Saturday, October 17, 2009

Can’t possibly say goodbye

I’m thrilled to be here, Novel Spaces! Not only is it great to join some Dorchester Publishing house-mates, but to be in the company of both new-to-me faces and familiar ones – I’m SO excited to read at the Fantastic Fiction series with Terence Taylor next May!

About me:
I’m an award winning author, actress and playwright. I write the Strangely Beautiful series of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels for Dorchester Publishing, which began with The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker and continues in April and October 2010. My futuristic novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in Fantasy / Futuristic / Paranormal Romance. I grew up in rural Ohio, received a degree in theatre and a focus in the Victorian Era, love ghost stories and Goth clubs, live in New York City with my real-life hero and rescued lab-rabbit Persebunny.

Today’s thought: Can’t possibly say goodbye.

So I want to know how the single title, stand alone people do it. I want to know how people can build a world, characters, tension, plot, resolve conflict and when the storyline is complete – let them go after one book. I can’t do it. If I’m ever called to do it, I wonder how.

I was told that I’d suffer a bit of “post-pardem” let down after my debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker hit the shelves. And while it’s true I’m blessedly exhausted from a whirlwind tour of promotion, book signings, events, etc. I’m falling right back into working on the next “Strangely Beautiful” baby as if no time has passed.

I’m a serial-serialist I suppose. I can’t build a world and leave it well enough alone. That likely comes from the fact that the books that have historically engaged me the most have been fantasy novels that usually run the series model. The more time I spend in the Strangely Beautiful world, the more it grows. (I’ve cut myself off though, this could get out of hand and I don’t want to take a series past its natural end). The world of Dark Nest is the same, it’s a futuristic setting in which the action of the novella is swift and immediate for a partial resolution, but a follow up-novella is certainly in my head and in the works. Attachment to characters and world-building is a trait every writer shares, but the tendency for the characters and that world to keep growing and unfolding through several books is an author-specific choice.

I’d like to pose a few questions for you series writers and you single title, stand-alone novelists. Do you write what you write because it’s the structure that calls to you? Do you tell the world how many books it has in it or does the story tell you? Have you dealt with the “post-pardem” period yourself? Do you write series because it’s what you like to read? Single titles / stand-alone authors, what about you? Are you done with your characters after a certain time and that’s that? Have you ever started something you think is surely stand alone and then been shocked when a series has been birthed unwittingly? Who’s written both and can speak to a preference or the pros and cons of each? Readers? What’s your preference and thoughts about series versus stand alone? Go on, chime in!

For those of you interested in The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, it’s been recommended by, the official Fansite for HBO’s True Blood (Based on Charlaine Harris’ fabulous Sookie series!). There’s a limited-time 30% discount from Barnes & Noble, just follow the link stated within at Thanks again Novel Spaces for the opportunity to be here!

Let me know your thoughts on those above questions. Leave a comment and I’ll give away one selected winner’s choice of either Dark Nest or The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, the beginnings of my series worlds. Blessings!

Leanna Renee Hieber


Beth Caudill said...

While I like to read series, I haven't figured out how to write them. For the fun part of writing is the world creation. Once I've built it...I'm ready to move on.

But I know the publishing world likes now I'm trying to make something that I can continue to write a few books in.

Brenda ND said...

I love reading. When I find an author I like, I try to read all I can of his/her work so series suit me. "The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker," sounds like I book I'd enjoy. I'll look for it.

Lisa Kessler said...

I love to read and write series books because I get to know the characters and I know what I'm getting before I opent he cover.

But with a single title you know the entire story will be revealed and resolved in one book which leaves me very satisfied in the end. (Unless the suthor gave me a horrible ending in which case I throw the book against the wall... :)

Lisa :)

Crista said...

Every time I write something I expect to be a single-title, I always toss ideas for making it a series or having a spin-off with one of the minor characters during the post-partum period. In the end, most of my stories are stand alone... but with an open door should I decide to revisit those worlds.

On the flip side, there are stories I've written with the full intention of making them the beginning of a series. Of course, I'm still waiting for that big sale that will turn book one into a series. :)

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is on my TBR shelf -- I'll have to get to it once the newborn sleeping longer than 2 hours. :)

Liane Spicer said...

Leanna, welcome to NS!

I thought I was a stand-alone title type - until readers began e-mailing me and asking if I'd write the story of one of the secondary characters. That got me thinking about the 'what ifs' - and now a sequel to my debut novel is on the drawing board! Will see how that turns out...

KeVin K. said...

Leanna, welcome to Novel Spaces.

I have always had the advantage of writing in established universes. But even in my original fiction I am thinking in terms of series or shared settings with everything I write. I confess that this is at least in part driven by marketing -- planning for my future. But often it's simply wanting to continue in a world I've created and enjoy.

So, yeah, how to create and say goodbye is a mystery

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

Thanks for the welcome, Novel Spaces and thanks for commenting!

And Thanks to my Futuristic Fantasy and Paranormal Chapter mates for showing up and saying hello! -

Indeed, world-building is always my favourite part too. I guess because I'm such a 'pantser' there's always things popping up, so for me world-building fun of the series always deals with the new elements within the established world and keeping track of it all. :)

I hear you, and I've been known to buy a whole series once it's entirely in print, if I know it's an author I like, so I don't have to wait between books. :)

Lisa, LOL, I've totally had book-throw moments, it happens. You're right about both sides of the coin with characters you love continuing on vs. everything tied up, good point.

You are singing my song, my dear!
I don't do cliffhanger endings in my series, as an author I need some resolution, let alone as a reader. And I'll be crossing my fingers for that big sale! Thanks for having Strangely Beautiful on your TBR shelf, and CONGRATS on the newborn!!!

Hi Liane!
Oh, that's such a cool way to turn into a series writer - by request! How awesome!

Hi KeVin!
Oh, yes definately, series and marketing plan, I confess, is entirely in my business plan. Thankfully it's just how my brain tends to work because I, like you, love continuing on in a world I care for.

Leanna Renee Hieber said...

The winner has been drawn randomly to win a copy of either of my releases...


Hey Brenda, email me at and let me know a mailing address and whether you'd like "Dark Nest" or "Strangely Beautiful"

- blessings!