Presented by Leanna Renee Hieber

Why are we so drawn to telling ghost stories? Leanna Renee Hieber, Gothic novelist, actress and NYC Ghost Tour Guide leads a lively discussion about the spirit world’s thrall, including a brief history of the Spiritualist movement in America and its importance to women and the suffrage movement.

Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, playwright and the author of twelve Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy novels for adults and teens for Tor and Kensington Books such as the Strangely Beautiful saga, the Magic Most Foul trilogy, the Eterna Files trilogy and The Spectral City series. The Strangely Beautiful series hit Barnes & Noble and Borders Bestseller lists and garnered numerous regional genre awards with revised editions now available from Tor. She is a four-time Prism Award winner for excellence in cross-genre fantasy.

Darker Still hit the American Bookseller’s Association “Indie Next List”, was a Scholastic Book Club “Highly Recommended” title and was a finalist for the Daphne du Maurier award. The Spectral City, Leanna’s new ghost-filled series set in 1899 NYC, has been a bestseller across several genres and platforms. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous notable anthologies and her books have been translated into many languages.

A proud member of performer unions Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA, she lives in New York City where she is a licensed ghost tour guide for Boroughs of the Dead and has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire and Mysteries at the Museum. Leanna channels 19th century designer and visionary Clara Driscoll in her performative lecture, By the Light of Tiffany. She is represented by Paul Stevens of the Donald Maass agency.

Chicago Steampunk Exposition