Wednesday, January 7, 2015

THE ETERNA FILES by Leanna Renee Hieber

Happy New Year, everyone! We start off 2015 with a Gaslamp fantasy, THE ETERNA FILES, by Leanna Renee Hieber. I met Leanna at Phoenix Comicon last year, which I posted about here.

Here's more about THE ETERNA FILES:

London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins and con men, and a traveling circus. Spire's chief researcher is Rose Everhart, who believes fervently that there is more to the world than can be seen by mortal eyes.

Their first mission: find the Eterna Compound, which grants immortality. Catastrophe destroyed the hidden laboratory in New York City where Eterna was developed, but the Queen is convinced someone escaped—and has a sample of Eterna.

Also searching for Eterna is an American, Clara Templeton, who helped start the project after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln nearly destroyed her nation. Haunted by the ghost of her beloved, she is determined that the Eterna Compound—and the immortality it will convey—will be controlled by the United States, not Great Britain.

And here are Leanna's answers to some questions!

According to your website bio, you are an actress, playwright, and author. How do you divide your time among these pursuits, and what sources do you recommend for writers interested in play writing?

I have to be honest in the fact that while these three are related fields, they are very different worlds, with wholly different connections and networks, so it is a lot of changing different hats, mind-sets and contacts. So while I can't necessarily be on novel deadline and in a theatrical show at the same time, I shift from one to the next as opportunities allow. Working as I do in occasional film and television is less a time commitment than a full run of a theatre production, save for the occasional workshop, staged reading or benefit concert, so I find myself less on the stage and more working in TV/film and in webseries work. The single most helpful resource I found as a playwright was/is the Playwright's Center, even if you're not local to Minneapolis their mailing list of opportunities is vital: And my theatre/playwrighting mentor Michael Bigelow Dixon just published a book I highly recommend: Breaking from Realism.

Breaking from Realism sounds like a great book! And I love the premise of THE ETERNA FILES. Where did the idea come from, and how did it develop as you wrote it?

I am so glad the premise appeals, it was a confluence of inspirations ranging from anger at the fate of Harry and Rose at the end of the BBC show MI-5, to brainstorming the kind of series my editor (the fabulous Melissa Singer) wanted to work on with me, to weaving the threads of my previous Gaslamp Fantasy series together (characters from both my Strangely Beautiful and Magic Most Foul sagas make cameos in Eterna) and creating a 'grown up' kind of Historical Fantasy with more elements of horror than I've been allowed thus far in my work. It's a culmination of sorts, and it has a TON of characters spanning two separate offices, and I've been so thrilled to work on something that's been allowed such a big cast on such a dark stage.

I'm so glad your characters cross over--I read the first book in the Magic Most Foul saga, and loved it. 
You also write short fiction that has appeared in various anthologies. What do you like most about short fiction, and what's been the best part of dabbling in different mediums?

Short fiction is actually a lot harder for me than full length novels. But once I get the key to a good short story; a specific, contained but high-concept scenario or twist, I am off to the races. My short fiction tends to focus on moments of selfi-actualization and characters coming into their own, for better or worse. I love the differing scope of the impact of lyrical language between a long and short form, like in my very intense piece "Charged," found in Queen Victoria's Book of Spells.

What a great anthology to be a part of! What are some of your current projects?

Eterna! I'm hard at work on the sequel to THE ETERNA FILES, which releases 2/3/2015 and is available now for pre-order in print and digital!  I am also hopeful that the musical based on my debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, will go to the next level of production. Our concept album is now available, and Tor has bought the series so the formerly out of print Strangely Beautiful saga is available for pre-order, I am so excited about this freshly edited, revised, author-preferred edition.

You can follow all my news and stay tuned for Eterna contests at on and check out my book list and free reads at

Thanks for your time and Happy Haunting!


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