Henrietta the Dragon Slayer
Henrietta the Dragon Slayer Book 1
by Beth Barany
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure
From the Winner of the California Fiction Writer's Book Contest comes this thrilling adventure of a young warrior on one final quest … against an opponent she swore never to face again.
Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve, can't face the thought of another kill. She's lost family, friends and home on her rocky road to fame. But when the young warrior is summoned by a King to retrieve the Dragon Stone from the last dragon in existence, she can't re fuse--her mentor lies dying, and the healing stone is all that can save him. This quest will be her most harrowing of all, for it means facing mysterious assassins, the dreaded choppy sea, and all with a misfit band--a young witch, a jester and a surly knight. And at journey's end, someone must die … the dragon, or Henrietta.
Perfect for fans of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Collins' The Hunger Games, McKinley's Hero & the Crown, and Paolini's Eragon. Get your copy of Henrietta the Dragon Slayer today!
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Henrietta and the Dragon Stone
Henrietta the Dragon Slayer Book 2
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?
A medieval-set world with magic and magical creatures.
A 86,000-word novel.
Beth Barany empowers young women to be the heroes of their own lives.
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Henrietta and the Battle of the Horse Mesa
Henrietta the Dragon Slayer Book 3
Parted by destiny, the four friends struggle to rejoin forces and face for a final time, the ruthless sorcerer intent on destroying them all.
In the biggest challenge of her life, Henrietta the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve must lead her people into a battle that may end life as they know it. For they face no ordinary army, but the dark forces of a powerful sorcerer bent on overtaking all five kingdoms. And unless she can rescue her dauntless knight Franc, she must do it without his support.
Franc will follow Henrietta anywhere. But on a mission to find allies among the Horse People, he is kidnapped and taken by minions of the evil sorcerer Eyvindir. Will he find the strength and courage to survive, and fight again at Henrietta's side?
Paulette, the young fire witch, must stand trial for a murder committed out of desperation. In despair at her imprisonment by forces acting against her dearest friend, Jaxter, she escapes and flees to the frigid, forbidden land of Varangia to find a witch powerful enough to help her finally master fire. But what must she give up to gain the power to aid her friends?
Jaxter, now a king, must come to terms with the heavy responsibilities of ruling the Oro Islands, newly emerged from over 75 years of evil rule. This means doing right, even when it means going against ancient customs and protocols. Worse, the marauding Varangians press at his borders. He must find a way to defend his home, or none of them will survive.
Will Henrietta and her friends be able to stop the ruthless sorcerer from obliterating her, claiming the Dragon Stone, and ruling over the Five Kingdoms?
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Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.
For fun, Beth walks, gardens, and watched movies and travels with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano, their cats, and over 1,000 books.
When not writing or playing, Beth runs an online school, BARANY SCHOOL OF FICTION. helping novelists to write, market, and publish their books to the delight of their readers.
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Well, this depends on who you ask! I notice that I am quite playful about a lot of things that people take seriously – like work. When I approach my work like a game, I am happy! I give myself points, scores, and deadlines.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
Lots of interesting things! How to choose? When I was 16 years old, I got to go to Quebec, Canada as an exchange student and live there for a year. It was interesting, hard, exciting, excruciating, and so satisfying to become fluent in French, a dream I’d had since I was 13 years old.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Santa Rosa, California and grew up mostly in Sonoma, California.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I’d spend the day with my husband, friends, and family in conversation, giving and receiving lots of hugs, and laughing, a lot, probably, crying too.
What are you passionate about these days?
I am passionate about what’s happening in the space industry and in the cutting edge of science. I watch all the rocket launches I can and watch lots of YouTube videos about the latest science ideas. I also read lots of articles on what’s happening in all areas of science too. I’m reading books on systems theory, something I’m fascinated by.
That said, I’m also passionate about studying ancient folklore, myths, and legends from around the world. Lately, I’ve been researching ancient Egypt, how the pyramids were built, the area’s ancient religions.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love watching TV shows and movies with my husband, and love to read novels too, of course. I also like travelling and visiting new parts of town and neighboring towns. Lastly, I like talking walks in my neighborhood, to the Rose Garden and to the cemetery.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was 22 years old, I tried to get my first article published while I was living in Paris, France. I sent 4 or 5 letters to the small English-language monthly newspaper, proposing story ideas, but still no reply. Finally, I walked into the editor office and pitched some ideas face-to-face. The editor picked one he liked and then he made me rewrite the article 3 times. LOL It was a hard but wonderful experience to finally get my first article published. When I saw my name in print when my article was published, that’s when I really felt like a writer.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Yes! Well, there’s 2 of them. I loved The Fifth Element and La Femme Nikita (the original.)
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
Oh, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, and its sequels! For sure!
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
The dragon, sometimes the Western dragon – fierce, self-centered, protective, a hoarder. And sometimes an Eastern dragon – kind, compassionate, protective.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write the Henrietta the Dragon Slayer series because all the fairy tales I read as a kid were always about boys as heroes: Jack the Giant Killer this, Jack and the Seven-Headed Giant that, and of course, Jack and the Beanstalk. I wanted to know: where was the girl hero? That is why I wrote Henrietta the Dragon Slayer. I wanted, and still want, to have my girl heroine fight the good fight and have adventures and save the day, having to make the hard decisions. So that’s what I love to write.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on a science fiction mystery series currently with Investigator Janey McCallister. I have a paranormal romantic suspense series waiting in the wings, the first book already written. I’m also working on the continuing adventures for Henrietta The Dragon Slayer and her friends, in the form of short scripts.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I am working on a series of scripts on the continuing adventures for Henrietta The Dragon Slayer and her friends. So much fun!
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in the Henrietta The Dragon Slayer series?
At the opening of the first book, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, Henrietta is 17 years old and an experienced fighter and dragon slayer, but she’s heading away from her kingdom and wants to get as a far away as possible from it all. She’s been paying her way down the Travelers Road with tales of her dragon-killing adventures. She started her working life as a blacksmith’s apprentice in her neighboring village up in the Bleuve Mountains, but left to join the King’s Army, against the wishes of her mentor.
At 14 years old, Paulette is an apprentice witch who thinks she knows more that she actually does. She’s impatient to be a full-fledged witch. Her mentor asks Henrietta to escort Paulette home for the winter festivals, since Paulette doesn’t have any fighting skills, and Henrietta is heading that way anyway. Paulette tends to treat life like a game, at least until things start getting really difficult.
At 22 years old, Franc is from the Oro Islands, a knight, and tasked with bringing Henrietta back to his island for his king for a mission. A skilled warrior, he’s an action-oriented person and thinks Henrietta isn’t as good as she says she is. He doesn’t really like her at first. He doesn’t say much and thinks honor is the most important thing.
At 20 years old, Jaxter is a bard for a local duke. He loves telling jokes and he’s a great cook. He is also a childhood friend of Franc’s, though left the islands as young boy to apprentice in the duke’s court. He has no fighting experience and always see the best in other people.
What did you enjoy most about writing this series?
I love writing adventure stories, the same kinds of stories I loved reading as a kid. I love writing about an ensemble of characters with a strong young woman as the leader, but where also everyone gets to be a part of the adventure and has an integral hand in the success of the adventure.
Who designed your book covers?
My first designer for Henrietta The Dragon Slayer was Heather Smith, a friend. Then my husband took over, did more tweaks in that cover, and did the subsequent covers in the series. He’d already been doing some cover designing, so it was a good fit.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
As I was writing, I wasn’t consciously basing Henrietta or the other three important characters on real people. But my sister pointed out to me that having 4 key characters wasn’t that unusual, as I grew up with 3 other siblings. A lot of me of Henrietta is from, for sure, more her inner qualities than her fighting abilities. LOL
What did you edit out of this book?
The first three chapters! They are now a free prequel for fans of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer and can be downloaded here: https://author.bethbarany.com/henrietta-the-dragon-slayer-a-very-short-prequel-gift/.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
Here’s some fun facts…
- When I was a child, I wanted to be a spy, a detective, a broadcast journalist, a model, an actress, and an adventurer.
- I also wanted to be magic, go to outer space, travel to every continent, and learn lots of languages.
- Today some of my dreams have come true.
- I speak fluent French and has lived in Paris, France twice, and in Quebec, Canada, once. I also can say Thank you in over 15 languages. Merci!
- So far, I’ve had adventures in four continents: North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
- While I haven’t gone to outer space yet, I’m working on a series of stories set there.
- My stories always have some kind of magic (or futuristic science.)
- I like taking pictures of flowers, buildings, my family, shadows, my cats, and other important miscellanea.
- My very favorite book is always the one I’m writing.
- I’ve run 4 sprint triathlons (swim, bike, run) and finished each one.
- I’ve earned 2 belts, so far, in capoeira.
- I grew up in Sonoma and day dreams about retiring there one day and running a llama farm. (Sort of a joke, sort of not.)
- My favorite city is Paris, France.
- I love listening to all kinds of music: Celtic, rock, classical, whatever is fun to dance to.
- Some of my favorite bands/singers are: Sting, Evanescence, Florence & the Machine, Sia.
- To relax, I like washing the dishes and wiping down the counters. My kitchen stays pretty clean, while the rest of the apartment, not so much.
- I like to read books for kids and adults, mostly fantasy and science fiction, plus paranormal romance, and mysteries and thrillers, too.
- To fall asleep, I like to read obscure books on dead languages, ancient cultures, and global economics and systems theory.
- I write YA fantasy to empower teens girls to be the heroes of their own lives.
- For my day job, I help other novelists write, publish, and market their books as a creativity coach via Barany School of Fiction online.
- My husband has written lots of mushy love songs about me.
- My husband is awesome and a bestselling author.
- Ezra, my husband, says Hi.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
- Diane Duane
- Dana Marton
- Elizabeth Moon
- Sharon Shinn
- Kay Keppler
- Patricia Simpson
- Carol Stephenson
- Nora Roberts
- Amy Webb
- Carol S. Pearson
How long have you been writing?
Since I was a kid, probably 8 years old.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
The main 2 or 3 characters usually come to me at almost the same time. More characters come to me as I plan the novel; then more come to me as I write the novel. It’s rare that more characters come to me as I edit, though I wouldn’t rule it out. Each time I write a book the process changes a little.
Do you see writing as a career?
I do see writing as a career!
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I like to brainstorm and plan my novels with pop music, same when I write my first drafts. When I edit, I like to listen to Baroque classical music, or have silence.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I’m usually planning, writing, and editing one book at a time. But I’m researching several books at a time, mostly casually by reading a lot, watching a lot of shows, and day dreaming. I’m also always researching on the current book too.
Pen or type writer or computer?
When I’m planning my novels, I use pen and notebook and a portable keyboard on my iPhone, and when I’m editing, I use my laptop.
Advice they would give new authors?
Yes, so much, as my day job is as a writing teacher and coach. Where do I begin? LOL I teach a planning system in the “Plan Your Novel” course and book, plus lots of other classes to help novelists at Barany School of Fiction.
My most basic advice…
So you want to be a fiction writer… here are some things you need to know, do, and be…
If you want to be any kind of writer, read. Anything and everything. Yes, signs. Yes, cereal boxes. Yes, the newspaper or online version of that. Yes, magazines. Yes, novels, short stories, nonfiction. Ever-y-thing. Words are our food as writers. You need to become familiar with all the various and sundry uses of the building blocks of our communication tool. Drink in words; swim in them; listen deeply; speak them. Smell books and paper and all things that receive the written word. Watch those who speak words. Read with your whole self. If you want to write a particular kind of fiction, or nonfiction, read that. Immerse your whole self in that.
How much? A lot.
I had read been reading fantasy for 28 years on my own before I attempted my first fantasy novel. And that doesn’t count the 7+ years before that my parents read it to me.
If you want to be a fiction writer, then write. Anything and everything. Get your hand moving across the page. Or keyboard. This stage is physical and emotional. For you must trust that there is something to say even if it’s nonsense. Trust your urge to write. What to say and how to say it comes with the doing it, for most of us. Nothing replaces learning to write like actually writing. There is no way around this fact.
Not every successful fiction writer studies story structure, writing process, plot, character, and other aspects of storytelling. You certainly don’t need to. But if you’re confused by any of these elements, then yes, like many artists, you need to study your craft. There are so many resources out there to help you study your craft. How wonderful!
(Excerpted from this article “So You Want to Be A Fiction Writer? 3 Practices You Need by Beth Barany” https://writersfunzone.com/blog/2018/05/09/so-you-want-to-be-a-fiction-writer-3-practices-you-need-by-beth-barany/ )
What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I use my Plan Your Novel process (a book https://books2read.com/pynlap and a course https://school.bethbarany.com/p/30daywc) First I plan using my accordion method; then I write a fast first draft; then I edit and edit and edit. Then I get lots of feedback from critique partners and early readers and edit some more.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I can write a first draft on 6-8 weeks, depending on the length. That’s after I’ve planned my book. I usually give myself a month to plan a book.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
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