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September 2018: Favorite Heroine
~ Helen C. Johannes ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: Of your published titles to date, which heroine is your favorite and why?

Helen C. Johannes said:
Aerid—she’s my Cinderella in THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, and my first fully-fleshed heroine. It’s hard not to love the character who took me on that long, challenging journey to publication, who kept prodding me to write her story—and kept telling me how to do it.

She’s a young woman entirely out of place. Lowborn, orphaned, and living among people who look down on her skin tone and are suspicious of her talent with herbs and healing. Aerid longs for home, family, people of her own kind, idealistically thinking they’re better than their reputation for double-speak, shady dealing, and outright thievery. She’s not like that; how can they be?

She has a lot to learn, and so did I…about writing, on her journey from one end of her world to the other.

People, Aerid discovers, are individuals and stereotypes are misleading. Her greatest character arc involves the hero, of course. He’s a warrior; she’s a healer. He’s a prince; she sleeps on straw in the kitchen. He thinks she’s a witch; she blames his people for her parents’ death. He terrifies her, but she finds the courage to stand up to him each time they meet. Her integrity, her commitment to her healing art, her determination to equally treat all who are suffering slowly win Prince Arn’s regard.

While I wrote Aerid’s journey, I shared her journey. As a writer, I learned I need to treat my characters as individuals, flesh them out fully, and use stereotypes to upend them. I need to commit to my story and take the time to craft it to the best of my ability. And I need to be like she is, stubborn and principled about my art.


The Prince of Val-Feyridge by Helen C. Johannes cover

The Prince of Val-Feyridge

[Fantasy Romance]

Prince Arn has a destiny-an ancient throne-but he’s not waiting for fate to deliver when he can act now, before his enemies organize against him. The healer Aerid longs for her barely remembered homeland. Marked out by her gift and her unusual looks, she insists she is no witch. The swordsman Naed hopes to honorably defend his uncle’s holding, but he harbors a secret fascination for the exotic healer. Prince Arn’s campaign against Aerid’s homeland throws them into a triangle of forbidden love, betrayal, and heartbreak. Only when they realize love is blood-kin to friendship, and neither is possible without risk, can they forge a new alliance and restore a kingdom.

Available in Ebook:

Wild Rose


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