Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Giveaway now closed

I am holding my first giveaway! I have one copy of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker and one copy of The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker-both come with a personalized autograph to you from Leanna Renee Hieber. All you have to do is leave a comment and state which book you would like, and if you had to choose which member of the guard you would be:Heart, Healer, Intuition, Artist, Memory, Leader or Prophecy and why :) an email address for me to contact you at if it's not on you blogger profile page. Winner will be chosen by Random.Org. The giveaway will be open until Saturday May 1st, 2010 12:00am.

Photobucket Photobucket

When I interviewed fellow Buckeye Leanna Renee Hieber I hadn't yet read her newest book, The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker, so all of my questions are based on her first book, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker.

1. What was the hardest part of writing The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker? The easiest?
Hardest: Figuring out structure and sequence when dealing with a large cast of characters against both a ‘realistic’ Victorian and a fantastical backdrop. Easiest: spending time with those characters and falling in love with them more every day.
2. Did you have a series in mind when you wrote book one of Strangely Beautiful Series? 
Absolutely. I knew there would be at least three books, but it was only well into my first contract with Dorchester that I realized how the next two would break down, into sequel and then prequel. It wasn’t until I was working through Darkly Luminous that I even realized I had Strangely Beautiful #4 in me, a familial continuation, and when the ideas came, they couldn’t be denied.
3. I love all the characters in Strangely Beautiful-do you have a favorite among them?  Is there one whose story you can't wait to write? Whose story do you think will be the most difficult to write?
Thank you! It’s the best feeling in the world when readers love my characters.  Alexi and Percy will always be my favourite and their unique and complex dynamic in Darkly Luminous defines the reasons why. I can’t say I’ll ever love a hero/heroine couple in quite the same way I adore them, they’ve been with me nearly a decade and time has only made them more dear.                                                                                   

 In October I’ll be releasing “A Christmas Carroll” (Strangely Beautiful #2.5) a novella starring Headmistress Thompson and Vicar Michael Carroll. This will appear in Dorchester’s holiday fantasy anthology A MIDWINTER FANTASY. Rebecca and Michael needed some breathing room to say the least, and I put them through a dangerous wringer. But it’s really good to give them the spotlight, with the whole Strangely Beautiful cast (and some returning ghosts like Constance) cheering them on.  I’ve a similar novella in mind for Elijah and Josephine, I really hope I get the chance to write it! Strangely Beautiful #3, the prequel, is going to be the hardest because I’m dealing with two Guards, divinities, and a lot of information we know from Darkly Luminous yet retold with the immediacy of it happening in the moment. I have to make sure that’s compelling and cohesive as there are so many people and Whisper-world elements to keep track of. My work is cut out for me.
4. Are you surprised at how Elijah has seemed to become the fans favorite? 
*laugh* No, though I’m thrilled that he is because he makes me laugh out loud. He’s such a pain in the ass! His character has become so distinct for me that at this point I just sit back, take dictation from him and chuckle, he has a life of his own and he’s so much fun. It’s the charming, brazen characters that usually get noticed, though I will say Michael has his fans too. I’ll also say that I think Elijah is popular because of how he offsets and plays against Alexi (who I’ve been told has become many fans new book-boyfriend and I can’t say I fault them their taste). Without Alexi as a foil, Elijah would be far less interesting.
5. How did you decide on the time period of the series? Did you have to do a lot of research for Victorian London?
I’ve been in love with Victorian London since I first read about it and experienced it, which I believe was through Dickens. I was in a production of Oliver Twist at age 9 that made me a Dickens devotee for life. Add in the ghosts of his Christmas Carol and I was hooked. Then I found Poe and other 19th century Gothic authors and it was like I’d come home, they spoke to my soul and broke open my imaginationFrom an early age, the richness of 19th century language and the fascinating counterpoints of the era held me in thrall; intensely romantic yet stoic and difficult. In college, I decided to embark on a focus study in the Victorian Era. That solidified my love-affair, while giving me a chance to do real academic exploration of the subject. I traveled to London on scholarship and again on research. Those trips were critical to the life of the novels. It was while I was there that I knew I had to incorporate the Jack the Ripper story into Strangely Beautiful and it fit like a puzzle piece into the storyline.  The fact that I adapted works of 19th century literature for the stage was a huge stepping stone in making me comfortable with the language and vernacular. I do have a library of Victorian resources that I refer to on specifics, but I rely heavily on all of this background and the fantastical invention that’s set apart from the ‘realistic’ time period. My favourite part of the research is always the ghosts. All the ghosts save for those inside Athens are real, documented London haunts. For the background on the ghost stories, you can visit my Haunted London Blog Tour page on my website and join in the Darkly Luminous Haunted London blog tour around release week for the real ghost stories I use in the sequel and then check out the archives of last year’s tour for the rest of the stories used in The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker.
6. Is there a music soundtrack that you picture playing along with Darkly Luminous?
While I was writing the book I listened to a lot of Phillip Glass movie soundtracks and very simple piano music by Linford Detweiler. But certain characters have their own theme songs by my favourite electronica Goth band, VNV Nation, based out of the UK. For instance, Percy and Alexi’s theme is “Beloved”, Rebecca and Michael’s theme is “Suffer”. I reference several musical pieces and composers in the books, and I like to have that music on hand when I’m writing, from Mozart’s Requiem to Chopin piano preludes, there’s certainly a lot of music in their world.
8. What is your favorite genre to read?
The Classics, cross-genre fantasy, YA, Victorian mysteries and graphic novels.
9. What is your favorite book?
Can’t pick just one! The entire 19th century canon of Gothic literature (including Dickens, Austen and Hugo for good measure). Plus J.K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman.
10.  How do you unwind after a long day of writing?
A glass of wine and a sci-fi show. I’m a Dr. Who fan-girl and as it’s the longest running sci-fi show in history, there’s a lot of episodes to choose from.

Thanks, fellow Buckeye Girl, for this opportunity!

I hope everyone will come visit me on: