Jun 3, 2011

Posted by in Miscellaneous | 25 Comments

My Letter to Ilona and Gordon Andrews

I know those of you who follow my blog know I don’t often do serious. But this letter is full of sap and heart. It is probably not what you would expect from me, but every word is 100% true.  Just thought I would give you a heads up.  😉

I love authors.  I don’t think that’s a secret.  They are, after all, the reason we are all doing what it is we do in blogland.  When Katie and Patti told me about a blog crawl (hosted by Kassa) whose sole purpose is to celebrate authors, I knew it was something I had to be a part of.  To participate in this event, I simply had to write a fan letter to an author I enjoy.  So here’s what I came up with.

This is not the first letter I write to this couple.  And I can’t help that the first letter and this letter will both have the same “I think you rock” feel.  It is not my fault that I have huge respect for these two – that I felt it then and I still feel it now.  Only now, my gratitude has grown even larger.

So, without further ado, here is my gush filled fan-girl letter to Ilona and Gordon Andrews.


Dear Ilona and Gordon,

I am not sure if you are aware, but I am the same Julie who wrote you a little letter and emailed it to you back on February 12 2010.  I re-read it before sitting down to compose this and found that each and every word still rang true – but now there is even more I am grateful to you for.

In my original letter, I told you how much of a muddle my life had become.  Of course, I didn’t see it that way a few months before writing you.  I was a wife and a mother and that was my life.  I felt as though my reason for being was to care for my family.  Pretty much my whole world consisted of them.  What I hadn’t realized was that I had become so focused on my husband and my children, I had lost sight of me.  It had never even occurred to me that maybe I needed to take care of myself and to take the time to do things that were just for me.  Suddenly, and it did seem almost overnight, I couldn’t remember what it was I liked doing.  I couldn’t remember much of how I was before my family came into my life and I couldn’t begin to think about what I was going to do once my kids were old enough to care, at least a little, for themselves.  I had lost ME.

After much insistence from my Aunt and my friends, I tried reading.  I started with YA books and loved it.  The stories were great but what was most important was that I was making time for me and finally doing something that was just about me.  But not long after that, I lost interest in the genre.  I tried finding books geared for adults and was really disappointed with what I found.  I was very close to giving up hope.  I thought maybe I had read the books I was meant to read and that maybe I should just go back to before.  I decided to give it one more chance, so I went online.  I researched and read many things about many authors and series and settled on 4 to try.  And once I picked them up, I fell in love with each and every one of them.  I had found absolute joy in reading and I haven’t looked back!

If I had not discovered those authors when I did, I would have gone right back to being a mom and wife and I would have continued being unhappy.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I really was unhappy.  You can pretty much guess where this is all going, but I’m going to spell it out anyways.  Ilona and Gordon, you are one of the authors I discovered during my online quest.  In fact, of the four series I tried, your Kate Daniels books were the only Urban Fantasy series in the bunch.  And now that I look back at that little fact, my love of UF is one of the newest reasons why I think you guys are made of awesome.

I knew nothing of the genre when I first found your books.  I had never even heard of it.  And honestly, if someone had come up to me and told me what UF was and to try it, I would have said ‘no thanks’, because I’m a little stupid like that.  But it has become one of my go-to genres thanks to you guys.  How many worlds and how many characters would I have missed out on if it weren’t for you, Ilona and Gordon?!  If it weren’t for you, I would never have met many of the characters I now devotedly follow and love.  I would never have gotten lost in page after page of magical cities filled with kick ass chicks and yummy men!  Now, many of the characters I’ve recently met are great, but to me none are as memorable as Kate and Curran.

Your version of Altanta, with its shifters and vampires is just incredible.  The characters you write and the world you’ve created are so powerful that I can’t get them out of my head.  Even days after reading one of your Kate books, I still remember lines and quotes.  They suddenly pop into my head and I find myself smiling a big stupid grin.  And I suffer from Book Brain Fart Syndrome, meaning I barely remember character names when I close a book.  So for me to remember quotes days after, that is saying something.

I am grateful for your introducing me to UF, but let’s not forget the main reason for this letter:  You guys helped keep me reading!  And thanks to reading and my addiction to books, I started my book blog.  And through my blog I have met some of the most wonderful people and chatted with some of the most fabulous authors.  Through my blog, I started feeling as though I was part of a team again.  And I found out that I wasn’t the only wife and mother who had lost herself and who found her way back through reading.  If I had stopped reading, I would have none of that.

Not only are you guys incredible writers, you are also wonderful people (even though you intimidate the crap out of me).  I have seen this first hand.  Your talent is extraordinary, even though you don’t think you possess that much ;).  From the first Kate book to the latest, your voice has remained the same, but your style has become more polished.  I know this may sound hokey, but I am very proud of what you guys have accomplished and I only hope that you are too.  The lives you touch through your words are plenty.  Just mention Kate or Curran anywhere and you get instant love.  And how your books have affected my life?…  I really don’t think I will ever be able to say ‘Thank you’ enough.  I will forever be grateful for what you guys did for me and my family (since my being happy means everyone around me is happy).  You have helped me find me again and I will never forget that.



So there you have it, from to bottom of my heart.  Be sure to check out Leontine’s letter to CL Wilson which she posted yesterday.  And tomorrow, you guys have to check out ‘Ethan’s’ letter to his author of choice!

And to see the list of all of the participants and when they are scheduled to post their letters, click here.

Thank you to Kassa for taking care of all the details.  This was fun!

And finally, come back a little later today because I will be posting my awesome interview with none other than Ilona and Gordon Andrews! Woot!!!!!  Seriously, the fact that I got to write these guys a letter and that I get to interview them makes this the Best.  Day.  Ever.

  1. It is so good to hear readers talk about the authors that really made a different to their reading life or in this case a whole life changing experience…

    I have read this authors work and I agree – they have some style…

    Lovely tribute to a fabulous team..


  2. I love this series too – my copy of Magic Slays is on the way – I can hardly wait – Curran = rowr!!

  3. What a lovely letter! I feel the same about some authors and their books, where I find a sense of peace and it may sound strange, but belonging as well.

  4. Julie, what a wonderful, heartfelt letter!! I’m glad you found this author duo when you did and bring you such joy back to your life! Looking forward to the interview 😀

  5. Beautiful letter. Readers should take more time to tell authors how much we appreciate their hard work. I have yet to ever write one myself because mine always sound one step above stalker.

  6. Erotic Horizon – I agree. We should spread the love more often. 🙂

    Kaetrin – Magic Slays is really really really good!

    Katie – Belonging does not sound strange. I totally get what you mean. 🙂

    Leontine – Thanks. The interview makes me giddy. lol

    Tori – It’s only stalker-ish if you say things like: “When I look into your window, I am amazed by your work ethic.” Things like that…not so cool. 😉

  7. Wow Julie, what a touching letter. It’s wonderful that someone could touch you that way. It’s what authors hope for I’m sure. I’ve not read anything by the authors but it sounds like an interesting series. Great job.

  8. Dear Julie,

    Thank you so much for your heartfelt letter. I am so glad that our books could offer an escape from reality for a few brief hours. People don’t often acknowledge it, but reading is a creative experience: as we read, we imagine events, we attribute motivations to the characters, we speculate on what would happen next, and so on. All of us need to be creative once in a while. 😉

    That said, I am so glad you wrote this. Writing is kind of a stressful profession, although it seems like it shouldn’t be, and sometimes I have such a sucky day, where I’m pretty much ready to give up. I’ve bookmarked your post and when a day like that happens, I will come here and reread it.

    Thank you!

  9. @ Julie OMG I almost spit coffee on my computer! “When I look into your window, I am amazed by your work ethic.”

    A really wonderful letter, the kind that any author would/should be humbled to receive.

  10. What an amazing letter. I really loved hearing how reading changed your life and gave you so much happiness. That’s at the heart of why we all read but to be able to express that so eloquently and to an author that really touched your life is something special. Not to mention your author replied! I bet this made their day and it’s something I hope everyone gets to read. Thank you for participating!

  11. Freaking Fabulous Julie! I loved that letter. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Tam – If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, you have to read them. They are worth it!

    Ilona – Thank YOU so so much. Reading really is a complete escape. A very necessary one! lol Thank you so much for coming by and reading this. Really understand that I mean in all 100%!

    Stephany – 🙂

    Kassa – Thank you! This really is a great idea. 🙂

    Teri – Thanks!

  13. TheOnlyLisa says:

    Julie, what a wonderful letter! I feel the same. I have been an avid reader my whole life but this divorce I’m going through kind of stopped that for me because I can’t keep my mind still long enough to get into a book. The only thing I have been able to read is the Kate Daniels series (and everything else written by Ilona and Gordon!) and oh my gosh do I need the escape. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that it is what’s keeping me together some days. I love the world they have created and the characters, the humor. This is probably my most favorite series of all time and I can’t wait to read Magic Slays. Any ideas for books I could read that are as good?
    PS. Love your blog!

  14. That is my story except I waited until we were taking our daughter on that heartbreaking college road trip exactly 2 years ago. When my children were toddlers I would get everyone down for the night and bury myself in a book. My husband asked me to stop so we could be together. Well before you knew it my kids were growing up and their activities were what kept us busy. As I realized I was losing one child I knew I needed to discover me again. I went back to knitting, needlepointing, and reading. I picked up a few books that were different from what I normally would read and settled in the car for the trip. First book really sucked so I went to the next an UF book with a kick ass girl and shapeshifters, Kate Daniels. Took me away from the throat tightening threat of tears as we toured college campuses and allowed me to be entertained in a cool fantasy world. That one book changed the genre of my reading and I have never regretted it. So, good for you, you found yourself again! And by the way, I love your blog.

  15. isn’t it so amazing what kind of personal connections a book can have for us, or a story or character can affect us so much, even if they’re fictional? this was such a gorgeous post that i just read it through twice and im sure i will come back to it to remind myself what reading can be all about. cheers!

  16. Julie, I love your letter. I know exactly what you mean and feel. I love to read and I’m very grateful to authors for giving me that escape, where nothing matters and is just me and the characters. Ilona Andrews is (are) one of the best. I love Kate Daniels series, its amazing world and of course delicious Curran *swoon*

  17. What an absolutely wonderful letter. It seriously had me tearing up because I’ve been that wife and mother and I know how incredible it is to find something that you can love that’s all your own when it comes to reading. Thank you for expressing that so well.

    I love Andrews’ Edge books so I finally dove into Magic Bites this past week (I don’t read much UF). It was really good and am looking forward to reading more about Kate and Curran.

  18. Fabulous letter, Julie. Thank you for sharing your story. I think there are many readers who can relate to it, including me. 🙂

  19. TheOnlyLisa – Books really can save your sanity! It’s wonderful to hear how many people have been affected by Ilona and Gordon’s writing! As for other books to try, I’ll email you. 🙂

    Vicki – If I had gone as long as you, I don’t think I would have survived. lol You are a strong soul!

    Lusty Reader – I never thought I would be so affected by fictional characters or settings. But they really do get to us in the best of ways. 🙂

    BookaholicCat – I am always amazed by Ilona and Gordon’s imaginations!

    Tracy – The Edge books are wonderful too. I wonder how they don’t get nightmares when they come up with the villains in that series. lol

    Kris – Thank you. 🙂

  20. Julie – that is one amazing letter. Thank you so much for writing it. And I so hear you on getting so overwhelmed with everything and everyone else that you lose you. I’m amazed sometimes what books teach me about me…when I connect with a character and realize what they are going through is what I am feeling.

    I’m so hanging out to read Magic Slays!

  21. I can definitely relate to your letter! After having kids, it’s easy to forget who you are.

    I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Ilona Andrews’ books, but I’m so glad I did!

    Fabulous letter!!!

  22. Really brilliant letter Julie I’m glad you stuck with what you wrote as it’s such a lovely, honest and moving piece!

  23. orannia – It IS amazing how certain books touch you at certain times in your life. And thank goodness for that. 🙂

    Patti – It’s just too easy to do after kids. But the important thing is that you ‘find’ yourself eventually. 🙂

    Ally – Thanks Ally! 🙂

  24. Hi Julie!

    Sorry I’m so late, I’m playing catch up here. Your letter is so wonderful and heartfelt. I enjoyed reading it so much and your love of this author team really shone through.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    You have a beautiful blog here, I’m delighted to have found you.


  25. Lea – Thank you so much! 🙂

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