Q&A with Author Leanna Renee Hieber (& GIVEAWAY) - CLOSED

Today, we have the lovely Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the wonderful book The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker on the blog. Her newest release and the sequel to Strangely Beautiful called The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker (how awesome and poetic are these titles?!) comes outs next week Tuesday, April 27. Please join us in welcoming her.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? What inspired you to write your first book/story?
I was twelve years old and had issues with the way The Phantom of the Opera ended and so I decided it was up to me to write a sequel (Set in 1888 - a year that clearly haunts me). Thank goodness that endless, sprawling, miserable drama of 1,000 pages and 20 different endings never saw the light of day. And thankfully never will. I set it ablaze in a ritualistic and overdramatic ceremony in our fireplace.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I began writing that book, at 12, I was a secret writer. It wasn't until years later that I confessed to having writing tendencies. I was far too nervous to share my work until I wrote, directed and produced a play during high-school and that sort of broke the ice.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Tie between Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling and Charles Dickens

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? A place you've always wanted to visit?
London is my soul's home and going there is heaven.

Your favorite musician/type of music you listen to while writing?
Classical music.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I cannot wait until my friend Elizabeth Kerri Mahon's Scandalous Women comes out, a thrilling non-fiction book about notorious women of history, taken from her award-winning blog http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.com. I'm also entranced with Julie Rose's new translation of Les Miserables (one of my favourite books of all time).

What was the hardest part of writing your just released book? Easiest?
Hardest: I can't tell you the hardest part or I'll give something away. But I wept. A lot. Easiest? Expanding Percy and Alexi's relationship and indulging Lord Elijah Withersby's unending sass.

What is next after Darkly Luminous? Do you have any current projects?
More "Strangely Beautiful"! I'm on to books 3 and 4 in the series. Book 3 is a prequel (likely will release March 2011) and Book 4 will continue with the Rychman familial legacy up into World War 1.

Now, let's talk about your new book The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker...

lrhieberHero: Professor Alexi Rychman
Heroine: Miss Percy Parker
Romance Subgenre: Gothic Victorian Fantasy / Paranormal
Setting: London, England, 1888

Your favorite secondary character and will you ever write this character's own book?
Headmistress Rebecca Thompson. And yes! She gets her own novella! Stay tuned for "A Christmas Carroll" (Strangely Beautiful #2.5) included in Dorchester's A MIDWINTER FANTASY anthology, October 2010)

Your favorite scene:
Oh, goodness. A tie between the tender moments of Percy and Alexi's home life and the EPIC final battle within Athens Academy.

Celebrity who'd might play your hero/heroine:
Well, when I began the series ten years ago, I'd envisioned Alan Rickman, and so he'll always hold that honour in my head. However if it were played today, I'd choose Richard Armitage (BBC star of North & South *swoon*, BBC Robin Hood, MI-5, etc.). Alexi must be played by someone who can be intense, enigmatic and brooding, can command a room with an iron grip, and yet be cut to the quick by a sweet girl who becomes a radiant tonic to his loneliness. Alexi needs a range of power, stoicism and gentleness. As for Miss Percy, well, I'm a professional actress so I'd like to at least audition for the eerie and death-pale Miss Percy. *grin* (You can see my run as Miss Percy for halloween at www.leannareneehieber.com/extras--brace yourselves, she's a unique lass.)

Book Blurb:
With radiant, snow white skin and hair, Percy Parker was a beacon for Fate. True love had found her, in the tempestuous form of Professor Alexi Rychman. But her mythic destiny was not complete. Accompanying the ghosts with which she alone could converse, new and terrifying omens loomed. A war was coming, a desperate ploy of a spectral host. Victorian London would be overrun. Yet, Percy kept faith. Within the mighty bastion of Athens Academy, alongside The Guard whose magic shielded mortals from the agents of the Underworld, she counted herself among friends. Wreathed in hallowed fire, they would stand together, no matter what dreams or nightmares—may come.

Doesn't that sound like an amazing read? The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker is the second book in the Strangely Beautiful series and it comes out on April 27th. Go forth and buy it!

Now, if you haven't read the first book of the series
The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (my review here), here's your chance... Leanna is giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader (US only please) of this blog who comments below. Ends May 1st.

I want to take this time to thank Leanna Renee Hieber for stopping by and sharing with us a little about herself and her books. If you're hankering for more, check out her website, blog and follow her on twitter.


  1. I'm not entering the giveaway, since I already read the book, but I just wanted to comment and say that this is a fantastic interview. I'm really looking forward to Darkly Luminous, as I really enjoyed Strangely Beautiful

  2. I want to enter the giveaway! I love reading and I would like the chance to check her books out and see if I'm a new fan. :)

  3. I love her fun sassy character style pictures :)
    (not an entr)

  4. I would like to be entered to win this contest, thanks!


  5. Enter me please ^^


  6. Sign me up for a chance to win a copy.
    Kelly Bookend Diaries

  7. I would love to win this! Thanks Leanna for stopping by and giving away a book!


  8. I haven't read this book but would LOVE to.


  9. I am so intrigued! I would love to win a copy!!! Please enter me in the contest <3

  10. Fascinating!

    Bill ;-)

    billsmith2003 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:

  11. I would love to read this series!
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  12. I would love to read this series.
    But I'm thinking I would like that outfit even more!
    Thanks for a great interview!

  13. I have not read this 1st book but would love to read the series.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway. Pls enter my name.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  14. Thanks for the interview and great giveaway. I'd love to read it.

    dawnpnr at aol dot com

  15. Oh I would love to read this book! Please enter me:)
    email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

  16. Not entering, just want to say hi.I love the review and i never read a victorian historical fiction before. might say i will soon. =)

  17. I am definitely entering this giveaway. Looks great!


    ntaylor228 at yahoo dot com

  18. Just wanted to stop by and give a big hug to my girl Leanna, and to say thank you for the shout out! You rock and so does your series!

  19. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    tradingaddress at gmail dot com

  20. Sounds good to me!

  21. I would love to win this book...sounds like a terrific series. I am a follower.
    Eileen-wise owl

  22. I just love the title and I keep seeing it everywhere, plus the author seems really interested!


  23. This would be so fun to read! Thanks for the chance to win!

    poetees at gmail dot com

  24. I've been seeing this series everywhere, I'd love a chance to check this out for myself.

  25. I'd love to read this :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  26. I would shed tears about this not being international but I'm happy to say I already own a signed copy :0)

    Thanks for a fantastic interview. I am eagerly anticipating book 2.

  27. Great giveaway, this book sounds great! Please enter me.

    kpic724 (at) gmail (dot) com

  28. Any author that can use the word "sass" in a q&a has my attention!


  29. I have read it, but I would love to own a copy. The romance between Alexi and Percy was so much fun. I enjoyed the dancing.... :)

  30. I'd love to enter the giveaway.
    I'm a follower.