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February 2019: Hardest Character
~ Helen Henderson ~

CTR asked:

Who was your hardest character to write? And why?

Helen Henderson said:

From time to time, an author encounters a character who refuses to cooperate. Their temperament might be mercurial, or, in the case of some villains, just too difficult to find a redeeming feature of.
To date, two characters classify as the hardest to create. The first was Anastasia from Dragon Destiny. The story required Anastasia to age from a girl to a young woman to adult. While Dragon Destiny was not originally conceived as a coming-of-age story, that element just happened.
My problem was a conflict between the real Anastasia and the fictional one. The real Anastasia was only a small child at the time so I had to envision her personality’s development. It has been interesting over the years to see how closely the one matches the other.
In the end it is another character from the Dragshi Chronicles who currently holds the title of the hardest character–Glynnes of Clan Miller.
Now for the reasons.
Glynnes served as friend and confidant to a dragon lord as the pair grew up together. No issue there. She was also pledged to serve as bodyguard to a dragon lord. The problem was that Glynnes did so as Glyn. To all but a few dragon lords, Glynnes wore the garb and persona of a male. Yet she rode a mare and since so self-respecting man of their culture would ride one, it gave rise to more than one taunt… and fight.
Keeping straight the he/she, Glyn/Glynnes, and who knew her secret/who didn’t, kept the writing challenging. And did I mention the readers knew from the outset of Glyn’s secret identity. I had to provide them the information so they wouldn’t get mad when the other characters found out. Yet do so in a way that the other characters weren’t involved or that came across as contrived.
To me, the most difficult part of writing the secret identity aspect of the story was the reveal. How would the characters learn the secret? What would their reaction be? Anger or relief? Or both?
To find out the answers, you’ll have to read Hatchling’s Mate.


Hatchling's Mate by Helen Henderson cover

Hatchling’s Mate (The Dragshi Chronicles, Book 3)

[Fantasy Dragon Shifter Romance, MF]

The Parant possessed the ability to turn men and women into his willing slaves and an intense hatred of dragonkind. His goal was to rid the world of all things dragon including the dragshi, humans able to take on the form of their dragon soul twin.

From their birth, it was expected that the only two children born to the dragon shifters would marry. Unlike his female counterpart, no dragons sang a welcome at Talann’s birth. Now years later, even though Lexii’s dragon twin had awakened, there was still no sign of Talann’s. And he needs the power of dragon form to save all dragon shifters, including his parents from the cult lead by the Parant.

Pledged to protect Lexii until the dragon lord’s intended mate appears, duty requires Glyn to fight the growing attraction to Talann. A task complicated with the need to keep a secret no one could never learn and the price when the betrayal is discovered.

Love and desire, honor and duty clash in this action-filled novel in the world of the dragshi.

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