Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Work and Play... And Ween...

Upon my return to NYC I have thrown myself back into work, not only on the next developments in the Strangely Beautiful series, (I'm having a wonderful time writing and wish there were more hours in the day) but also work in the studio and on film and television sets. Where hours are wierd and reality is more than a little bit off kilter.

Which means I've been drinking way too much coffee. *twitch*

Perhaps the coolest experience recently was today on the set of The Adjustment Bureau, where Matt Damon was a consummate gentleman. He was kind, funny, clever, professional, talented, hot, etc. Seriously, what a cool guy and what a gorgeous day on the Fulton Ferry landing, below Roebling's awe-inspiring Brooklyn Bridge, the landing surrounded by the immortal words of New York's own Walt Whitman. Particular highlight of the day occurred when Obama's helicopters flew over the Bridge. Wasn't planned for the political rally scene we were dealing with in the film, but provided a fitting and exciting pause.

Strangely Beautiful is featured by award winning author of Rowan of the Wood, Christine Rose! Hosted in one of her cool "Stumble into the Otherworld" pieces, my interview is up on Book Addict at PopSyndicate!

I was also hosted in style by The Lady Novelist, Leslie Carroll, consummate hostess, in a lovely interview on her even lovelier site.

Random Review Roundup:
(I'm sure I've missed a few along the way, since the maelstrom of the release date I've only been able to gather them if they're brought to my attention.) Lovely words found here:
Romance Reviews Today
Passionate Booklover


HEY NEW JERSEY! I'll be signing The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker on Saturday at the New Jersey Romance Writers - Put Your Heart In a Book Conference! Saturday the 24th at 4pm! Stop by! (Details)


Saw the film Zombieland. T'was fun. My specific thoughts are over on Popculturedivas.

I don't know about you, but I'm gearing up for the best day ever, my favourite day of all the year: That greatest of Ween - HALLOWEEN!

It's October. You know what that means. Halloween Awareness Month. Figure out for yourself how you can keep Halloween in your heart throughout the year. I do.

I shall attend a Victorian ball dressed as Miss Percy Parker, ghost-white, eerie contacts and all, and my love has graciously agreed to dress as Alexi (I even bought him a gorgeous frock coat that's almost identical to a coat I'd written about). Thrill!

Now off to buy tickets for my Halloween staple: The Great Jack o' Lantern Blaze!!!

Back to work! Let's make sure we shake it up with a little play too, shall we?

Friday, October 9, 2009

As recommended on True-Blood.net!

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker was discovered by the kind and wonderful folks that run True-Blood.net, the official Fan Site for the HBO show (that I love) True Blood. They're recommending Miss Percy for all of us in withdrawal until the next season!

Check out my Q and A on the site AND follow the posted link for an exclusive Barnes & Noble coupon code to get Miss Percy Parker for only $4.89! Get all your holiday shopping done for friends and family. :)

You can also hear the raves about the book on today's True-Blood.net Radio Show!

Thanks True-Blood.net! And thanks, Charlaine Harris, for writing the awesome Sookie books in the first place! :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


You know there are just those times when you have to squeal in delight. Seeing this today did that for me...

Eloisa James mentioning The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker in her Barnes & Noble Review column.

When I got my cover quotes from bestselling authors I admire and adore; Kathryn Smith and C. L. Wilson, I squealed.

And when NYT Bestseller Eloisa James said she was going to mention my "exciting debut" in her column... well, there went another noise up to the heavens ... one of my ultimate heroes liked my book?! Squeal! It may sound a bit fan-girl, but hey, I'm a fan and I'm nothing if not enthusiastic and honest. It feels sort of surreal, thinking back to the New Jersey Romance Writers conference where I listened to her clever, touching and funny (like her writing) keynote speech, was inspired, and wondered when my 'book of my heart' would make its way into the world. That's now, and it's such an honour.

In other squeal-worthy news, True-Blood.net will be recommending The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker to fans of Charlaine Harris (Leanna raises hand to be counted) and True Blood while that awesome show is on hiatus. The link will go live on 10/9 with a coupon code and a giveaway - stay tuned, check out the site!

It was just the first Monday of the month, so that meant Lady Jane's Salon! Had a lovely time, as always- and we took a moment to remember the dearly beloved Kate Duffy of Kensington Publishing. While our similarly beloved Kathryn Smith was unable to join us, I had the great pleasure of putting on my actress hat (which I do so enjoy doing) and reading from her fabulous book, When Seducing a Duke, and it was awesome. The crowd loved this book, and so do I. Though we'll have the talented author back with us in person soon, and that will be even more awesome. Mari Mancusi read from the first of her re-released Blood Coven series, one of my favourite scenes of mistaken vampiric identity, which was a delight to all. I'm so glad she's continuing this series. She'll be giving a wrap-up at the Lady Jane's Salon site so stay tuned. Our November lineup will be hosted by Scandalous Woman Elizabeth Kerri Mahon, and includes Caridad Pineiro and Joanne Rendell!

Blessings and may many squeal-worthy moments strike your days!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who entered my Strangely Beautiful pop-quiz contest!

Here are the random results, as picked by Persebunny the bunny. Yes. A rabbit pulling a winner out of a hat. Seemed like a good trick to me. I just had to grab them from her before she entirely destroyed them and I couldn't read the names...

The winner is Rachel, who will pick from one of two prizes. Congratulations Rachel!
The runner-up is Gail O., who will receive the second prize! Congratulations, Gail O.!

I'll be sending signed bookmarks and pins to all the entrants, thanks for entering!

Stay tuned, there will be more giveaway and contest opportunities as the year goes on, so check in here, on Twitter and on my website where I'll have another contest corresponding to the STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL sequel, releasing at the end of April, 2010!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Ohio Whirlwind

It’s appropriate that I’m again listening to "Ohio" by that beloved band of mine, hometown Cincinnati-grown Over the Rhine as I attemp to offer a meager recap on a whirlwind two weeks back home.

Firstly, let me share the good news. Because of your support, some great press, and the blessing of genuine interest in my debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker has gone into a second printing. It’s a dream come true to publish a book. To have it already going into a second printing is beyond thrilling. Wow. Wow. Thanks.

Oh, Ohio. What an action-packed trip. I always look forward to going home, because of the wonderful family and friends that never feel too far away, even though in so many ways New York City is a world away. But the welcome mat is always unfurled, and would be whether I did or did not publish a book. However, getting to go home with a sense of real accomplishment, to thank those who made it possible, and to share the excitement of a dream coming true with other dreamers, as I said in my earlier post, is a real blessing. And that’s what I was able to do, to say thanks, to value where I’ve come from, and to share the idea of never giving up on something you love.

I got to share this message at my grade school, (and the Oxford Press wrote about it). I got to share it at my High School (the Middletown Journal followed up with its earlier article and wrote a new print one focusing on Edgewood) and at my alma mater Miami University; for my dear Dr. Powell’s Victorian Literature class – what a thrill to be back in one of my favourite classes, this time reading from my own love-letter to the 19th Century Gothic! I did an alumni video interview for the Miami theatre department, spoke to classes in the department (where I was a major) and at the Howe Writing Center (where I was not a major but since I’m published they kindly had me over for a chat) and was taken to dinner by the most charming Fine Arts administrators ever.

I got to teach a theatre-meets-writing workshop at the Central Ohio Fiction Writers conference that went blessedly well and made some light-bulbs go off in amazing writers’ heads - what an honour! I love discussing the connective tissue between art forms; where theatrical concepts are a great way to think about forming the structure and characters of your novel. The way I write is entirely inspired by my actress half and I do have a lot to say about it. On that note...

I was interviewed by Rick Pender for Cincinnati Public Radio (listen to WVXU on October 18th for the “Around Cincinnati” feature!). He had interviewed me for CityBeat years before when I returned to play Lucy in Dracula for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Rich opened our interview this time with: "The last time I saw Leanna Renee Hieber she was a bloody mess." :) So I of course stopped by my dear Cincy Shakes to see friends and the new changes to the building and noted with great delight that indeed, this oh-so-bloody picture of me as Lucy in Dracula is up in the lobby in all its glory... – (photo by Rich Sofranko). I confess. I've missed the theatre, but doing readings and signing books quite puts the theatricality back into my art and I certainly feel in my element when reading from my novels. It's one of my favourite parts of this process.

I was able to connect with several aspiring writers, like Sammi and Hanna, who were two particular highlights of my trip. Thank you Hanna, for your kind and generous post about my signing at the West Chester Barnes & Noble – this signing in particular was such a joy as a hoard of friends, classmates, teachers, co-workers and family came out to support me in force! (Thanks, Marijo, for this photo).

I did five event signings, countless more stock signings (so if you didn't make it to a signing and you'd like an autographed copy of Miss Percy Parker, check your local Columbus and south to Cincinnati Barnes & Nobles!), all around Ohio, swinging down to Kentucky, reminded myself of all the southern Ohio back roads, spent as much quality time with my best friend Marijo as my madcap schedule permitted, wrote a bit on the Strangely Beautiful sequel (out May 2010) and on Rebecca and Michael’s novella (out Oct 2010), was well-fed and entertained by friends and family and was reminded of every blessing along my meandering artistic path. And I gratefully stand by the fact that no time was wasted along that complex path. I hope I can continue to feel that same, sure sense as I jump back into NYC with new deadlines, challenges, stresses, and excitements.

More pictures / and possibly video - to come! As soon as I get them, I must share some photos of The Stately Raven Bookstore in Findlay where I had some quality time with my darling Mr. Poe. -- I love you, Ohio! It's good to see you again, New York!

In case you were wondering, Persebunny aka "Percy" is enjoying a copy of her namesake and is quite truly tearing through the book. She impressively digests literature.