Wednesday, August 6, 2014

An Interview With Helen B. Henderson; Author of The Dragon Shifter Romance- Dragon Destiny

Visiting today is romance fantasy author - Helen Henderson. Can you tell the readers a little about yourself?

A published author, feature-story writer and correspondent in the fields of antiques, history, and military history, I fell into the writing profession through a back door when, at my husband’s behest, I wrote an article on a collection at the local historical museum. One piece led to another, then to columns in national publications, then two full-length history books. When the market fell out of that career, I shifted focus to creating and publishing fiction.

Did you ever imagine yourself writing novels? 

I’ve written fiction as long as I can remember, but after several dozen rejection notices and school courses that clipped the muse’s wings, I never expected to become a novelist. What I wrote was just for myself. 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.

What is your favorite genre to write?

In part due to my Gemini sign and a heritage that reflects similar contrasts, (I’m the daughter of a coal-miner's daughter and an aviation flight engineer), my writing crosses genres from historical adventures   and westerns to science fiction and fantasy.

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. Her numerous titles include Spirited Liason, 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.

You’ve released several books, the most recent being Dragon Destiny and Imprisoned in Stone all available on Amazon, Kindle and B&N. 

Can you tell us what is on the horizon?

At the moment, I’m enjoying flying with dragons in the romance fantasy series, the Dragshi Chronicles. Hatchling’s Curse, the second book in the chronicles is nearing publication later this fall. The fourth and fifth, Dragon Descendents and First Change: Legends of the Dragshi are being written.

That said, 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.

When you begin a story do you start with character or plot?

As a result of my background in computers, I am a plotter in that I use forms to help keep my story and characters organized. I jot down thoughts (or entire scenes complete with dialog) as the muse whispers them to me. While I may map out some of the novel, that is not to say I plot out every scene before starting. By the time I finish my storyboard, the first draft is written. And I have to admit to the characters changing my storyline more than once.

Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

When you start putting thoughts to paper or sit down at a keyboard, eventually there is a question you have to answer for yourself, because no one else can. Do you write for fun, to make a living, or because you “can’t not write.” The answer can help guide you to the publication method that works best for you. Today’s writers have a wide variety of paths to publication, so, DON’T GIVE UP.

And for my final question, what are five things that make Helen Henderson a happy woman?

Chocolate eclairs (or Boston Cream Pie in a pinch), a cold beer and a slice of pizza, a good fantasy tale, a glass of frozen white sangria, and did I say chocolate?



Branin is the last dragon shifter born in over three hundred years. As a dragshi, he can take the form of his dragon soul twin, Llewlyn and knows the freedom of flight, but not happiness. Both are the last of their kind and have waited millennia for their mates.

When a faint thought impinged on Branin's mind, hope for an ending to eons of loneliness soared. Plagued by doubts because no signs of a dragon shifter's birth have been seen, he searches the world for the mysterious girl he only knows by the name, Anastasia.


“All right, you two,” Anastasia told Oran and Uaine. “I have a way to settle this argument. Tonight we set up three targets and have a competition between the accuracy and speed of a crossbow and that of the long and short bows.” Seeing she had the attention of the others, Anastasia explained the rest of her plan. “Twelve arrows or bolts to each archer. Five points for the first to empty his quiver. Standard points for hits in the rings. The one with the most points wins.”

“Wins what?” Uaine said. Although his tone was innocent, his smile gave Anastasia an inclination of where his thoughts were going. “A kiss from the fair Lady Anastasia?”

“I do not care to be treated as chattel to be won,” Anastasia retorted. “So I will man the short bow. Uaine, you use your longbow. Fenit is the best archer in the caravan with the crossbow. He even modified his weapon to store multiple quarrels for faster shooting.”

“Make it four targets,” Oran added. “I may only be a ceoltier, but I’ve fired a bolt or two.”

“And the prize?” Uaine persisted.

Anastasia paused, dangling a treasure in front of her friends. Certain she had teased them enough, she smiled. “The right to wear my mark for the next sevenday.”

Word spread throughout the pack train generating such excitement Anastasia wondered at the folly of her suggestion. She knew she could not allow the heightened emotions of her kinsman to affect her and for the rest of the afternoon she fought to block them out. To keep the competition bolts to each archer. Five points for the first to empty his quiver. Standard points for hits in the rings. The one with the most points wins.”

“Wins what?” Uaine said. Although his tone was innocent, his smile gave Anastasia an inclination of where his thoughts were going. “A kiss from the fair Lady Anastasia?”

“I do not care to be treated as chattel to be won,” Anastasia retorted. “So I will man the short bow. 

Anastasia snatched an arrow from her quiver before the scarf fluttered to the ground. With quick movements, she slipped the shaft into position, pulled back the string and released. She chased her first arrow with a second, then a third, without shifting her eyes from the target. Moments later, her fingers grasped at air and she realized she was done. Shaking her fingers to release the tension, she unstrung her bow and waited for the official tally.

For the second time that night, Elem stood the center of attention. “For speed, five points to Fenit. Now for the rings. Fenit, ninety-four. Oran, eighty-eight.” A low murmur went through those gathered. Ceoltiers were not known for their fighting ability, yet Oran’s skill almost rose to a marksman level.

Anastasia caught her bottom lip between her teeth.

After a few minutes, the noise level dropped and Elem continued. “There is a tie between Uaine and Anastasia. One hundred ten points each.”

Applause echoed toward the setting sun. Uaine led Anastasia to her uncle to receive their reward which had been increased to three coppers each. After the well-wishers returned to their tasks, Anastasia led Uaine off to the side. “There is one more prize to be awarded,” she said. “A private wager.” Untying the yellow scarf from her upper arm, she balanced it in her hand. With a flourish she presented it to Uaine. “Fairly won. This is yours, as promised.”

Uaine took the scarf and strung it through his belt. His lips worked into a smile. “And my other prize?”

Anastasia looked into Uaine’s mischievous gaze. Despite the coolness of the evening, heat filled her cheeks.

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  1. Hi, Helen,

    Having read your novel, I can recommend it to readers of romantic fantasy. Best wishes.

    1. Thanks Jacqueline. From a talented writer that means a lot. Helen


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