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Friday, December 4, 2020

Blood Heir Cover Spotlight with Luisa Preissler Q&A (by Mihir Wanchoo)

Official Artist Website
Pre-order Blood Heir over HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s interview with Luisa Preissler

Today we are placing the spotlight on one of my top 5 anticipated 2021 titles. Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews is a cracking return to the world of Kate Daniels however this sequel volume has a new-ish protagonist & a bigger mystery to solve. Since Ilona Andrews unveiled the cover nearly 2 months ago. I’m in awe of Luisa Preissler who created this gorgeous piece. I reached out to Luisa and she was super kind to chat about the cover, how she created it and what lies ahead for her professionally.

Q) Hi Luisa, welcome back to Fantasy Book Critic. How did you get involved in the cover art for Blood Heir (the standalone sequel to the Kate Daniels saga)?

Hi Mihir, thanks for having me again! I got involved in the cover art the way I always do: via email. Ilona shot me a mail asking about my availability and shortly after I was commissioned by Nancy from Nancy Yost Literary Agency to do a wraparound cover for a new book about the character Julie from the Kate Daniels world. Needless to say, I was thrilled!

Q) Your artwork is gorgeous & Julie is stunning in her new avatar. How did you collaborate with Ilona Andrews to create this cover? Did they give you detailed notes or was it more like an overview which you then expanded upon?

Thank you! It was more of an overview - I had a lot of creative freedom again and that’s what I love about working with the Andrews’. Ilona wanted Julie in an action pose with background elements that communicated a blend of post-apocalyptic modern and fantasy. I got some notes and reference images from Ilona about Julie’s new look, which helped a lot in forming my mental picture of the character. As further research I read all of the free “Ryder” story blog posts that were released until this point and distilled some key elements and the mood that I wanted to convey. I remember that there was a short description of her work clothes and spear in the early draft so I incorporated them as well.

For the background it certainly helped that I had already read all of the Kate Daniels books and was familiar with Post-Shift Atlanta. As always I started with a big Pinterest search to get inspired and tried out a few poses and background elements before I settled on an idea I liked. After a few sketches it became obviously clear to me that a book with the title “BLOOD HEIR” definitely called for a red color scheme. After getting the green light from Ilona, I started painting.

Q) I know you are a big fan of the Kate Daniels saga. How excited are you to be working on the series sequel and did you get to read the book beforehand?

How excited I am? Over 9000, haha. When I picked up my first Kate Daniels book in 2008, I never dreamed that I could ever be the cover artist for a sequel. It feels totally surreal! With regarsds to the second part of your query, I didn’t get to read this book beforehand. I don’t think it was even finished at that point. However, I read the free chapters that were online at the time and I was SO hyped. I honestly can’t wait for the book to come out in January.

Q) Julie’s stance and look is similar to Kate while being her own person. Especially with her spear & the utility belt, is the spear of special significance akin to Kate & Slayer?

From reading the free chapters I definitely got the impression that the spear had a special significance to Julie but I’m not the author so you have to ask Ilona to be sure. :)

Q) Ilona and you recently shared another image (Julie the Princess) will this be in the book as well? Or is it for something else?

It’s an interior piece that shows the royal side of Julie in contrast to the cover which shows the tough fighter that she is.

Q) Thank you very much for your time Luisa, I hope to see more of your gorgeous work in 2021. Would you be able to let us know what you have in the works?

Sure, anytime! I already have a pretty full schedule for 2021 with currently eleven cover artworks planned, most of them urban fantasy. I’m also looking forward to collaborate again on a new series with one of my favorite authors, Rachel Aaron. I can’t say much, but there might also be another illustration for Ilona Andrews in the works. :)

Pre-order BLOOD HEIR over HERE

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name—Aurelia Ryder—drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she'd ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

NOTE: Artist picture and artwork courtesy of Luisa Preissler.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Luisa and Mirhir,

It was fun reading the article and getting a tiny hint possibility that there are more Ilona Andrews covers to come. I'm a huge fan of the artwork and seeing your covers is enough for me to open a book and dive in! Cheers to both of your continuing success!!


Evilene said...

Looking forward to the book (I have read them all) and love the cover.

Boater said...

Love all Ilona Andrews stories and it's wonderful to see Julie, Kate Daniel's daughter all grown up and kicking a** with a large slice of Derek and many old friends thrown in ❤
Luisa your artwork is gorgeous πŸ’•πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

schneidt79 said...

Huge fan of Ilona Andrews & Luisa Preissler! This was a fun read!

aravis said...

Nice interview! Thank you.

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