Also, tune in Monday, October 4th, 2010, when we announce the lineup for our 2010 Halloween Author Invasion (and what exactly the author invasion is.) Be very afraid (but be excited, too.)
Today we welcome Lolita Leanna, aka Leanna Renee Hieber, author of the “Percy Parker” Gaslamp Romance series. “A Christmas Carroll” aka “Percy Parker 2 1/2” will be featured in the anthology A MIDWINTER FANTASY which is an ebook to be released by Dorchester. At the moment Dorchester has delayed the ebook’s release, but if you follow Leanna on Twitter, she’ll let you know when the ordering link goes live.
Gaslight Musings: Building on Your Atmosphere – Leanna Renee Hieber’s latest Strangely Beautiful venture:
It should be no secret that what draws readers to Steampunk, to Gaslight and also to the Gothic is atmosphere. Our favourite works are full of rich atmosphere and intense world-building. One of the important yet tricky things in writing series fiction, particularly if it’s fantastical, paranormal or all of the above, is coming up with ways in which your world still maintains its conventions but also grows in richness, complexity, conflict and intrigue. I think one of the best ways to do this is to make sure that if you introduce a new convention, to be sure that it comes from within the world you’ve already built rather than tacking on something new. Also, the beauty of series fiction allows us to dive deeper into secondary characters, and deeper into the world’s details, where these new flowers can really bloom.
In thinking of new aspects to introduce in “A Christmas Carroll” which serves as Strangely Beautiful series #2.5, featured in A MIDWINTER FANTASY anthology, I knew I needed something new within my spirit world, what I call the Whisper-World.
What I came up with was The Liminal. You’ll see it described in the brief excerpt below, and I didn’t realize until I wrote it that it’s a very Steampunk detail. The Liminal clock keeps magic mortal time; its hands are vast and the barrel tells the year, shifting its great lens to show its charges the necessary scene in any moment in time. But it is still a part of the Whisper-World; a place I’ve described as mysterious, vast and shifting, beholden to powers over life and death that mere mortals can only guess at. The Liminal fit into that premise smoothly.
I love writing series fiction for all of the reasons I’ve mentioned. I love getting the chance to give secondary characters their due, and I adore taking the world I’ve built and simmering further in it; not just the skin and bones but the marrow of the world. I hope you’ll enjoy A MIDWINTER FANTASY, which just released on the 28th! Each of the stories in the anthology features a respective world that the author has built upon for at least two series books. Please note, due to changes at Dorchester Publishing this is a digital / eBook release ONLY. Future books will be released in Trade Paperback, but the transition at Dorchester has caught this book without paperback printing of any kind.
Here’s a tiny excerpt involving The Liminal, Strangely Beautiful’s new world-building detail:
From “A Christmas Carroll” featured in A MIDWINTER FANTASY anthology:
Prologue – December 1888, at the edge of London’s reality
Three spirits murmured to each other, standing in the luminous Liminal that separated the waiting Whisper-world from the dazzling, drawing light of the Great Beyond. The Whisper-world was quite the grey purgatory, while the Great Beyond, well…who possesses the words to describe Paradise?
The Liminal is a place where magic is discussed and made, from whence spirits receive duties and inspiration, where dreams are both created and abandoned. Where those who are worthy might become angels. It is a place where time is porous and malleable; it keeps its own clock. Here pasts are recaptured and futures glimpsed; here spirits from every walk of death—those still invested in parties on Earth—discuss their current designs on the living, for better or for worse.
The present trio at the Liminal edge was shrouded in shadow, and they contemplated parties in London, England, under the reign of Queen Victoria. Their clothing, too, represented various decades within Her Highness’ extensive reign, long may she live. The spirits stood before a living portrait rendered by exquisite hands: the vast proscenium of an elaborate stage dwarfed their spirit trio. The set scene laid wide before them was a stately school on a moonlit night, dim, eerie, engaging…and awaiting its players.”
For more about Leanna Renee Hieber, the Strangely Beautiful saga and A MIDWINTER FANTASY:
– Strangely Beautiful Blessings!