I have the pleasure of interviewing Helen Henderson. She is a professional writer whose work I have read and enjoyed.
Question: What is the title and genre of your new novel? Why did you select them?
Answer: Hatchling’s Vengeance, my latest release, is the fourth volume in the romantic fantasy series, the Dragshi Chronicles. Naming it prevented a challenge. The first book in the series, Dragon Destiny, was never intended to be the start of a series. But the characters refused to leave. The next book was titled Hatching’s Curse, with the text chosen to reflect the goal of the dragon shifters to break the curse of childnessness. Which led to Hatchling’s Mate. Although I wanted the last book to be Dragon Something, I couldn’t find a combination of words available that I liked. Especially ones that began with the letter “d” to keep the symmetry with Dragon Destiny. I went back and reviewed the book and discovered that although it was not the original intent of the storyline, vengeance had become a prominent emotion. So the title became Hatchling’s Vengeance.
Question: What inspired this novel? How did it come about?
Answer: When “the end” was typed for Hatchling’s Mate, there were several characters whose ultimate fates remained to be determined. Their paths could be sealed by vengeance or redeemed by love. It was a new approach I wanted to explore. In my other works, the bad guys, or gals, might have the upper hand for a while, but the penalty for their actions was always fatal. The dragshi must have wanted to see whether vengeance or love triumphed so they hung around for one more volume providing me with Hatchling’s Vengeance.
Question: Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your novel?
Answer: It was hard for me to decide whether to talk about Talann or Glynnes. Hatchling’s Vengeance records both their journeys. Talann’s appearance reflects his heritage. His broad shoulders hold a physical strength apparent even in loose travel clothes. Like his father, he is so skilled and strong, neither dragon shifter nor true human willingly challenge him in either unarmed or armed combat. His hair is wavy and dark with amber highlights; short on the sides but kissing the collar in the back. One lock perpetually falls over his face when he's excited. Duty, honor, and protecting the innocents are the code he lives by.
Glynnes is bodyguard to Lady Lexii , one of the two children born to the dragon shifters. Unlike the custom of the land, Glynnes wears her hair short and dresses in leather rather than silk. To all but a few, she hides her true sex and is known to the world as a man, She lives by the same code as Talann and the dragshi with the additional oath to protect Lexii up to and including her own death. While Talann wins a few more of the sparring matches with the long sword, Glynnes is a better marksman than any man with a bow.
Question: Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?
Answer: I’ve already talked about the fantasy series, the Dragshi Chronicles. Books We Love, Ltd. released Windmaster, the first book of the Windmaster Novels, in July (2016.) Ellspeth, captain of the Sea Falcon, is determined to make her own destiny, but fate decrees she has to decide between the sea, magic... or love.
Imprisoned in Stone is a stand-alone story that marked a divergence into the darker aspects of fantasy. For the crime of healing without payment, the Brethren imprisoned Dylan’s soul in stone. Every full moon, they awakened him and renewed the bonds. When the blood dried on the stone, his awareness faded, but during those few brief moments between awakening and sleep, he had one thought--revenge. He embraced the pain of an awakening to reach out into the world beyond his stone prison. A mind touched his and hope for escape from his eternal prison soars. However, his possible savior is unaware of her latent magic, the power needed to free him.
Question: What are you working on now?
Answer: I’m finalizing Windmaster Legacy, the second book in the Windmaster Novels, and First Change: Legends From the Eyrie, a companion book to the Dragshi Chronicles.First Change is a collection of novellas and short stories of duty and honor, love and loss, happiness and despair from the world of the dragshi. Unlike the Dragshi Chronicles which journal the paths of the trader girl Anastasia, Lord Branin, and his dragon soul-twin Llewlyn, the tales in First Change come from history and legend. One last iron in the fire, when the book stops fighting me, the Windmaster Novels are to continue with Windmaster Legends.
Question: What made you start writing?
Answer: Although it is only in recent years that my pen turned toward fiction, I have been a professional writer in one form or another for almost 30 years. My original forays into writing allowed the young me to adventure with the characters of the books I read or the television shows I watched.
My first professional writing was software code, technical documentation and user "how-to" manuals. After riding the tip of the needle that burst the dot.com bubble, I combined the technical and the general to write marketing literature for high-tech and insurance companies until those firms also disappeared.
Many, many years after the initial excursions into publication, I fell through the back door into a different kind of writing—journalism. My husband, who was the volunteer registrar for a local history museum needed an article on their stoneware collection. Photos were taken, words written, and a new career born. I wrote regularly for that publication and a dozen more for many years.
Walking a circle brings one back to the beginnings. Because I crossed from technical writing to marketing, then marketing to journalism, I refused to believe, despite being told repeatedly, that if you write non-fiction, you can't write fiction. So I picked up the pen and many years after I stopped writing adventures that took me to other lands and eras, I returned to worlds of imagination. Only this time, the fan fiction and heroic adventures would be replaced by a more professional eye and an expanded area of interest.
Question: What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?
Answer: Be open to constructive criticism, but remember it is your vision, not a committee’s. And I encourage everyone with a story in them to write it and don’t be afraid to take the plunge towards publication.
Question: Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?
Answer: Hatchling’s Vengeance is available now at Amazon and elsewhere. A list of all sales sites can be found at Books2Read. Excerpts for all my books can be found on my blog by clicking on the covers.
A former feature-story writer and correspondent,
has also written fiction as long as she could remember. Her heritage
reflects the contrasts of her Gemini sign. She is a descendent of a coal-miner's
daughter and an aviation flight engineer. This dichotomy shows in her writing
which crosses genres from historical westerns to science fiction and fantasy.
In the world of romantic fantasy, she is the author of the Dragshi Chronicles
and the Windmaster novels. Henderson
She enjoys exploring ancient worlds, military history, and unexplained mysteries. Work with a historic house museum and battlefield archaeology provide her with a unique insight she brings to her worlds of fantasy.
Questions and comments for Helen welcome here!