Fun at the New York Renaissance Faire, Locus Blog Post

The New York Renaissance Faire has been a part of my life since I was six. It’s a haven for creative people and it feels like home. Here are some highlights from this weekend:

Shane the Blacksmith is excited about my book! Here is a man of ferocious skill and the soul of a poet. We may do a barter–a book for a knife.

I got to play with leather and dream a little with the help of Emily the pyro-belly dancer. Because when given the opportunity, that’s what you do.

And in Locus magazine I have a blog post about the women in Last Song Before Night.

Save the Dates: New York Book Launch! Barnes and Noble Reading!

I have lots of tour news, but first up:

  • The book launch! It will be October 1st at 7pm in the Red Room above the KGB bar, and will be in collaboration with Traitor Baru Cormorant author Seth Dickinson. The event is titled, “Songs of Rebellion: A Reading with Seth Dickinson and Ilana C. Myer.”
  •  On October 3rd at 3pm I will be reading in the Barnes & Noble in Forest Hills, New York.

So people in the New York area have a choice which event to attend! I would love to see you at one of these.

Tor.com has the details of our northeast book tour here, and  details for New York Comic Con are forthcoming. 

One Month to Publication!

Now I know the lead-up to publication is much as I’ve heard war described–a lot of waiting, and then suddenly, a lot of marching! The waiting is at an end as September 29th fast approaches, and everything is suddenly moving quickly.

  • Last Song Before Night is a Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s Pick for September and one of their 5 Fantastic September Fantasy Debuts to Watch. Their editor writes, “Eivar is a complex and wholly unique fantasy creation, a world where music, poetry, and other art forms are the gateways to magic…The idea of magic channeled through art is a powerful one, which Myer layers into a realistically flawed world.
  • RT Reviews says of Last Song Before Night“Beautifully lyrical, Myer’s high-fantasy debut weaves a multilayered tale of good versus evil and intimate self-discoveries. The gradual reveal of the main plot and the characters’ personal truths builds to a poetic crescendo worthy of their epic quest. With detailed worldbuilding and vivid characters…this lush and luminous story combines exquisite splendor and fathomless cruelty as it champions the power of art and the resilience of the human spirit.” (Complete RT review of Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer)
  • Tor.com has posted the first four chapters to the site.
  • October is going to be crazy. There will be a northeast book tour with Fran Wilde and Seth Dickinson—we might be coming to a bookstore near you. There will be a book launch in New York and a reprise of our BEA panel with John Scalzi at New York Comic Con. Watch this space for the full calendar of events!

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…

  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…