It’s official, Figs: the weather is getting frightful, the mistletoe has been hung, the lights are twinkling–the holidays are upon us! To celebrate, we’ve asked some of our favorite authors to share holiday memories with us. Tune in all through December to get in the holiday spirit!
Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, playwright, and the author of Gothic Victorian fantasy and paranormal novels like the Strangely Beautiful saga and the Magic Most Foul saga. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and become her Facebook fan! But first, read about the gift she would have killed to receive as a teen.
I would have killed to receive a TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions in Space) over the holidays as a teen. For those of you who have never seen the show Doctor Who and have no idea what I’m talking about, a TARDIS is a time travel machine. Yes, I’ve been a for realz Doctor Who fan since I was 7 years old, back in the 80s when we got late night Tom Baker (Doctor #4) reruns on PBS. But wanting a time travel machine doesn’t have as much to do with how much I heart the Doctor as it does with the actual time travel part.
Somewhere in my formative youth (it may have been around age 9 when I was in a production of Oliver! in school) I fell in love with all things 19th Century. I became somewhat obsessed (ok, really obsessed) with Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters and historical-set musical theatre shows like Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. I’d always felt a little misplaced as a kid. Out of my time.
Around age 12, when I was feeling particularly out of place and awkward, I started writing my first novel, (A sequel to The Phantom of the Opera) set in 1888. I immersed myself in the art, literature and music of the time period; I lived and breathed it as best I could. That novel so quickly consumed my every waking thought that I hardly remember the next two years. I was so wrapped up in my work, my great escape. I was in love, so deeply in love with that book that I found myself praying that I’d wake up and it would be 1888 and I would be in that Opera House, with the friends I had created in my mind. I would have given just about anything to actually experience what I was dreaming up. It was painful yet exquisite to lust after a time and place so strongly.
Today I’m at peace with living in the 21st century and getting my time travel fix from Dr. Who and my imagination. Still, if a blue police box materialized in my kitchen and The Doctor asked if I wanted to come along on an adventure, I’d be the first in those narrow blue doors. And when he asks where I’d want to go? I’d say: “Show me 1888, Doctor, show me my true love.”