NOTE: This is a guest post by Beth Barany.
Thanks Jen for hosting me on your blog for my first stop for my Summer Tour for my fantasy novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, coming out in print June 1. The electronic edition is already available. I’ll be offering two giveaways to my readers during the tour. Read on for how to participate and be eligible to win prizes!
I gotta say love kick ass heroines, but not the cartoonish ones that just seem like doubles for boys. I like the ones that are molded by their environment, like Bones of the TV show of the same name, or like Senneth in Mystic & Rider by Sharon Shinn.
But I haven’t always had such wonderful role models. (I share some of my favorites on my blog here: http://www.writersfunzone.com/blog/2011/03/16/kick-ass-heroines-part-3/)
Growing up I read tons of fairytales when I wasn’t running around playing Capture the Flag or Ollie Ollie Oxen Free or roaming the open fields in Sonoma, California. I loved those fairytales. But by the time I was a teenager I was so tired of all those tales where the boy — never a girl — goes after the dragon or the giant or some other monster.
That’s why I created Henrietta The Dragon Slayer. I created my own hero — a girl who kicks butt and has a reason to! I love hero stories and wanted to create my own where the characters strive to transform and make their world a better place.
About Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, a fantasy novel for ages 12 and up:
Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of the Kingdom of Bleuve, can’t stomach the thought of one more kill. Yet, in order to save her dying mentor, she must go on one last quest. But will the quest for the healing.
You can read an excerpt here: http://www.writersfunzone.com/blog/beth-barany-novelist/excerpt-of-henrietta-the-dragon-slayer/
This novel is fantasy and my work-in-progress is a paranormal YA novel set in my home town. I’m bored by writing about reality. I don’t see the world like most people do; I know and feel in my gut that there are multiple layers of reality, so it’s my job as a writer to capture that through my fiction. That’s why I write fantasy and paranormal. Even the few short stories I’ve written are fantastical.
People ask me where my ideas come from, and perhaps like lots of writers I tell them that my ideas just pop into my mind, like little bubbles, some more clear in shape and form than others. I’m also deeply inspired by music of all kinds, movies, books, conversation, dance — my own!, and by visual art. But really anything can set my imagination running: a skyline, a new town, the way a rose smells, the taste of nutmeg, my husband’s smile, the tinkle of piano keys, the rumble of the train in the distance.
I wasn’t always able to capture my thoughts on the page, though. I used to only be able to write snippets of stories and feel angst at the blank page. Now, as a book coach, I totally understand what it’s like to have writer’s a block and not get past the desire to write. Oh — the frustration! I experienced that for years until a big whammy happened: getting rejected from graduate school. You guys don’t know, but I’ve been pretty lucky my whole life, going after and getting what I wanted, especially academically. But this?! I spent three month in a fog, not knowing what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
After I got over the disorienting sting of rejection I had to have that serious talk with myself about what I really wanted. Without hesitation I knew what it was, what I could finally admit to myself: I wanted to be a novelist. I was 30. It was about time I admitted that.
The journalism school had read that statement of desire in my application. I just hadn’t seen it: where it said the real reason I want to go to journalism school was because I wanted to get close to people and write novels. Oh. So it was “sh*t or get off the pot” time. Did I want to be a novelist or not? I said yes, joined a critique group and the rest is history.
Well, not exactly. It did take me five years to write my first book, then I had to go meandering into romance, then finally I found my way found my way back to my first love: fantasy.
Jen asked me to mention pets, so I’ll just end with this: My cats, Kitty and Leo, talk. And I talk back.
Now if my cats could talk to you, they’d say: Answer this question to enter in the giveaway: What inspires you the most and why?
Everybody who posts an answer will enter to win May’s drawing for a free copy — print or electronic of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer. Please be sure you enter your email. Also, everyone who posts an answer is also eligible to win the grand prize giveaway in August of the Dracontias necklace around Henrietta’s neck.