News: Amazon Top Pick, World Fantasy Convention, and a Tor party!

So I was minding my own business one day when my editor pinged me with this link. Amazon has listed Last Song Before Night as a pick for Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of October, along with Margaret Atwood, Brandon Sanderson, Jim Butcher and other stellar authors. I am okay with this!


Next week I will be at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs. I feel as if I got a bit of the lay of the land in our last trip. It is a charming, picturesque place with excellent restaurants and bars–and best of all, Northshire Books. Tor will be holding an event there on Wednesday, November 4th to celebrate its 35th anniversary with many authors. I can’t think of a better spot for such an event than Northshire, which is a beautiful space and was so hospitable on our New England tour. I will be there, signing books.

My World Fantasy Convention schedule is as follows:

  • Friday at 11am I’ll be participating in a panel: “Scale in Epic Fantasy: Tensions Between the Epic and the Intimate” alongside Joshua Palmatier, Suzy McKee Charnas, Glen Cooke, and Chris Gerwell.
  • I’ll be reading on Saturday at 3pm.

Come find me!

WFC will mark the last phase of my book tour, which began with guest appearances on various blogs, went on to an actual in-person tour of New England, and will culminate in a return to Saratoga. After this will follow a retreat back into the second book, which must get done!

Fall Flights of Fantasy Tour!

So the Fall Flights of Fantasy Tour in which Seth Dickinson, Fran Wilde, and I conquered New England  ahem, toured various bookstores in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, upstate New York, and Vermont (in precisely that order) was in the past week. It began with a bang in Wellesley Books, where the turnout was huge and incredibly supportive and I signed a copy of Last Song Before Night for Elizabeth Bear and Scott Lynch, which…!

Fran, Seth, and I took turns reading random passages from each other’s books, which seemed as good an icebreaker as any–for the audience and between us. By the end of the tour we were all about promoting Last Song of the Traitorous Updraft or whatever.

Along the way we connected with friends and made new ones. Something about being on the road is conducive to meeting and appreciating new people. And with so many events I had plenty of opportunity to practice my dreaded social skills, something of which I’ve written about at Chuck Wendig’s blog (though New England weather precluded the appearance of the fabled Red Dress of Visibility).

In Portland, one of the highlights was hanging out with the amazing Catherynne Valente, who introduced us to local gems. A bar with its own homemade chocolate cake with dulce de leche frosting wins a thumbs-up from me! Points for having an entrance that looks secret, as to a speakeasy. (Pictured, darkly.) Cat is now touring to promote her new novel, Radiance, which I look forward to reading.

A book tour is kind of a crazy thing, where if you are not in the process of traveling, you are on public display. And weird, stressful things can happen, like a fire alarm that evacuates the hotel into the autumn cold at 4am. A great deal of the experience of a group book tour can hinge on the dynamic of the group. I am so grateful that I got to travel with two excellent people (as well as authors) whom I like even more after hanging with them for days and nights at a time. I am grateful for all that I learned from them and for the support they showed me. Thank you Fran, Seth, and of course the staff at Tor!

New York Comic Con, Hogwarts Houses, and Lies About “Last Song Before Night”!

New York Comic Con was a great time, as John Scalzi put us (Fran Wilde, Seth Dickinson, Lawrence Schoen, and me) through our paces in the “Tor: The Next Generation” panel–and sorted us into Hogwarts houses! Unsurprisingly, Seth Dickinson, author of The Traitor Baru Cormorant, was sorted into Slytherin.

And here is Seth, firing on all Slytherin cylinders as he tells lies on about Last Song Before Night! Someone stop him!

More seriously (a statement I feel compelled to make, as a Gryffindor) a writer can usually only hope for such perceptive readings of their work.

Here is how Seth’s essay begins:

“Stories about truth begin with a lie.

Let me tell you a lie: Last Song Before Night is an epic fantasy about a band of young poets on a quest to uncover an ancient secret and save the world from absolute evil.

The archvillain of Last Song is a censor (and he could be nothing else). His trade is the mutilation of truth. I like to think he’d appreciate this lie I’ve told you, just there. It’s a very good lie, because Last Song is about all those things, they’re in the story, it’s true!

But that is not the true shape of Last Song Before Night.”

More: Seth Dickinson on Ilana C. Myer’s Last Song Before Night

Where to Find Me in October

As October begins and the leaves change, Tor will be sending me and authors Fran Wilde and Seth Dickinson on the road to bookstores throughout New England. It’s like they planned it. I hope to sample local apple cider and apple cider doughnuts at every stop.

But first up is New York Comic Con where I’ll be, once again, thrown on the merry-go-round of a game with John Scalzi in the company of my fellow debutees. I will also be signing books!

Here is the complete breakdown of the tour schedule:

New York Comic Con – Thursday, October 8th

Tor: The Next Generation!

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, Rm 1A18


2:45pm  Bookstore, Hall 1-B

Tor Books celebrates 35 years of publishing quality SFF by some of the biggest names in genre today! But even Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson were once unknowns. Meet 2015’s new authors and see what makes them tick in a game of “Would You Rather” 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).

Friday, October 9th

In-booth signing

12 PM – 1PM, Tor Booth 2223

Fall Flights of Fantasy Tour! With Fran Wilde and Seth Dickinson

Tuesday, October 13, 7:00p.m.
Wellesley Books
Wellesley, MA

Wednesday, October 14, 5:00p.m.
Books a Million
South Portland, ME

Thursday, October 15, 6:30p.m.
Toadstool Bookshop
Milford, NH

 Saturday, October 17, 7:00p.m.
Saratoga Springs, NY

Sunday, October 18, 4:00p.m.
Manchester, VT


On a different note, the Red Room book launch party with Seth Dickinson and the Forest Hills Barnes & Noble event were each a success. Both were well-attended and warm, the perfect way to send a book out into the world.