On this day in history – in the year 1840 and in the 4th year of her reign – Queen Victoria married Prince Albert.
Between two conventions that are many miles apart, and on the night before the official release of her first hardcover novel with Tor Books, Leanna Renee Hieber still managed to Tweet about this blog. I’ve read The Eterna Files and, with the Nerdy Duo, was able to produce the official book trailer for the book. I’ve even done some fan art, though I did get a detail wrong. The badge should say, “Special Branch” and not “Metropolitan Police”.
All of these experiences are special to me and I recommend the first one to you today.
Ms. Hieber has crafted a suspenseful tale about magic and mysticism that does not cross the line into the horror genre. There are too many stories in the world that don’t navigate away from that dividing line. The author expertly avoids losing control of the story she needs to tell.
While I cannot say that Ms. Hieber is the reincarnation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, because I do not believe that’s the case, I am fairsure that whomever she was during the Victorian era – she would have been attending the same symposia on Spiritualism as that kindred author.
Buying the book – and today – is strongly encouraged. Ms. Hieber’s professionalism and true love of her craft is a significant part of why I feel encouraged to the same in my own work. Liking her Author page is also adjured because developments there are announced with the deliberation of Sir Doyle’s most famous creation. Both the book and the Like are truly worth your time.
Before the story of A Song Heard in the Future began to gel, I thought I might want to have something undead involved. I’m making an effort to stay true to the mythology. This isn’t simple because one myth will contradict the next with regard to some critical “facts”. Assuming one is true often means another cannot be. Where two disagree, I feel free to make a choice, either supporting one over another – or in taking a completely new angle. When none of the accounts offer evidence for desired component of the story – like the undead – I don’t feel as though I have much latitude to include it. (I’m such a conformist.) 😉
The Ancient Greeks do not seem to have had vampires, per se. There is the vrykolakas but this creature seems to have been important from the Romanian night (vârcolac). Furthermore, the ‘lakas would have been more of a werewolf than anything nosferatu (nesuferitu).
The spirit of anyone properly buried was transported to the Underworld, where they promptly forgot much of their mortal lives – if not all. I can’t remember if I wanted to have Teiresias do battle with some sort of strigoi (also, btw, Romanian). What I might have had a vampire do in Song I now cannot recall. I’m not certain whether that is fitting or ironic.
Over this past weekend, however, my co-author (Leanna Renee Hieber) and I discussed the concepts of a culture and the statements collectively made by it – in its folklore – about its own philosophical assumptions. What does it mean if you (as a society) have to outsource certain folkloric descriptions over the river at the border? The musing on this theme likely won’t have emphasis in Song – but Leanna and I probably will present it as a panel at an upcoming convention.
On Day One of this journal and account, it would be quite unfair to hint that Teiresias is the only muse for my present research, writing, and art. I have never known true encouragement for this sort of work. Not like this.
Leanna Renee Hieber is an established, successful author with seven books to her credit, including the upcoming The Eterna Files (releasing from Tor Books on 2/3/15).
Along with Bruce Boxleitner and Trevor Crafts, we first appeared together on a New York Comic Con panel together – Diana Pho’s Welcome to the Brass Screen (10/10/2013). Later that evening and during dinner, the seeds were sown for Leanna and I sharing an affinity in terms of creativity. We knew we wanted to work together but were uncertain as to how we might do so. I was not surprised to learn that she is also a talented actress and singer. Other projects of mine were going to require both. I began looking for opportunities to which I could invite her.
During this nearly-past year, she started expressing appreciation for my talents and perspectives. We began developing a character for an upcoming television series and as her (the character’s) back-story grew, we felt she had greater potential in a fuller story. This character prompted Leanna to select me as a co-author.
At first, the offer was a shock and surprise. I want to emphasize how astonishingly rare this kind of support has been in my experience. I had imagined becoming an author as early as 1976. (I was 12 years old.) My mother was antithetical to encouragement; she found what I wanted to write about frightening and potentially humiliating. Do I have to say how terrible it is to have a dream shot down by a parent?
My Very Dear Friend Leanna Renee is the precise and critical opposite. And I’m EverThankful we met. I recommend purchasing her novels. I’m working my way through them as I write my own, solo books (including the Teiresias tale) and she and I plan our future novels together (the first of which involves that very special character mentioned above).