Kick Ass Heroines & Giveaway with Beth Barany

>> Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'd like to welcome Beth Barany to the blog today!  Beth is not only an author, but a certified Creativity Coach and an EFL-instructor.  She is driven to help writers and authors get their message out into the world, gain confidence in their self-expression and discover how they can get noticed and sell books to their audience.

Today I continue my exploration of the characteristics of Kick Ass Heroines, like Xena!

Before I go there, I just wanted to say that I do value softness and vulnerability in women and girls. There is absolutely a time and a place for these characteristics.

I also believe we are all resourceful, and sometimes asking for help is the most resourceful, brave and courageous thing we can do.

More Characteristics of a Kick Ass Heroine (Other characteristics listed here.)
  • Can rally her friends behind a cause
  • Is brave enough to ask for help
  • Stands up and speaks out against injustice
  • Helps those in need
  • Isn’t afraid to do what it takes even if what it takes is a stretch, new, or scary. Especially if it’s scary.
  • Faces her fears
  • Honest to at least herself
  • Searches for the truth to best of her abilities
  • Owns up to her mistakes and uses that awareness to improve; feedback not failure!
  • Works hard to cultivate and maintain her abilities
I’d love to know what you think! Did I leave any out?! And what would you add to this list?

In my new novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, we first meet Henrietta after she's become a hero, and worked hard for it, but she's tired of that life. Persistence has definitely been a key characteristic in her success. And she's going to need lots of stubbornness and persistence to accomplish what feels like an impossible task in this story.

Read an excerpt of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer here.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Henrietta worked her a$$ off from the time she was a little girl to become a dragon slayer. Because she wanted to be a hero. But that seemed out of her reach. So she aimed for engaging in the King's Army.

She didn't know that's what she'd become. She only knew that she had to go for what she wanted, because certainly no one was going to hand it to her.


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?

What are some characteristics to kick ass heroines that you like to see in the stories you watch, read or create? Thanks!

All who answer the question orc omment on this post are eligible to enter Beth's July book giveaway for a copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer (print or ebook -- your choice!) and the blog tour Grand Prize, Henrietta's necklace.

Novel available here: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Nook, Smashwords.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, author Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. It only took her thirty years to actually start writing them down, then grit and determination to whip them into shape. She writes to empower girls and women with her kickass heroines who have to save the world against great odds.

In her off hours, Beth enjoys cardio kickboxing, stick yoga, reading and watching movies with her husband, author and musician Ezra Barany, and two cats, Kitty and Leo.

For school visits and special presentations, Beth Barany can be contacted through her site at She loves to hear from her readers:

You can find Beth online at:


Raonaid Luckwell 11:11 PM  

Snark! For me a kick ass heroine needs snark, knows the appropriate time to wield it, and so forth.

Seeing such a strong heroine like this makes me envious, makes me wish I had her daring, and yes, even brings this wide evil grin to my lips..

And Xena was my idol! LOL kicking men's butts and going on with her day! I was sad when it was over.

Joan Swan 11:26 PM  

LOLOL, Rachel -- you crack me up! (And I so agree!)

Beth Barany 11:37 PM  

Raonald, Snark! Good one! I'll add it to my master list! I wrote this novel (and the sequels on their way) just because I wanted my own experience of being a strong heroine. Yes, and Xena rocked! I miss her too. There's always reruns! {Sigh} Thanks for commenting!

Raonaid Luckwell 10:55 AM  

Snark always makes me grin and say "Gotta remember that line and use it." I'm still waiting to use this one line, where this elf goes "Do you see a saddle on my back?" "No.." "Then quit riding my ass!"

Yes! They are bringing them back out. Hubby bought me Season 1. I'm asking him to get me Season 2.

No problem hun!

Kerry Hargraves 5:13 PM  

I agree - snark is definitely a desirable characteristic. I think a useful skill would be slight-of-hand. You never know when it will be handy to make something disappear. Baffle the bad guys, or at least give them pause.

Ren Black 6:38 PM  

I like your list Joan. I think the balance of gentleness and kick ass is a powerful one and can be tricky for some writers. I go for the type that can be strong, little patience for hollow boasting or drama... and yet not have to thumb her nose or spit in the faces of the guys around her to prove her independence. Though it usually takes a lot of adjustment for the guy (and getting over his ego), it's cool when they manage to work together.

The book sounds cool and definitely and adventure! Thanks for sharing.

Beth Barany 7:23 PM  

Ren, Glad you liked the list. It's actually mine! So speaking up is also one of my kick ass heroine characteristics! Enjoy the book!

Kerry, THanks for stopping by! Sleight-of-hand is a good one! I'll it to the list!

Raonald, LOL again!

Linda 4:50 PM  

Kick ass heroines!
The best kind. Just gotta love them! There's something just so attractive about a strong heroine who gets the better of all them males yet in an inoffensive manner (if beating the heck out of them counts as inoffensive).

Love your list. Betcha a kick ass heroine ain't afraid to ask for directions when she's lost either.

Christa C 4:54 PM  

I have to agree on the snark and I love quick quips (I'm a Buffy fan)! And my kick ass heroine always has a kick ass pair of shoes :)

Creativity Coach, EFL instructor, AND Author...Wow! I struggle trying to find time to do the laundry!! Hats off to keeping balance and being successful!


Beth Barany 7:37 PM  

Linda, yep, a kick ass heroine knows when to ask for directions and when NOT to ask for directions. LOL

Christa, Oh yes, the shoes! Henrietta has great leather boots! She loves her coat and hat too! Thanks! Luckily, I don't wear all my hats at once!

Anonymous,  8:24 PM  

For me a kick-butt heroine can hold her own with the 'boys' without becoming one.

Now, as to killing the dragon, must she???

Write On!

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