Calling the Muse: Cooking the Books with Ilana C. Myer

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Among the fall 2015 Tor debuts, Ilana C. Myer’s epic fantasy Last Song Before Night is the one with warrior poets, wine, song, magic, and competition — all of which appeal to me on a grand scale. (Full Disclosure: I had the pleasure of blurbing Last Song Before Night) All the more because Last Song Before Night is a great book for talking about food and the lack of it. And Ilana is a glorious guest.

Today, in honor of her book launch this week, I’m delighted to introduce you to Ilana C. Myer, Last Song Before Night, and the poets within.

So pour a glass of something and join us for the latest Cooking the Books!

The ingredients for podcast #015 – Calling the Muse include:

  • wine (several bottles)
  • rich meals
  • starvation
  • lots and lots of dishes

Heartfelt thanks to John DeNardo, Paul Weimer, Kristin Centorcelli and everyone at SFSignal for the outdoor grill. But you guys locked the door to the SFSignal kitchen, so you might want to fix that, ok?

On that note, enjoy your delicious Cooking the Books podcast below!

Ready? Subscribe to the Podcast here! Or click play below:

Podcast #015: Calling the Muse: Cooking the Books with Ilana C. Myer

Point of note – the event I call “Tortober” in the podcast has a new name – It is the Fall Flights of Fantasy Tour and you can find more information here!

About this tour, Ilana says “When I think of artists journeying together, I’m hoping it won’t be a reenactment of my book!” Stay tuned to see how we do!

Better yet, read an excerpt from Last Song Before Night, and then enjoy this simple-yet-elegant chicken recipe:

Ilana says: My spouse and I whipped together this recipe for a simple, yet elegant chicken dinner. (Spouse really gets most of the credit.) The flavors are more complex than you’d expect from the ingredients, and it takes almost no time to make. This recipe serves two people.
You need:
  • 1 package of baby bella mushrooms
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup diced parsley
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper
  1. Slice the mushrooms thin. Caramelize the sliced mushrooms and crushed garlic in olive oil, in a saucepan over a medium-high flame. Add pepper and seasoning to taste.
  2. Once they’re brown, add 1/4 cup of diced parsley leaves. Stir for 2 minutes.
  3. Reduce flame to low and distribute mushrooms evenly over bottom of pan. Place 2-3 chicken breasts on top of the mushrooms. Cover pan.
  4. Turn over chicken every 3-4 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (fully cooked through).
  5. Serve with mushrooms on top!


Author Photo croppedIlana C. Myer has written about books for the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, and the Huffington Post. Previously she was a freelance journalist in Jerusalem. Her epic fantasy, Last Song Before Night, debuted September 2015 from Tor. She likes wine, chocolate, and books–especially together. You can find her on twitter and at

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