How long have you been writing, Beth?Thank you Sharon for having me as a guest on your blog to chat about writing and my YA fantasy novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer!
I've been writing for a long time! LOL I started writing stories and poems, mostly limericks, as a kid, but I didn't start writing novels until I hit the big 3-0, and had to really get serious about my life!Up to then I'd been a journalist with a huge wish to be a novelist. When I didn't get into journalism school, I realized that I better get cracking, and sat down to write my first novel. An experiment really. Since I learn by doing, this first novel took me five years to write, and will forever remain in the drawer.
After another experiment, in which I wrote my second novel in six weeks! I settled upon my third novel and the first one published: Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, Book 1 in The Five Kingdom series.Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Henrietta The Dragon Slayer?
I wrote what I wished to read! When I was a child I loved reading fairytales and folk tales, but there was never a girl going on adventures, going after the giants or ogres or dragons. So I had to write my own. But since I actually really like dragons, I pick up Henrietta's story after she's already become the legendary dragon slayer.What sets Henrietta The Dragon Slayer apart from other books in the same genre?
Well, first off, no dragons were harmed in the making of this story! Second, unlike lots of young adult fantasy there are no werewolves, vampires or zombies. Also, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer features a heroine unlike many out there. She's strong and a kick ass heroine, and she has to learn how to open her heart and stop being such a loner.
Good twist! As an author, Beth, what is your writing process?Every book is different because I'm constantly evolving as an author. For the next book in the series -- I'll be drafting Book 3 this summer -- I plan to do a bunch of character sketches on all the main and secondary characters in the book. So some planning. Then I'm a pantser. I write from the seat of my pants! And I write fast, IF I've made the time to do that. I can write a first draft in six to eight weeks. But then I take about six months to edit the book. As they say, writing is rewriting, and that is so true in my case.
How long did it take for you to start and finish Henrietta The Dragon Slayer?Oh boy! With all my starts and stops, it took me seven years from outline of the novel to release of the novel in 2011. I actually wrote a three-page version of the story when I was 20 years old. The story stuck with me. When I was searching for the kind of story I really liked to write I resurrected the tiny scene and expanded the story to novel length. The scene I originally wrote all the years ago got cut, unfortunately.
Do you have any advice for other writers, Beth?I have lots of advice! Wearing my other hat, I'm a Creativity Coach & Consultant for Authors, helping other authors succeed in their careers. I help authors actually get their books completed and out into the world and into the hands of their readers.
My biggest piece of advice is write. Because as I like to say, Writing begets writing. Second, I'd say, Get feedback on your writing, when you're ready. Third, Get thee to a community of writers who are supportive.If you'd like to know more, you can find me on most of the big social media sites or at my site, and I'd be happy to engage in a conversation with you!
Love those three pieces of sage advice! So, what’s next for Beth Barany the author?I'm exited to share that Book 2 of The Five Kingdom series will be out this summer, Henrietta and The Dragon Stone. I also have a nonfiction book coming out at the end of the summer, Twitter for Authors.
Sounds like a solid plan! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series – If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?I'd love go to around 600BC in Central Asia with the women warriors Jeannine Davis-Kimball shares about in her book, Warrior Women: An Archaeologist's Search for History's Hidden Heroines, and seem to be the historical basis of the Amazon women stories. I'd love to hang out with them, ride horses, get trained, and see what their life was really like.
About Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, The Five Kingdom #1:2012 Grand prize winner at the California Fiction Writers Book Contest!
Award-winning novel at the Hollywood Book Festival!Lara Croft meets Lord of the Rings!
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 misfit companions, seasickness, and an ego maniacal king derail the quest for the healing stone? And will she be able to cut past her conscience and kill the dragon?You can find Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, The Five Kingdom #1 at these retailers:
Amazon USAmazon UK
Barnes & Noble print & Nook
Where to find Beth Barany online:Author site: http://author.bethbarany.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/beth_baranyFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/HenriettaTheDragonSlayer