Tired. Sleepy. Coffee.

Today I have a deep enduring envy of people who can sleep in.  Kid 2 has a play, which means I am about to turn her hair into a semblance of Marylin Monroe’s do.  Socially awkward Batty is sitting on my lap and purring up a storm. I have a giant fight scene ahead of me, and I am falling asleep.

If we didn’t have dogs and if the kids didn’t have school, I would totally go back to bed. Totally.

Okay so hair is done and she is off. I’m through my first cup of coffee and still not awake.

Also I am supposed to announce that Steel’s Edge hit #15 on NYT and #72 on USAT and on a bunch of other lists. We felt it was a fitting ending to the series and we’re so glad you liked it.   Thank you.  :)

No yarn projects have been done,  Guild Wars 2 is gathering dust.  It’s all vomit words on page.  Bad things are going to happen to good people. This book is a bit weird as there is not that much mystery going on. It’s mostly action, action, messed up character things happening, action, more messed up character interactions, action. At this point Kate is probably at her low, and more stuff happens – as it always does – and then I’ll have to write a nearly broken character.

As it happens Dream of Venice is playing on the iTunes and it seems very fitting.


I like soundtracks. They often help me hit the right mood.Here is the song when Charlotte sits quietly in the clearing just before she kills the slavers. If you listen to the whole song, you can hear her slowly gathering her magic, it’s growing stronger and stronger, and then finally she lets it go. It’s a kind of dark triumph, and then it’s quiet again and everyone is dead.

I hope I don’t sound too corny, but to be able to put character emotions on the page, you have to let yourself live through them. It’s a muted version of what is happening, so it lacks sharpness and the full impact, but it’s still happening and by the end of it I feel like wet laundry. Limp and squeezed dry.

I feel like I can’t quite do this story justice.  There is so much to it, so many things still have to happen in the novel. And the series, for that matter. The original plan was to end at seven, but I’m wondering if we should let it run longer. The original ending with Roland is a soft finish. Beta readers are having a really strong reaction to Hugh, which means that they would probably want to know more. At this point it’s too early to tell.

Well, I better go work some more.  :)


  1. wont says

    “….There is so much to it, so many things still have to happen. The original plan was to end at seven, but I’m wondering if we should let it run longer. The original ending with Roland is a soft finish. Beta readers are having a really strong reaction to Hugh, which means that they would probably want to know more. At this point it’s too early to tell…..”

    Sniffing around this comment. I believe Hugh has major potential. Yes, we want more. 😀

    • Jen says

      if you continue to write this series for another 50 years (at which time I’ll probably haved expired), I’d still be buying kate’s stories, mutiple copies of each I’d imagine. :) Please write more than 7 and do the stories/character justice & make yourself more $$. :)

    • Erin says

      I was just thinking the other day what a great character Kate is and how I would love the series to go on as long as Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher or Rachel from Kim Harrison. There is so much potential for the series! Plese write more.

    • Jael says

      O.O Oooooh, That would make me extremely happy and giddy and gappy! It would be beyond awesome… It would be shiny!

    • Maria says

      I think you should keep writing it until the full story is told – till you just have nothing left to say about the characters – and they have nothing left to say to you – I’m not adverse to 10 or even more books if it takes that long to get it all told:) In fact the more you write the happier I am. Good luck to Kid 2 on the play tonight. Sorry you haven’t had time for yarn work or gaming – maybe you can squeeze in a “you” day – Thanks for the tune recommendations they are great!

    • s. says

      As long as you keep writing I’m going to keep reading (Kate, whatever, you write it I’ll buy it).

    • Melissa S. says

      Oh my gosh! This exact phrase caught me. What?! YES, of course we want to know more. I am so excited for your next book!

  2. says

    The music is lovely and haunting. I can picture the scene in Steel’s Edge, as well as Richard’s reaction. 😀

    I’m trying to think of a character we wouldn’t want to know more about and can’t think of one. :)
    kindle-aholic recently posted..Review: Steel’s Edge

  3. says

    *pats on back*

    I like soundtracks (and music in general), too, when writing. I’m a self-professed music junkie. Listen to everything from grunge and gothic to J-pop and classical. Makes folks sometimes give me odd looks if they’re chatting with me while the music’s going.

    That said, I do like your taste in music. Seems like every time you post a song, I have something new on my to-buy list. (I own, like, all Heather Dale’s non-Christmas albums, now, thanks to your post of “Mordred’s Lullaby”.)

    I also agree about the emotions. I have a hormone disorder, and I’ve noticed that my mood swings are far milder when I write regularly. Not quite sure why, but I presume it’s something to do with how I intentionally mutilate my emotions while writing.
    Carradee recently posted..Should a Blogger Be Discreet or Discrete?

  4. Sarah says

    In the zone with you. Stayed up too late trying to clean baby vomit and toddler pee out of carpets. Apparently, trying to steam clean Berber carpet is a big fat freaking NO NO. Wound up plugging in the dehumidifier to dry everything. House doesn’t smell thanks to Yankee candles! Baby decided today was a good day to practice raspberries… while I was feeding him yogurt. After that the two year olds decided they both wanted to poo but REFUSE to go on the potty, so I ran around with yogurt in my hair yelling at small people (who were LAUGHING at me!) to go poop in the potty.

    It’s not yet noon and I’m wondering how I’m going to make it through a playdate and birthday party this weekend. I can has vacation now?

    ON a fun note, everyone’s nails seem to have grown out and are dagger sharp. It is easier to clip the claws on my calico cat (who is a red head) than it is on the two year olds. Does…. does this go away when they get older? Or will I be chasing around a 15 year old yelling “GO POOP IN THE POTTY! NOT YOUR DIAPER!!!!!”

    • dr susan says

      White vinegar in small cups scattered around the house and changed daily will absorb the odor and not disguise it. Also works when the dog gets skunked and runs in the house.

  5. Charlene says

    More Kate (and Kate’s world) is always better :) I have been enjoying this series very much and am definitely not disappointed to hear that there may be more than the original 7 books. You and your husband write amazing stories.

  6. says

    I like to listen to music while I write. I prefer classical because it doesn’t have words to distract me.

    There was some study recently that a certain level of background noise (like a coffee shop) it actually good for creativity. That will help when I become a pretentious coffee shop writer.

    And I’m sure the kitty will help you write. :)

  7. Alyssa says

    There was a study done recently that showed readers experience what they are reading to varying degrees; that your brain actually reacts as if what you’re reading is happening. I can’t imagine you being able to write the characters that live in your head without feeling their emotions and being wrung out at the end of it!

  8. dr susan says

    Readers will always want more; we are insatiable. The author has to decide when the characters are not talking in their heads anymore, and the story is finished.

    • wont says

      I have to tag onto this. I agree, Hugh made a huge impression in Strikes. Not sure if that was your intention, but he was very memorable.

  9. Ying says

    Yes please. We want more! It will make me so happy if you let the story runs longer.
    PS. Have you check your PO. box? X

  10. JenM says

    More Kate! Can I vote for more Kate? Of course, you have to end it when you feel you are done with the story, but if you are still feeling the urge, then by all means, keep going. Spinoffs are good also if that’s the way you think you want to go :-) And, yay for the listings – just goes to show that the Edge series picked up steam as it went along, didn’t it?

  11. says

    I hear you. Yesterday, my day started before four am with all three children up. Then I had to go have super busy day at work all day. The only positive was that it was the monthly pizza fundraiser night, so I didn’t have to cook supper.

    I haven’t blogged recently and I need to sit down and do that. I haven’t written fiction either, but my house looks like a disaster and I need to do something with it.

    I love having music while I write. It’s almost necessary. Usually songs I am thoroughly familiar with or that have no words, as I get distracted by *NEW* *SHINY* songs as I try to process them. Music is very important to me. One of the stories I’m working on has turned me on to dubstep. The song Blue by Gemini turned out to be the perfect song for the upcoming climax. It also helped me realize that the intensity of the emotion surrounding the climax means I need to really ratchet up the tension before we get there.

    Congrats on the sales. Keep calm and coffee on.
    Tori recently posted..Guest Interview: Close Quarter by Anna Zabo & Giveaway

  12. says

    I love Two Steps from Hell, and listen often when I’m in my studio. It’s great music to work by when I need a lift.

    I can only imagine how draining it is to give the characters and the story life. You may think you can’t do it justice now, but you will.

    I just finished a pair of fingerless mitts. A very quick knit, and even if I knit only a few rows here and there, because the overall project is so small it looked like I was accomplishing something. Just an idea if you want to sneak in a little bit of knitting.

    In the meantime, drink more coffee.
    Laura recently posted..Up For Air

  13. Katie S says

    Wake Up Ilona! I know the feeling – it is raining here and the gloomy sky glaring in through my office window makes me want to curl up in a ball and doze. I am not a beta reader (yet–hint), but pretend I am for a minute – I strongly recommend the series go to about 10 or 12 books total. Yes, my mother always claimed I could be very greedy. Seriously, do what you feel is best, but know I’m there for as long as you wish to write about Kate and her people. I have always hoped for more on Hugh as well, even though I don’t have a clue what your plans are for the gang in this dark-sounding plot. But I do look forward to finding out. Thanks for the video, I’ll watch it this weekend when I not at work…speaking of which…I’d better get back to it. Thanks for brightening my dreary day.

  14. Lataisha says

    Oh No…Not bad stuff to good people, not a lot of death to characters we’ve grown to love. I’m afraid to know who will be hurt :(

  15. Xid Trebor says

    I can’t imagine anyone would object to more Kate books! IMHO, I think she needs a LOT more power (and experience in actually wielding said power) before she takes on Daddy Dearest.

    Congrats on the success of Steel’s Edge – I eagerly await whatever else you can conjure in that world.

    Good luck with the writing!

    • One crazy lady says

      I agree Kate needs more power and experience using it. The past few books she’s fighting and ass kicking but not taking the time to explorer said witch powers and Roland blood magic. That growth would aid in the big fight with Roland.

  16. marcia S. says

    lol.. Yeah they didn’t tell you about , the no sleeping late clause in the fine print when you signed on to become a parent. My is now an adult and has a kid of her own and they live with me and the drama doesn’t end either….

  17. Kristen says

    I don’t have kids, but a chihuahua with stomach woes did my morning in…

    Anyway, just wanted to say that I”m stoked to read the entire Edge series now. I read the first two, loved them, and then saw you were planning on ending with *Steel’s Edge,* so I somehow managed to wait to combo it and *Fate’s Edge.*

    Also, I am involved with far too many series that have gone on far too long (I won’t name names). However, I am sure Kate could go to 10 easily. I have no desire to see it fall into blathertude like so many series before by overstaying its welcome, but the world you’ve created is so compelling and the storylines are so well-crafted and involved that it can carry out beyond the 7. If you feel like writing it, of course.

    I am dreading *Magic Rises* in some ways. I knew the body count for characters we’ve grown to love would begin to mount at some point…and I’m afraid you’re hinting that it’s here.

      • One crazy lady says

        I’m also dreading losing some of my favorite characters in Magic Rises. And Ilona stating “Kate is probably at her low, and more stuff happens – as it always does – and then I’ll have to write a nearly broken character.” I don’t want to see a broken Kate or a Kate as isolated as she was in Magic Bites. I’m I the only one worrying Curran my be one lost?

  18. Dana says

    I am sure that you will know when you have to the end of Kate’s tale. Please do not end it just because it was decided few years ago for publishing reasons. It is such a great story and in my family you have 3 readers. If you decide to finish Kate’s story now, do it in such way that you may continue it later, just a suggestion.
    I loved Steel’s Edge, I just wait for the audio version.
    Have a great day.

  19. Prospero says

    To some up most readers in initial response. “Nooooo!!!.” Kate must be victorious! Who me, Im not obsessed.

  20. Eva M. says

    I wondered about your having to ending it to fast!
    Ending a book or series to fast, is just as bad as dragging it on forever.
    The other thing I was thinking about is Magic Slays. This story had nothing to do with Roland, and yet it was a truly wonderful story.
    So my question is… Why must the series end when Roland does? Also… Why must the Roland story come to an end in Kate 7?
    These books are about Kate and her growth as a person. Not Kate and Roland. It’s a great subplot, but it is not THE plot of them.
    No matter how something effects you, not EVERYTHING in life will revolve around that one something!
    Just something to think about! More Kate!!!

  21. says

    I don’t think anyone would complain about having more Kate, especially if it means exploring more Kate Characters!

    Congrats on the Steel’s Edge ratings and I hope more coffee gets you up and going throughout the day :)
    Kimberley S recently posted..SWOON Thursday #1

  22. Kells says

    I love this books.. hands down love it ! Last night I got to the part where they board the ship, a page more & I was mad.. I stopped reading & started calling the captain a bast**d.. Since I was leaning against my significant other at the time, he mutes the TV to ask if I am talking to the book, him or the TV.. I explained why I was shouting, the backstory from the 1st book, leading up to why I was mad. He rubs my head, unmutes the TV, chuckles manfully though in a nonsarcastic way & goes about his merry way while I fume.
    Granted, there have been a handful of books over the years that have had the effect of me screaming obscenities into thin air. But this morning, he found me on the couch with my coffee, desperate to find out what happens next.
    I am going to miss this series, truly.

  23. JB says

    if you feel there are more stories to tell, please continue. I love the Dresden books and I think they are at installment 14 or 15 at this point.

  24. Garf says

    I am not a writer, so maybe take this with a grain of salt. 7 is not a magic number. I think you should not be fixatedon it and think you “HAVE” to finish the story in 7 books. If you have a vision where the story is supposed to go and what is supposed to happen, then I think you should do that, and not worry about the number of books it is going to take. Clearly people love your storytelling, I doubt anyone will be pissed if the number of books the story is told in changes, especially not if it is increasing.

    I was on the edge of saying something like this a few times, but I am not big on expressing my feelings and stuff like that. In my opinion your books are as close to perfect as any I have read, and I have read a lot. If there is one thing though that seperates your books from perfection for me, it is that they sometimes feel a little rushed. There are certain things, like how does magic work, and what can/can’t you actually do with it and also background on some characters (though Hugh is not one of them for me) that is rushed or missing, and I really would like to know more about it.
    So, after reading, and absolutely loving your books, I have to admit that I can absolutely not imagine how you could write 2 more books and get to the confrontation of Kate and her dad from where we are now without it feeling totally rushed.

    Then again, you are by far my favorite author. Whatever you decide to do, I am pretty sure I will love it. Also after reading your Innkeeper, I am sure that there will be original awesome stories after Kate is done.

  25. Angela says

    We absolutely need more. Always. Of course, it’s your story, and your characters, so you have to go with your gut. I do hope we don’t totally lose this world though. Love the world.

  26. Pat says

    I love me some Kate and Curran so more would be awesome…but only until the stories have all been told, once. I hate when a character I love is brought down to mediocrity because an author tells the same story over and over but simply gives it a new title. I love Kate far too much to want to see that happen. Trust your instincts and know that when it becomes ONLY about making money it might be Time to stop. P.S. we feel the joy you guys have with these characters simply by the way you write them, so we know it ain’t just about the money here!

  27. Anna says

    I have to say, I was hoping for a Hugh book before the Roland book. There are so many enemies and never enough pages. I can’t wait for the next publication.

  28. pklagrange says

    I could read more than 7 Kate books….YES!! Hope you had a productive day. I so look forward to sitting down with a good book at the end of the day and will be happy to do so with anything you write. I was also very interested in Hugh. Magic Strikes remains my favorite of the series, which is a pretty high bar since I love every book in it. Hope there’s lots more Hugh!

  29. Marie says

    Please don’t let this be the last Kate! That would be awful!!! Since its getting close to X’mas I also wish for an Alphas series 😉

  30. sarafina says


    Yes, I thought in Magic Slays you had a tremendous amount to cover in just 2 books. Kate had just gotten to know the witch, and I’m sure learning that much magic takes time. Also, Wednesdays would be out so Cutting Edge, Curran and Julie would all take time in varying priorities on the other 6 days.

    I believe in you guys, though.

    Courage and Caffeine!!!!!!!!

  31. Richard Cartwright says

    One of the things that I have always admired about you two is your willingness to end the tale when you don’t have a fresh story, rather than recycle to rake in the coin. I will miss the Edge, but look forward to the Innkeeper. (no pressure, but college is coming you know:)) Unlike the Edge, the Post Shift world has a lot of possibilities beyond Kate and Curran. Not to mention the novels of Curran building the Pack, meeting Jim and the like.

    On a completely unrelated note, thanks for the track from Two Steps from Hell. I have their playlist cured up on Spotify now. It pulled me from a funk that I always get on Dec 7th because it reminds me of my dad.

  32. One crazy lady says

    Congrats on the NY and USA listing. Job well done! I too look forward to more Kate books. KD is my favorite series, hands down. I love the ass kicking, humor and heart in the characters

  33. calli says

    My first reaction is “to infinity and beyond!” Like other commentators, I trust you to end it when you you think you have nothing more. Although I cannot guarantee I won’t complain. I just finished the final Edge book and nearly threw it across the room. No more Jack, George, and Sophie? No finding out the Duchess’s past? Yet, unlike some authors, you decided you were written out and stopped. Hopefully for now. Maybe there will be more. And, even if not, you have left us hungry but happy.

    Congratulations on the listings.

  34. Bill G says

    What immediately popped into my head was a set of disco lyrics:
    “More, more, more
    How do you like it,
    How do you like it,
    More, more, more…
    For more of Kate and Curran I can forgive even being reminded of disco.

  35. Eternal says

    Let me prefix this with the fact that I really like Kate’s stories, and enjoy the edge series, but to lesser extent.

    However, I really, really, REALLY hope you have the strength to finish the series and move on to something new. Tell a different story and challenge yourself to keep things fresh.

    I hate to see series expanding until there’s only a vague outline of what once made them great remaining. They might tell the story from a different point of view, or create a new story with the same characters (but give them different names). or otherwise repeat the same story that worked last time, pretending it’s something different. I won’t mention names but it sadly enough it seems quite common enough in the fantasy genre. Also it seems kind of sad for the authors that get stuck in this, rewriting the same story again and again, even if is to make a living.

    Please promise that you make sure you keep spinoffs and expansions under control, so that they are their own, clearly different stories, rather than rehashes of the same story over and over again. When I found your books they were a fresh new take on urban fantasy, as were the edge books. I would hate to see you get stuck on the track to endless spinoffs.

    You once wrote on this blog that some people said they really liked your books but wanted you to write something different, rather than more, and that you could not understand them. This is the argument why, because it’s sad to see someone who was fresh, brilliant and creative in their first few books get stuck on endless repeats of what worked once.

    • Eternal says

      I would just like to apologize for the tone in the above message, in hindsight it seems overly entitled and aggressive. In stead of just stating my opinion I ask for a lot commitments, which is none of my business, I’m sorry for that.

  36. Lee says

    yes we as readers become attached to our favorite characters, but I am more attached to your writing. Kate or no Kate I would buy your books.

  37. Kim says

    Aargh. Life is complicated enough for me without having to go through the extra emotional angst of living through a character’s breakdown. This is why you’re the writer and get to make the decisions, and I just reap the benefits.

  38. Jacquelyn says

    More. Seven books isn’t enough for this series! There is so much richness to the world, t he characters, and how the characters interact with each other that seven just rushes us through too fast! I think at least 10-not including some spin offs.
    I trust you guys to know when your done! but I have always thought Seven was not enough.

  39. Maj says

    Wherever Kate goes, I shall be chasing after her waving my credit card. Whether this series is 7 books or more, every new book will end up like the ones that came before it: dog-eared, creased, adored and kept on my “favorites” shelf.

  40. Stephany says

    Wonderful music. I love to read really dramatic scenes and then listen to music that i think might fit the scenes. I really love these:
    1. David Guetta – She Wolf (falling to pieces)
    2. Skunk Anansie – Charlie Big Potato
    3. Ananda Shankar – Dancing Drums
    4. The Prime Movers – Strong as I am
    5. Mazzy Star – Into Dust