Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Meet My latest Guest:Helen Henderson!

I want to welcome Helen Henderson. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.




Tell us about your latest release.

Thank you for having me. My latest release is, Hatchlings Curse, the second volume in the Dragshi Chronicles. Hatchlings Curse continues the tale of Lord Branin and his twinned dragon soul Llewlyn. The awakening of his dragon soul twin brought Dragshi Lord Branin the freedom of flight and near-eternal life, but not happiness. Branin means to break the hatchling’s curse and end the childlessness of his kind. A mating flight offers hope. However, when he flies, it is in a competition with his best friend—and not for the woman he searched the world to find. Winning the mating might save his kind, but lose him all that he treasures. Throwing the competition is not an option.
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.

1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?

Pulling from the past (and dating myself,) my favorite villain is Captain Hans Dietrich from the television program Rat Patrol. And as to why? Dietrich was tall, handsome, a skilled fighter and tactician, and even more important--an honorable man.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?

While I would say Glyn of the upcoming Hatchling’s Mate, my heart says my favorite character remains Ellspeth, captain of Sea Falcon. The tale of Ellspeth and the archmage, Lord Dal, is told in Windmaster, the first book I ever had placed under contract so there is a sentimental aspect. However to be honest, the why is more complex, like the character herself. Despite being a female, Ellspeth was an experienced fighter. She also had an artistic side in that she was a skilled musician. A skilled leader she was respected by the men who served under her. The pain of losing one sent Ellspeth on the vengeance trail.

I always wanted some special ability and in Ellspeth’s case, besides the musical talent, she is an untrained mage whose powers remained to be awakened. Having reached the point in life where decisions have had to be made and the results lived with, the decision that Ellspeth has to make resonates with my soul. She is determined to make her own destiny, but fate decrees otherwise and she has to decide between the sea, magic... or love.

3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?

I’m proud (and terrified) to say that I write in several genres. The tales of a female gunslinger named Hell Lost have haunted me for years and maybe someday I’ll ride the high mountain trails with her and tell her story in a historical western. Romance crept into the adventures and action that fills my stories when a few years back I joined the critique group that included the multi-published, award-winning author Carol McPhee whose numerous titles include Spirited Liaison, Shadowed Pursuit, and Alaskan Magic. After being involved with several of her projects, the romance that lingered through some of my fantasy and science fiction stories blossomed to demand its own emphasis.

Among all the genres, fantasy is my heart home. I've always loved to escape into other worlds. Fantasy allows me to create environments where magic lives and heroes rule. Being able to hang out with dragons or horses with a touch of magic in their souls are other reasons why I write fantasies.

4.) What are you working on now?

At the moment, I’m still enjoying flying with dragons in the romance fantasy series, the Dragshi Chronicles. Hatchling’s Mate is nearing publication later in 2015. The fourth and fifth volumes, Dragon Redemption and First Change: Legends of the Dragshi are being finalized. Then it will be time to again set sail with Ellspeth and Dal in Windmaster and return their stories to print.

5.) What got you to start writing?

Reading got me started as a writer. I inherited a love of reading from my grandmother and mother. I honored the one by taking her name as my pseudonym when I write in the western genre. The other's reward is more prosaic—bragging rights.

After the works of authors such as E. E. Doc Smith and Barbara Hambly sent my imagination to places beyond the stars and on journeys to worlds of fantasy, I couldn’t stay earthbound and started writing my own tales. However, they were just for me. In my earlier stories, I solved cases with Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin (the men from U.N.C.L.E), travelled outer space, drove a jeep in the sands of Africa with the Rat Patrol, and flew Corsairs with the black sheep of VMF-214. At the time I wanted to be a pilot. Not surprising since I learned to read by keeping a flight engineer's manuals up to date.

No computers or word processors aided (or interfered) with the creative process. A number two pencil and lined paper captured my imaginary adventures dreamed of while sitting in the shade of a huge weeping willow tree. That is until school-taught grammar and the forced structure required in writing classes clipped the muse’s wings. It took years for her to regain flight.

Writing managed to permeate my adult careers. Computer code and ‘how-to’ manuals gave way as the technical writer shifted focus to a more public audience. Non-fiction was added to my portfolio when a feature story on New Jersey stoneware was picked up by an antiques publication. That story led to a hundreds more and a career as a feature-story writer and correspondent.

When the bubble burst, I returned to fiction, only this time more skilled. One contract led to another, and eventually to independent publication.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from?

A verse of music, a few notes of a tune, or a photo from some exotic place can trigger an idea. Sometimes it is a dream that awakens me in the middle of the night.

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?

That I also have a background in non-fiction, especially military history. And that I have worked archeological sites including using those new-fangled tools, metal detectors. My non-fiction credits include two local histories, Around Matawan and Aberdeen, and Of Town and Field: Matawan and Aberdeen. The other surprise, I’m not from either town.

8.) Do you have any special talents?

I am artist enough to be able to create a minimal cover or help a niece with her homework, but am proud to have been called a storyteller.

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Something an instructor in a class I took quite a few years back stuck with me. She went beyond the usual supportive cliché of, “keep submitting” to make it her own. Her variant? “Keep submitting. There is a home somewhere out there for your work.”

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?

Han Solo would be a nice dinner companion. And as far as topics, I’m sure he’d be happy to talk about the Millennium Falcon. And with a little luck he’ll dish on some of planets he’s visited and if I’m really lucky, divulge some secrets about his famed accuracy with weapons and take me for a spin on the Falcon.

11.) What song would you say describes your life?

Ireland’s Call by Celtic Thunder. The tune moves the heart while the lyrics speak to the honor that calls to my soul.

12.) If you could come back as any animal – what would it be?


It is hard to decide. The strong side of me says a horse, especially one of the magical breeds that inhabit the worlds of the Dragshi Chronicles or the Windmaster tales. Typical Gemini, there is a different side that the independent (or should I say leisurely catered to) life of a feline appeals to.


Excerpt:

A dark spot emerged from the near solid wall of heavy fog and hovered in place. Urgency unrelated to their mission added strength to Branin’s wings and he pulled ahead of the others. He knew, even before he closed the distance enough for his dragon long vision to confirm it. Anastasia awaited him. However, instead of warm greetings, he sensed a strange hesitance in his mate. Even in Jessian’s dragon form, the redness of Anastasia’s eyes showed unshed tears.

On a tight link excluding the others, Branin reached out. <What is the problem, Stacia?> Her continued silence tore at him. <Tell me, Stacia. Please. Let me help.>

<The valley beyond the barrier is the land of the ancient ones. Even though the buildings would provide shelter, Griogal and Uaine refuse to enter and camp outside the valley. But,> she sobbed, <this place called me. I could not help it. I entered without permission.> She resisted Branin’s attempt to twine necks and the comfort it would have provided. <What will happen to me? To us?>

Click here for more excerpts and a free read of the first chapter of Hatchlings Curse.

Buy Links:   Amazon  Kobo iTunes  Barnes and Noble 

Connect with Helen on the web at:
WebsiteBlog  /  Facebook  /  Amazon   /  Google+  /  Goodreads  


9 comments:

  1. Hi, Helen,

    A very intensive interview! As you know I am a fan of your novels. Wishing you all the best.

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes. Coming from such a talented author it means a lot.

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  2. Hi, Helen! Loved the interview. I agree with you; ideas can come from anywhere. It's amazing how I can overhear a snippet of someone else's conversation and my writer's mind will begin to churn. Or I'll visit a place I've never been and I'm inspired to set a story there. Like you, I find music and lyrics to be amazing triggers. Nice interview!

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  3. Oh dear. Here's another series to add to my TBR. It sounds terrific, Helen!

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    1. Nikki, thanks for stopping by. One of the things I've tried to do is make each book stand alone. Except for Hatchlings Curse validating a hint given at the end of Dragon Destiny, you can read each of the books without the rest of the series. And for a quick read for people like mym mother-in-law who doesn't want to get pulled into a story at bedtime (then she has to finish it before sleeping),I suggest Magic and Steel, Mt'wan Comraich. Set in the world of the dragshi, it tells the story of one of the legends--how Branin's sword came into being. Come fly with dragons. It's fun.

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  4. Helen, I admire your creative vision in writing fantasy--inventing worlds! Best wished for all your endeavors.

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