Saturday, December 18, 2010

All hail the Windy City...

Whew! What a week! 2 days in Ohio, a day and a half in Milwaukee, a stint in Chicago, and now I'm back. May it be noted that all three of those locations were bloody cold. NYC is no tropical paradise either. *sips 5th cup of clove tea in the last few hours*
The trip, while one big mad rush, was lovely. It began with a brief time with my family in Ohio, where Marcos and I saw a flock of wild turkeys. Among other things. Um, awesome. Don't get me wrong, we had great meals, great company and exchanged lovely gifts, but the turkeys were definitely a highlight. You just don't see things like this in NYC. We did, however, find a Marc Anthony "Live From New York City" CD at the Walgreens in Hamilton. (An album that Marcos had never seen in NYC. Irony.)
I employed the use of a motor-vehicle to make a bit of a midwestern-snow-filled road trip. At one point a truck stop supplied us with the necessary Red Bull and The Best of Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash albums. (At one point my music mix went from Ministry's "Every Day is Halloween" to "My Tennessee Mountain Home" and I rocked out equally, this is how it is with me.) We trekked out to Wisconsin so that I could have a moment with the "in laws" in the Brew City before moving onwards towards business in Chicago.

What business, you ask? Why, touching down in the home offices of my new publisher, of course! Sourcebooks has a New York branch, but the home offices are just outside Chicago. I've been very excited about all the initiatives Sourcebooks has been doing these past few years, and even more excited to be on their upcoming roster. Kelly and Paul treated me to a day of showing me around, talking shop, and being generally wonderful. It helps that Sourcebooks' founder and CEO Dominique Raccah is one of the warmest, most engaging and dynamic people; she's a visionary in the field and I feel blessed to now be a part of what she's built and keeps strongly building.
I was called upon to present two brief selections from the draft of -working title- Magic Most Foul. (Releasing November 1st, 2011). Considering my theatrical background, doing readings is always my favourite part of the process, and I was graced by the whole team as an audience. The atrium centre of the Sourcebooks home office is exceedingly pleasant, replete with foliage and fountain, and it was there where I was seated next to the book-bedecked and quote-adorned cow of literacy. (Many cities have had variations on this sort of themed sculpture parade, with various companies sponsoring the resulting works, Sourcebooks urban legend says they outbid Oprah for said bovine...) I had such a lovely time with the whole, lovely team. And a big shout-out to Sean Murray for winning Barnes & Noble's sales rep award! I'm very thrilled to have such talent on board. Check them out on Twitter and follow all their goings on!
I also had the great joy of meeting with Liz of True-Blood.Net, the original Fansite for HBO's True Blood. If you've spent any time on their amazing forum or here on my blog, you'll know that they've been one of the most ardent supporters of the Strangely Beautiful series. Liz and I talked for hours (and could have talked more if I didn't have to meet up with the friend housing me) about life, writing, their exciting initiatives regarding all their Fansite knowledge, and we agreed that True-Blood.Net will be where the exclusive cover reveal for Book 3, The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess , will land! So stay tuned! The Strangely Beautiful series will continue before we know it (May!) and there's lots to update! Thanks tons also to Liz at True-Blood.Net for including Strangely Beautiful in the True Blood Holiday Gift Guide! I'm so thrilled to be up there with such big names in the field! Thank you Mel and Liz!
After a day at Sourcebooks, fellow author of goddess-themed books and friend from the FF&P RWA Chapter, Pamala Knight, kindly agreed to bring me in for my Direct Your Book workshop for the Chicago North RWA Chapter! I was thrilled to have a moment with the talented and lovely Blythe Gifford and hear about her upcoming trilogy (yay!) and the equally talented and lovely Beverly Long and hear about her next Time Travel (another yay!). These ladies are just two of many- the wealth of talent this RWA Chapter has is very impressive. I met a slew of awesome and enthusiastic fellow writers on every part of the often difficult publishing journey, which ever reminds me how much I enjoy the company of artists.
My beloved, extremely talented friend Danny Taylor was kind enough to house me in the Windy City, and it's always so lovely to see him, he was in the founding "Young Company" of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company with me way back in the day - truly endless days of touring and performing Shakespeare that proved very formative for me. We looked through old photos and he made me snort wine out my nose with laughter. Good times.
And now I'm back in NYC and slammed on deadline for the Strangely Beautiful musical script, and revisions on two novels and a novella. Whee!
A MIDWINTER FANTASY is featured on Borders' True Romance blog! Please come by and say hello! (And you'll be entered to win goodies from Sue Grimshaw's stash!)
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my household and kisses from Persebunny the fluffy white bunny.


Heather said...

Beverly Long has more books coming out? Finally? Yay! We live in the same city and use the same hair salon and every time I see her I bug her about when she's going to have another book out. lol Her last signing at our store was phenomenal! I just wish we'd had more books. :)

I can't believe you were so close and I didn't even know it. Not that I'd have been able to escape work anyway. Such is life. *sigh*

Yay! for more in the Strangely Beautiful series also! :)

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Heather my dear! Yes, it was a brief chat with Beverly but enough to find out that wonderful tidbit, she's so nice! Re: being in the same state - I know, I was thinking of you and if I could get out to Rockford but I too was slammed on a tight schedule. One of these days! And thanks, I can't wait to update everyone on Strangely Beautiful 3! Thanks for your card, I just sent more swag to you at your store, keep an eye out. *hugs*

Liz said...

Thanks again for braving the winter Chicago storm to meet me, Leanna! You're right, I could have stayed and chatted for many more hours that day. However, I look forward to the next time we can chicken-chat!