Monday, July 14, 2014

Meeting George Takei, my Skye of the Damned debut, and you can PRE-ORDER Eterna Files!

Greetings, Readers!

Apologies for being quieter on the blog front than I'd like. Deadlines, travel, projects... But there's a lot of excitement in the works. I've joined the East Coast team of Jimmy Diggs' House of Diggs production company, which is such a thrill. His projects are very exciting and the wealth of experience he brings from various franchises like Star Trek is inspiring, I am thrilled to be on board as contributing talent in various capacities as a writer, consultant and performer.

The amazing and unparalleled George Takei came in to the media studio where I work to promote his new film To Be Takei, telling his inspiring story and just generally being Oh My wonderful. While he was in the studio I got a chance to pass along regards from Jimmy and our East Coast wing of the HOD team, as George has been a big inspiration to us all.

 
And Episode 5 of SKYE OF THE DAMNED is out now! Come see me be Danae, sassy Queen of the Dark FAE as an epic fight scene erupts at a wake...
Here are some of my favourite screen shots:


 
More updates soon on THE ETERNA FILES - which is now AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER! All of the Magic Most Foul saga, especially culminating in The Double Life of Incorporate Things, has prepared us for the intriguing characters and insidious horrors of THE ETERNA FILES, coming 2015 from Tor, this is my first hardcover release so, dear reader, I'll be very grateful for your pre-orders and your support in this exciting new venture.
 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Out of the Deadline Cave and Into the Taco Church...

Greetings, Dear Reader! Those of you who follow my goings on know that I've been a bit under a rock on  major major book deadline(s). I've come out briefly for things like one day at the Steampunk World's Fair and one day at Book Expo America, but the most important thing of late has been getting THE ETERNA FILES ready for your delectable consumption come this fall with a teaser novella and early 2015 with book one's magical release, as I shift my writerly career into the hands of Tor Books, a transition I am very excited to make.

I've also been working background on the HBO show Boardwalk Empire lately, I'm so proud I've worked every season of the show. ANOTHER TREAT was the thrill of seeing myself featured in the James Gray film The Immigrant, a 1920s period drama that's a really amazing film. I'm sitting next to Marion Cotillard (Ewa) as she watches Jeremy Renner (Orlando the magician) wow the Ellis Island audience with his performance. My hair is in a bun, I'm in glasses, and you see me several times in those shots and I'm really thrilled, as working that particular Ellis Island scene as well as working several days on the whole production, was a really wonderful experience, especially as a historical novelist, their eye to detail and care for us as a group was great.  

I'll ALSO be featured in the upcoming episode of the Urban Fantasy web-series full of kick-ass fights and general genre fabulousness, SKYE OF THE DAMNED, episode 5, in which I play Danae, Queen of the Unseelie FAE. I know, ME? Queen of the dark fae? No. That so doesn't suit me at all. *grin* So stay tuned for that episode launching next week!

If you haven't caught up with my books and want some insight into THE ETERNA FILES, as I'll be taking some of the darkest plot threads of the Magic Most Foul saga and making it all A WHOLE LOT CREEPIER (I know, it's hard to do, because it's damn creepy already, but in my coming works, the creepy expands on a far grander scale), please check out the Magic Most Foul series and in book 3, The Double Life of Incorporate Things, I introduce some of my Eterna Files stars.

ETERNA will launch a teaser novella with Tor this fall and we'll have an early 2015 debut, so STAY TUNED! (And catch up on Magic Most Foul. It certainly isn't a prerequisite, however if you like Gothic Victorian Paranormal Fantasy, well, then, you're in the right place as that's entirely what I do.)

IN THE MEANTIME - THE HOLY TACO CHURCH and PHOENIX COMICON!

The amazing Kevin Hearne, who might be one of the most utterly delightful gentleman on the planet, as fabulous an author as he is a human, has organized an amazing author group that I'm very tickled to be a part of. Follow our religious love of food (particularly Tacos and Margaritas) alongside the goings on of our books. I'm holding down the Vegetarian quotient of the Holy Taco Church as Our Lady Pico de Gallo and will be offering up some of the ways I taco it up without dead carcass. My first post goes up June 12th, but please check out the site and our fabulous authors and sign up for our mailing list.

If any of you are in the Phoenix Comicon area, a great deal of "The Church" will be in attendance so come see us! I'll have all three Magic Most Foul saga books available via the wonderful Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore to sign over in our Author Alley, if you have stock of any Strangely Beautiful editions that are now out of print (But not for long as everything begins it's new and shiny re-issue next year thanks to Tor!) feel free to bring them along and I'll love to sign those too! Cheers!

Here are my favourite BEA pictures taken by the lovely Alexis Daria! The first is of me side by side with my beloved Alethea Kontis, we celebrated 5 years of being Kindred Spirits this BEA, and Alexis got the next picture of me during my signing at the Science Fiction / Fantasy Writers of America booth. Cheers and happy haunting! 




Friday, April 25, 2014

In Which Leanna Sings Opera

Dear Readers,

While you may or may not know I am a trained performer on stage and screen, some of you also may or may not know that I'm a singer. In between my book releases, I thought I'd do a little sharing of things I do that aren't related to my books, but still related to storytelling and performance.

Presenting Part 1 of my husband's operetta he composed; WHEN I THINK OF HOME, with text by his mother Carolyn Wille-Rivera. Carolyn wrote this text while living in Puerto Rico dreaming of her childhood up north. Presented and also performed by the talented Orfeo Duo on violin and piano, presented as a part of Upper Manhattan's "Oh What A Neighborhood" concert series.

I'm the one singing. ;)

Blessings and enjoy!

For more about Marcos & La Guagua, check out his website!

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Novelists' rebuttal to "The Novelist"... A humorous answer to Elle Magazine.

When Elle Magazine did a spread of a wardrobe feature of a "Novelist" (with a total price-tag of about $7k)... Some of us novelists reacted, (read: laughed), and author Lynne Kelly gathered our responses. Here is our rebuttal. I promise it shall amuse, enlighten, and entertain.

The Author's Wardrobe For Real

You'll note my offering sticks out like a great, black hole. *snicker* I am infamous for my Victorian Gothitude. But even all my corsetry combined would not add up to a $7K outfit (which would wipe out more than one of my advance checks in one fell swoop). No, the working author is not living Sex and the City style, that's Hollywood. (No way could Sarah Jessica Parker have afforded that beautiful Manhattan apartment on a columnist's salary alone). We're living, working, struggling artists, and while I'd not trade the author's life for anything in the world, let's be real about it.


But, writing aside, all this does make me think I need to start my Gothic Style Guide feature I've been meaning to do for quite some time...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour! Eterna Files, YA and more: In which Leanna explains why she does what she does...

Thanks to YA author Lynne Kelly for getting me involved in the Writing Process Blog Tour! Here we answer some basic questions about our process. The questions may be basic, but writing a book is far from it, and every author's process is as unique and as individual as the array of books throughout history. I love talking shop, so here goes....


1.      What am I working on:

Book 2 of The Eterna Files, a Gaslamp Fantasy saga set in featuring two rival teams of secret agencies between New York, each tasked with finding the ‘cure for death’ on behalf of their respective governments. A teaser novella for the series launches this fall and book 1 launches February 2015. Close on Eterna’s heels, my acclaimed, award-winning and bestselling Strangely Beautiful saga (also Gaslamp Fantasy in nature) re-releases. Both series are with Tor/Forge. I’m having such fun with The Eterna Files, which takes and runs with all the themes I’ve been working on throughout my career; the spaces between life and death, the fine lines between faith, belief, spirituality and doubt, the arcane, the magical and the unfathomable mysteries of the human heart. I’m so in love with infusing the paranormal into a ‘realistic’ Victorian world and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to do so book after book. Some of my Magic Most Foul characters will appear in Eterna, and in the finale of the series, The Double Life of Incorporate Things, I introduce two of Eterna's stars. I love weaving all my characters through different series to show them all from different angles.

2.      How does my work differ from others of its genre:
I love this question because it’s in my particular brand of Victorian Gothic Fantasy that I truly hope to make a lasting mark. Readers and reviewers tend to compare my books to 19th Century Gothic authors rather than contemporary authors, mainly because my style borrows so heavily from my Gothic forefathers and foremothers. While I don’t utilize the density of 19th century style, between my themes, interests and the bent of my language, my work is entirely entwined with a dark, dramatic, dare I say ‘strangely beautiful’ tradition.
What I attempt, while honouring and valuing my Gothic forefathers and foremothers, is to allow for my female characters to have a broader range of experiences and agency in my work. Most women in the traditional Gothic are victims and/or trapped by their material confines of the age, of expectations, mores, roles and more. The women of my novels are tasked with saving themselves and others, rather than being a less dimensional plot device. 




3.      Why do I write what I do:
This is closely tied to how my work differs from others of its genre. I feel called to voice the Victorian Era that I love so deeply, but to do so via a modern lens, and allow for voices that would have been marginalized by the constraints of a classist, excessively patriarchal society. I do so not because I think our society ‘knows better’ than the Victorians (we have just as many skeletons in our modern closets as they had in theirs, in some ways more insidiously considering the pervasiveness of modern technology), but I do have current freedoms and platforms a Victorian version of myself would have chafed heartily against. So much of the freedom, laws and safety we take for granted today were changes born of the constraints, injustices and traumas of 19th century pedagogy, changes that people fought and died for.
And yet, we live in a new gilded age in terms of income inequality and the rapidity of technological advancement mirrors the industrial revolution in an uncanny way. There are beautiful ways to parallel the past and the present and those connections keep me coming back time and time again to the themes of my work and the fascinating complexities of the Victorian era and the resilient human spirit throughout time.
4. How does my writing process work?
*Chortle* I am entirely haphazard. Such a pantser. While I have to know a general arc and trajectory of where I'm going, every book is as mysterious to me as the last. Every book is new, every book's process feels like I'm back to square one and every time I wonder if I can cobble a book together out of the quilt pieces laid out before me. The only common theme is that I write non-linear, out of order, I write the scenes that compel me and keep me up at night. (Beloved characters are the anti-sleeping-pill).
I write what I want to write first, daydream about all the things the book needs, and eventually I put in all the connective tissue, which is the most exhausting part of the process, making all those pieces make sense. That's when it feels like work. The initial process of the book is like taking a vacation into a foreign land and I'm seeing it through the eyes of my characters, it's rather magical, really, but then the connective tissue is where the muscle comes in, and the editorial part of my brain needs to make the hard choices about making sure none of my characters have run away with the storyline too far off the core course, which has happened a few times in my career. That's where critique partners and editorial staff come in so handy, as a book that's only seen your eyes and mind alone just isn't as capable of a story as it is when it's gone through multiple revisions and some trusted viewpoints.  
All in all, writing books is what I love most in life and feel is my purpose in life, and so writing process, for me, isn't just something I do, it's something I live. And I hope you'll enjoy my books!

DARKER STILL (Magic Most Foul book 1: http://tinyurl.com/darkerbn  )
THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART (book 2: http://tinyurl.com/twistedbn )
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF INCORPORATE THINGS (book 3: http://tinyurl.com/tdloitaz )

I tag my darling Alethea Kontis, award-winning, NYT Bestselling author and certified Princess on this tour, catch her responses next Monday on her blog!
 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Leanna's "Like" Contest for an Amazon Gift Card and Books!

My Dear Readers!

I am so excited to be gearing up to bring you The Eterna Files this fall, and so thrilled to be published by Tor/Forge. My new series continues my exploits in the Gaslamp Gothic; another Victorian Fantasy saga that builds upon a great deal of the themes I've been exploring in all my novels, with a large and colorful cast of characters (with cameos of Strangely Beautiful and Magic Most Foul characters) sweeping across 1880s New York and London. Quirky men and women battle, spy, worry, invent, plot, scheme, exasperate and adventure as a race for the "cure for death" brings far more troubles than either city could have imagined. Eterna Files book 1 will launch in February of 2015, but a teaser novella will release digitally this fall to sweep you all into the world! The Strangely Beautiful saga will re-issue in new, revised and improved editions soon thereafter!

In the meantime, I'm continuing to build my audience and reach, as my new partnership with Tor/Forge blooms. As you may know, this is a hard business. And I've certainly suffered some hard knocks with the closing of my first publisher. I fight tooth and nail to stay solvent, stay noticed, stay out in the marketplace and continue to stay true to all of my visions. But I truly can't do that alone. I can't do that without an audience, or a connected fan base. You, dear reader, have always been so vitally important. Here's a chance for some mutual reciprocity.

If you like my work, there are very quick, easy, free ways in which you can help support me. Little ways with big impact! A strong presence online garners stronger support from publishers and vendors, so the more reviews I have, likes on my Amazon Author Page, GoodReads traffic, for example; all this really adds up in helping an author navigate the vast sea of readership. In the end, it is all about the numbers, people. But I don't expect you all to do a lot of clicking and liking without entering you to win a prize! It's only fair; help me, help you.

Here's how it works. Below you'll find the RAFFLECOPTER form to enter. I'm focusing on raising the "like" level of my Amazon Author Page and Goodreads Profile, as well as garnering some more reviews for my most recent works.

Enter the Rafflecopter below to be registered to win! Three winners will be chosen in April. Prizes are a $15 Amazon Gift Card, and a chance to win one of my books of your choice! (Out of print Strangely Beautiful titles not available)  

Cheers and thanks and happy haunting! Please tweet this post and tell your friends!

Again, these stories could not happen without you, dear readers, thank you for your time and support!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Anthology Announcement! And Appearances Update!

I'm very happy to announce that my short story "Roebling's Monster" has been selected for inclusion in Myth Ink Books' horror anthology: DARK TALES OF ELDER REGIONS: NEW YORK

And as this is Teaser Tuesday, here's a draft of the first paragraph:


Roebling’s Monster
By
Leanna Renee Hieber

Anything that is wants to be loved. In whatever way they know how. Even monsters.
New York, I have done so much for you. I will do so much for you still. I can hold you up and keep you safe but you must forgive me first. I am a mass murderer and I am asking the city’s clemency before it’s too late for me to be redeemed. You are, each one of you, my judge and jury and I need you to know me. I can no longer live so boldly in your sight if you remain blind to the truth of the whole of me. You think you see me, every day, but I can’t go on like this, pretending to be noble when you don’t know the whole story.

-
(End of selection)

Read the Myth Ink Books press release about the anthology and check out some of the other fabulous talents that are included!

Also, those of you close to my hometown of Cincinnati Ohio, I hope you'll join me for the Steampunk Empire Symposium, April 25-27, where I'll be reading from and signing The Double Life of Incorporate Things as well as previewing my upcoming Tor saga The Eterna Files!