Hi everyone! I was luck enough to be contacted by Beth Barany, author of Henrietta and the Dragon Stone, to do an interview! You should definitely keep reading and see what things she had to say about writing strong heroines.
- Print Length: 338 pages
- Publisher and date published: Firewolf Books, Jan. 31, 2014
- ASIN: [tbd]
- Genre: young adult fantasy/epic fantasy
- Format: Digital and print
- About the Book
A new story of adventure by award-winning author, Beth Barany.
Book 2 in the Five Kingdom series of the continuing adventures of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer.
What if all those you loved were threatened by a force you couldn’t see or fight?
Henrietta the legendary ass kicking dragon slayer wants to return to her village for a heroes’ welcome. But an unknown sorcerer rides after her and her Dragon Stone, and aims to destroy everyone she cares about. Can she claim her newfound powers sparked by the Dragon Stone and keep her loved ones safe, especially her more-than-friend, and her stalwart bodyguard, before the sorcerer destroys her and everything in his path?
Belle: Henrietta sounds like a very strong heroine. Are there any specific women you modeled her after?
Beth: Henrietta is modeled after the heroines I wished to read about when I was a girl and teen, so no one person in particular. She arose mostly from my yearning. Much, much later I discover Mystic and Rider (The Twelve Houses, Book 1) by Sharon Shinn and saw the parallels between the heroine in that story and Henrietta. I also think about Lara Croft’s resourcefulness and the bravery of women astronauts and mountain climbers. All these women informed Henrietta after I created her and probably do help shape her when I’m editing and writing the series. I’m not sure if readers would agree with me, but I feel like I’m helping shape a new female hero that doesn’t quite exist. I’m motivated to create Henrietta as a strong young woman heroine searching how to be a good and just leader and wondering what all that means. She and I don’t have all the answers yet! That’s why I’m writing a series.
Belle: Were there any challenges that arose from writing this book more than the first book in the series?
Beth: Yes, writing a second book in the series poses so many challenges. In writing Henrietta and the Dragon Stone, I wondered how to continue from the action of book 1, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer. Should the action continue right where book 1 left off or much later? And then I came up with a third option: I chose to start book 2 from the point of view of the villain during a scene that happens near the end of book 1, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer. Other choices included which characters to put in and which to leave out. So book 2 focuses mostly on Henrietta and Franc, while Jaxter is in only at the beginning and Paulette doesn’t get a role. (But she will feature in book 3) I also had to decide how much space to give my villain. He gets much more space in this book than he got in book 1. Lastly, I had to decide how to end a second book in a series of at least three books, maybe more. You’ll have to read it to see how I ended it. Early readers do tell me the ending keeps them at the edge of their seats.
Belle: What is one of the most surprising things you’ve learned about yourself through writing?
Beth: Surprises and realizations happen constantly, but one of the most surprising things I’ve learned about writing Henrietta The Dragon Slayer and Henrietta and the Dragon Stone is that I have a fierce side of me that is willing to fight for what’s right, and that includes using physical violence. Henrietta wishes she could be a pacifist but just can’t. And I feel the same. To admit that and put such an urge in my stories is pretty surprising. I have to say that what’s most surprising is that I’m willing to share that part of myself with the world.
Belle: Why did you write a book for young adults?
Beth: I don’t have a simple answer, but a multifaceted one. I write for young adults, really for girls ages 12 and up, because I’m writing to that part of me that wishes I had these books when I was young. I also write for young adults because my writing style and pacing matches books for that age group. I also write for adults but I think I have a “young” voice for my fiction. Also, I write for young adults because I think that time in our life is so formative – we get to try out different identities and choose who we want to be. I want to be a part of that exploration and transformation. Lastly, I want to give back to readers the ways authors have given their wonderful stories to me.
- Where to find Henrietta and the Dragon Stone (Book 2)
Available for preorder on Smashwords and Kobo. Coming soon to Amazon. More at: http://author.bethbarany.com/books/henrietta-and-the-dragon-stone-bk-2-fantasy/