BEA and Bookcon Schedule

Book Expo America (BEA) and Bookcon are coming up! While I’ve attended BEA in the past as a book reviewer, this time I’ll be on the other side of the table–the side where I’ve always wanted to be. I’ve never been to Bookcon and look forward to seeing what it’s like. This is my schedule–and note that if you catch my signing on Thursday, you get a signed ARC of Last Song Before Night. 

  • Thursday, May 28th at 10:45am I’m on a panel called “Tor Books: The Next Generation.” Here’s the official description from Tor.com:

Tor Books has published quality science fiction and fantasy for thirty-five years by some of the biggest names in genre today! But the Orson Scott Cards and Brandon Sandersons were once new authors themselves. Meet this year’s crop of debut authors and see what makes them tick in a rousing game of “Would You Rather: The SFF Edition” with host, John Scalzi (The End of All Things) and featuring: Ilana C. Myer (Last Song Before Night), Seth Dickinson (The Traitor Baru Cormorant), Lawrence M. Schoen (Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard), and Fran Wilde (Updraft).

  • That same day, from 2-3pm I’ll be signing ARCs at Tor Table #8 in the company of fellow debut author Seth Dickinson. Two for one!
  • On Sunday, May 31st I have a panel at Bookcon about villains. This should be fun. Here’s the description:

The Big Bad Theory: Tropes and Archetypes of Evil in Science Fiction and Fantasy, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Room 1A06

Ilana Myer with Scott Westerfeld, David Wellington and Michael Buckley; moderated by Charlie Jane Anders.

Any author can tell you that conflict is key to a good story, and there’s no one readers love to hate more than a compelling antagonist. But in Sci-Fi and Fantasy, the “big bad” character can go to all new levels of evilness and depravity—they can be a monstrous zombie, a power-mad tyrant with magical powers, etc. etc. The interesting bit is how authors make a fantastic take on an antagonist feel real—and scary. Let’s face it, Frodo wouldn’t be a hero if it weren’t for Sauron, and Luke Skywalker is nothing without Darth Vader.

ARCs Going Out Into the World…

18694_10203229318568430_3550092716514206803_n  It’s a big moment when Advance Review Copies, or galleys, start going out to reviewers and other advance readers. While a few authors received the book in bound manuscript form and provided cover quotes, this is the first time in a book’s life when it’s exposed to the world and feedback starts to trickle in. It’s exciting and of course, rather terrifying. But after years of working up to this moment, the excitement wins.

 

Last Song Before Night – Exists!

No, the book isn’t out yet, but it is available on Amazon for pre-order: Last Song Before Night.

Official release date will be in September of this year.

And this is fun–my piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books about Tyrion from Game of Thrones nearly tops the list of the site’s most-read pieces in 2014. I’m #2! It was a piece people seemed to either love or hate, but what pleases me most is that it generated intense discussion–which I believe indicates the argument was resonant for many.

Okay, back to hashing out the next book.

Reading at World Fantasy Convention (Updated)

Recently I found out that I am scheduled for a reading at the World Fantasy Convention in DC next week. It will represent two firsts for me: My first reading, and the first time I will be reading from the novel. EDIT: The reading is on Friday, November 7th at 10am. 

Appropriately, I’m scheduled for drinks in the hotel bar soon after.

Title Change

Titles are tricky. This is something I soon discovered when I realized I’d need to somehow sum up my 500+ page manuscript in a single phrase. I imagined that over time, the perfect title would just come to me. Now I wonder how often the author feels, with real conviction, that they’ve arrived at the perfect title.

I initially named my book Tower of the Winds after an important location in the book, because I thought it sounded cool. But my editor felt the title needed work.

So I wracked my brain. The new title ended up coming to me as I was waking up one morning–maybe from a helpful dream? I’m not sure. Last Song Before Night does capture a good bit of the mood and tone of this book, and I like that it doesn’t remind me of any other epic fantasy title that I can recall. I received word that my editor and the rest of the good folks at Tor approve. So there we are.

We are also starting to talk about cover art, which is very exciting in itself…

Review of “Fool’s Assassin” by Robin Hobb

I wrote a review at the Los Angeles Review of Books of Robin Hobb’s latest, Fool’s Assassin. As a cousin of mine observed–one who has watched me grow up and heard me talk for years about books, and especially fantasy–this feels very much like coming full circle. Assassin’s Apprentice came out when I was a teenager, and I preached its greatness to anyone who would listen (including my cousin). To be reviewing the newest in the series decades later for a great publication is…quite unexpected. It is something that would have astounded my teenage self.

Welcome

Welcome to my site! This is the place where I will be posting news and updates leading up to the publication of my first novel, Tower of the Winds, an epic fantasy coming from Tor in 2015. (You can read more about it on the dedicated page, here.) Though it works as a standalone novel, Tower of the Winds is the first of a trilogy that I will be calling The Harp and Ring Sequence until my publisher suggests otherwise.

This book has been many years in the making and will be seeing publication through the dedicated efforts of my wonderful agent John Silbersack and my equally wonderful editor at Tor, Marco Palmieri. I couldn’t be more excited and look forward to sharing updates with you in the coming months as the book takes shape. Watch this space for what I expect will be a good deal of handwringing, dancing, and chocolate binge-eating. And of course, talk of books and writing, which I do in professional publications and also because I am, passionately, first and foremost a reader.

Here we go.