Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Leanna Renee Hieber Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Author, actress and playwright, Leanna grew up in rural Ohio, graduated with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She adapted 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays have been produced around the country. She is a 4 time Prism Award winner for excellence in Futuristic, Fantasy, or Paranormal Romance. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, first in the "Strangely Beautiful" saga of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels (Barnes & Noble Bestseller) won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book) and is currently in development as a musical theatre production. DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, begins a Gothic paranormal saga set in 1880 New York City, named an INDIE NEXT title; a recommended buy by the American Book Association, a Scholastic book fairs "Highly Recommended" title and is a finalist in the 2012 Daphne du Maurier awards for excellence in Mystery/Romantic Suspense. The sequel, THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART, has recently released and she is currently working on her new Gaslamp Fantasy saga for Tor/Macmillan, THE ETERNA FILES, coming 2014. A character from THE ETERNA FILES is featured in her short story included in QUEEN VICTORIA'S BOOK OF SPELLS (Tor, 3/13).

Leanna is a proud member of member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the International Thriller Writers. She is a proud co-founder of Lady Jane's Salon Reading Series in New York City. A member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, Leanna works often in television and film. She is playing the role of Deputy Kellion in Auror's Tale web-series. When not writing or on set, she loves a good Goth club, adventuring about her adopted hometown of New York City, where she resides with her real-life hero and their beloved rescued lab rabbit.

Social Media

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

How much my adorable white bunny rabbit sheds all over my entirely black wardrobe. It's ridiculous.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Being introduced to Edgar Allan Poe, my greatest muse and inspiration.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

To look at the business like a marathon not a sprint, and that there will always be another subsequent goal after you've achieved the last one. Keep learning.

What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?

Writing books doesn't get easier, you just have to sit down at your computer or notebook or whatever and just DO it. You'll always deal with and be held up by self doubt. Don't read reviews. Write what interests you, not what others tell you that you "should" write. Don't chase trends, be aware of them but don't feel obligated to write anything you don't love with your whole heart.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, how would you introduce it?

Sequel to Darker Still, Twisted Tragedy is another Gothic Victorian thriller, this time the stakes are even higher as more people are endangered by a creepy secret society driven to acts of dark magical terror. Our feisty heroine and dashing hero return to save the day in this novel, and they become a wonderful and dynamic team. Much like Darker Still had hints and homages to certain 19th Century novels, this book has shout-outs to the classics as well, and everything is more intense; the drama, the passion, the nightmares, the demons.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Natalie?

How brave she is, how much of her own person she is and how I just had to sit back and let her tell the story.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

To portray more empowered women within historical, Gothic, paranormal settings.

For those who are unfamiliar with Lord Jonathan Denbury, how would you introduce him?

He is a consummate gentleman, a true British Lord, a genuine nice guy who is kind and intelligent. I wanted to write a story where a nice guy doesn't finish last but is in fact the hero.

Do you have a favorite quote that you keep visible in your work environment to help inspire you?

My dedication for this novel is something that stands at the core of why I write, for characters to find families and places of care, to find their true purposes:

"For those who were born melancholy and those who have melancholy thrust upon them, may you find your beloved community."

If you could introduce Natalie to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I'd want Natalie to meet Miss Percy Parker, heroine of my Strangely Beautiful saga, because they are both unique women who are bold and brave in their own very different ways and both have been cast out by society as being different or inferior. Percy would teach Natalie about eternal spiritual wisdom and Natalie would encourage Percy to be more confident about her appearance.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

Next up I'm in the following anthologies: The Mammoth Book of Futuristic Romance (Jan 2013) and Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: A Collection of Gaslamp Fantasy (March 2013) and my next series is THE ETERNA FILES: Coming 2014 from TOR Books / Macmillan, this is a new quirky, character-driven Gaslamp Fantasy saga set in 1882 following a paranormal arms race for immortality between New York City and London. A huge cast of larger-than-life characters fight for hearth, home and the cure for death. Including but not limited to: mediums, chemists, healers, spies, uncanny detectives, royalty, magicians, sword-fighters, robber barons, mutants, psychic vampires, visionaries, prophets, excellent book-keepers, fearsome civil servants, covert operatives, unorthodox espionage, one poor skeptic and a circus. And that's just book one.

What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

Write what you love and you're drawn to. Write characters that compel you. Don't think about "voice" or it will come out stilted. Let the story and the characters drive, voice is what happens when you write a well-crafted story. It's not something you can "teach" it is something you have to live into.

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?

London is my favourite place in the world.

What book are you reading now?

Research books for my next series. Waiting to dive into The Casual Vacancy.

What's the memorable summer job you've ever had?

Playing Mina in "Dracula" and playing Sorel in Noel Coward's "Hayfever" in repertory at a beautiful small theatre company in Southern Minnesota. I do play a darn good vampire if I do say so myself.

When was the last time you cried?

When a friend was upset with me. I take my friendships very, very seriously.

Where can readers find you?

Extra content, free reads, excerpts, videos and more can be found at http://leannareneehieber.com - I'm active on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/leannarenee on FB: http://facebook.com/lrhieber I have trailers and excerpts at http://youtube.com/lrhieber and I blog athttp://leannareneebooks.blogspot.com Cheers and happy haunting!

Leanna Renee Hieber
Award winning, bestselling Gothic Victorian Fantasy for adults and teens...
The Magic Most Foul saga (Now Available)
The Eterna Files (2014 Tor Books)

For Natalie Stewart, a normal life has never seemed so far away. Her only solace, Lord Jonathan Denbury, is wanted for murder. To clear his name, Denbury must return to England and assume the role of his demon doppelganger. But Natalie begins to doubt his true motives, especially as a new gentleman begins whispering in her ear. Natalie and Denbury may be able to visit each other in their dreams, but they can't escape the darkening shadows. Amid spontaneous explosions, friends turned enemies and dangerous secrets revealed, there's still a demon who has Natalie's scent, and someone is trying to resurrect the ultimate evil.

Leanna Renee Hieber’s The Twisted Tragedy of Natalie Stewart wastes no time in picking up where Darker Still ended. The adventure continues with Natalie and Lord Denbury escaping New York City from the nightmare and dark magic that almost got them killed. Once at their destination, they discover of more ghastly demon-related things that has Natalie going back and Denbury going to England to clear his name.

This beautifully written gothic tale resumes the style that readers liked in the first book. These well-constructed and unique characters are the total driving force. Author Leanna has spent a great amount of time molding and creating them. The characters are three-dimensional and continue to grow with each book. The mixture of the Victorian world and mysticism masquerades produced countless events that are downright creepy and dark, yet it was totally delightful to read. It was a nice change from the familiar Victorian London, to a very lively Victorian New York.

The story progresses to an even darker one than the first book. If you have read the first one, you know that it was a tribute to a classic Gothic thriller. Leanna continues this unique tradition. The way she takes this classic tale and adds her own spice and twisting it in her own way was absolute magic. This book never casts a dull moment and delivers a very exhilarating story full of intrigue and excitement.

You can purchase The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Leanna for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the giveaway Jean and Leanna! I really love being able to participate in these giveaways and reading the interviews!

  2. Thank you Leanna for the donation. And thanks Jean for hosting all these awesome giveaways.

  3. Thanks so much for the donation for this giveaway!

  4. Thanks so much for the giveaway Leanna and Jean

  5. Thank you Leanna and Jean for this awesome giveaway!

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to share with us :)

  7. Thank you Leanna for the donation!

  8. Thank you for the donation and for the giveaway!!! :))