Lisa Henry on Writing Fantasy and her new release Anhaga

Anhaga by Lisa Henry

Dreamspinner Press
Published July 23rd 2019
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host a favorite author of ours, Lisa Henry on tour for her latest novel, Anhaga.  Welcome, Lisa.


Hi! I’m Lisa Henry, and I’m on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words today to tell you a little about my newest release Anhaga.

I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to publish a fantasy book set in a magical world. I’ve always loved fantasy and, when you think about it, fantasy stories are our first introduction to storytelling. When we’re toddlers, our parents read us fairytales of princes and princesses, of dragons and magic, and of quests and adventures. Fairytales and fantasy worlds are some of the first universes we discover as children.

When I was a kid, my sister and I had a book called Dean’s Gift Book of Fairy Tales. Well, it was my sister’s—mine was Dean’s Gift Book of Nursery Rhymes. And the illustrations in these books were absolutely beautiful, full of beautifully androgynous princes and princess, fairies and knights, and—the most relatable thing of all—children with messy hair and grubby knees. I still have those books. I can’t remember the last time I read the stories, but the pictures still take me to all those magical places I imagined as a child.

Fairytales are archetypes, and fantasy worlds built using those same images are both familiar and new at the same time. There are no dragons in Anhaga, and no knights and princesses either, but there is magic, and there is of course a quest. It’s not a noble quest exactly—my main character Min is strongarmed into agreeing to kidnap my other main character Kazimir in order to save his nephew Harry’s life—but it’s a quest all the same. Min himself is more than aware that he fails to live up to the fairytale standards of the prince or the knight when he says, “Do we survive this, Kaz? In all of Harry’s books, the evil dragon is killed and the hero survives. We’re lacking a hero, I suspect, but I’m quite partial to the idea of survival.”

I had a lot of fun writing Anhaga. It felt a bit like a return to all the stories I’d loved so much as a child—just with more swear words, snark and sex. But if there’s one thing that fairytales and romances have in common, it’s that there has to be a happy ending. The good must be rewarded, and the wicked must be punished. And for someone like Min, who’s mostly good but definitely wicked where it counts, well, he slides through to his happy ending on a technicality I guess. There aren’t any knights and dragons here, but sometimes even rogues on ignoble quests can earn their happy endings as well.

Anhaga was definitely a change of pace for me—my most recent releases have all been contemporaries. It was interesting to have to build an entire world—although that old fairy tale archetype forms a pretty sturdy framework. For anyone who read fairytales as a child and moved onto fantasy novels, the world of Anhaga won’t be too unfamiliar. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Anhaga Blurb:

Aramin Decourcey—Min to his few friends—might be the best thief in Amberwich, and he might have a secret that helps him survive the cutthroat world of aristocratic families and their powerful magic users, but he does have one weakness: his affection for his adopted nephew, Harry.

When the formidable Sabadine family curses Harry, Min must accept a suicide mission to save his life: retrieve Kazimir Stone, a low-level Sabadine hedgewitch who refuses to come home after completing his apprenticeship… and who is in Anhaga, a seaside village under the control of the terrifying Hidden Lord of the fae. If that wasn’t enough, Kaz is far from the simple hedgewitch he seems.

With the Sabadines on one side and the fae on the other, Min doesn’t have time to deal with a crisis of conscience—or the growing attraction between him and Kaz. He needs to get Kaz back to Amberwich and get Harry’s curse lifted before it kills him. Saving Harry means handing Kaz over to his ruthless family. Saving Kaz means letting Harry die. Min might pride himself on his cleverness, but he can’t see his way out of this one.

The Hidden Lord might see that he never gets the choice.

About the Author

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101.

You can connect with Lisa here:






By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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