Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Miss Percy's growing awards shelf and a picture of a bunny

Hurrah! More awards for The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker!
She's sure cleaning up this year. Miss Percy wins the Paranormal Category of the 2010 Heart of Excellence Awards sponsored by the Ancient City Romance Authors! Here are the contest results, congratulations to all the winners and finalists!

Ancient City Romance Authors (ACRA) is pleased to present the winners of the 2010 Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award for published authors:
Historical Romance
1st Place – Captive of Sin by Anna Campbell aka Karen Schwartz
2nd Place – A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist
3rd Place – Where the Wind Blows by Caroline Fyffe
Inspirational/Traditional Romance
1st Place – A Lady Like Sarah by Margaret Brownley
2nd Place – Learning to Let Go by Elizabeth Pina
3rd Place – Sunset Beach by Trish Perry
Short and Long Contemporary Romance
1st Place – Scene of the Crime: Bridgewater Texas by Carly Cassidy
2nd Place – His 7-Day FiancĂ©e by Gail Barrett
3rd Place – Her Best Bet by Pamela Ford
Romantic Suspense
1st Place - Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross aka Kari Lee Walker
2nd Place - No Turning Back by Kaylea Cross aka Kari Lee Walker
Tied for 3rd Place - Last Gasp by Carla Cassidy
Tied for 3rd Place - Under Fire by Beth Cornelison
Erotic Romance
1st Place - Drive Me Wild by P. J. Mellor
2nd Place - In the Flesh by Sylvia Day aka Livia Dare
3rd Place - Rogues Run by Lara Santiago aka Laura Freeman
Paranormal Romance
1st Place - The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber
2nd Place - Garden of the Moon by Elizabeth Sinclair
3rd Place - Wild Magic by Ann Macela aka Fredericka Meiners
Strong Romantic Elements
Tied for 1st Place - Seeing Red by Susan Crandall
Tied for 1st Place - Flying Free by Amber Polo
2nd Place - Murphy’s Law by Sandy James
Tied for 3rd Place - According to Jane by Marilyn Brant
Tied for 3rd Place – All the Right Reasons by Sandy James
Single Title Contemporary Romance
1st Place - Healing Luke by Beth Cornelison
2nd Place – Faith of the Heart by Sandy James
3rd Place - It Happened One Night by Lisa Van Auken

- There's a great INTERVIEW and contest to win signed books at Buckeye Girl Reads!
- My interview as Miss Percy, a GREAT 5 star review of "A Christmas Carroll" (Strangely Beautiful #2.5) featured in A MIDWINTER FANTASY as well as a signed SB #1 plus other fun swag contest is still up at Larissa's Life!
And more fabulous announcements will be coming soon! I've some very good news I can't wait to share.
For those of you looking for A MIDWINTER FANTASY, releasing electronically, thanks for you patience, hopefully the new download links will be up from Dorchester on Oct. 1st? *crossing fingers*
And because there are never enough cute pictures of bunnies:
Persebunny has begun to devour The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker as heartily as the she did the first tale...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend 2010

The Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend was not only a huge success in every way, but gosh it was fun! Hosted by bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank, who is beyond fabulous, and organized flawlessly by the force of nature that is author Stella Price, this personable yet larger-than-life conference, in only its second year, is an event to be reckoned with. I was fortunate enough to be utilized as a featured author and participated in panels on worldbuilding, about the many inventive creatures that my fellow authors and I have created in our diverse worlds, we discussed Steampunk and I even got to present the Victorian Language of the Fan. Being in a generous, friendly, excited environment, all of us together for the same idea; love of paranormal fiction, creates a great space for sharing, making new friends and having great parties.
I was so thrilled to meet some of my beloved book bloggers who have made all the difference in my Strangely Beautiful series, like JoJo's Book Corner, Bibliophilic Book Blog, Intense Whisper, Simply Ali and Joyfully Reviewed, and the particular delight of Larissa's Life and her interview at the Literary Masquerade, where I got to play Miss Percy in person- and where Percy won the costume contest! (See below). I also got to meet many fabulous fellow authors. Jennifer Armintrout and I got to go all mutual fangirl on each other. Thanks tons to Jacquelyn, Stella and Froggy and all the organizers for creating a wonderful experience! And thanks tons to Biz Urban Photography for the following great photos:
Photo 1: Gaslight Gothic
2: Lurve for Stella
3: Teaching the Victorian Language of the Fan
4: Playing Miss Percy, caught in one of her shy, quiet moments at the Masquerade
5: Author Jennifer Armintrout as Marguerite from The Scarlet Pimpernel (one of our mutual favourites), with Miss Percy at her side
6: Miss Percy wins the costume contest announced by Jacquelyn (in lovely Regency regalia) and Stella (in Steampunk plaid)
7: Last but not least, Miss Percy's first interview! Thanks Larissa!


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Golden Apples

Last night was the Golden Apple Awards sponsored by the Romance Writers of America New York City chapter, where I was extremely honoured to be named Author of the Year, alongside lifetime achievement winner Mary Jo Putney, Agent of the Year Lori Perkins, Editor of the Year Deb Werksman of Sourcebooks, who was named Publisher of the Year. (I'm proud to mention my editor, Chris Keeslar, won Editor of the Year last year). Thanks to Biz Urban Photography for taking lovely photos of our awards and of ourselves.

I'm posting my speech, as it sums up just about everything I- and Miss Percy- have to say about this whirlwind year:

"For any year to receive this incredible honour, this certainly has been the most amazing year of my life. A year ago, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker hit the shelves and I began a hell-bent course of promotion, appearances, guerilla marketing at its most frenetic, and you’ve been kind enough to want to hear about it along the way, and I want to share anything and everything about the journey. Because an award doesn’t happen in a vaccum. It happens because north stars are generous enough to lead someone in the right direction. There are so many north stars in this room. Isabo Kelly who got me here in the first place, then president Elizabeth Kerri Mahon, who at my very first meeting pointed me in several right directions, one of which landed me my agent, Nicholas Roman Lewis (More about him in a second). Marcos, my love and strong help always. And thank all of you, for being the net under me while I’ve been off doing crazy aerial tricks and unsure if I was going to stick the landings, we all need such a net. Wonderful parents are a great net too, and I was blessed with the best. Since my desire to publish has been the sole fault of one strange young woman and this year has indeed been her year, here are closing words from Miss Percy Parker herself:
“Hello, friends. She Who Created Me knows I’m too shy for crowds so since she’s so good at putting words in my mouth, it’s only right and proper she offer my personal thanks. For in honouring her you honour me; her fierce labour of love for a decade, me; an awkward, overwhelmed girl with a story of love conquering all odds that so desperately wanted to get out into the world. But, as I so dearly feared, no one wanted me. I was too strange, too hard to pin down, too ‘cross-genre’ – but it only takes one person to accept you, and suddenly you’re on your way to finding a community. Thank you, Nicholas Roman Lewis, for seeing some glimmer of possibility in my eerie eyes and never doubting me for a moment. And he’s even landed me a musical! Isn’t it marvelous? And then to the man who took that greatest chance upon my tale, Chris Keeslar, editor extraordinaire who refined my tale and helped it win awards and lovely things, you gave me very the gift of life, and there’s naught more precious than that. And then you, for accepting the tale of a simple girl who dared to dream. And isn’t that what you all do, by that brave act of putting pen to paper, daring to dream against those terrible odds called the Publishing World? Don’t ever doubt the dream, even for a second. Despite all odds, provided you believe, and you rely on this beloved community, your tales must and will be told, and then you’ll tell another. And another. Because you must. I cannot thank you enough for helping me to tell my tale, and for honoring it.”

Monday, September 13, 2010

Newsy Bits

As we come into my favourite season; Autumn, I'll be busy with events, releases and new work. I've a new Strangely Beautiful series release in A Midwinter Fantasy, huzzah, and I'm very excited to be working with some of the crew of Unhallowed Metropolis on upcoming ventures.
Around and About, or, My Writer Friends are Awesome:
1. Congratulations to my friend, colleague and Lady Jane's Salon co-founder Hope Tarr who launched Beer Gardens NYC, an awesome App that gives you the rundown on all the Beer Gardens in the Big Apple, so very useful for tourists and natives alike, be sure to check it out, the upgrades they have planned are as great as the App itself already is. Having had such a wonderful experience with tasty beers while visiting Germany, I'm so excited to have a way to find those brews here in my city! They've gotten a mention on The Gothamist already, yay! For their latest news, fan them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. (And the App is a $1.99 well-spent)
2. Congratulations to my friend and colleague Stella Price who, in the midst of the superhuman feat of organizing Authors After Dark Paranormal Weekend has managed to release the latest in Stella and Audra Price's American Satyr series, and since she hasn't had time to promote her really fun work as best she'd like to- considering she's so incredibly trying to make all of us Authors After Dark authors look good- the least we can do in return is tell everyone about it, so check out her latest!
3. I'm very excited about the signed ARC of Skyler White's IN DREAMS BEGIN that I picked up from Skyler herself at DragonCon. We were on the Angels in Fantasy Literature panel together and she's so lovely, and the subject mattter of this book deals with one of my favourite authors, the poet Yeats, so I'm very excited to read the rest of it AND very excited to be hosting a giveaway of this lovely work via Twitter. Join me there to be sure you don't miss it, as this is a book not to be missed.
4. And a huge THANKS to photographer and woman-of-many-talents Jessica M. Coen for her amazing photos of DragonCon, several of which include me (like this one), and all of which I love. Her Flickr account is full of delightful things, especially for those of you interested in STEAMPUNK...

(And for those of you who missed my gushing DragonCon ode to Doctor Who fangirl love, please see my previous post, "Being Romana")

5. Katiebabs of Babbling About Books (mega-congrats to Kate on her many book contracts this year!!) knows the coolest people. She introduced me to Brian Solomon and thusly to his blog, The Vault of Horror. It is so full of awesome win. Visit it and enjoy!
6. And lastly, while I wish I could call author Caleb Carr my friend, I just have to say that I finished The Alienist and it may be one of my favourite books of all time. Dr. Kreizler has nestled himself into my personal canon of literary loves.

Newsy Bits on Leanna in particular:

I am VERY thrilled an honoured to be named the 2010 RWA NYC Author of the Year on Thursday! Thank you RWA NYC and to all the people who made this amazing year possible for me in so many ways.
Regarding A Midwinter Fantasy:
Please note that due to changes at Dorchester Publishing, this anthology will release digitally (eBook) ONLY. I am sad about this change, as I like having my work in every format possible, because I have readers who like all the different formats and this limits my ability to do signings for this particular work. Moving forward with Dorchester, the rest of the series should be available in Trade Paperback Format but that transition isn't coming in time for this release. If you were one of the wonderful fans who pre-ordered this title, I thank you for your support, your accounts shouldn't be charged as the item scheduled to ship actually won't exist. Double check and if you have any concerns, I'd try and contact customer service and any other questions to Dorchester directly.
I do hope you'll be willing to join Rebecca, Michael and the whole Guard coterie in "A Christmas Carroll" on September 28th, Midwinter Fantasy's release day, in digital format. I'll have a small "Christmas Carroll" blog tour right around release day so stay tuned for that, and also, on release day I'll be posting an excerpt from the novella. It picks up directly between where the last chapter of The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker ends, and the Epilogue. It is the "Christmas miracle" to which Percy refers. - As for the rest of the Strangely Beautiful series, it's scheduled to be both in print and in digital simultaneously, so we won't have this problem going forward, it's just that A Midwinter Fantasy got caught amidst the transition. (Ohioans: Please note: I will be in Ohio October 9th to teach my Direct Your Book! Workshop for the wonderful OVRWA Chapter in Cincinnati.)
Other works:
1. Thrilled to report that my "Marketing Smackdown" column that I write for RWA NYC Keynotes newsletter has now been picked up by many regional RWA newsletters, even in Canada! Very glad all my in-the-trenches and trial-by-fire marketing knowledge has been taken as useful by many RWA Chapters.
2. I'm very excited to be joining the team of Unhallowed Metropolis for some fun fiction involving their incredibly awesome RPG game of "Neo-Victorian Horror" - stay tuned this fall for more details!

Happy September!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Being Romana

There's nothing so powerful as your first love.
I attended DragonCon 2010 this past weekend, and while I could tell you about how wonderful the Fantasy panels were, how impressed I am by my amazingly talented friends old and new, how awesome the costumes were, how much ridiculous fun I had, all of which are utterly true, (and a fabulous rundown and picture of me can be seen at Publishers Weekly's Beyond Her Book) I'm going to focus on one particular moment of my weekend that outshone the rest. If blogging about Verdun, France was the most powerful thing I've blogged, this may be the most personal. And definately the geekiest.
For one evening, a little seven year old girl from rural Ohio got to be recognized- for just a moment- as the woman she wanted to grow up to be. The fictional woman she so desperately wanted to be. Only conventions like DragonCon can make magic like that come true.
Long before my 12-year-old self fell obsessively in love with The Phantom of the Opera and that, along with innumerable other 19th century tomes, would go on to define my aesthetic and literary fascination with the Victorian Era, long before Harry Potter changed my life and I fell into what would become my greatest cosplay love of all, Narcissa Malfoy, there was the first and what has been the longest running of my fantastical love-affairs; Doctor Who. I'm a 'legacy' fan of the BBC show, loving it all along, warts and all, long before its admittedly fabulous redux. All Whovians have their Doctor, (usually the one they first began watching) and their Companion. My Doctor is #4 (Tom Baker), my companion, Romana (#2 as played by Lala Ward), the novel lady Timelord and companion who regenerated. I was somewhere around 7 years old when my father began taping the Baker episodes on PBS as they aired in America in the 80s to watch the next day (they came on too late for me to watch in real time). I'd hear the theme song in my room as I tried and always failed to fall asleep, frissons of excitement coursing up and down my little body in thrilled seizures. The next day I'd watch (and often re-watch) the episode, enratpured by sci-fi/fantasy worlds that had my already overactive imagination firing at top speeds. The theme song still has that same effect; a cherished muscle memory.
I know there were other Doctors and many other Companions, even another incarnation of Romana herself but no one could compete with my Romana. The blonde. The intelligent blonde, the sweet and sometimes fierce lady Timelord. She was poised and confident, she was an equal, she was an asset, she was a hero, and she traveled through the whole of time and space (way more exciting than Ohio) with The Doctor (coolest guy ever) and wore really pretty dresses (swoon). What more could an awkward, geeky little blonde girl like me want in all relative dimension in space?!! Of course I loved her desperately and would have given anything to be her and to live her adventures. Even for a pretend moment. I'd never gone as her for Halloween. Because no one would know who I was and it would make me sad to have to explain it all the time to people who could really care less. Enter DragonCon into my life and the equation differs.
It's not like I'd forgotten any of this when I put on my costume Saturday. What I was unprepared for was what it would feel like. I looked in the mirror and I'd become a childhood dream. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Very squealy bouncy little girly bricks. Before you question my sense of reality (which is admittedly strained, but bear with me) please remember I'm an actress as well as a writer- I do live and make my living in fake worlds. Putting on the costume was always the final transformation into becoming my character. While I wouldn't take that character out into the world, when on stage - and ALL the world of DragonCon is a stage, I am the character. It was being recognized upon the DragonCon stage as Romana that hit home and had me beaming. Going up and down escalators amidst the endless, streaming parade of elaborate costumes, meeting gazes and people snapping fingers at me exclaiming: "Romana!" and me grinning and replying (in British accent) "Very good!" or "of course!" - and both of us strangers being ridiculously pleased with ourselves for knowing and being known, agreeing that her choice to go off and fix E-Space was a damn shame for those left behind (though the full canon makes her as awesome as she deserves), and all of us thinking for the thousandth time how much we love this convention where unabashed geekery is rewarded, cherished, and entirely unapologetic.
I desperately thank my many friends with me that night, who kindly humoured me, let me slip in and out of a British accent and play the part that I had a hard time eating dinner and not playing (For an actress who hasn't had time to be on stage in a little while, my 'on' and 'off' switches are fairly rusty). Due to the fact we all had a long and passionate Doctor Who discussion, these were some of the only people on earth who understood the careening, uncontained, bouncing energy of an ecstatic little girl who'd caught her adult self at a loss to contain. I've often been told when I'm truly excited about something I could single-handedly power a small country were I plugged into a grid. But I have to keep that enthusiasm veiled if I'm to cope in this world. I've had a long history of being told to "calm down", a long history of being told I'm annoying to people who just don't have, or want to know, that kind of excitement. That's often been painful, so while I now fully own and am proud of my ability to be enthusiastic, I've built some walls. Not a bad thing, walls are protective. But when in the safe company of loved ones and again with trusted friends, sometimes those walls can tumble down and the sunlight bursts through. Really bright light. I said that evening; "Very few people see this. Unveiled." It was understood. Such experiences can create innocent, pure yet profound intimacies. Suddenly new friends have known each other for years.
All of that volanic energy. All of that consuming obsession kindling bonfires in my storyteller soul. All my love for fantastical worlds, unrestrained travel, tumultuous, wild adventure and endless possibility. All of it has had to find a healthy place to go, an outlet that won't leave me restless. And so I've learned that the course of action that makes me happiest in all this world- a world I cannot travel through via a blue police box- is simply writing books. Fantastical books; bigger on the inside. Books where good companions are the most vital part of the story. And with all of that raw, unwieldy, unfiltered, sometimes thorny energy that can grow both weird and wonderful roses; I regenerate.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

DragonCon 2010 Schedule

It's time for Dragon*Con 2010!!

I'm excited to see familiar friends and faces at one of my very favourite cons.

My Schedule:

Fri 02:30pm Room: Edgewood - Dragon*Reading:
I'll be reading from the Strangely Beautiful series, (replete with British accents and in my infamous Victorian regalia) AND I'll be giving away a bag of books!

Fri 04:00 pm Room/Section: M301 - M304 Dragon*Autographs - Come get something signed! My books will be available at The Missing Volume table, I'll also be signing / giving away bookmarks, pins and postcards.


Title: Surprise! You're Dead
Description: Death, ghosts, and the afterlife in fantasy fiction.
Time: Fri 08:30 pm Location: Cairo - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)


Title: Steam Queens: Women in Steampunk
Description: The many roles of women in Steampunk
Time: Saturday 1pm: Location: Westin Track Room

Title: The Worlds of Tim Burton
Description: A fan panel about the works of Tim Burton. What did you think of Alice in Wonderland? Do you ever think he'll ever make that Dark Shadows movie?
Time: Sat 07:00 pm Location: Cairo - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

Title: Dancing On The Head Of A Pin
Description: The role of angels and divine messengers in modern fantasy and horror.
Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: Montreal / Vancouver - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

I'll be tweeting up to the minute info via @Leannarenee