticipation, and we will enjoy the next book all the more for the wait.
Frankly, you’re on my favorite author list right up there with Robert Heinlein, JIm Butcher, Susan Cook, and David Eddings. Rest assured, I’ll love whatever you publish whenever it happens.
Meanwhile, take some downtime. Maybe do a bad movie night with tasty but bad for you food. Sometimes stepping away can be inspiring without meaning to be. I hate that you’re stressed, and I do hope it eases soon.
Coming back on to say that I don’t care about what Avon wants. I care that you guys are healthy. Even though you have explained how the publishing industry works, I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that they don’t seem to acknowledge that people have been stressed out for over a year about a virus that’s pretty good at killing people. You guys deserve to rest, take breaks, and do whatever it takes to stay healthy in this crazy time. Normal life and work will happen. But you should have the opportunity to recover and be healthy.
I was stung by yellow jackets twice in the last 3 weeks. Damn those things HURT and ITCH for days.
I just got back from the dentist, I had to have an implant put in for a new tooth. All the anesthesia has worn off. OWEE! They gave me Acetaminophen – cod #3, and Ibuprofen to take for the pain. All at once?
Just to let you know I feel your pain. 🙂
fwiw, you could write 19 chapters on goats grazing and I would pay to read it, multiple times over.
My teen on the spectrum is having increased periods of extreme anxiety – COVID is back and smoke from huge wild fires are ticking off all the triggers. School starts next week and there will be a 3-week Sisyphean campaign to get on track with early am school routine before being derailed by Labor Day. I am headed to my second memorial in a week. Time to play with the kitties, and thank my stars for in-home ABA.
Sending anti-scorpion, good health wishes.
So sad I won’t get to read this. Was told this week that chemo is not working. Still thanks for the hours, days and weeks of enjoyment you have given me since I picked up the first Kate novel.
I’m so sorry that you got bad news. Sending prayers for way.
Jude, I am sorry that the chemo has let you down. I hope that the time you have with us is pain free, full of love, some tears, and some laughter. Hugs help too.
Sending prayers your way!
Totally unsolicited recommendation here, but as a fellow coloring/listening to audio books horde member, I love Staedtler fineliner pens for coloring! my sister-in-law gave me a set, I’m no pen aficionado–but she is. Sadly, they are not glittery.
I’m sorry your book ended bittersweet. I rewatched Great British Bake Off for almost a year because I couldn’t handle any tv drama/pain/angst/evil/suspense worse than ‘its a little informal’-Mary Barry. <3
I watched Somebody Feed Phil and Schitt’s Creek for the same reasons. So darn cheerful
I’m deeply sorry that you’re in, “We hate this book” phase and deeply appreciate you slogging through anyways.
Izzy Hamm says
I’m sorry for the frustration and the slog. I know you hear that we appreciate you a lot, but here it is again.
I too didn’t enjoy the end of Hail Mary. It was an excellent book but, the ending was unsatisfying. I could also done with out me burgers.
Crystal Thompson says
I struggle to write lesson plans on a deadline. I can’t imagine trying to write a whole book that is a continuation of a beloved series with people waiting to “critique”. Best of luck to you. If it makes you feel better, Ruby Fever is now something I’m going to reward myself with for good teacher behavior this year.
What was your most enjoyable book to write and which one was the least? Is that the same as which one was the easiest and which was the hardest?
*distracts from what sounds like a frustrating week by throwing out a random non-related fan question because I can’t seem to figure out how best to ask aka also waiting for Mod R to shake head and put it in a ask random questions post list of possible questions*
Currently relistening to Innkeeper series and was hit by the thought that since the Inns are all over the planet and Innkeepers all know Old Galatic, does that mean the creature guides are in Old galactic to help keep them secret? Would help make them universal and the older writings easy to understand. Same with the Inn index
I feel the frustration just rolling off that post. It’s ok…venting is good. But I have to ask…why do you hate Ruby Fever? And if you hate it, why keep going? I know you have contracts and all that, but wouldn’t it be easier to start from scratch with something you like than to continue with something you loath? Just askin’.
I live in north Texas now and thankfully outside of the city and while I’ve been vaccinated, I’ve taken to wearing my mask again….never hurts to be safe.
Ya’ll take care!
They are professionals and feel they have made a commitment to finish Ruby Fever.
Sending you some joy.
I would love to see how your African violets are going.
Small pretty flowers make me smile.
A big heartfelt thank you for all the wonderful characters you have created. I too love Catalina. She is smart and self effacing. She makes hard decisions for the benefit of others. Off to re-read kinsman and maybe a side of emerald blaze or an innkeeper novel.
As one of the ICU docs in Killeen also feeling the strain of those bed numbers – I appreciate your blog as one of my favorite colorful distractions. I’ve also re-read all of your books. They are some of my favorite escapes.
Same here. I’m on my third re-read since the pandemic started.
Good luck with the writing!
I hope you’re able to write without burning yourselves out, whether that means negotiating more time or rewarding yourselves with chocolate or whatever works.
I also wish you the best of luck with the COVID surge…
*hugs* I’m relistening to Nevada’s trilogy right now. And then maybe I’ll return to Noobtown (by Ryan Rimmel) for the last two books while I wait for book six to published.
I don’t even want to think about covid round 2. I’ve been so depressed for the past 18 months, it’s almost too much anymore. I just want to find a hole and hide for the rest of my life.
Moderator R says
I’m so sorry, KMD. We will get through this, please reach out and talk to someone if you feel like you need help. Sending you hugs ????
Oof. It’s both neat and sad that its clear to see how the book impacted the coloring! But also, eep on many of the other things. Avon seems like they are really not reading the explicit messages in the room which is really messed up. May things go kinder than it is. Glad to hear the doctor stuff has gone better than expected, and that the scorpion was noticed prior to it causing harm.
I legit view the critters you describe in KD with scorpion things much differently after reading your blog posts. They are much creepier/scarier/grosser than I had originally thought.
I’m so excited to read Fated Blades! I really have enjoyed the Kinsmen Series and am absolutely excitedly delighted that there is more! <3 <3 <3
Personally… if you guys can afford it, I’d say pack up the animals and the kids and come hide out in Vermont for a few months. 80% of our state pop is vaccinated, our COVID numbers are very low, and we are friendly people who like friendly visitors.
If that isn’t an option (because fur-babies don’t always travel well), then I whole heartedly endorse the “Hermit Lifestyle” and hide from the dumbasses that are spreading the disease like fucking confetti.
I’m sorry you guys are hating Ruby Fever. 🙁 It’s one of your books I’m most looking forward to.
Shiny gel pens rock! I just recently discovered the wonders of iridescent watercolor paint. So… there’s another rabbit hole ineed to wander down when I “find” some “free” time.
On an unrelated note, I’m in the market to buy some free time if anyone has some to spare!
Dear Ilona and Gordon, our sweet labrador gets fed every afternoon at 4:00.At 3:30 she gets up, finds me, sits and stares. Finally at 3:45 I can’t take it, so we go get the mail and then she has her dinner.
Could you please get the innkeeper series going again. My friends and I are like my dog, we dont mean to stare,and, no pressure, but we’re really hungry for more of the story.
Thanks for so much enjoyment in the past. We are eagerly awaiting more!
Sending you hugs and wishes for all the annoying things to go away and be solves so they don’t bother you again.
Tammy Mashtare says
I was wondering how to become a beta reader?
Moderator R says
Do you mean as a remunerated job or as a hobby? Or for House Andrews books specifically? 🙂 There’s some info here on what is generally required from Beta readers but more info is needed on what is your exact aim https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/questions-on-writing-part-1/
It’s a Kinsmen novella that’s due out this year? Amazing!!! I can’t wait!
Moderator R says
Yes, this fall! ????
I get very, very emotionally invested in the books that I read hence I’m extremely wary of trying a new author. My sister introduced me to Ilona Andrews books in 2015 and I’ve been hooked ever since! A proud member of the BDH! Ilona Andrews books are my go-to reads for when life is dark and feels unbearable, they are my comfort read. I love the complexity of the characters, the maturity, the communication, the authenticity — all of it! But most of all, I know that although there will be dark and intense times in the story, there’s a healthy maturity to the characters and the way they deal with those dark times so I feel safe while embarking on the adventure of a new book.
When reading an author’s work I’m not familiar with I don’t feel safe going into the story. Will the main character tolerate emotional abuse? Will enduring and tolerating shitty behaviour by others and never standing up for themselves to get their own needs met be romanticised? In too many books that I’ve tried, the traits the author uses to make the main female attractive is by making her be stoic and accommodating to the male character’s gaslighting and emotional abuse and it’s written as if that’s heroic and worth emulating. The main character won’t make waves or stand up to get their needs met and will put their needs aside all the time to try and fix the other person’s feelings of unhappiness. Or, they whine about how hard their life is and how bad people treat them but yet they don’t do anything about it. They’re waiting for someone else to come and rescue them. Yes, I get that all good relationships require selflessness and sacrifice but if it’s one sided it will only lead to burnout and breakdown. Yes, life is full of suffering and difficulties but one can be either a victim or a survivor. I can’t stomach stories when staying a victim and accepting unacceptable behaviour is romanticised as being attractive. Someone once told me this, a person should look for a partner in a relationship, not a project.
Thank you House Andrews for your amazing stories! They provide the “sweet” that I so desperately need when life is so bitter and difficult. Thank you!
Hi do you need help. Anything we all could do to help we,I would you know us your readers love your books and we all would help. Now I’m in New Zealand so I can’t pop your but we could give your ‘ ideas’ you can’t go for a walk… Here my thing. , I just was helping my friend. She’s moving and needed to sort stuff so I got her nearly 3 year old daughter and we went to the part . My son’s now 21. So it was good to get out. No snake or anything like that here. Just a rather sunny day for winter. Sport to say I sore no good looking men. But just allowing the sun ???? on my face and being out was good. Bye don’t stress Ohoo put your mind too a PVO. Allow them to speck to you from the same world that may help.
Sarah P says
I’m sorry the book was a disappointment. I’d recommend A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik to anyone that likes IA books, it’s been a great distraction while I wait patiently for more good stuff here ????
I’m sorry things are tough right now. Your writing gives me great joy. Thank you for keeping up with the blog to tide me over until the next book comes out. It really helps being able to read it.
Therese Kent says
Thank you for pushing on Ilona and Gordon
In Victoria Australia we have just gone back into our 6 stage 5 lockdown
I have just come home from hospital for a suspected heart attack, turns out I have a weak heart muscle which is slightly better, my sister has kindly come to stay with me.
It’s the Delta variant we have and it spreads very fast
All the best to you and yours, I am doing a reread of Kate Daniels ????
You all in Victoria are showing such amazing persistence. The rest of Australia is cheering you on. I hope your heart sends to treatment and you continue to bounce back from what life throws at you, ????????????(From Adelaide!)
I didn’t like the end either. I re-read it and tell myself that he decides to return because damn it I need that.
Why do you two hate Ruby Fever?
Squeee!!! I loved the Kinsmen novellas so I’m glad to hear this news.
I am sorry that your reading/listening experience was disappointing. I listen to audiobooks on my commute to the office and (especially this last year) have to have characters I like, major comeuppance for evil jerks, and characters whose actions make sense to me. I’ve paused good books because I was not in the mood for where the stories were going.
I hope that, despite hating Ruby Fever, you and Gordon will find joy in knowing many of your fans will love it.
Burnout is real and I hope you can find a good escape that will help reset your heart and mind. I am finally taking a few days off and enjoying naps, visiting local places I haven’t had time for, and spending time with family. Nothing fancy but simple joys.
Susan J says
OMG, I forgot where you lived, so when you said “Austin has gone back to stage five Covid,” I thought you meant the boyfriend. Tremendous relief that he is getting better.
And screw Avon.
Idea for new book readers for your book series:
Cut the series up in smaller pie pieces. Some of the push button authors do it for money. Why not u for different readers.
Title like pieces of…or story of.. and u can add stuff to it for the old reader. Buhaa!
Change up cover to show direction but not characters.
For me your book was in science fiction section. Last time purchase one it was in romance. How about a young readers version. Not graphic novel related.Short description of all your books: action packed awesomeness!
Good health and never surrender your sword.
Lea Koch says
Kinsmen? Weeeeeee!!!!!!! *does happy dance*
Sorry to hear that the book sucks for you. Take your time. We will read it regardless when it comes out 🙂
Cindy Tiley says
I know what you mean about needing a happy ending right now. I’ve found myself reading authors that give me hope lately because everything is going back downhill and I need something joyful to give me a reason to keep on believing that not all people are stupid. One of my favorites is Lyndsay Buroker. Bad things can and do happen in her books, but they are always hopeful. Emperor’s Edge is a great steampunk fantasy of hers. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Curse of Chalion is another go-to when I’m feeling down. There’s this other author you might have heard of who gives us hopeful things to read about: Illona Andrews. Hope you find something joyful to fill your tank.
So how much of Ruby Fever is left? 10%? 68%? And wasn’t Hidden Legacy the series you really wanted to write? Things change over time. Is Hugh #2 already written and just waiting for the world to become a less depressing place? Is Maud (and Klaus) next or another Dina book?
Things will get better.
I am happy to hear about your positive medical results. I am very sad about the hospital situation. I am an old ICU RN and I can’t recall our units being this full, for this long, all over the country (actually countries). I am sorry that the book is a struggle but, at least it is producing great results. I had a project that I was slogging through for months on end and getting resentful. I had to finally give myself a talking to about how this should be an effort of love. It actually helped , which really surprised me, and the results were worth the drudge. All that to say I hope that things get better for you. I completely understand about the audiobook. I want happy endings in my books and movies. There is too much sadness and death in the real life. Well on that cheery note, I am looking forward to any and all of your books. If I don’t delete this long post, thank you for your stories!
Lots of “down” days for everyone, it seems. I wish I could say something to make it better for the two of you. Pressure to create something great out of something you hate is hard to deal with. I wish you could love the Hidden Legacy books as much as we do. You have created characters we love, and yet I can understand why it’s so hard to write it while all this other stuff is going on. They are moving forward and the real world is just sitting in limbo until this pandemic goes away.
The one bright spot is that your medical tests are done and nothing came up that caused great concern. I’ll take that good news and roll with it.
Valerie in CA says
Wildfires. Drought. E. coli. Listeria. Gasoline $4.24 per gallon
Mandated masks is some areas
Do not go outside and breathe the air due to wildfire smoke.
Welcome to Northern California
No water, air, gasoline, ir food if you look at the situation critically
Next: zombie apocalypse Or, my preference, vampire invasion. Better possibility of attractive and nice smelling murderers
Laura Martinez says
Sigh. I guess that saying just get it over with so you and Gordon don’t torture yourselves with Red Ruby anymore is easier said than done. It is terrible when you get stuck with something you seriously hate. Seriously feeling for you.
And yay for cardio results, scorpion obliteration and Kid 1’s boyfriend getting better!!!
Much love your way!!!
Robin Šebelová says
I somehow had this idea that Ruby Fever was already finished. (^_^;) It is to learn that you hate writing it, but hey, if I could finish my engineering thesis with same kind of feelings, you definitely will too. Me and other members of BDH will enjoy it and want even more. ^_^
Maria Schneider says
I tend to feel cheated when I read an entire book and then…the ending just doesn’t fulfill all my book dreams. But it happens. Not the author’s fault. They have their own dreams.
As for the struggle, deadline or no deadline, you’d probably still hate it. Shoot, it’s a habit now. It’s the thing you love to hate. It’s where you can put all your angst while you work on something you’d rather work on! Too bad you can’t skip those characters. My guess is that you just don’t like them and it’s really hard to sit down to dinner with people you don’t like. Not even good food can make up for it. Given that a certain style is expected, you probably can’t just write in a pixie and make the story all about her. Well, when in doubt, kill off some of the annoying characters. Maybe that will help. Even if it ruins the dinner.
May the underwear of all the Catalina haters be infested with scorpions. That should keep them off the internet and let us enjoy our Kinsmen books in peace.
Aman Sidhu says
Take care of you! We’ll be here. ❤️
You guys are such troopers, that sounds like a rough combo 🙁
Can’t believe Avon are putting so much pressure on you! Take however long you have to, I’ll still be reading Ilona Andrews books all year, there’s no way you could ever keep up with the amount I’d read ???? so I’ll happily wait until you manage to finish ❤
Kat Kimbriel says
Sending wishes for safety and comfort for you and your family. I am still trapped up north, but watching close friends going through the Austin virus meltdown. Your stories are always a friend in need, especially the Innkeepers–tales for those of us who don’t feel like we have a home. I have loved Catalina’s story but am a patient stone.
Also sending deep sympathy on how slowly the HL novel is progressing. I am stalled 86,000 words in on a novel, partly health (I call it Life, Interrupted) and partly Everything the past couple of years. But only a few thousand people are waiting. The pressure on you is monstrous, even if your assistant can block the worst of success problems from you.
Sounds like you are distracting yourself with writing that feels, well, free, and that is often what gets me moving again. Also, I’ve been asking myself questions to see if I can find a way out of my maze, or a different spiral on this labyrinth. Knowing the end only helps so far.
Maybe you will even knit your way out of this funk. I hope so. Wishing you all joy!
I once wrote an paper for English that I just hated. My teacher went on and on how it was so good and the best thing I had ever written. Go figure. It wasn’t awful; I just didn’t like it. I had only finished it to turn something in. Maybe that was it.
I love Catalina, I love Nevada, but there is something about Catalina. This has been referenced above but as an introvert who gets up everyday, goes from meeting to meeting, makes decisions and work, family, life, and has to get it done even when all I want to do is curl up listen to Innkeeper and knit, it is so wonderfully amazing to see that in a character. And not a weak character or a ‘relies on her man’ character, but a strong, kind, quietly inspiring character. Thank you for her. I am so sorry her book is stressing you out and I hope it gets better soon.
I’m about 1/3 into Hail Mary and now I’ve had 2 people tell me the ending is crap. Drat! Maybe I’ll just let my husband read it.
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
Good luck… Hang in there. Maybe I should telepathically try what I tried watching the women’s marathon. I was sitting here on an island in Lake Superior chanting “Molly! Molly!”. So would it help if I chanted “Ilona! Ilona! Gordon! Gordon! “?
Yeah, it probably didn’t work for Molly Seidel either… But the dogs thought it was fun.
So many things on your plate, thank you for taking the time to share with us! Also, scorpions? That’s a ‘burn your house down’ if I ever heard one.
One of my best friends just had her beautiful baby, and is recovering from the birth, and asked for book series recommendations because she can’t stand to watch another minute of television, is on light duty (pick up no more than 5 lbs*!) for another few weeks, and is going stir crazy. I immediately recommended all of your series to her. She said it has been helping her recover to be able to sink into your books for a bit while she and the baby rest.
*Pick up no more than 5 lbs but the baby is already 12 so I don’t even know how that works? She said she is doing well though so hopefully she figured it out.
I’m glad for your good news and sorry about all the stress over Ruby Fever. So many writer are struggling right now. As a reader, I just want you guys to be well. I happily reread Sweep of the Blade last week and looked at the list of your books and thought I should reread more often. You’ve already given us a treasure trove. <3
These days suck the creativity out of the normal person, which I think is why we’re getting so up in arms about anything that even hints at escapism. Like you, I can’t handle sad/unhappy/bitter endings right now, or even really intensely bad arcs unless I’m prepared for them.
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for being able to press on, slower pace and hatred regardless. It is appreciated.
I recommend Wen Spencer, Black Wolves of Boston. Has a really nice feel plus she writes well.
Moreen Carvan says
Dear Ilona and Gordon,
Thank you for sharing what you do of your life, your frustrations, your fears – all of it. Deadlines, kids, the things none of us can control and can only meet with as much courage, cunning, and craft as we have. Your willingness to bear witness (it feels to me that you are bearing witness) helps me in the face of the relentless press of pushing back against the chaos of unreality that is part of my day-to-day. I appreciate your candor. You have my gratitude, and I hope that feeds your courage, too. And as has already been said – I don’t care how long your books take. The truth of them takes time to emerge, and that is not always a timeframe under anyone’s control. I hope you don’t hate the work so much once it becomes what it will be.
Jannie Kløve says
I am so sorry that you are struggling with Ruby Fever and so, so sorry to read that you both hate it. I wish I could make you love it just like I am loving all of the different universes you have created.
I have read your books over and over … and again, not just the Hidden Legacy series. That is, now I listen, because then I can knit at the same time. I find myself finishing the sentences before the narrator and smile. Your books are my safe haven when other authors fail me. Your books are well written with well defined characters, exciting, written with just the right amount of love and affection and with a strong touch of dry humor. I feel loved and happy and content and entertained and … when I listen to your books.
So here comes a lot of healing love and hugs right back to you both❤️❤️❤️
From a 60 years old danish listener.
Sharon Adams says
I love every book you write and have all of them in multiple formats, but I love the kinsmen series so much that when I can’t sleep I reread Silver Shark, Silent blade, (or Of Swine and Roses- love that also❤️) They are quick, colorful, steamy, and imaginative reads and I feel like I am curling up with my favorite blanket ????I am excited that my library will have another one. Thank you for all you guys do for your voracious readers. ❤️❤️
Why do you hate Ruby Fever? Is it the pressure or the series? It is unfortunate because I absolutely love the Hidden Legacy series.
I didn’t love Hail Mary either – much preferred The Martian and Artemis
Oooo – now I need to do a reread of Kinsmen. Haven’t read those in years 🙂
And wrt Avon? Honestly, it’s almost like they don’t know how to work with burnt-out authors. Taking the pressure off now is an investment in the future.
I’ve taken to playing Pokémon go as a destressor. It gets me outdoors and moving, so it’s a win-win-win.
Judith C Stanton says
Ilona and Gordon,
We love your books. Just take your time and let us know when and where we can preorder your incredible books. They make great gifts for my family and friends!
Cool, more kinsmen. I love Silver Shark, that story just plain does it for me.
From the war to the escape to the help then the “I’m right here and you can’t see me” to the ambush that goes so horribly horribly wrong.
Bring on the pink wine and rabid monkeys.
I have been known to get stuck reading a book by someone i like. i get in a few chapters then i’m stuck. so then i do the weird thing of reading it backwards, chapter by chapter until i meet where i left off. so have you thought of writing it backwards?
Jocelyn Malone says
I didn’t like the ending of Hail Mary, either. I actually feel like it was a mistake and have some objections to certain character handling. Overall, I liked the book and will continue to try things Andy Weir publishes, but I still feel like the end of that book is a mistake.
I’m so sorry to hear about the hardship your family is going through. You have done so much for us during this crazy time- your books have given me hope and escape, I hope you know how much you mean to me and all of us.
I am a massive massive massive fan of Hidden Legacy and just making sure you all know that it’ll be awesome when the time is right.
Sending big hugs from Colorado!
Le Ann says
Does it help
Ask the question, why do you hate writing Ruby Fever? Many moons ago, when you finished Nevada and Connor’s storyline, you did it was down, but left it open to see what happened. Clearly readers love the series and the characters. Is it just because writing, like many things, is very difficult right now? Or is it that you just do not like these characters and/or story right now? Honestly, I don’t know if I want to read a book the author hated writing. But that probably happens a lot and I don’t know it. I guess I want you to find joy in your work. It makes me sad that times are hard for you and many other creatives right now. The world is a dark place. Your work brings some light.
Moderator R says
Hey Le Ann,
Ruby Fever will be just as romantic, captivating and funny as the other Hidden Legacy novels https://ilona-andrews.com/2021/augustine-montgomery-man-of-mystery/, House Andrews are professionals and they will ensure to put out a book that meets their standards. The process is much more difficult now because of publishing practices detailed in the post and the generalised burnout of the pandemic.
I am so sorry you guys hate the book. Avon needs to realize we will wait for it. Hell, I waited 6 years to get half a book from Jim Butcher, and then had to wait 2 months (wtf?) for the other half. And it honestly wasn’t that good what with the climax being split from the rising action. Anyway, just do what you do and we will wait. Be safe, and take care of your mental health.
I agree with your book review on Hail Mary. Even though the main character was brilliant he was a coward in my mind, more and more so as the reader learned more about his true nature. Altruistic he was not.
On the flip side, I loved Rocky. He will always be the hero of that book to me.
In general I like heroes, I care not if they are semi-broken. As long as they strive against the overwhelming odds with grit and self-confidence and are true blue to whomever they love, care about, or are protecting. That is my aphrodisiac.
My husband says I was too harsh and the main guy wasn’t a coward. So his view is nicer. Thought you should know. 🙂
I suggest a small story of sweetness, You’re My Glory by Gu Man, english translations are at fanatical (https://hui3r.wordpress.com/gu-man/youre-my-glory-on-going/), it is currently being shown on Tencent Video (it’s an exclusive, so not on Viki) with Yang Yang and Dilraba as the leads.
You got this!!
Vacaville Chris says
Why do you hate Catalina’s book? Did I miss that in a blog somewhere?
I love the world’s you guys create. Crap on toast! I’m eagerly awaiting Arabella’s trilogy.
Katherine Hogg says
Remember when Avon delayed White Hot for a few years? We all survived & when it came out I just loved it all the more because I had waited so long for it. I feel the same about Ruby Fever. You are both amazing authors & I will wait as long as it takes for a book of the caliber you produce. I hope you take the time you need & prioritize your mental & physical health. Take care
Are you working through variables to determine what is happening that you are now getting scorpions? Is anyone else nearby having some suddenly scorpions everywhere and put forward a theory because this isn’t a change that you like to happen. I’m worried (I’m sure you are too).
I felt the EXACT same way about Hail Mary. Solidarity.