Author Interview & Book Giveaway: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

Welcome to Author Leanna Renee Hieber!

Award winning, bestselling author, actress and playwright Leanna Renee Hieber graduated with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. Having adapted works of 19th Century literature for the stage, her one-act plays have been produced around the country. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in Futuristic, Fantasy or Paranormal Romance. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, first in the Strangely Beautiful quartet of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels, hit Barnes & Noble’s bestseller lists, won 2010 Prism Awards for Best Fantasy and Best First Book and the rights have been sold for adaptation into a musical theatre production currently in progress. In addition to new Strangely Beautiful releases, Magic Most Foul, a new Victorian Paranormal intrigue set in 1880s New York City, begins 11/11 from Sourcebooks Fire. A member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, she’s thrilled to be RWA NYC’s 2010 Author of the Year. A member of actors unions AEA, SAG and AFTRA, Leanna works often in film and television. When not writing or on set, she’s a devotee of ghost stories and Goth clubs, adventuring about NYC, where she resides with her real-life hero and beloved rescued lab rabbit Persebunny.


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
I don’t really care, as long as it’s with The Doctor. (See ‘guilty pleasure’ question. If you’re still curious/confused, please consult the BBC)

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Jane Austen, Jesus, Martin Luther, Charles Dickens and J. K. Rowling

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
The Harry Potter series, the Oxford English Dictionary (I adore learning new words plus it would take years to read cover to cover), and unending reams of paper/pens for writing.

What is one book everyone should read?
Harry Potter. (You may be sensing an obsessive theme here. I’ll in fact be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Aeternitas Harry Potter convention – it benefits charity –

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Flight and the power to create world-peace.

What’s your favorite music genre? Favorite artist? Song?
Classical: (Ralph Vaughan Williams, The Lark Ascending)
Goth: (VNV Nation, Beloved)
Singer/Songwriters: (Over the Rhine, Latter Days)

Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie Chocolate, quiet, music)
Each of my series has a distinct tea that I like to drink while I write it. My Strangely Beautiful series I drink the tea that smells of my hero, clove tea, and for my upcoming YA series, Earl Grey. I’m a tea addict.

Night owl, or early bird?
Night Owl Queen. My beloved thinks I’m a vampire, and not just because I wear black all the time. I get all my best work done between 11pm to 3am.

Pet Peeves?
Inappropriate use of the apostrophe. It’s an epidemic and it makes my teeth itch. Just because a word has an “s” on the end of it doesn’t mean it automatically gets an apostrophe. Grrr.

If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be, male or female, doesn’t matter and why?
This is a loaded question for me considering I use Greek Mythology in my Strangely Beautiful series. So I’m going to avoid what would be a spoiler concerning my work. I’ll safely say Psyche. Her story with Cupid is breathtaking, romantic and wondrous. But she’s in close competition with Iris, of the rainbow. The Care Bears taught me at an early age that rainbow power is awesome.

If you could be a paranormal creature, what would you choose to be?
A witch in the Harry Potter world. I’ve all eternity to be a ghost.

What is your favorite book that has been made into a movie?
Sense and Sensibility (The Emma Thompson adaptation)

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
I’ve been affectionately told my work is the Bronte Sisters, Harry Potter and Bulfinch’s Mythology in a blender- I find the combination delectable, I hope you’ll think so too.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Part of me screams Harry Potter but truthfully, I’d want to go into my own. One has to be a bit obsessed with their world to write an epic series. The Strangely Beautiful world has been with me now for about 12 years. I still go to bed thinking about it every night. These characters are family and I love them more than I have words for.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
The Phantom of the Opera

What is your favorite quote?
“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” – John 1:5

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
Really mean people.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Doctor Who (the old shows and the new series). And I am not remotely guilty about it.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I’d been pining over a Victorian gown from and promised myself when my book sold I’d get one, so I did, wore it to my book release party in New York and use it often for conventions, where I’m always found in Victorian regalia.

How would you describe the target audience for you book? How would you classify your book (which genre)?
I write Gothic Victorian Fantasy Romance for adults with mature teen crossover appeal. My books would be rated PG-13, and that goes for my upcoming YA series as well. I use elements of classic ghost stories, the drama of Gothic novels, the spooky-factor of paranormal fiction and the fantastical elements of Greek mythology in a rich, atmospheric Victorian London at the time of Jack the Ripper.

To learn more about Leanna:

Leanna’s Books:

Coming Soon:
Strangely Beautiful #3 (Prequel): THE PERILOUS PROPHECY OF GUARD AND GODDESS Releasing May 2011

2 winners will each win the first book in the Strangely Beautiful series: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker.

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber:
What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death…

Giveaway Details:
2 winners will each win a copy of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
Open to US & Canada
Ends 2/14/11

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