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Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do?
I’m Helen C. Johannes and I write fantasy romance novels for The Wild Rose Press.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in grade school. I ‘decided’ to take up the craft seriously when my children were small and I needed an outlet for my creative energy.
And what attracted you to writing romantic fantasy?
I love fairy tales and Arthurian legend. There’s something fascinating about a hero with a sword on horseback. Plus, my earliest favorite book was a collection of fairy tales for young readers. Besides the well-known tales of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, this one had stories like The Donkey Prince, Snow White and Rose Red, The Tin Soldier, and The Dancing Princesses, to name a few.
I’ve always been drawn to the stories about heroes in disguise, about people who are misjudged or discounted by others because of appearances. The Donkey Prince, for instance, is about a prince born with a donkey’s body due to a curse on his parents. They give him the best of everything, and he becomes a skilled lute player, but he’s still a donkey. Tired of being looked upon as a freak in his home town, he decides to take to the road, playing his lute, until one young woman falls in love with the sensitive man inside the ugly skin. That transformation from beast to beloved is a theme that I’ve always enjoyed reading, and it’s probably what drew me to the romance genre in the most elemental sense.
What are your ambitions as a writer?
I’d like to establish a reputation for writing well-crafted books that have something to say about the power of love to heal and inspire. And I’d like to have fun doing it.
Where is your happy place?
I love to travel, but the places that call to me most have water views. That said, I’m happy with a comfortable chair, a comfortable temperature, good lighting, access to food and drink, and a good book to lose myself in.
Which author do you most admire and why?
I learned about spare writing from Hemingway, humor from Janet Evanovich, intense setting and backstory from Tolkien, and heart-felt emotion from Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
What was the last book you read?
In the last two weeks, Rick Riordan’s HOUSE OF HADES, Darynda Jones’ SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT, and Jayne Ann Krentz’s ALL NIGHT LONG. I read romance, fantasy, young adult, mystery, and historical genres.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on THE LORD OF DRUMARWIN, a sequel to my first book THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. I also have a children’s fantasy I’m revising with an eye to self-publishing.
Tell us about your latest work and how we can find out more.
My current release is BLOODSTONE, a beauty-and-the-beast-inspired fantasy romance available now on Amazon in both Kindle and print versions.
What if looking at the face of the man you loved meant death?
Years ago, warrior Durren Drakkonwehr was cursed by a mage. Now feared and reviled as the Shadow Man, he keeps to himself, only going to town to trade rare bloodstones—petrified dragon's blood—for supplies. Though he hides his face, he can't hide his heart from the woman who haunts his dreams...
Needing bloodstones for a jewelry commission, Mirianna and her father journey across the dreaded Wehrland where the beast-men roam. When their party is attacked, only the Shadow Man can save them. Strangely drawn to him, Mirianna offers herself in return for her father's rescue.
Living in the ruined fortress with the Shadow Man, Mirianna slowly realizes that a flesh-and-blood man—not a fiend—hides there in hoods and darkness. But are love and courage enough to lift the curse and restore the man?
Readers can visit me at my blog: http://helencjohannes.blogspot.com/
And at my Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031965.Helen_C_Johannes
Books by Helen C Johannes on Amazon: