Saturday, November 26, 2011

DARKER STILL... A Playlist

Shop Indie Bookstores
I was asked by an awesome girl with awesome pink streaks in her hair who has an awesome name (Airaseem) at my Anderson's Bookshop signing outside Chicago what music I listened to while writing; if DARKER STILL had a playlist. It does, in fact, and I'd meant to share it publicly (I made mix CDs for the Sourcebooks staff) so thanks, Airaseem, for the reminder.

Now while I'm writing, I can't listen to music with lyrics, so I listen to 19th Century classical music and movie soundtracks. Classical music puts me in the historical mindset of the time-period and soundtracks (like Harry Potter) give a sense of movement and magic in the background. But that doesn't mean that's the only influential music.

Any writer will tell you that half the time spent writing a novel is daydreaming about said novel. I live in New York City, I daydream A LOT on the subway, with my iPod in my ears, listening to evocative music that plays like a movie trailer to scenes from my book that I play in my mind's eye and mull over. THAT process has a soundtrack, and here are the top songs I've listened to while daydreaming MAGIC MOST FOUL saga, songs that on some level have some sort of material or thematic connection to my work. Some of the tracks here are from famous bands, some not, so I hope you'll check them all out. Specifically, Over The Rhine is my favorite hometown indy band from Cincinnati, their music ranges from indy rock to blues to folk, and what I love about them is their versatility and their gorgeous songwriting. Across the spectrum is my favorite Goth / Darkwave / Electronica band, VNV Nation. (VNV = Victory Not Vengeance). I love VNV because it's killer club/dance music (I'm a Goth girl and have been since way back in the day) and the melodies and lyrics are poetic and oh-so-gorgeous. All this stuff is available on iTunes, or you can also support the bands directly from their websites. Happy listening!

Beloved - VNV Nation
Hush Now - Over The Rhine
I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Deathcab for Cutie
Jar Of Hearts - Christina Perri
I Go To Sleep - Sia
Bridge - Lucy Wainwright Roche
In This Shirt - The Irrepressibles
Rhapsodie - Over The Rhine
Illusion - VNV Nation
Standing - VNV Nation

What's your writing and reading soundtrack?

Monday, November 21, 2011


Photo Credit: Jenny at Supernatural Snark

Goodness. What a whirlwind. I think I say that about every book tour, but no, seriously... what a whirlwind. See, I've been going non-stop since World Fantasy Convention at the end of October, right into Strangely Beautiful the musical staged reading rehearsals and performance (it went very well, thank you very much, as soon as I have more specifics I'll tell you but this is not that blog post) and right DIRECTLY the next day into DARKER STILL release day and tour. Whee! (Yes, I'm tired and a little punchy.)
First off, we kicked it all off in NYC. I spoke to school librarians, did stock signings, various bouncings about the city and then we launched at WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn. Which rocks. I mean, it's kind of the best bookstore ever, run by the best people ever. Author and fellow Sourcebooks sister, the awesome Zoraida Cordova did a great RECAP HERE where you can see me in all my regalia and whatnot.

Wall O' Hieber!

Then? Home! Ohio, the land of my birth, and my hometown Barnes and Noble (B & N West Chester) that always takes care of me. A wall of me, in fact, as you see there to your left. I was beyond thrilled that NYT Bestselling author Lori Foster stopped by, Lori not only hosts an amazing conference every year, but she took the time to come and support me at my signing and that meant the world to me. She is one class act, I tell you, and a damn fine author. As many of you know, I am an actress. So the very best part of the whole presentation for me is to read aloud from my work. Accents and all. One of these days I might write a hero who isn't British. Today is not that day. Tomorrow, neither. I've got British heroes stacked up for the next few books, it's a compulsion, what can I say? :)

Hanna of the awesome shirts & talent
And two extremely talented writer gals who I love to cheerlead in their writing journeys, Hanna and Lizzy, were there at the hometown launch to make the night special. Hanna sported one of her amazing shirts she creates for the signings (it's become tradition, and I love it! Lord Denbury is rather flattered too). Thanks also to Hanna and family for the pictures left and above. Huge thanks to Edgewood teachers and alum who made it out to see me, you all mean more to me than I can say. And an extra extra special thanks to my best friend Marijo who came to all of my events and heard all the readings (along with my parents) multiple times. I know, I'm spoiled, they're good to me.

Percy & Alexi by Grace W.
I had the opportunity to do three signings in my home state, the next day I was at Joseph Beth in Cincinnati, (shout-out to my fave Steampunk designer, Angie of Festooned Butterfly, for making it out) and received a VERY special surprise. Remember the awesome artwork of Percy and Alexi I featured on this blog? Grace is from Ohio and I didn't put 2 and 2 together at first, I was too busy complimenting her gorgeous cameo and style, until I was signing the book "To Grace," and she slid this utterly magnificent drawn and painted picture of Percy and Alexi to me upon the signing table. My jaw dropped as I looked at their beautiful adorable-ness in their winter best. "Oh! You're THAT Grace!" I cried, and jumped up to hug her, and said to the crowd of friends, "remember the artist who rendered Percy and Alexi?" (friends and family nodded) This is her!" And I showed off my latest prize and there were lots of 'ooohs' and 'aaahhs'. It's so beautiful! It's now framed on my wall. What an amazing signing present! Such talent!

No rest for the wicked, it was back on a plane to NYC to participate in an amazing panel on fantastical literature at the incomparable Books of Wonder alongside luminaries like Tamora Pierce and Delia Sherman. I had such an amazing time and the store was packed and the crowd was fantastic! Ron Hogan of Shelf Awareness did a fabulous wrap-up of the event. It has always been a dream of mine since I've been in NYC to sign at that store, and with such stars as Tamora Pierce and Delia Sherman by my side, what an honour! (Books of Wonder has all the authors' signed books from this event available for sale!)
In Ohio again, my Dayton signing at Books & Co. was made all the more lovely by the amazing teens I met that day doing presentations at Oakwood Junior and Senior High; some of the most engaging and interesting students I'd ever met. In my first session, there were so many hands raised with awesome questions, I wanted to steal them all and take them with me to any school event I ever do. Some of those eager and intelligent faces showed up that night to the signing, braving a massive rainstorm to do so! The evening at was also made utterly fabulous by the appearance of three of my fave bloggers! Colette of A Buckeye Girl Reads, Dani of Refracted Light and Jenny aka  "Miss Snark" over at Supernatural Snark, click here for an awesome rundown and fab pictures. She's quite a talented photographer, as you can see from that gorgeous first picture!

Then, off to Milwaukee, Chicago and the Twin Cities all in the next three days. It's a bit of a blur, but I was warmed and inspired by talking to two groups of students at Cudahy High School and was thrilled to see some awesomely enthusiastic young folks turn up at my signing that evening at the Cudahy Library along with the "in laws" and my awesomely supportive parner (I really couldn't do all this without him). Then it was an Amtrak train into Union Station, and on to stock signings around and about Chicago, signing the next night at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville. Thanks to the Sourcebooks team for coming out and being supportive and awesome as usual). Cheers and thanks to several high school and to fellow writer/RWA friends in Chicago, blessings and good author Karma to fabulous YA author Stacey Kade for making a two-hour trip to come support the event, and to TRUE-BLOOD.NET for coming in (Mel from a distance) and being AWESOME as usual, but this time in person. Which made it even awesomer! Thanks for the lovely Tweets about the event!

Then the next day it was off to Minnesota sign stock all over the Twin Cities with a reading and signing at The Bookcase in Wayzata, where book blogger and engaging young author Rachel Bongart brought a group of AWESOME fellow writers and readers, the night was made extra special by Rachel and her friends, I was inspired by their drive and story ideas, there's nothing more I love than to see talented young women passionate about storytelling. Kindred spirits, for sure. We all had a great chat about process, ideas, the business, etc, along with Twin Cities friends from my years in area theatre, including members of the Scribblerati Writers' Group. Keep an eye on these writers, they're going places.

Where am I going right now? To take a nice long nap would be nice. But there's no end in sight, really, I've books to write, a musical to revise and deadlines approacheth! Here are the places around and about the country where I have, in the past week, signed stock of Darker Still - if you're in these areas and missed me in person, at least you can pick up a signed book!

Ohio: Barnes and Noble Dayton Mall, Barnes and Noble Beavercreek, Barnes and Noble Kenwood Cincinnati, B and N Newport KY (Only had 1 left on 11/13), Books and Co. Dayton
Milwaukee: B and N Mayfair Mall, B and N Brookfield Mall, B and N Greenfield,
Chicago Area: Barnes and Noble at State and Elm Chicago, Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Barnes and Noble Oakbrook Center, Barnes and Noble Bolingbrook at The Promenade, Barnes and Noble Naperville, Anderson's Bookshop Naperville
Twin Cities Area: Barnes and Noble Mall of America, Red Balloon in St. Paul (only 1 left), B and N Highland Park, B and N Calhoun Village, Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, B and N at the Galleria in Edina, B and N Eden Prairie Mall, B and N Ridgehaven Mall
New York City: All Manhattan and Brooklyn Barnes and Nobles, WORD, Books of Wonder, Posmans Grand Central (on 11/22)

Support your Indies! Two great places to get a signed copy of DARKER STILL:
WORD has kindly agreed to keep their special order page up!
BOOKS OF WONDER, the best Children's/YA bookstore in all the land, has a healthy stack of signed books they'd love to get into your hands. With DARKER STILL landing on the Indie Next List, I am reminded how important our independent booksellers are to the life of a new series taking its first steps into the world, and I'm very grateful for them.

And yes, ladies, my invention of the word "Denburylicious" has spawned quite the life on Twitter, prompting Sourcebooks to make a badge. The #Denburylicious blog badge has been quite popular among you (and among a few gentlemen as well) and if you want your own, feel free to lift this here, just please link the image to a bookstore of your choice selling Darker Still! And while you're at it, drop @SourcebooksFire a line on Twitter telling them how much you love it, they did a great job.
Speaking of great things, I'm sorry, but how much do I love this really and utterly fabulous and featured review on SHELF AWARENESS? The reviewer really understands the layers and levels I'm working on. This review is a real honour and is so encouraging as I continue on with the series.

Thanks, dear readers! Stay tuned, I promised a fabulous young lady at the signing at Anderson's that I'd post my DARKER STILL playlist! Coming soon!

Happy reading, happy haunting!

Shop Indie Bookstores

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Very #Denburylicious Evening

Author Zoraida Cordova reports on our NYC DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul launch! Thanks Z!

The Nightstand: A Very #Denburylicious Evening: As always we're celebrating BOOKS. This week was the launch party for Leanna Renee Hieber's Darker Still: A novel of Magic Most Foul (Sourcebooks Fire)...

(Click the link above to see the coverage of our launch, and the TOUR CONTINUES! Check the Schedule!)

And DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul is easy to find at your local Barnes & Noble Booksellers, it's on the Top Teen Picks Shelf in stores!

Shop Indie Bookstores

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Official Book Birthday, DARKER STILL!

While DARKER STILL has been seen in some stores already, today is the OFFICIAL book release date, so Happy Book Birthday, Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul ! It's especially easy to find in Barnes & Noble's now that they've moved it onto the "Top Teen Picks" shelves in stores! Yippie! I hope you'll love this book as much as I've loved writing it, there's been some lovely buzz about it and I hope you'll join me for this new, spooktacular journey!
First week's sales for a novel are particularly important so I hope you'll join me in welcoming Darker Still into the world!

Shop Indie Bookstores

Thursday, November 3, 2011

DARKER STILL in Seventeen, the Indie Next List and More!

Shop Indie Bookstores
What a banner week for Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul!

First, it's been chosen as a recommended buy by the American Book Association as part of their "Indie Next" list, for the 2011/2012 Kids/YA winter season! YAY! DARKER STILL has also been chosen for Scholastic Book Clubs and also sold Chinese (complex) translation rights via Taiwan!

Then it got an amazing review in SEVENTEEN MAGAZINE!

Then it was featured on the Barnes & Noble Homepage!! (I'm not sure how long this will be up, but as of yesterday, it was. Very excited. Listed under "Cool Books" next to Ms. Oates & Didion. Pretty darn good company! You'll find it these next few weeks on the TOP TEEN PICKS Shelves at B&N! Yay!)

LAST CALL on Preorders! If I won't see you on BOOK TOUR then please get a signed copy of the book via a fabulous independent NYC bookstore, WORD in Brooklyn! Here's the link to Preorder, I'm signing everything this weekend so they need to get their last orders in today so that they'll go out first thing next week!

Here's my DARKER STILL TOUR SCHEDULE! See if Darker Still is coming to a town near you!

Thanks to everyone for your support! I've a bunch of amazing reviews and fun interviews that I've been linking via Twitter and Facebook! I really appreciate the blogging community as a whole, my beautiful Apocalypsies Debut Team, and a bunch of new YA blogger friends who have helped give this book a nice, sweet buzz!

Blessings and as Natalie would tell you... "Find your voice..."