Two black horses with black and white striped manes gallop up in a cloud of dust. The man swings a leg over the saddle horn and slides to the ground. “Greetings, I’m Talann of Cloud Eyrie,” he said. He reached up and handed down the woman from her seat atop the other animal. “And this is your guest, Helen Henderson. We were just out for a ride. If you’d like while she gets her notes together I can answer a few questions.”
Do you have any special skills or training?
Whether it is because of my parents, Lady Anastasia Jessian and Lord Branin Llewlyn of Cloud Eyrie, or some quirk of nature, I am one of the few humans who can communicate by mindspeech with the dragshi or their twinned dragon souls. As such I’ve been trained by the Ceoltier Guild. While the guild is responsible for educating all, I was given special lessons in everything from justice to diplomacy.” His eyes sparkled. “And from the top weaponsmasters in the land, training in strategy and every weapon from the short sword to the long bow.”
Who is your significant other?
“From my birth it was expected that I would marry Lexii, the only other child born to our kind. However, our souls clash to the point we cannot stand to be near each other.” His sad smile belied the evenness of his tone. “It looks like the point is mute. Lexii’s dragon soul twin awoke several years ago and she is now Lady Lexii Beylnea.” Pain flickered in his eyes. “Like the true dragons, dragshi mate for life in this world and the one beyond.” A breath and words rushed out. “No dragons sang a song of welcome at my birth. I am twinned to no dragon soul. I am not dragshi”
Talann brushed back the lock of dark hair that had fallen over his forehead and gave a small bow. “Forgive me. Helen looks ready to take over, so with your permission I’ll take my leave.”
A wave and he was gone. Helen took a seat on a rock. “Talann is quite something isn’t he? You should meet his parents—and if you’re fortunate enough, their dragon soul twins. Now shall we begin?”
Can you tell us a little bit about where you are from?
I currently have one foot in the Mid-Atlantic (that’s East Coast) and the other in the mid-South. Although I grew up a farm girl, and due to my ancestors I am not unfamiliar with the mountains of Pennsylvania coal country, I admit to enjoying life in a small town. I used to be able to see the lights of Manhattan and years ago stood on the town’s boardwalk and watched the towers fall. Now, in the mid-South there are mountains an hour’s drive and rolling hills outside the door. I can sit and watch blue jays in the tops of the evergreen trees from my breakfast table, but can walk downtown in less than ten minutes.
The room designated as my formal “office” is an organized chaos where only a hardy soul dares to trespass. Volumes on military weapons stand next to books on antiques and traditional crafts while The Chicago Manual of Style and The Synonym Finder mingle with The Pirate Primer and Gaelic-English dictionaries. Depending on the day of the week or month or the position in a project, my desk can be perfectly organized, or the center of a mass of photos and research notes that spills onto adjoining workspaces and sometimes the floor. Right now edits for Hatching’s Vengeance are piled alongside tax paperwork.
What genres do you write in?
My first published works of fiction were in the science fiction, historical western, and contemporary genres. It was only after working with multi-published author Carol McPhee that romance learned to take its place alongside action. I learned to polish my science fiction from Judy Griffith Gill.
When and why did you begin 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. My writing career began with the creation of technical manuals and computer code. It shifted to feature articles and event coverage. I am especially proud of my local history books. As oft occurs, life and career changed and I resumed writing fiction.
Do you have a specific writing style? In other words, are you a plotter or a pantser?
Plotter and pantser, stream of consciousness or structured forms, I am all of them. I start out with more structure, then the characters take over and less planning is needed. I have to confess in school I hated parsing sentences and the outlining process. Most of the time, I ended up writing the story first, then, in a reverse of the assignment outlined the completed piece, rather than the other way around. An advantage of using the reverse process is that since the deadlines for the outline preceded the story, the assignments were always handed in on time. Today, things have changed somewhat. While I remain more pantser for short works, I create novel notebooks for longer works. Complete chapters have been rough drafted in a single setting during the storyboarding when the muse visited. Organization keeps pages from being lost and characters eyes from changing color. It should be noted my storyboards look more like first drafts, complete with dialog and scene descriptions than the terse, formal outlines of yesteryear some associate with being a plotter.
How did you come up with the titles to your book(s)?
Dragon Destiny was chosen to reflect the hopes of Lord Branin Llewlyn of the dragshi that the trader girl Anastasia would have a destiny as half of a dragon-human pairing. Hatchlings Curse hinted at the price paid for the freedom of flight. Spoiler alert. After the curse was broken, the hatchling had to search for a mate. The final book of the tale of the dragshi will be told in Hatchling’s Vengeance.
Coffee or Tea : Neither. Water is a basic go-to, alternated with Diet Coke or sweet white wine
Chocolate or Caramel: Chocolate, definitely chocolate.
Lumberjack or Police Officer: Since I have experience chopping wood, definitely a lumberjack.
A former feature-story writer and correspondent, Henderson has also written fiction as long as she could remember. Her heritage reflects the contrasts of her Gemini sign. She is a descendent of a coal-miner’s daughter and an aviation flight engineer. This dichotomy shows in her writing which crosses genres from historical adventures and westerns to science fiction and fantasy. In the world of romantic fantasy, she is the author of two series: the Dragshi Chronicles and the Windmaster novels.
Author’s Social Media links
Goodreads – http://bit.ly/1eWhhGB
Facebook – http://on.fb.me/1LyTqJ8
Google + –http://ow.ly/JEZug
Linkedin – http://linkd.in/1KlSNld
The dragshi are more than just a man or woman, but two beings—one human, the other a dragon. The pair share one body in space and time and are able to change forms with the other at will. However, for a human, a dragon form comes with more than just the freedom of the sky.
Now that the curse of childlessness has been broken, the tale of the trader girl Anastasia and Lord Branin Llewlyn of Cloud Eyrie continues to the next generation. From their birth it was expected that Talann’s and Lexii’s destiny would be entwined. However fate had other intentions. Lexii and Talann could not stand to be together. Glyn, Lexii’s bodyguard, fights to keep hidden the secret no one could never learn and fears the cost when the betrayal is revealed.
And threatening them all? The charismatic cult leader called the Parant. Sometimes not even dragon fire and talons are enough to overcome mind control.
Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hatchlings-mate-helen-henderson/1123184156