|Casey Clifford and Leanna Renee Hieber at Walden Books|
Leanna Renee Hieber visited Milwaukee to speak with the WisWRA writers about theatrical techniques to a blockbuster novel. Afterward was a successful booksigning at the local Walden Book store (Side note: unfortunately this store will be closing January 1).
I was lucky enough to catch up with Leanna at the airport for a quick breakfast before her flight back to New York to ask her a few questions.
BV: With the success of your new book, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, how has life changed for you?
LRH: I have been feeling extremely grateful and thankful with more energy to continue the series with The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persophone Parker, which will have it’s release April 27, 2010. I was also thrilled and honored to have made your "Best of" list for 2009.
BV: You’ve been receiving many kudos for The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, what’s the latest?
LRH: I recently found out that I landed #26 on the Mass Market chart and #32 overall on the Barnes and Noble list. Not bad for a debut novel. And now it’s available in audio form, which I’m thrilled about.
BV: So, what’s next for you?
LRH: I’m currently working on an anthology with author C.L. Wilson, who I consider one of my idols.
BV: And how did you like Milwaukee?
|Speaking at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts|
LRH: It was wonderful! Great food, good friends and family, super authors and readers. I wish I could take them all back to New York with me. I also volunteered to go speak to the Milwaukee High School of the Arts Creative Writing department this week. Having always wished they had a High School of the Arts in my rural Ohio hometown, I wanted to show my appreciation and value for a public school devoted to the Arts. Because I struggled for so many years to find a publisher for the Strangely Beautiful series I feel called to tell teens never to give up on their dreams, as I’m living proof that your greatest dream can come true if you just persist. Between my theatre background and the publishing world, I’ve become so used to rejection that I just want to be an encouraging voice to youngsters to never give up no matter what. MHSA students were brilliant and wonderful and I was full of hope and joy- not to mention genuinely impressed by their fierce intelligence and obvious talents. Milwaukee has talented teens and that’s a priceless asset.
Oh, and I wanted to mention the Holiday Folk Fair, which was awesome and I just loved it.
Bottom Line: If you liked the Holiday Folk Fair, you have to come back in summer for all our ethnic festivals.