RSS

Strong Female Characters

I saw another post asking which stories could use strong female characters, and my answer probably wasn’t what they were looking for: None of them.

Now, before you get up in arms please hear me out, because I do have a reason behind it.

There are already a lot of wonderful books out there with strong female characters as the lead character. A short list:
Aurian by Maggie Furey
Rhapsody: Child of Blood by Elizabeth Haydon
The Hallows Series by Kim Harrison
Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
The Twenty Sided Sorceress by Annie Bellet
The Little Flame Series by Melissa Lummis
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Magnificent Devices by Shelley Adina
White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
Several books in the Xanth Series by Piers Anthony
Anything by Anne McCaffery
Elvenbane by Andre Norton
Several books in the Wool Series by Hugh Howey
The Shambling Guides by Mur Lafferty
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Hit Girls by Garrett Robinson
Anything from the Buffy the Vampire universe.
Harper Collelly series by Charaine Harris.

And these are just the books that I know of because I’ve personally read them (or watched the movie in the case of Hunger Games). There are over 6,000 books in this list with strong female lead characters, many of which have been on best seller lists, or made into movies. And this isn’t even counting all the strong, wonderful women that play secondary roles in books like Kitiara from Dragonlance Chronicles, Catti-brie from the Dritzzt series, or Hermione from Harry Potter. That’s not even getting into comic books. And I’m sure there are thousands more that aren’t even in that list.

All of the stories in my list are sci-fi and fantasy. That’s because I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy. But I also know a lot of strong female characters from paranormal romance. I also know of characters from other books, games, and films in many other genres that are strong female characters.

Am I saying we don’t need any more? Of course not, that would be like saying we don’t need more books. I really enjoy reading about strong women doing extraordinary things, and even wrote my own series of books with that in mind so I hope my favorite authors continue writing theirs. I also enjoy reading about mages that slowly go mad, or women who are hell cats and need to be tamed. There are all kinds of books out there, with all kinds of characters, because people come with different attitudes, desires, ideas, and personalities. But I would also encourage more authors to include strong female characters…IF they are a benefit to the story.

Not every story has a woman in it. What if you wrote a story about a man in a men’s shower room? Or a group of men going on a camping trip together? Or a father and son sharing a moment? Or a group of dwarves out to save their mountain? Not every story is going to have a strong female character in it. Not every story is going to have a woman in it. In fact when they added a strong female into The Hobbit some of the fans were less than thrilled with the addition.

A story isn’t always about sex, gender, political correctness, or whatever. Sometimes it’s just a story about a leaf blowing in the wind, or the history of salt, or vampire bunnies. And if a story doesn’t have a female character that doesn’t automatically make it anti-women. Hell, there could be a character in the story that is utterly sexist and the story still might not be about women.

My thought for those looking for strong female characters: Expand your reading list, because there are THOUSANDS of books out there with strong female characters, you just have to be open to finding them. And just so you know, MEN need strong male character role models, too. And both sexes need the ridiculously heroic characters, or the weak ones, or the the psychopathic murderous kings/queens to show them what not to be. It does not take away from your enjoyment of books/films/games/etc because the other sex also has what you are looking for.

And if you think any gender, or genderless, or gender fluid individual needs more characters like them out there: GO WRITE IT! That’s the beauty of the indy world. Anyone can make anything that they think should exist.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 21, 2016 in Commentary

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dragons? Where?

I’ve been really busy the last few weeks plotting and writing the first few chapters of my new series: “The Half-Blood Sorceress.”

I am so excited about this series! I first got the idea back at NorWesCon in the art gallery. I found an artist that had absolutely magnificent work. I mean he does paintings for several of the big publishers, he was that good. And at the bottom of his display was one loan painting. I overheard him talking to someone else about how he just had to paint that one night, even if it hadn’t found a home yet, be he was sure that the right author would come along to give it a story.

“You could write that, you know,” Gregg said.

“No, that covers too awesome for me,” I said, and kept walking.

Three feet down the hall and I looked up at him and said “You suck!”

“See,” he said, “told you that you had a story for that picture.”

Not a story, as it turns out. A whole SERIES! All based on this one painting, or rather the girl depicted there.

Of course, I asked the artist how much it would cost for me to use that as the cover… As it turns out, WAY more than I can afford at the moment. However, this painting is the one I need for book six, so there is still a chance I could do it. I just have to get writing, and see how things work out.

So what is this story about? A half-blood sorceress? What does that even mean?

Well that’s coming, but today I’m going to tell you a little bit about the world. First: a map. I’ve been working on it on and off for a while, but the world has no name yet. I would absolutely love my readers to name this world for me. And no, I won’t be naming it Mappy McMapface, sorry.

Dragon MapWhat should you know about this world? Here there be dragons! Four of them, in fact.

Nyasama – Earth dragon
Anulaer – Air dragon
Ningirsu – Water dragon
Alshadu – Fire dragon

Together, the four dragons created the world, then slept in various places around the new planet. Every now and then the dragons wake and travel about the planet they created in human form, interacting, causing mischief, or doing something extraordinary.

This book isn’t about the dragons, though they do have an influence on the world at large. No, the first book is about Sybel. She finds herself in an awful place in time, watching the mother she loved waste away, and then learning a horrible secret that thrusts her out into a world filled with magic and darkness that she did not know existed.

I am currently seeing how the first book goes. I’m already 14k into the initial writing, and loving the way it’s going. I want to write one book a month, with a month for editing, formatting, etc. I just have to see how I can handle it since I’ve never pushed myself to do something this massive before. I’m only looking at 50k words per book, but I haven’t even gotten a third of the way into this one so I have no idea if that estimate will fly right out the window.

All I know is, I love this world. I love the characters. And I love the story. I’m more passionate about this story than I have been about anything in a couple of years. I want to see it live, and I want others to love it too.

So look for more snippets about the world, and maybe some snippets from the actual novel soon.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Personal Notes, Stories

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Half Blood Sorceress

The Witch’s Trilogy is finished, and I’m off to the next project. It took me a little while to decide which project to work on, but I finally nailed it down.

I thought it best to stick with the fantasy genre for now  but I wasn’t ready to go back to the world of Peyllen just yet. Instead I found a plot I’d written at NorWesCon last year and realized this was a perfect time to write it. At first I was concerned that it was a single book instead of a trilogy… Then I started plotting it. What started as a “simple” story, a one off plot, grew into a five book arc.

The more I work on the plot for this series the more I fall in love with the setting and characters. This world is completely different from Peyllen, with only two races: humans and dragons. Cities and small towns are spread out around a vast continent, and there are places walled off from the rest of the world by dragon-kin. Vast oceans to cross. And forgotten cities sinking into swamp lands inhabited by ancient forgotten creatures.

It’s a vast, beautiful world that I can’t wait to introduce you to.

And the amazing part? Just how quickly the plot has flowed out. 4k a day. The only time I’ve written that much before was back during the toughest parts of NaNoWriMo. The five books plotted out show the amazing journey of Sybel, the half blood sorceress, as she gets closer and closer to the raging ice dragon at the far ends of the world. There will also be a companion book about her friend Lucia, the servetor, and possibly a second companion book about the ice dragon, himself.

What’s a half blood sorceress? And what’s a servetor? I’ll be sharing those juicy bits as the story unfolds because… I think I’m ready to start writing! I’ve got plots, and foreshadowing, and different characters sketched out… Now it’s time to breathe some life into them.

I’m so excited!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in On Writing

 

Tags: , , , ,

The beginning is often the hardest story to tell.

A few weeks ago I announced on the Bradbury Challenge that I would be finishing, and publishing, Witch’s Sight. I finally finished writing it tonight, now it just needs a bit of an edit. However, I wanted to give everyone here a quick peek behind the scenes. You get to read it before anyone else.

As you probably know, the Witch’s Trilogy is now finished. While finishing up the last book in the series I started thinking about the origin of the Little Mother, and how she made her own escape from the acolytes. That tale is here, in Witch’s Sight.

I love this world, and I’m going to keep coming back to it with new books down the road. It is such a wonderful world to write in. However, the other stories I have planned for the world of Peyllen don’t take place in the Sea of Tears. They are in the far distant realms beyond the edge of the sea. I will eventually be making a website specifically for Peyllen with a timeline, maps, and some more information about the world at large.

For now, I’m off to write in a different direction, taking a short break from Peyllen to see what other mischief I can get into.

And, as promised, here is Witch’s Sight.

***************

~~Witch’s Sight ~~

Katrina sat in a sea of people, all of them moving at once. They were big as trees, towering over her. Though she clung to mama’s hand, Katrina shivered. The big people were screaming at someone, shouting and calling names. Names she’d never heard before. But she didn’t need to know what they were to know they were bad. Just the way they screamed them out told her so.

The bodies pressed in, jostling her against mama, and she clung with all her might as the sea of people tried to sweep her away.

“Mama!” she screamed, but no one could hear her above all the voices, the screaming. The crying.

Mama grabbed her, and pulled her up into her arms. Safer, Katrina sunk down into mama’s embrace, feeling mama tighten her grip, keeping her safe from the crowds.

“Look away, Katrina,” mama cried. “Don’t look!”

It was an order. Mama gave so few orders, and Katrina tried to obey them all. She did now, shutting her eyes tight as she lay her head against mama’s shoulder. But the commotion outside her mother’s embrace was too enticing. Katrina wanted to look, wanted to see what the people were yelling at, and wanted to see what angered them so.

She blinked, catching glimpses of people towering over a small figure at their feet. Another blink, red blood covering the small figures face, hair a mess.

It was a girl with short hair lying on the ground. The girl tried to scramble to her feet, slipping on the wet stones. She wasn’t much bigger then Jamie, Katrina’s neighbor who came to watch Katrina when mama was in the fields. But Jamie was always smiling and happy, this girl was crying. Dirty tear tracks ran down her face, and she pulled herself away from the crowd, clawing at the stone to get away.

“Why are they so mad, mama? Did she do something bad?”

“Look away, Katrina. You’re so young. You shouldn’t see this.”

Mama pushed through the crowd, elbowing people to get out of the way. Katrina watched as the tiny figure got swallowed up by the crowds, and still she could not understand why they were hurting the girl.

****Join the mailing list for the full story.***

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in On Writing

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Trilogy is Complete!

The trilogy is now complete!

Witch’s Sacrifice 

Her forbidden secret will make her powerful… and hunted.

Witch’s Curse

Hunted since birth, now Okira must use the power she’s been hiding…or die trying.

Witch’s Stand 

The battle has been won, but the war is far from over.

WSsmlWitch's Curse smWitch's Standsml

One last short story, “Witch’s Sight,” to come out next weekend. It’s going to the editor today. Or you can get the entire trilogy in one convenient pack, with the bonus short story. That will also be out next weekend also.

Witch's StandkoboThe final short story is how Salvia became the little mother.

I am so thrilled to have them all completed. The story tells a wonderful transformation from meek girl to powerful witch, and leader of her time.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 30, 2016 in On Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A quick update

Good morning all you lovely people out there. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is shining. And I am just happy as a clam.

I thought I would give everyone just a little update.

I’m waiting for the final edits on Witch’s Stand. It should be out this weekend though.

I finished Witch’s Sight last night so I’ll be doing some editing on it and it should be out in a couple weeks. I will probably send it to my newsletter tonight as a sneak preview.

I also have some other short stories done. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with them. Release as an anthology? Shelve them? Print them and make them into wreaths? A couple of them are long enough to be stand alone short story books, but they still need edits and covers.

Otherwise, I’m just deciding on the next project to do. Urban fantasy, or regular fantasy? Dragons or gods? Then there is the scifi young adult book… So many books, so little time.

Thoughts?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in On Writing

 

Tags: , , ,

And it’s out!

thisIt’s here! The Scarab Necklace

A prima donna pop star. Her mousy assistant. And a cursed necklace that slowly changes their personalities.

It is longer then the other Illicit Gains Saga shorts and qualifies as a “novelette”, but who actually uses that word anyway? So i guess it’s a really long short story. All I know is: it’s good. I love it, and I’m so happy it’s finished and out for everyone to read.

The next one in the series is going to be a little complicated. It’s about a pocket watch and involves time travel. I’m going to need a timeline and a lot of notes. Thankfully I already have a basic plot.

I also have “Mirror” which was sent to my newsletter a few weeks ago. That is episode zero of this series. I’ll be editing that and publishing it May 27 or Jun 3rd.

Anprophec3yd I think I potionshopshould mention that Prophecy by Barlight and Potion Shop are free this weekend. If you haven’t picked them up yet now is a great time to do so.

 

Even more exciting news! Witch’s Stand should be out in two weeks!!!!! I’ve got the edits back and I just need to do my revision, and send it back to the editor (which takes less time the second time around) and then a quick revision before uploading it. So excited!

Plus, just look how great these covers look together: threecovers

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 17, 2016 in On Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,216 other followers