AUTHOR BIO (courtesy of Beth):
Beth Barany has been making up fantasy & adventure tales all her life. She writes to empower girls & women with her kick ass heroines who have to save the world against great odds. When she's not writing novels, she runs a concierge consultancy as a book coach & editor, speaker & consultant, helping other authors succeed in their careers.
Brief synopsis of HENRIETTA THE DRAGON SLAYER:
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?
Beth was kind enough to answer some of my questions:
You grew up in Sonoma, CA (right near where I grew up--hi, neighbor!) and wrote your first book at age seven. What originally inspired you to pursue writing?
Hi neighbor! That first book was about our cats, of course! I decided to originally pursue writing just like I dove into all my interests as a child: just because. Also, stories were always a huge part of my life. My parents were always reading to us. They loved movies and TV shows, too. Lastly, being a writer wasn't foreign because my great grandmother, Meridel LeSueur, was a writer.
On your website, it says that you're a creativity coach. What exactly does this entail, and what can aspiring writers expect from your services?
Well, there's a long answer but I’ll just give you the short answer! I help authors create successful careers at every stage: the writing, publishing and selling. I help them through coaching, consulting, workshops, products and talks.
That's a great service--writing alone can be tricky, and it's better to have support in the process. I understand you also offer a manuscript critique service. What, in your opinion, gets in the way of a book's marketability and what would you recommend to aspiring writers trying to get their books sold?
Really what gets in the way of marketability is poor editing and poor storytelling. So, writers, learn your craft, and the art of good writing. I recommend all authors get their work critiqued as soon as they can handle such feedback. It really helps having a kind and knowledgeable person giving you feedback on your writing. When I was first starting to write fiction, it was so helpful to hear what was working and also what wasn't in my writing. The feedback gave me confidence to trust my instincts on the one hand, and to pay close attention to the craft of writing, on the other.
A good critiquer is worth their weight in gold! I'd love to hear more about the science fiction and fantasy books you're writing. Can you tell us more about them?
Oh, sure! I love talking about my fiction, almost as much as I like writing it! My current novel is Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, book 1 of the Five Kingdoms Series. I'm really proud of this book. It recently one the 2012 Grand Prize in the California Book Fiction Challenge.
I'm working on the second book now, which should be out this summer. It follows Henrietta's adventure right after book one finished. I don't want to tell you about it, yet! You have to read book one first!
I've been working on a contemporary paranormal novel for teens set in Sonoma, California, and in my high school, Sonoma Valley High.
I've started a few time travel novels with cool physics explaining time travel. I've also written a few bizarre stories where my main character hallucinates he's won a million dollars, but it isn't what he thinks it is. I set it in my neighborhood in Oakland.
Thanks for interviewing me!! Thanks for being interviewed! I'm especially intrigued about the paranormal book based at Sonoma Valley High!
Go to the links below to find out more about Beth: