Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thoughts on 2009 and more...

How can I begin to describe my 2009?
It started off with the awesome thrill of attending a most historic and exciting Inauguration. And then the year moved like a roller coaster.

When I started my first novel at age 12, a project I kept a closely guarded secret for many years, I could not have imagined the thrill of a debut novel hitting the stores nearly two decades later. I truly couldn't have conceived of how wishing on stars, after a lot of time, rejection, pain and hard work, could result in the reality of a dream fulfilled. It's still difficult to wrap my brain around it now as we all begin to consider our respective 2009 drawing to a close. My greatest dream is manifest in the pages of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker and Miss Percy and I have been surrounded by the incredible support of my family, friends, my prince of a boyfriend, the industry itself, book bloggers, my publisher, generous readers, booksellers and a bevvy of new friends... it was like a host of heaven was at my side through a nerve-wrackingly beautiful few 'debut' months. I sometimes forget that Dark Nest won the Prism Award this year too, the ceremony at RWA National seems a lifetime ago. And every time something new happens with my work, it's a brand new thrill. I'm exhausted. But so very blessed. And blessed to continue forward into 2010 with momentum that my 'heavenly host' helped me create. So for me, 2009 has been a year of thanksgiving, lots of hard work and thrilling firsts. Thanks for being a part of my bestselling year.
The latest thrill? This is a big one. Seeing my book in HARDCOVER! *swoon*

Thanks to the Rhapsody Book Club as well as Doubleday's Sci-fi/Fantasy Book Club, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker has gone into a hardcover edition for these book clubs! Isn't it beautiful? I must admit, holding this copy for the first time, it was one of the greatest thrills, an unexpected treasure in this wonderful year of multiple blessings. What I love about this edition is that the cover art is the star; there's more richly moody sky, more of Parliament, on the back, all of Embankment along the Thames glows, the tree, lamps and gorgeous sky are so fittingly luminous with Parliament fading in the London fog. Moving the cover blurb to the inside of the jacket frees the whole of this beautiful scene. I'm more taken than ever with the cover art (and grateful for it), and I'm so thrilled by the opportunity of this edition.

Please visit the Rhapsody site so you can hear an exclusive Audio Excerpt that I recorded from the book! It's the scene where Miss Percy and Professor Rychman first discover they have a mutual secret! (Look under the column "Bonus Content" - it's one of my favourite scenes!)
In distribution news, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker has been spotted at KMart and WalMart! At the KMart in New York City it was under $6! Quite a deal.
Around the Blogosphere:
1. First, I want to say thanks to the beautiful group of book bloggers who posted the cover art for The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker (Strangely Beautiful #2, April 27, 2010) after Katiebabs first announced it and who have since put the book on their upcoming sidebars. You give Miss Percy wings and I love you for it.
2. Thanks to A Buckeye Girl Reads for including The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker in her favourite books of 2009!
3. Thanks to Heather at the Daily Dose for listing me as an author hightlight of 2009!
Contest stuffs:
We've a Contest Winner! Here's Persebunny the beloved fluffy white bunny to take a bite out of the name of her choice... BELLA! Congratulations, Bella, on winning The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker in Audio format as well as a bag of coffee from my favourite Fair Trade, ethical and delicious coffee company, Mt. Meru! (For more information about the 8 CD audio book set and the MP3 format, visit the Dorchester page. For more about why everyone should drink Mt. Meru, check them out here.)

Stay tuned, in April I'll open up the DARKLY LUMINOUS contest which will be similar to my very first Strangely Beautiful contest, where you'll have the chance to win a new item critical to the story and a chance to win a Barnes & Noble gift card.
Points of pride:
One of the greatest things this year has been connecting with new readers and writers, whether at conferences, booksignings, or speaking to schools. My a particular delight has been meeting some incredible young women, all talented authors in their own right, and discussing the craft we all love so dearly. Stephanie L., Sammi W., and Hanna L. (who just won a Power of the Pen award, congratulations!) in particular are three young women who give me such joyful faith in young writers, and I cannot wait to watch their respective talents grow, soar and give beauty to the world.
2009 Highlight: I received an incredible, touching honour: an honorary Diploma from the Milwaukee High School of the Arts where I spoke to the Creative Writing department about the publishing industry and the importance of never giving up on your dreams. The department is led by top-notch teachers and filled with gifted students. I mentioned to the class that I would have loved to have had a High School of the Arts in Ohio, I would have connected with such a program, and so the beautiful gesture of making me an honorary alumni moved me to tears, as did all the wonderful cards from the students. Thank you so much Ms. Tehan and students, and thanks Stephanie, for making an already wonderful experience even more special. MHSA is certainly something to be celebrated.
In closing,
I love Christmas, it's a very sacred time of the year for me, and I wish all of you the very best and most bounteous, beautiful Holiday Season. Let's ring in 2010 with celebratory cheer, I just know it's going to be a beautiful year and I look forward to sharing the journey.

Seasons Greetings from Miss Percy Parker!

(Photo by Steven Rosen Photography, taken at the Dances of Vice Halloween Party, 2009)



Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

2009 has been quite the year for you Miss Leanna Renee and I'm glad that I got to share some of it with you especially your book party at Madame X, Halloween, and the day you won your Prism award at RWA. 2010 promises to be even bigger. Enjoy the ride because you and Percy are much deservng!

RKCharron said...

Hi Leanna :)
Thank you for sharing today. I liked your wrap up of 2009. What a great year! I'm looking forward to 2010 and book two in the Strangely Beautiful Series.
Merry Christmas!

Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

One of my favorite things this year was reading your beautiful words and knowing the publishing world is a brighter place with you in it.

Plus you understand my lust for Richard A.

Thank you for being there for me in ways I cannot express.

OfficiallyInspired said...

Congrats on everything in 2009! And thanks so much for the honorable mention! Means a lot! I just emailed you to tell you that I just mailed the newspaper! lol.
I hope your 2010 will bring you as much success as 2009 has! God Bless!


Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Elizabeth, you were certainly at my side for some of my most incredible days, and I'm so grateful for it. I can't wait to be your cheerleader for your book release and to be there for your joyous, triumphant 2010!

Hi RK!
Thanks so much, thanks for being a part of the journey! Merry Christmas to you too!

My dearest, you've been a very important part of this year and I continue to root for you and your work all the way. In turn, I can't thank you enough for all you do for this industry.

I can't wait to see the article, thanks! And you're most certainly welcome, your place is well-earned! Cheers to your ongoing success as well!

Bella said...

Thank you Miss Leanna & Persebunny!

I am thrilled to have won Strangely Beautiful audiobook & can't wait to hear it; congratulations on your successful 2009, I hope 2010 is just as bountiful!
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year:)

as ever,

Bella said...

Your Miss Percy photo is beautiful & I love your dress; the blue skirt is so pretty! Where can I get one?
Who's your dressmaker? :)

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Hi Bella!

Congratulations and I'm so thrilled you're excited!

As for the dress, it's a bunch of pieces I put together around the star of the show, which is the skirt. I owned the blouse and corset, but had been pining for the Victorian skirts sold by Gallery Serpentine for years and years. Getting my book contract was the reward I'd been waiting for and put in my order. Visit them at - they are swoon-worthy!


raven said...

Many congratulations on a wonderful year. I am so very, very proud of you!!!!

Sammi Wyatt said...

Thanks for mentioning me! It means so much and it's very encouraging. It's nice to have people who understand the writing world on my side. Meeting you has been a highlight of my year :D

& That picture of you? Amazing!

Can't wait for Book 2!

<3 Sammi