Greetings to all. Today I wanted to chat about writing females. For those of us that do so on occasion or on the regular, we try to craft a woman with spunk. At least I do. To me, there’s nothing worse than a dainty, whiny, want-to-be rescued, female. Even in this day and age where we’ve been told we’ve come a long way, baby, we’re still portrayed as weak, unintelligent, and needy. Believe it or not this is still a popular thing in books, television, and movies and yes, in everyday life, society still treats women as second class citizens.
We are every bit as capable as a man of doing the same things if we so chose, but that’s another topic for another day. Let’s stick to fiction.
In Facebook chats and from fellow authors and readers, I’ve heard the same sentiment. Why do females get painted with the same broad brush? Many have said they no longer read het romance for just that reason. They don’t want to read about the damsel in distress who needs saving or the clueless female who can’t survive without her male counterpart. They want strong characters in their books and so many cisgender, straight women have turned to reading only m/m romances. That is their prerogative and yes, it is also our choice as authors if we want to go that route, but this author is at least trying to buck that stereotype. I’m a rebel. A rule breaker and I, for one, love a woman with spunk who can take care of things in her own way.
Years ago I checked out a movie called Losers starring Zoe Saldana, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and oh yes, Idris Elba! (SWOON). Believe you me, it wasn’t a great flick, but what I remembered most was the female character being kick ass and taking no prisoners. Even in her movie,Columbiana, she played that sort of character. Movies like those resonate with me, because instead of showing the woman being woman saved, they show her fighting for herself. Women can be strong, fearless, and even if we are outnumbered or overmatched, we’re going to do our best to fight for what we want.
In my books, I’ve tried to follow that same formula. Sometimes the characters have come off as bitches, but in my mind that’s okay as long as it stays in tune with the plot. In my next book, Hell Hath No Fury, which is book 5 in the N’awlins Exotica series, I do just that. For those of you who have read the series, you might know my intolerant, bitchy female named Kenina Porter. In the first books she presents herself as hard-nosed and refuses to change her mean girl attitude for anybody. Even in this book where she gets her happy, I wanted her to keep that edge. Yes, I wanted her to learn things from everyone; her friends, boss, and the man she finally decides to let into her cold heart, but I also desired her to stay true to herself.
In my mind, characters don’t necessarily have to be likeable to be interesting. A couple of my readers had said, they hated this woman, but I promised this tough gal I’d give her something to be happy about without totally changing her.
Kenina is just one of the examples of women I’ve tried to write. At this moment, I’m working on another kick ass female named Hirah Blaze, who is the lead guitarist for my fictional metal band, The Wretched. I’ve also written a character in my PROTEKT series by the name of Miranda Ashley, who one reviewer said should’ve been a man.
I suppose I’ll take that as a compliment, but it makes me wonder, why should she be a man just because she refuses to back down from anyone? Why do females have to cower when it comes to their male counterparts? My belief is, even in romance, a woman should be able to hold her own. It’s total fine if she gets her guy or girl, but the lasting impression should be she did it on her own terms and not a way that shows her as weak. As romance authors, we’ve come a long way in adding more substance to our plots. A lot of romances aren’t about the guy getting the girl anymore. If we can go the length to make our books more interesting, why can’t we make our women stronger characters?
What about you? What other badass females have you seen in movies, TV, or books that stayed with you? I’ll be happy to hear some examples. Thanks for listening.
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Hirah Blaze book 3 is coming soon! Meanwhile check out books 1&2
Blurb: If you want somethin’ real bad, you gotta work harder than everyone else.
My grandma was right about that. I did want to be the best damn guitarist. Not the best female guitarist or the best black female guitarist. The best fucking guitarist on the planet. Although Sarge and Diabolical Plan had given me the initial opportunity to show off my chops, I couldn’t be what I wanted to be with my ex-boyfriend steering the ship. I had to be the captain of my destiny. I had to be the one taking the lead.
Five months into it and I’m still pinching myself over this. Me, the little black goth girl from Milwaukee, along with Corey, Bryan Taylor, Nicolai Zander and the new guy on bass named Chad Stephenson.
Have I mentioned that Chad is hot as hell?
More about that later.
This is a spinoff of The Wretched Tales with new guitarist Hirah Blaze. She’s kicking ass and taking names, looking to become the metal world’s newest guitar goddess, but will she get sidetracked by The Wretched’s gorgeous new bass player?
Blurb: This man had me.
Oh God, he had me in a freaking tizzy.
I want Chad.
I want Chad Stephenson.
I want him in my bed.
I want him now before we go on this stage.
I am such a goner.
I am off the deep end now.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.
I’m supposed to be all about fucking world domination with my guitar, not obsessing over my hotter-than-hell bass player.
It’s show time for The Wretched. We’re about to go on tour and I’m stoked to be onstage in front of thousands. However, I can’t get a certain someone off my mind. Hot bassist, Chad Stephenson has become my crack and I’m happily addicted.
This is a spinoff of The Wretched Tales with new guitarist Hirah Blaze. She’s kicking ass and taking names, looking to become the metal world’s newest guitar goddess!
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Tentative Blurb for book three
Hirah – I’m about ready to stake my claim to superstardom and I want to bring Chad with me.
At this stage, we’re all about making The Wretched better as a tandem, and having some fun along the way. Still, Chad doesn’t appear ready to move forward and this is pissing me the hell off. This was why I’d refused to commit to anyone because of shit like this. How can we be metals new power couple if Chad was slamming on the brakes?
Chad – For the last few months, Hirah and I have rode the merry go round between bandmates and friends. Our fellow members had done everything to throw us together, and even with those moments, we had yet to take full advantage.
Despite the attraction to her, I still can’t get a certain somebody out of my mind. And, I know if I want something real with Hirah, I need to forget about it. A hard thing to do when it feels so damn good, but I know if I want her, I need to drop that other piece or I’ll lose the chance of being Hirah’s soulmate.