Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Publishers Weekly, Darker Still sale, Public Radio Interview!

Leanna at Bankstreet Bookstore, photo by Jax Medina
The Interwebs are alive with the sound of Gothic literature. Well, at least it's a banner week for mine.

Thanks to Publishers Weekly for including me in this week's roundup of events, My Twisted Victorian Holiday Party at Bankstreet Books made the news! If you'd like a signed copy of The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, just call Bankstreet to order one, signed books are such a great gift for the holiday season, only $8.99! (Call the store as the item isn't yet added to the online catalog).

And speaking of amazing prices, DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul is now on sale for Kindle and Nook for only $1.99 through the holiday season! A very important Gothic Victorian fix to prepare you for The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart!

And the fine folks of WVXU Cincinnati, the beautiful public radio station there, kindly did an interview with me about TWISTED TRAGEDY, have a listen! I talk the latest novel, about being a cross-genre writer and what it's like to thread my theatrical training into my books.

Cheers and happy holidays!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Walmart, Bangladesh and The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: History Repeats Itself

History Repeats Itself

Unless we demand change.

It sickens me that the 112 dead in the fire at a Bangladesh factory supplying Walmart, Disney, Sears and Enyce factory is a mere replay of one of America's worst industrial tragedies a century ago, a subject I am VERY passionate about. You'd think humans would be a hundred years wiser or more compassionate. But Walmart's corporate culture isn't known for that. Walmart and the other companies involved are complicit in the deaths of these people. That's very clear from today's New York Times article saying Walmart blocked a safety push. It was just the same with the owners of the Triangle Factory. Walmart has a bunch of striking workers here in the USA just like Triangle did a century prior. The parallel is eerie and sad. History repeats itself, greed repeats itself, unless society demands better.

If you don't know about the Triangle Shirwaist Fire that happened on March 21, 1911 in New York City, please read on as I've reprinted my 2011 post. And here are two action items, as corporations will not change unless people demand they do and withdraw their business.

- Walmart petition demanding better inspection.

- Petition in support of Walmart's Striking U.S. Workers

TRIANGLE: REMEMBERING THE FIRE

(Reprinted from my March 2011 post in the midst of worker's rights issues in Wisconsin):

For those of you who are used to my blog as containing only fluffy updates on books, travels, fun things… This is not one of those posts. This is history at its most tragic.

I’ve just finished watching a review copy of Triangle: Remembering the Fire, premiering March 21st at 9pm on HBO, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the horrific Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. I’m wiping my eyes from profound bouts of tears. I’m not one for reviewing books or films, but this is an event that must never, ever, ever be forgotten. My devotion to and career in historical fiction drives me to share the basics of this horrific day in human history, and to encourage you to find out more for yourself, and never to take workers’ rights or workers’ safety for granted.

To be clear, I knew what I was getting into when I sat down with this subject matter. I was well aware of this fire and its infuriating details, first having learned about it during my training as a New York City Tour Guide, from the incredible New York: A Documentary (which I could not possibly recommend enough, it is one of the best and most well-crafted series detailing the history and character of a city) where Ric Burns first taught me about the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in all its terrible details. I wept then, too.

I knew all the historic photos I’d see of the countless heaped, dead bodies on the street, young women having jumped to their deaths in a tangle of cloth and limbs. I knew the outrage I felt then, the same I’m feeling now and whenever I hear the words “Triangle Fire” and see those terrible sepia photographs in my mind’s eye.

There were a few new particulars about the fire that I learned from this 40 minute documentary, and I noted a few things they left out. There were extraordinary human stories as told from descendants of victims and survivors. The beautiful sepia portraits of the young female victims cry out for a better death than they were given. My tears flow now in part out of fear that all that has been put into place after the horrific events a century ago may be undermined if we as a society don’t demand the moral best of ourselves, our workplaces, and those who control them.

About the fire: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory occupied the top floors of the Asch Building on New York City’s Washington and Greene streets. (Shirtwaists were women’s blouses and the workers were nearly entirely female). It was one of the only garment factories not to have allowed Union and Labor concessions after the Uprising of the 20,000 that launched the Great Strike of 1909 where New York City women took to the streets for rights, safety and fair practices long before they gained the right to vote. Had Triangle implemented some of the safety precautions advocated in these concessions, this tragedy would not have occurred. But there was no federal mandate for factory safety at the time.

Near the end of the work day on March 25th 1911, a fire began on the 8th floor, likely started by a cigarette butt or end of match not entirely extinguished, dropped upon highly flammable scraps of pattern paper and cloth. The floors were jammed with sewing machines, about 300 or so per floor, and with all the paper and cloth (and no sprinklers as they were not required) it was a tinderbox. A telephone operator on the 8th floor phoned the 10th floor and many on that top floor escaped onto the roof and over to the adjascent NYU building where a Law professor and students provided assistance, but in the tumult the 9th floor was not informed until the fire was literally upon them. There were two exits per floor but some exits were locked- presumably to keep the girls from taking breaks. Staircases between floors were only two feet wide and wooden, quickly consumed. There were elevators and while the two noble elevator operators managed to get over 100 women out in about nine trips, bringing the car directly up into the flames, between the heat and weight of bodies jumping down the shaft, the car was incapable of making further trips.

Firefighters were on the scene quickly, but their ladders only reached the 6th floor, hardly helpful to those top floors. Some women began jumping out the windows as an alternative to being burned alive. 9/11 is all too present in our minds when we think of this. Life nets held by firefighters were useless, bodies fell through them. 146 deaths all told. The workforce was mostly Jewish and Italian girls. Girls. The average age of the victims was around 17 to 23.

It took 18 minutes. 18 minutes before there were no more jumping bodies, the floors utterly consumed, fire hoses battling the inferno. 18 minutes for one of the worst industrial accidents in the history of our country to burn a hole right through the heart of the world.

There's more to the story, to the fight, to the indignity. More that will touch and infurate you.
Please visit this site to learn more. Please watch Triangle; Remembering the Fire on March 21st on HBO. If you are in New York City, please take part in the centennial events happening on March 25th. (I’m very upset I cannot attend. I would be there but I’m ironically engaged with many events at the Steampunk Industrial Revolution that weekend).

Details the documentary left out that I'd learned from New York: A Documentary:

- The fire escapes. There were fire escapes that were small and not well supported. The heat of the fire weakened the metal and the women that had poured out onto them dropped with the fire escapes when they gave way, crashing them fatally onto the pavement below.

- While management claims the locked doors were meant to curb breaks, others said it was to keep out Union organizers.

- The engagement rings. If I recall Ric Burns' work correctly, I believe there were 13 engagement rings on the charred fingers of the dead bodies.

(I won’t tell you how HBO's documentary effectively describes the different ways family members managed to identify a series of bodies, you’ll have to have your own tissues on hand for that.)

This is not just a historic event to be looked upon, considered, and filed away under ‘things I know about history’. If we’re not very careful and attentive to worker’s rights, safety standards and regulation, everything we take for granted about a work week and a safe environment could erode. It’s already eroding. Look at Wisconsin, and how workers’ rights have been stripped there; bargaining for pay and safer work spaces has been removed. It’s a slippery and frightening slope once basic rights begin to be taken away. As a member of three unions I fought hard to gain membership into, I so dearly appreciate what I’ve gained from the struggles of those brave women beaten on picket lines, I honour their deaths and I cry all the harder for those sacrifices that shouldn’t have been necessary if factory owners simply would have done the right things, all preventable things, all things that had been urged by the Fire Chief at the time and by Union organizers. It took an event as horrific as Triangle to force uniform change a century ago, and to people like Al Smith and his Factory Commission to enforce it. Labor Unions aren’t something to be looked at as outmoded. Unions are the very things that have fought for what the average American worker now has the privilege of taking for granted. Please honor the memory of the 146 dead by not taking your rights for granted in all of your workplaces.

- Triangle: Remembering the Fire - How you can commemorate



Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday amusement: Lord Denbury in a modern Goth boutique

To celebrate Black Friday in a unique and amusing way, Leanna takes her dashing 19th Century hero, Jonathon Whitby, Lord Denbury, hero of the Magic Most Foul saga, shopping in modern times, bringing him to her favourite Goth store in Manhattan, Gothic Renaissance. Literary Escapism hosts her annual Black Friday author extravaganza, check it out! You really don't want to miss what Lord Denbury thinks about corsets... And if you haven't yet picked up The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, get to it, you've got to meet Denbury's best friend Nathaniel Veil...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Magic Most Foul saga now on AuthorGraph!

Calling all digital readers! DARKER STILL and my brand new sequel, THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART are now available for digital signatures via AUTHORGRAPH! Yes, I can sign your digital books! Just follow the link to send your request! Cheers and happy haunting!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART

THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART, a Novel of Magic Most Foul... Continuing on from where DARKER STILL left off, the acclaimed MAGIC MOST FOUL sequel IS NOW AVAILABLE in paperback and across all digital platforms wherever books are sold.

"Readers will enjoy not only the dark, supernatural mystery and then-daring romance but also the Victorian setting of elegant houses, beautiful gowns, and historical yet surprisingly contemporary New York City." - Booklist

From the back cover:

"I'M COMING FOR YOU."
The whispers haunt her dreams and fill her waking hours with dread. Something odd is happening. Something...unnatural. Possession of the living. Resurrection of the dead. And Natalie Stewart is caught right in the middle. Jonathon, the one person she thought she could trust, has become a double agent for the dark side. But he plays the part so well, Natalie has to wonder just how much he's really acting. She can't even see what it is she's fighting. But the cost of losing her heart, her sanity...her soul.

Praise for Darker Still, an Indie Next Selection: "Original, haunting, and romantic." —YA Bound

Order: B&N - Amazon - IndieBound - Watch video excerpts!




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Free via TOR.COM for a limited time: TOO FOND - new Gothic Victorian fiction

"In “Too Fond,” by author Leanna Renee Hieber, Eloise Browne's leaden heart becomes softened by the entrance into her world of Mr. McGill, the owner of the nearby mill. His tragic story and her compassionate gift tangle themselves into something altogether new... and not altogether welcome."

FREE READ FOR A LIMITED TIME COURTESY OF TOR.COM - You may download this story DRM-free for .99 to your Nook, Kindle or iPad, note buy link to the left of the story.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART: THE TRAILER!

We're in the final weeks before THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART releases into the world!

Are you ready for more Denburylicious action? This is an adventure filled book that picks up exactly where DARKER STILL leaves off and I promise is a spooky, devilish good time... Here's the trailer!

Share with friends! Stay tuned for video excerpts and more!
Pre-Order in paperback or to your devices!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NEW YORK COMIC CON 2012



LADIES WHO STEAM: Women in Steampunk panel at New York Comic Con - L to R: Lauren Panepinto, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, Liz Gorinsky, PJ Schnyder, Me, Anina Bennett
Trying to explain New York Comic Con is like trying to explain DragonCon. You have to see it to believe it. For those complaining that NYCC was too crowded, well, they've clearly never been to DragonCon, which is, every year, WAY too crowded. So the NYCC crowds did not phase me in the least. I was just thrilled to be there. For not only was I traipsing about in my usual Narcissa Malfoy cosplay, I WAS A PANELIST. It's been a dream of mine to be a NYCC panelist and this year it came true on the LADIES WHO STEAM: Women in Steampunk panel alongside the fabulous women listed above, Ay-leen, Lauren and Liz holding down the editorial and art side of the panel, the rest of us the author side. We chatted about why Steampunk matters, the ingenuity and the reinvention of it, the costuming and the concepts, our thoughts about where the genre is, where it can go, and why anyone should care. Check out Tor.Com's album for more fabulous pictures of the panel and keep your eyes out for my upcoming eerie Victorian paranormal story, TOO FOND, to be featured this month on Tor.com. (If you're interested in a copy for your very own, It's available now as a .99 pre-order to your Nook...) This story has been a big hit at my convention live readings.
Thanks to our fab Auror's Tale publicist Jenn Levine I knew to attend The Mary Sue / Her Universe meetup and met Jill Pantozzi and Ashley Eckstein while I was hanging out with the fabulous, ridiculously talented Jeff Carlisle, drooling over his art. I admire Jill and Ashley so much for who they are and what they're able to do in promoting Geekdom throughout the land, and especially raising the bar for women in the industry. In that vein, keep an eye out for Fan Girl TV, as I was a part of one of their first events this week as well, hosting a live show with very talented panelists and performers. While at the Mary Sue / Her Universe meetup I also met a lovely and engaging freelance comic editor who bonded with me over Harry Potter and Victorian literature (two of my very favourite subjects in all the land) and who has wonderful ideas for her own work. I got a chance to cheerlead a bit, something I feel called to do in this life, and as her ideas are truly, truly wonderful and potentially life-saving for so many of her readers who would relate, I hope she keeps in touch and I hope she gets her own work out into the world one way or another.
The rest of my time at NYCC I hovered about The Group That Shall Not Be Named: HP-NYC and alongside my oft sister Bellatrix (othertimes an uncannily perfect Irene Adler - and who in real life is an exceedingly talented Jack of All Trades and BFF), Cassandra Johnstone, who, as Bellatrix, teaches a mean and amazing Wand Dueling class. The Group That Shall Not Be Named, the largest Harry Potter meetup group in the nation, made sure the weekend was fabulously full of Quidditch, Wand Dueling and more. Something I got to do this year that I'm rarely able to do is walk the floor. That was wonderful and on day one I got this incredible peacock feather fascinator for day two (an item perfect for a Malfoy and for my general sensibilities) and this was as much of a hit as anything I've ever worn. Ever. (By Rae Beth Designs)
Like with any convention heavy on Cosplay, there are some amusing things one overhears and witnesses.

Voice 1: "Is that a sexy version of-"
Voice 2: "YES."
Throw in some expletives and that was something overheard between two young men, the iterations of which could have taken place between any number of persons of any gender or orientation about any character of any fandom. Everything under the sun. Grown, burly men confidently and without hesitation shouting out the names of My Little Pony characters to those of any gender dressed as them. Like DragonCon, you have to give yourself extra time to travel escalators and cross rooms, and like DragonCon, people watching is sort of the best.

Favourite costume? The Bain Capital Bane. Brilliant and epic. Check it out on Tor.Com's FB page. Also, Michael Mason Photography has some great shots as well.

Favourite moment? Looking out into the packed house at our Steampunk panel. When I introduced myself at the panel, a cheer went up in the room. I was honoured by this, I was flattered, and I was more driven than ever to keep writing books. Thank you, readers.

Coming up, WE'RE JUST A FEW WEEKS AWAY FROM THE NEXT MAGIC MOST FOUL NOVEL! We've got cool stuff regarding THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART, like book trailers, excerpts, giveaways and more, the book is available for pre-order wherever books are sold, both in print and digitally, so if you, like me, forget about release day, pre-ordering is always an option. I'll be touring for signings and events in Cincinnati, Ohio, Portland, Oregon and New York City, possibly Salem, MA, so stay tuned to my Appearances page on my website, and for postings on my FB wall, and of course, tweets!

Monday, October 8, 2012

To London, On London, With Love...

There’s no way I can sort out my thoughts on what was a most incredible week, so I’m just going to offer a top ten list. I began last weekend at the Baltimore Book Festival and had a lovely time on panels and signing books, thanks to Laura Kaye and the whole Maryland RWA staff and volunteers for being amazing. Then it was off to London for research, alongside dear friend and fabulous talent Elizabeth Kerri Mahon of Scandalous Women fame.


10. The Spaniard’s Inn – A charming pub that has been featured in many a literary world and work, from Keats having “enjoyed many an ale here” as is immortalized on a bench outside, to being mentioned in Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, this Hampstead classic pub proved delightful and charming and full of literary as well as literal spirits.

9. Finding the streets upon which two of my main characters live. I just had a wonderful time wandering until I found the right spaces that my characters agreed with. They told me things about their lives that were important to know, as I’m still in the “getting to know you” phase of my first ETERNA FILES novel. I decided upon the Knightsbridge and Aldwych areas for Lord Black and Harold Spire, respectively. It’s such a privilege to walk the paths they’ll walk. That tactile connection provides an inexplicable bond that I can’t really explain or quantify, it just helps.

8. The Pre-Raphaelite exhibit at the Tate Britain. No artists move me as thoroughly as the Pre-Raphaelites, while their private lives were quite daunting for many of the women involved in them, their art none the less moves me spiritually and aesthetically. I appreciate the romanticism and spiritualism present in these works and this collection was exquisite. Seeing Millais’ Ophelia moves me every time, and getting a chance to see and appreciate more of Edward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt was divine. It was nearly all of my favourite art in one set of rooms. What a treat.

7. Signing stock at Forbidden Planet! The folks at this store are some of the kindest, most knowledgeable and most wonderful people in the world of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Danie Ware specifically took time out of her VERY busy schedule to make sure stock of DARKER STILL was in house for me to sign, brought me tea, made me feel utterly at home amidst her own whirlwind tour of her own fabulous novel. So, my UK friends, you can now get a SIGNED copy of DARKER STILL from Forbidden Planet, AS WELL as pre-order a signed copy of THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART, as I signed book plates for the staff to insert into the books when they release next month! We’re only a month away! *happy dance*

6. Walking along The Thames. I feel that rivers tell you about the soul of a city. I am invigorated by water and so walking along this river that I’m sure I walked along in past lives, I am always charged, vibrant and inspired.

5. Kensington Palace. Birthplace of Queen Victoria, this charming palace has been renovated with fascinating exhibits and an amazing display featuring Queen Victoria’s charming courtship with Prince Albert. It truly is a love story for the ages, and they had her wedding dress and accessories, some of which were designed by Albert himself, letters, notes, quotes, it was wonderful. As I posed near one of Queen Victoria’s portraits, an elderly British woman passed by and patted me on the head, saying: “Very regal.” See? I belong with English Royalty, surely… I was charmed by the entire grounds and was so glad to be inside those walls that shaped the often troubled childhood of the monarch that so profoundly influenced the period most important to me.

4. Parliament: Gorgeous. Gothic. Overblown. Amazing. Built to celebrate Queen Victoria. Fascinating. Breathtaking. I love every inch of this quintessentially Victorian building. I dearly enjoyed this tour and look forward to following my character, Lord Black, and his best kept secret, his brilliant secretary, Rose Everhart, through the halls of the House of Lords.

3. An INCREDIBLE production of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. Beautifully done, in a fresh and exciting new translation gorgeously, simply and effectively staged, and so movingly acted I cried a lot in the front row, the actors beautifully close in the appealing space that is The Young Vic. I'm fascinated with Chekhov's "Masha" characters and I'm inspired to work on some thematic pieces involving them, some of my favourite characters in the 19th century canon.

2. Hugging a TARDIS. TWO OF THEM. Thanks to my dear friend Shalene’s husband Andrew, not only did I get to spend quality time with this delightful family but Andrew enabled a private tour of some of the iconic BBC studios, inside the Doctor Who room filled with treasures from the seasons and an old-school Doctor 5 TARDIS. I was a little hard to control.

1. The Harry Potter Studio Tour. I had to go there alone, which was kind of difficult, because it’s hard being THE MOST PASSIONATE FAN THERE. No one was as excited as me. At least, no one brave enough to show it. Oh, I showed it. I wasn’t dressed in any sort of costume, though most people think my every day clothes are a costume, and yet my Malfoy tendencies were still in full effect, as evidenced by the girl behind me in line who said: I like your jacket. Very Narcissa. I smiled and replied: "I am." Once inside, I nearly knocked kids over to run into the Great Hall when they opened the doors. The full Great Hall set is so utterly breathtaking, even without the ceiling of sky and candles and only stage lights above. When the guide asked the crowd to state their house, I was shocked when no one matched my enthusiasm. There were a few mumbles drowned out by my shriek of: SLYTHERIN! The guide: “So I hear a few unenthusiastic Gryffindors and one VERY passionate Slytherin.” Guide turns to me and is sure to point out the specifically Slytherin things about the room. Once inside and spending a little too much time around the Malfoy costumes, I had several people say that I could “step right into the films”. I’d thank them and offer up a very Slytherin smirk. I held it together, mostly, until I got to the huge full room model of Hogwarts used for exterior shots. Some of the most beautiful music written for the films was playing, the theatrical lighting rendered the model into breathtaking beauty, and I just burst into tears for sheer love of this dear, beloved world.

You see, I’d been writing since I was a child, but I gave it up during college because I thought my ideas weren’t worthy. Harry Potter inspired me in a way nothing else had done since childhood, and I frankly owe my career to it, and so much of my favourite things and people and projects in life have been tied to the fandom. So yes, I cried, because it’s worthy of tears when something means that much and is that magical. I know my dear friends in the Harry Potter fandom will understand this transcendant experience.

--
I ended the week in Oklahoma City as a Literary Guest of Honour at the OCTIPODICON Steampunk Convention, where the attendees and fellow "Professors" were some of the most delightful lot I've ever met. We had lovely and engaging panels on 19th century issues and trends in Steampunk and Gaslamp Fantasy. I delighted in some fellow Goth friends who charged the DJ during the ball to demand some VNV Nation and we danced our hearts out in corsets and flouncing black layers. I had a wonderful time talking about my books, old and upcoming, and as always my favourite part of conventions is doing dramatic readings of my work, I read a short story, "Too Fond" which will be coming out soon on Tor.Com as a part of their "Ghost Week" Halloween offerings, stay tuned. I also got to share insights and information about my upcoming novel, THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART and I became even more excited for it's release, I cannot wait to share it with all of you.

So all in all, what a week. What an amazing set of journeys.
And London, Oh... I love you, London, always have, always will, and I can’t wait to return to you again soon. Eternally your magical changeling, Leanna.




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Apocalypsies Feature: Janci Patterson

Welcome to my next Apocalypsies Feature where I ask a bit about brand new fabulous books from my YA debut crew and a few random questions that inquiring minds want to know. Okay, well, at least weird questions that I want to know. Welcome Janci Patterson and debut novel CHASING THE SKIP!
CHASING THE SKIP
by Janci Patterson

Release Date: Today!

Synopsis: Ricki’s dad has never been there for her. He’s a bail bondsman who spends his time chasing parole evaders—also known as “skips”— all over the country. Ever since Ricki’s mom ran off, Ricki finds herself an unwilling passenger in a front-row seat to her father’s dangerous
lifestyle. Ricki’s feelings get even more confused when her dad starts tracking seventeen-year-old Ian Burnham. She finds herself unavoidably attracted to the dark-eyed felon who seems eager to get acquainted. Ricki thinks she’s ever in control—the perfect accomplice, the Bonnie to his Clyde. Little does she know that Ian isn’t playing the game by her rules.
Leanna Asks:

Your Fave thing about your book:
I loved writing about bounty hunters, and their place in the American justice system. It's exciting to write about people with interesting lives--things real people do for a living, but that other people generally know very little about. Plus, the subject allowed me to write some adventure and some pathos, which is a fun combination.

Your Fave fluffy animal: 
The red panda. Most adorable critter ever, and exotic, too.
If you were a ghost, where would you haunt?:
Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City. I could be ghostly and still enjoy the flowers.
Thanks Janci! HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

So You Want to Be A Writer

Hello folks,

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time. I'm out and about in the world in so many different and dizzying capacities, and there's a topic that comes up all the time.

For those who don't know me, I'm a multi-published, award winning and bestselling author of the STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL saga and the ETERNA FILES series for Tor Books, and the Magic Most Foul YA series beginning with DARKER STILL as well as lots of novellas and short stories. I am an actress (proud Member of Actor Unions AEA and SAG-AFTRA), a playwright, a floor director at a Manhattan TV studio, a licensed New York City tour guide working for Boroughs of the Dead, I travel constantly on the Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Steampunk and Historical convention circuits and I create unique Gothic, Neo-Victorian and Steampunk accessories on Etsy. I am more busy than I can begin to describe, all on looming deadlines and rotating 5 freelance jobs in the most hectic of cities. And as you can imagine, being out and about and all over the place, I get asked all the time: "So... I want to be writer. How do I do that?"

So for all you wonderful folks who want to be writers, I want you to be a writer too! I will cheerlead you with the best of them.

Disclaimer or my agent and editors will kill me: While I will be your cheerleader I am limited in my capacity to help. I cannot read and/or critique your novel as I barely have the energy to read my own, I'm actually a very slow reader. I can't give you a free copy of my books, authors are not rich unless they are one of the few I can count on my hands, we make our living selling books but we don't have stores of them in our homes, they're in bookstores. You'd be surprised at how many times that's the first thing out of people's mouths when I say I write. It'd be like me asking someone for a part of their paycheck when first introduced to them. No, I cannot introduce you to my agent as he is not taking clients. No, I cannot set your book on my editor's desk because there is a process for that and it does not go through me. The books I give cover blurbs to come from my agent, editor or because I've been asked by someone I already respect in the industry. Do not insult any genre of fiction, all fiction and non-fiction has its place. I can't advise anyone on Literary Fiction or Non-fiction because I only know genre fiction, being a genre writer. (Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy (Victorian era Fantasy) to be very specific). Please note: This is not a resource for self-publishing. That hasn't been my preferred route so I'll not be helfpul there. Whew. All that being said, on to the good stuff!

I'm going to share a bit of my story as an example and then offer up some genre resources.

It took me years to get my first contract. Nearly 9 years from inception to publication. My stack of rejection letters from both agents and editors is huge. No, the sting of rejection never goes away, especially when you've published and you still get rejection letters. It is not easy. Nothing worth doing is easy. You have to want your work out in the world more than you fear rejection. I can't stress that point enough. If you do not try to pursue your writing, your characters will die and that is tragic. You have to want them to live more than you fear them being rejected.

The life of a writer is a marathon not a sprint. When you get your first contract is is not "over" and you are not set for life, the race continues. My first publisher folded leaving my successful first series, The Strangely Beautiful saga, in the dust, along with all the money (royalties) owed it. I thought my career was over two years after it had just begun. But the Magic Most Foul saga helped pick me up from the ruins and now I work with a house I've always dreamed of working with Tor Books, (a division of Macmillan) who have worked to reissue STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL in a revised, author-preferred edition as well as launch my latest ETERNA FILES. There is always another place to turn, always another chance provided you don't get discouraged and quit.

Publishing is full of ups and downs and uncertainties. You have to put on your armor and trust you can fight the good fight no matter the battle. Rise from the ashes, like the phoenix that factors into my Strangely Beautiful saga. Perseverence. You have to want to keep writing more than the pain and uncertainty, financial and emotional, that surrounds all of it.

How I started: I started learning about the publishing industry by perusing the Writer's Market, scouring it really, and by talking to a few writer friends I met while touring the country doing theatre. The Writer's Market is like a phone book for the publishing industry and contains useful structural advice on how to craft query letters and proposal packages. The most important skills in the next step towards publishing. Finish your full manuscript before you begin to query. This does not apply for non-fiction but for all fiction. Once you've published a few novels you might be able to sell just on synopsis or sample chapters but it is not recommmended for debut authors. Have the best first three chapters you can possibly write, because you cannot resubmit after rejection unless you are asked to.

Preditors and Editors: A great resource for pros and cons of certain publishers and agents, there is a comprehensive industry listing: http://pred-ed.com/ 

For agent listings, check out http://agentquery.com and Publisher's Marketplace listings: http://publishersmarketplace.com/. The Writer's Market also has agent sections. Some New York publishing houses will accept unagented submissions, most will not. Independent and smaller presses often accept unagented submissions. Do your homework. Don't just send mass letters. Personalize them with the proper names to the proper attention. Another thing I can't stress enough. Query and submit how each house and agent prefers. Do not submit to agents/houses not looking for your work or not accepting submissions, it just wastes everyone's time and energy. Many people get rejected outright because they didn't follow simple submission instructions and so their manuscripts get rejected without even a glance. Submission instructions are found on publisher and agent sites, they vary from house to house and by individual. Following agents on Twitter has created some great pitching and querying opportunities. Keep an eye out for scams. Anyone asking you to pay them up front is not legitimate. Agents get a cut after they sell your work and negotiate your deals and contracts. Twitter has some drawbacks but it is very connected in terms of authors, editors, agents, publishers and publicity departments.

Genre organizations:

If you are writing Childrens' Fiction / Kid Lit / Middle Grade / Young Adult: www.scbwi.org
I have many YA author friends who swear by SCBWI group, have credited it with their work getting better, finding critique groups, getting agents, contracts, etc. Join the local chapter, go to meetings, go to their conference, etc. Networking is key. Local chapters around the country.

Science Fiction / Fantasy: At some point once you've either short story or novel sales under your belt, you'll want to join http://sfwa.org - one of my favourite resources and I've been a member from the moment I could join. Even before you qualitfy to join, make yourself familiar with the resources on that site. Peruse the list of "qualifying publishers" - a lot of Fantasy authors get their start by writing short stories in the market and then moving on to novels. The "qualifying publishers" list means these are publishers known for paying their clients industry standard prices, abiding by proper copyright laws, decent contracts, etc. I may be a little biased but one of the best Sci-Fi/Fantasy houses also has one of the best online presences: http://tor.com You can really get a sense of what's trending and going on in the industry by following them. Short vs. Novel: Personally, I published novels first and then began publishing short stories. there's no right way or silver bullet, other than continuing to hone your craft, take constructive criticism and keep submitting.

RWA National: http://www.rwa.org/ - If there's any romance in your stories, even just as a sub-plot you should join RWA. Romance Writers of America, the most comprehensive and up to date resource in all of genre publishing. Romance is a huge market and a great way to network, with opportunities in digital publishing abounding. If you're making the investment, this is all worth it to join ( and a tax write off ).There are local chapters all around America and Romance writer societies in England and Australia as well. I recommend the Futuristic / Fantasy / Paranormal chapter: FF and P, runs the national Prism Awards, http://romance-ffp.com, there's a YA chapter as well as every subgenre. So once you join RWA, join the sub-genre chapter that applies to your books, there's a chapter for everyone, both in your state and online. Find your local chapter and go to meetings in person. It was RWA that helped make everything happen for me out of the gate and remains a critical resource. RWA is an OPEN organization. You do not have to be published to join. Most other writers' organizations have eligibility requirements. But like I said with SFWA, peruse their sites for resources, author information, conferences, networking opportunities. From RWA as a hub, the other resources flow outward like spokes of a wheel.
 
Mystery writers: http://mysterywriters.org/ They have chapters all around the country, joining MWA was one of the best things I've done! Tons of opportunities and networking!

Historical Writers: (Fiction, non, Historical Fantasy too) Join the Historical Novel Society! (I'm a member of this too!) http://historicalnovelsociety.org
 
Horror writers: http://horror.org/ (Horror, in addition to Sci-Fi/Fantasy also has a good deal of short story markets)
 
Thriller writers: http://thrillerwriters.org/ - Also keep track of http://criminalelement.com as a fantastic resource!

Events: Sign up for the mailing lists of your local bookstores for their author events. Stores doing programming offer great book talks, signings, and aspiring writers can learn a lot from panels of published authors, as everyone is going to have a different story and their own advice. While you are at the bookstore, take note of what publisher is publishing what kind of book so you can familiarize yourself with the industry. What covers draw your eye? Who publishes them? Follow your favorite publishing houses and your favorite authors and see how they do what they do and learn from those you admire and respect, but always with the sense of your own craft, style and stories.

Go to conferences. Invest in them. I've gotten most things in my life by networking, being in the right place at the right time, responding to opportunities when they come up, being ready and always being seen and active. Be generous to your fellow author, as best you can. Be nice. Be nice. Be nice. Karma is real. Be professional, be willing to learn. Keep learning. Never think your book is "perfect" because then you'll be a holy terror to editors. But get it to the best it can possibly be. And then look to your editor as if they're a director and you're an actor, it's their job to make you look good on the stage that is publishing. I have very vital relationships with my editors and they always make my books better for their input. I still network and do events as much as I did when I began, they remain as vital now as then.

Find local writerly Meetup Groups. Yes, writing is solitary in the act itself, but utterly collaborative in getting anywhere.
 
Hopefully that's a start on some resources, thoughts, general tips, the business side of it is really a lot like auditioning for a show, I learned that from all my years as a professional actress. Having a good query letter and sample chapters is like an audition. Organizations like SCBWI and RWA, because they are open to aspiring authors in particular, will be very helpful in cultivating good query letters, synopses, proposal packages, etc, and allowing you opportunities for workshops in those areas. That first Writer's Market I started with also had great query letter tips and examples.

The most important aspect of course is to dream big, respect your craft and just be persistent. Perseverence wins the day. You don't have to write every day. But most days. Discipline is key. Find out your process and work with it. There is no "right" way. I do not write in a linear fashion. I am all over the map. I have met every kind of writer. The only kind of writer who ISN'T a writer is one who is not WRITING. Write whatever needs to get out from your head and onto the page, you can fix it later. Don't second-guess yourself to death. Find one or two trusted critique partners and set deadlines for yourself. Take constructive criticism well. Be willing to edit. Make yourself accountable for progress. Give yourself treats when you hit a goal. Be flexible. The industry requires 3 Ps: Perseverence, Patience (publishing houses take forever to get back to you), and Passion. If you don't care about your work and career, no one else will.
 
And then on that blessed day when your book is on that shelf there is nothing like it in all the world. Trust me. But, then of course, steel yourself. Not everyone will love your book. Some people will HATE your book and tell everyone they know to burn it. You just can't let it phase you. No one likes everything, that's why taste is subjective.
 
Don't let anyone tell you NO or belittle your dreams, whether that applies to writing books or any passion, anyone who does that is just jealous they are not pursuing their own dreams. Being a writer is hard. It takes more discipline than I have to give every day, and yet it is what I am called to do. Being a writer may be hard, but it is not stupid or silly. I am shocked by stories of my fellow writers being put down or discouraged by unsupportive people in their lives. Storytelling, in my humble opinion, is one of the most noble professions in the world. Again, nothing that's ever worth doing isn't full of a lot of hard work and suffering in the hope of triumph. Blessings and best wishes to all the aspiring writers of the world, I am cheerleading for you and with you. Cheers,
 
Leanna Renee
 
Please visit my website for more about my books, enjoy free reads and stories, goodies and such. And I'm usually around on social media one way or another, so feel free to give a greeting!

Cheers and happy haunting!
Leanna on Twitter: http://twitter.com/leannarenee
FB: http://facebook.com/lrhieber
Instagram: http://instagram.com/leannareneehieber.com
Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/torchandarrow
 

Friday, September 21, 2012

My MI-5/Spooks Rant Via Criminal Element

LOOK OUT!
In which Leanna gets REALLY EMOTIONAL ABOUT A TELEVISION SHOW!
Spoilers, wailing, flailing, gnashing of teeth, you name it, Leanna feels ALL OF THE FEELS about the BBC spy show MI-5 (Titled Spooks in England).
Via the fabulous CRIMINAL ELEMENT site, read it and weep...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

DragonCon 2012

Casting a spell on my dear Alethea Kontis
Ahhh, DragonCon. It has been a tradition every year, it will be a tradition every year. I know it's a convention I'm guaranteed at least a little quality time with my beloved Alethea Kontis, and my former goth-in-NYC buddy Mari Mancusi too, who I still haven't quite forgiven for moving to Texas. Oh, yeah, and 54,000 other people. One of the most packed sci-fi/fantasy conventions in the country, DragonCon has to be seen to be believed. But here are some pictures anyway. If you saw my schedule I posted, you know I was busy. Author readings, panels, signings, giving out Auror's Tale swag, I was kept busy. But not too busy to represent the House of Malfoy amidst my author activities. My Family in cosplay crime, the LePages, weren't around to accompany my Narcissa Malfoy so I had to send updates home... Like this one: 
 
It's always a bit of a rush to get from one panel to the next, so I was delayed to my Frightening Folklore panel on Friday. As I was dressed as Narcissa Malfoy, Alethea, who was on the panel with me, prepped the crowd in my absence. As I entered, she announced, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Narcissa Malfoy!" And the crowd hissed and booed. I took a moment at the door, and then I tilted my head and narrowed my eyes in a most distinctive Narcissa look of indignance. I then stared the audience down as I approached the dias to take my seat with the other panelists. This is what resulted. If you don't know what happened in the last book or film of Harry Potter, well, then, what I say to the crowd won't make much sense. But thankfully this is a crowd I didn't have to worry about. We all speak the same language. Geek. Suffice to say, I think Narcissa kicks ass, she's one of my favourite characters in literature and I really love taking her on for moments like this:


Fellow author Delilah S. Dawson was dressed as a Ravenclaw
so of course after the panel we had to duel...


Rachel shows off her tattoo, mine and
Laurel K. Hamilton's author signatures
There were so many highlights, one of them being a dear reader, Rachel, who I see every year at DragonCon, showed me her new tattoo, the signatures of her favourite authors, taken from our book signatures. Mine is on top, followed by Laurel K. Hamilton. That's dedication. I said in a Facebook post that now I've a few folks who have tattoos inspired by some part of my work. Like Voldemort summons his Death Eaters by touching his wand to his Dark Mark, I wish I could press a wand to my tattoos and it would summon my tribe to do something beautifully inspiring and creative.

I had some really great panels this year, one on Victorian Gothic Literature (which is both my great passion and my entire novelistic career), another on Victorian Mysticism, Spiritualism and the Occult. I had an amazing time reconnecting with friends I see here every year and making new ones. I love the chance to speak passionately about the subject matter of my books to like-hearted fans of the genre, there's really nothing better. AND, I GOT INTERVIEWED BY THE DAILY DRAGON! This was a big deal. Enjoy the photos, especially the really convincing Ron Weasley and Loki!
Leanna says some stuff about stuff...
(Victorian Gothic Literature panel,
which she does know something about...)
 



Weasleys. Ugh. No class.




That's Mrs. Malfoy to you. (Before the Yule Ball.)




Reading from DARKER STILL at
 Princess Alethea's Traveling Side-Show
God. Of. Chaos. Such. Goooooood. Hugs...


 
A picture, a thousand words and all that...


Monday, September 3, 2012

Apocalypsies Feature: Jay Kristoff

Welcome to my next Apocalypsies Feature where I ask a bit about brand new fabulous books from my YA debut crew and a few random questions that inquiring minds want to know. Okay, well, at least weird questions that I want to know. Welcome Jay Kristoff! Happy Release Week to Stormdancer!

Shop Indie Bookstores

Stormdancer

Synopsis:
A DYING LAND

The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, land choked with toxic pollution, wildlife ravaged by mass extinctions.
AN IMPOSSIBLE QUEST

The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary beast, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows thunder tigers have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.
A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL

Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a hidden gift that would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her. But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.

Your Fave thing about your book, Jay:

Chainsaw katanas.

Your Fave fluffy animal:

Ninjas. They're fluffy, right?

If you were a ghost, where would you haunt?:
The guy who cancelled Joss Whedon's Firefly. (And Leanna says "Amen!")
Your Website: http://misterkristoff.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/misterkristoff
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJayKristoff

Yay Jay! Happy Release Day!









Monday, August 20, 2012

The Deputy's First Screenshots!

Auror's Tale: Last week I finally got to play in the castle and I had an amazing time filming in an amazing setting. Here are my character's first screenshots! I'm so thrilled. To follow my character Deputy Kellion more closely, here's my Tumblr for her. Those of you going to DragonCon, check out my schedule so you can come get Auror's Tale swag during my autogrpahing session on Saturday afternoon (1-2pm M301 - M304 - Marriott) my novels will be available at Larry Smith Booksellers on the vendor floor and I will be more than happy to sign them. Episode 1 should be up within the next couple of weeks! Have you, like all of us who work as a labor of love on this project, wondered what Wizarding in NYC might be like? Follow us to find out.

Deputy Kellion (Leanna Renee Hieber) and Chief Munro (Lawrence Crimlis) --- New York City Department of Magical Law Enforcement
The Chief and Deputy address new Auror recruits.
The Senior Aurors, administering Auror training

Authors After Dark NOLA

The Authors After Dark convention was a great deal of fun, in one of my most beloved cities, New Orleans. I am slammed on deadline, so here's my quick and dirty wrap-up. It is really hard to wrap my brain around all the events, visits, panels and sights, so forgive me if I miss a detail or two. I have my head in two different fictional worlds right now, as well as filming, so I'm a bit scatterbrained.

I feel so very at home in New Orleans, it is a city of great power for me. You may recall the last time I was in NOLA, this past February, and my amusing incident as a "Legit Vampire". I am pleased to report that my Vampire Legitimacy continued this trip. As I went into the Boutique du Vampir, the woman behind the counter looked up at me and asked "are you a local? You seem like a local."

I take that as a compliment. I got a chance to meet a whole bunch of new friends, spend time with fabulous folks like con organizer Stella Price and my steampunk peeps A. L. Davroe, PJ Schnyder, the hysterical Tee and Pip Morris (stay tuned, I'll eventually have some upcoming business with those two fabulous hooligans) and Lia Habel. One of the delights of the convention was the Steampunk Tea where my fellow authors and attendees really got into some gorgeous costuming. Well done, friends.  I finally got some quality time with the utterly magical Theresa Meyers who is kind, lovely and so very talented. She taught us numerology and that was just plain awesome. Fellow Apocalypsie Danny Marks delighted me (as usual) and I was very pleased that there was a growing space for Young Adult Lit at the convention.


Leanna Renee Hieber, Lia Habel and Pj Schnyder at the Masquerade


I hung with my beloved Jennifer Armintrout and Bronwyn Green and laughed until my sides hurt (in a corset. It really hurt. But it was so worth it). I met new readers, bloggers, industry professionals and helped lead a parade of beautiful masquerade-clad ladies and gents after I'd danced to Depeche Mode alongside the fabulous Jessa Slade. Jade Lee and I exchanged our usual love-fest upon seeing one another and I was delighted by the surprise arrival of Barbara Vey of PW's Beyond her book. Some of my fave bloggers got a chance to snag the last physical ARC copies of The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart and I was able to introduce Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul to a new host of readers and enthusiasts. I so dearly appreciated readers and bloggers bringing me copies of my Strangely Beautiful novels, I almost cried to see them, I can't tell you how much that support means to me considering they are currently out of print and authors are receiving no royalties from the now defunct Dorchester Publishing. I am VERY excited to say that we should have some exciting new news on the further life and resurrection of that series, so stay tuned!

And did I mention I love dressing up? It is my very favourite of activities. :) It's become something I'm fairly known for at conventions and events at this point, and I embrace it with all the love and fun with which it's meant. As a professional actress as well as author, I just can't say no to theatrical dress. It really isn't a costume at this point, folks. These are my clothes. It's the way I love greeting the world and it serves as a way, a bridge that brings my own Gothic fiction into the real world in a way that is tactile and inhabited. I hope people have as much fun with it as I do. Rule # 1 is never take yourself too seriously.

Goth in Hot Weather. St. Louis Cemetery 1 
A whole wonderful crew of us went to St. Louis Cemetery #1 and I had a lovely time (if withered by the heat). Goths in hot weather. Oy. Thanks Bronwyn for the photos! Please see Jess Haines' fabulous wrap up of the convention, replete with some of our very fun adventures together as I spearheaded a trip to visit the ghosts at Lafitte's Blacksmith shop and my introduction of Absinthe to the uninitiated. And then there was tht thing where her phone went in a crypt. (!).
While taking a few moments alone to gather the sacred energy of that amazing city I love so much, I felt the history moving in me. Alive in me. I chose the New Orleans home of my Dupris brothers, characters in my upcoming Eterna Files saga with Tor/Macmillan, on my favourite street, Rue Royale, right next to the gorgeous 19th century Court of the Two Sisters. I love it when historical research and fun go so naturally together!

I miss you so much, NOLA, I'll try and return to you soon! Much love. Back to deadline!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

DRAGONCON Schedule!

Per annual tradition, DRAGON*CON!
*crowd roars*
It's right around the corner! The end of this month! I've just received my schedule from the programming committee and it's jam-packed with awesome! I particularly hope you'll come to my autographing session and my reading, because not only will I have book swag for you fabulous folk, I'll also have Auror's Tale swag for attendees at my autographing and/or reading sessions on Saturday!

My schedule:
-------------------
Title: Frightening Folklore
Description: A look at the ways folklore is used in dark fantasy fiction
Time: Fri 05:30 pm Location: Embassy C - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

-------------------
Title: Victorian Gothic Literature: The Brontës, Dickens, Stoker, and Others
Description: What separates Gothic Literature from modern? We look at subtle differences in tone, subject, pace and how it is reflected in our 21st Century eyes.
Time: Fri 08:30 pm Location: International A - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)

-------------------
Title: Autograph Session
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: M301 - M304 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
Bring your copies of Leanna's books, Larry Smith Booksellers will have DARKER STILL available, and come get some book-related swag and some Auror's Tale swag!

-------------------
Title: Reading: Leanna Renee Hieber
Time: Sat 02:30 pm Location: Roswell - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Leanna will take audience requests! Either she will read her upcoming Tor.com story "Too Fond", her upcoming Tor anthology story "Charged" in Queen Victoria's Book of Spells or a work-in-progress piece of the upcoming ETERNA FILES... you be the judge! Book giveaways, swag and Auror's Tale goodies shall be present!

-------------------
Title: Princess Alethea's Traveling Side Show
Description: Fabulous authors doing fabulous things. With goodies and lavish entertainment.
Time: Sun 2:30pm Location: Edgewood, Hyatt (1 Hour)

-------------------
Title: Victorian Mysticism and the Occult
Description: Mysticism, mesmerism, and the love of picnics in the graveyard, Victorians dug their dead.
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: International BC - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)

Princess Alethea's Traveling Side-Show will again occur, stay tuned to Alethea and me for time and place!

Cheers, blessings and happy haunting!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another Prism Award And USA Today Interview!

What an incredible week! My new 3 book deal for a Gaslamp Fantasy series with Tor / Macmillan was announced, I found out that The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess won the 2012 Prism Award for Best Fantasy Romance (my fourth Prism) and a video interview I did in April at the RT Convention with USA Today is now posted on USA Today's Happily Ever After! I talk DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, what you can expect in THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART and why I write Gothic Victoriana!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Announcing A New Book Deal: New Gaslamp Fantasy Saga with TOR!


Ladies and Gents it is that exciting time when I am now officially allowed to announce a whole new series!

I am beside-myself-thrilled to announce a new 3 book deal with a publisher I have always wanted to work with, Tor Books, Fantasy imprint of Macmillan.

Introducing the ETERNA FILES (working series title): A quirky, character-driven Gaslamp Fantasy saga set in 1882 New York and London, following two eccentric, unclassified governmental agencies during a paranormal arms race for immortality between the US and England.

Yes, I am blessed to remain in my very favourite time period and in my very favourite setting: a Victorian paranormal adventure driven by a madcap cast of characters. My three series are parallel worlds, so stay tuned for ways in which my other worlds may pass subtly through the Eterna Files, and prepare yourself for a big new cast of zany, gifted, odd and indomitable agents from New York and across the pond, positing two secret bureaus in the early days of America and England's national security service agencies. I'm having such fun with them already.

I'm not sure about release date for Eterna's Book 1, but you can experience an upcoming character in Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: A Collection of Gaslamp Fantasy (March 2013 from Tor) with Eterna likely launching sometime fall 2013.

Huge thanks to my readers and supporters, without you I wouldn't be able to make such an announcement! I do hope you'll stay tuned for future updates, also, within the next month or so I hope to have the first Strangely Beautiful book up for re-release. So a lot of exciting things are coming down the pike as I prepare for the release of The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart in November!

Cheers and blessings!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Abraham BLEEPING Lincoln


I cannot source this image other than my author friend
Barb Ferrer who posted it on Twitter.
While this scene is NOT in the film, it makes me LOL a lot.
FILM REVIEW: Okay, so don't go see Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter if you want to actually learn anything about the Civil War. However, do go see it if you want to have a ridiculously good time.

My take on the film is up today over at CRIMINAL ELEMENT, please go check it out.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nashville Event Next Friday: Signing Darker Still & Promoting Auror's Tale!

I'm so thrilled that MUGGLE-NET has announced our first Auror's Tale public appearance next week at UTOPYA Con for Young Adult Paranormal and Fantasy literature in Nashville, TN, July 6 & 7th, where I'll be speaking on panels and signing DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul at the Auror's Tale booth, talking up my latest books and promoting Auror's Tale along with our co-creators and cast members!

Calling all Young Adult literature and Harry Potter enthusiasts! Come see us! Click the links above for details!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

COVER REVEAL: QUEEN VICTORIA'S BOOK OF SPELLS

I am thrilled to present this gorgeous cover with art by Allen Williams for QUEEN VICTORIA'S BOOK OF SPELLS: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy in which my short story about a human electrical abberation, "Charged", will appear. (3/13 from Tor Books)


Table of Contents:
“The Fairy Enterprise” by Jeffrey Ford
“From the Catalogue of the Pavilion of the Uncanny and Marvelous, Scheduled for Premiere at the Great Exhibition (Before the Fire)” by Genevieve Valentine
“The Memory Book” by Maureen McHugh
“Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells” by Delia Sherman
“La Reine D’Enfer” by Kathe Koja
“Briar Rose” by Elizabeth Wein
“The Governess” by Elizabeth Bear
“Smithfield” by James P. Blaylock
“The Unwanted Women of Surrey” by Kaaron Warren
“Charged” by Leanna Renee Hieber
“Mr. Splitfoot” by Dale Bailey
“Phosphorus” by Veronica Schanoes
“We Without Us Were Shadows” by Catherynne M. Valente
“The Vital Importance of the Superficial” by Ellen Kushner and Caroline Stevermer
“The Jewel in the Toad Queen’s Crown” by Jane Yolen
“A Few Twigs He Left Behind” by Gregory Maguire
“Their Monstrous Minds” by Tanith Lee
“Estella Saves the Village” by Theodora Goss

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells will be released from Tor simultaneously in both hardcover and trade paperback March 2013. Here's the art without the text. I'm in love with it. Kudos Mr. Williams!


So many exciting releases coming up this fall and next year! I'll be re-releasing the Strangely Beautiful saga this summer and fall, my next new release is my short story "At Will" which headlines the beautiful anthology WILLFUL IMPROPRIETY: 13 Tales of Society, Scandal and Romance (Sept. 4th, Running Press in the US and Constable & Robinson in the UK), then of course the sequel to my Daphne du Maurier Award nominated DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul arrives this November: THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART (Sourcebooks). In addition to looking forward to this exciting anthology with so many names I adore and admire, I expect to have another announcement to share very soon concerning even more things to look forward to in 2013, so stay tuned. :)

Cheers and happy haunting!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Guest Post: Author Helen Le Mesurier on "Finding Hayley Finding Me"

I'm thrilled to host author Helen Le Mesurier as she discusses her non-fiction book Finding Hayley, Finding Me. As an actress and author, it's true that I understand both sides of Helen's interesting journey, and I'm so glad it's brought her to us here today. Take it away, Helen!

ACTORS INFLUENCE OUR LIVES
Today is the 2nd day of my virtual book tour for my newly released book “Finding Hayley Finding Me” (My Life-Changing Journey to Actress Hayley Mills).

I am grateful to Leanna for allowing me to be a guest blogger on her blog today.  As Leanna is an actress as well as an author she shares an understanding of the world I entered when I met Disney star of the 1960’s, Hayley Mills.

Actors influence our lives.  They help us break away from our daily life and enter a world of escapism, and, at the same time, they also take us into our everyday life, allowing us to reflect from the vantage point of the narrative, assisting us in navigating our own circumstances; they stir our empathy, inspiring us to relate to the characters they are portraying; and they spark our imagination by allowing us to consider the many selves we too could contain.
For some of us a particular actor draws us more than others.  Often we connect with the actor themselves rather than just the roles they play, appreciating their acting abilities and/or their charisma.  Chances are you have an actor about whom you feel this way – for a while I thought I did too.

For me it was Hayley Mills. I had my bedroom plastered with posters of Hayley and I avidly collected every magazine article and all photos of her I could find. She was the big Disney star of my day, much like Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez have been more recently.  (Unlike some Disney stars, Hayley maintained her wholesome image throughout her teen years). I’m sure this is a familiar thing for a lot of you who have also found an actor whom you’ve held in high esteem, such as my daughter did with Barbra Streisand and Johnny Depp.

Hayley Mills comes from a very famous family of thespians.  Her father was Sir John Mills, the biggest star of English film through the 1930s to 50s and maintained a very active acting career right up until his death in 2005. Her mother, Mary Hayley Bell, was also in the business, as is her sister, Juliet Mills (of Passions fame).

As I grew older one would have expected that this teenage admiration would pale into insignificance and become something that I would have outgrown (my daughter’s room is no longer covered in Johnny Depp posters).  This did not happen for me.  I sensed something deeper, that I couldn’t explain.

Thirty years later, my sense of connection to Hayley remained as strong as ever, so when the opportunity came to meet her I couldn’t let it pass.  It took many phone calls where I was rebuffed, rebuked and rejected. I stood at stage doors. I travelled across Australia.  But after much effort, my persistence paid off and I finally met her.  This opened up a world I had not expected to find.  Her warmth and acceptance of me changed the way I saw myself, and I uncovered the reason why I had felt such a strong connection with her. The connection I felt did indeed run deep. So deep, in fact, that one lifetime did not contain the answers.

I invite you to accompany me on the remainder of the book tour by clicking the link below to follow my daily schedule: http://www.findinghayleyfindingme.com.au/book-tour-schedule/

In Love and Light,
Helen Le Mesurier