Today I’m pleased to welcome Leanna Renee Hieber, one of the first of the Apocalypsies to release her debut book into the world. Leanna’s book, Darker Still, the first book in the Magic Most Foul series was released on 11/11/11 in the US (1st February 2012 in NZ). Here’s the blurb:
The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde… New York City, 1880.Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart’s latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing… Lord Denbury’s soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.
It sounds intriguing and I’m really looking forward to reading it. I’ll hand over to Leanna to tell us all about Darker Still and her inspirations.
I’m so excited to be here today! While I’ve written several novels, I’m here to talk about my YA debut, DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul. I’ve always wanted to write a haunted painting story: Ever since I was little and I saw Sesame Street’s DON’T EAT THE PICTURES where the Sesame Street gang get locked in the Metropolitan Museum of Art overnight. Ever since I read THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. Ever since I went to art museums wondering if the painter and the sitters infused part of their own life’s energy into the art. At last, I’ve written my haunted painting story. DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul begins the Magic Most Foul saga set in 1880 New York City. It tells the tale of a hot British Lord whose soul is trapped in a painting and the brave girl who must set him free.
I’m so excited to be shelved in teen fiction. But for my adult readership who know me from my Strangely Beautiful series about ghostbusters and Greek Mythology in Victorian England, don’t be deterred. DARKER STILL has the same flavors found in my Strangely Beautiful saga, it’s still the 1880s, it’s still romantic and spooky, (the Magic Most Foul series is far more spooky, actually) it’s definitely still Gothic. Similar attractions, different shelf. I want to be a “gateway drug to 19th century literature” for teens and for all readers. I want to build a bridge between today’s fiction and the books and style that defined me as a reader and a writer. When I was about 10 years old I fell in love with Edgar Allan Poe and haven’t ever looked back. Poe was my own “gateway drug” and my love of his work led me to appreciate Stoker, Shelley, and all the spooky 19th century classics. Especially Dorian Gray. (If you haven’t read The Picture of Dorian Gray, you should. It’s short, creepy, sensual and amazing.)
I hope you’ll be so kind as to check out DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, it landed on the Indie Next List as a recommended buy in the Kids/YA section by the American Association of Booksellers, and Seventeen Magazine.com said: “You’ll love it if you love murder mysteries with a supernatural twist… the story is so different from other fantasy novels that have been coming out recently. This chilling tale will draw you in and keep you guessing until the very last page!” – I hope you’ll have fun getting to know Natalie and Jonathon and will join them on their next harrowing adventures this November when the sequel releases! Cheers!