Welcome readers! We’re kicking off a new weekly blog feature today and we couldn’t be more excited. Every weekend we’ll share snippets from the lives of authors you know and love. What they seek out to reboot and recharge during their weekends. After all, we can all use more downtime in our lives and maybe we’ll get some fun ideas for our own weekend recharge.
In this first Weekend Vibes we’re joined by the amazing Ilana C. Myer.
Ilana has worked as a journalist in Jerusalem and a cultural critic for various publications. As Ilana Teitelbaum she has written book reviews and critical essays for The Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, and the Huffington Post. Last Song Before Night was her first novel (if you haven’t read it–definitely check it out!), followed by Fire Dance available everywhere this Tuesday, April 10. She lives in New York.
Her forthcoming novel, Fire Dance, is a standalone sequel to Last Song Before Night with palace intrigue, dark magic, and terrifying secrets at the helm. Espionage, diplomacy, conspiracy, passion, and power are the sensuously choreographed steps of this soaring new high fantasy novel about one woman’s epic mission to stop a magical conflagration. Ilana’s novel is a symphony of secret towers, desert winds, burning sands, blood and dust. Her prose soars, and fluid movements of the politically charged plot carry the reader toward a shocking crescendo.
Without further ado, I present…
Ilana C. Myer’s Weekend Vibes.
Three things I enjoy in my spare time, in no particular order:
Long walks are a staple of our weekends. Across the train tracks from our apartment complex is another world—one of the most historic areas of New York, built in 1910. There are row houses that look like Tudor buildings you might see in London. There are houses like castles, with turrets, stained glass windows, and giant chimneys. Streets have odd, delightful names like “Bye” and “Underhill.” One house is guarded by iron dragons on its gateposts. Some of the oldest trees in the city are here too: in spring and fall, flowers or foliage predominate. In summer, the fireflies come out at night. I’ve had many a book idea walking these winding paths.
Wine is something I didn’t think much about until I was a journalist in Israel, mostly covering local things. Local wines were starting to gain a reputation internationally, so I found myself visiting wineries, talking to their founders, and of course, tasting their wares. Here was a world I’d never explored, first because I was raised on sweet dessert wines, and later because it always seemed pretentious. But it doesn’t have to be.
Fast-forward some years later, to New York, when I found out that a group of dear friends of mine were making their own wine every year. My spouse and I joined the group, and participated in the phases of making our own, customized wine—beginning with choosing the grapes for that year and culminating in the bottling process. It’s a lot of fun, but more important, it means we’ve had cases of delicious wine to savor on weekends.
Books. This is an obvious one, but bear with me. When you are a fantasy writer who wants to build worlds that are halfway plausible, you end up reading a lot of nonfiction. You also want to imbibe as much as of the oldest stories, the myths and legends, as you can. Now add to that various assignments—book reviews and author interviews—and it’s unlikely that what you’re reading is not, in some way, about your work. I feel guilt if what I’m reading is not work-related.
On weekends, I try to put that guilt aside, and read whatever I want to read. Whether it is new fiction, or old fiction, or a reread of a favorite. It’s the weekend—it’s allowed.
If you enjoy Ilana’s stories, definitely check out Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint prequel, Tremontaine! Swordplay, scandal, and sex dominate the world of Tremontaine and you can even read the first episode of season one for free.