|Ilona Andrews is the pen name of husband-and-wife writing partners Ilona and Andrew Gordon. The couple is best known for their urban fantasy series featuring popular protagonist Kate Daniels and for their paranormal romances. Ilona was born in the former Soviet Union. Although most science fiction and fantasy was banned there when she was a child, as soon as the Iron Curtain fell, she began devouring books by such authors as J.R.R. Tolkien and Isaac Asimov. She came to the U.S. as a teen, and while studying biochemistry at West Carolina University, she met Andrew in an elective writing class. Because she was unsure of her language skills, she frequently asked him to read over her work, and they soon began thinking of themselves as a team. (Despite the fact that English was her second language, she discovered that her spelling was much better than his.) Their first Kate Daniels book, MAGIC BITES, was published in 2007 and is set in an alternate Atlanta, where necromancers and monsters roam the streets. The writers gradually gained a wide readership for their urban fantasies and concurrently became the subject of some speculation, with fans asserting that Andrew, a former communications officer with the U.S. Army, had been a secret agent and that Ilona was the sultry Soviet spy who seduced him. Despite the romance and intrigue of that tale, in reality the couple keeps busy penning novels and raising their children rather than spying.