For those of you who have read my books, you probably know by now that I gravitate toward kick-butt heroines :) You know, girls with a take no prisoners attitude who might throw a punch a little too soon (um...looking at you Jade), put a stubborn foot down when maybe she's not supposed to (cough, Kira, cough), or, well, defy a murderous king who happens to be her father (Leena, you know who you are).
BUT, and this is a very important but, not all girls need to be kick ass to be strong heroines. And I think YA tends to showcase one kind of strength far more often than other kinds, which is why Omorose is a character so close to my heart! Her sort of strength is quieter, more in need of coaxing, but it's there...
And instead of rewriting the whole guest post, let me just get to it! Clearly I'm impassioned about this subject, lol :)
There's More Than One Way To Be A Kick-Butt Heroine!
When I think of a "strong" female heroine, my mind immediately goes to someone who is kicking ass and taking names! Katniss. Tris. Rose. Alanna. Even in my first book in Once Upon A Curse, Gathering Frost, the main character Jade is an incredible fighter who is skilled with weapons and unapologetic on the battlefield.
But when I sat down to write Withering Rose, a different sort of female came to mind. One who had magic, but didn’t want to fight. Who couldn't depend on muscles or physical prowess. Who preferred flowers and dresses to swords and crossbows.
And I stopped myself before starting my outline, wondering if it was possible to be all of those things and still be strong? Does a heroine need to be able to drop kick her enemy or punch through a door in order to be considered tough?
No! Absolutely not!
Even though the trend in young adult fantasy has been these heroines with unimaginable power and incredible physical strength, I think it is important to remember that there are other ways to be strong! Just because a girl is feminine, doesn’t mean she isn’t strong. Just because she might lose to a boy in a fistfight, doesn’t mean she isn’t strong. Just because she is reserved, doesn't mean she isn’t strong.
Omorose, the main character in Withering Rose, has been in hiding for her entire life and struggles to stand up for herself—does that make her weak? No, it makes her human. She has the power to bring nature to life and appreciates her magic for its beauty, not its deadliness—does that make her silly? No, it makes her compassionate. When she first sees the beast, her initial reaction is to run in fear rather than face him—does that make her pathetic? No, it makes her cautious. And none of those things are bad!
What makes Omorose strong is her heart, her intelligence, her compassion, her emotions, her appreciation. Throughout the novel, she struggles to maintain her bravery and her courage, but can always depend on the quiet strength of her heart and her mind.
And that's really what it comes down to. Strength is much more about what is on the inside—intelligence, cunning, resilience, determination, heart. And none of those things are determined by the force of a punch. Strong heroines can be quiet or loud, girly or boyish, emotional or detached. We fall for Katniss the moment she volunteers to take her sister's place, not the first time she wields her bow.
All of my favorite female characters are united by two common strengths—self-reliance and self-respect. And neither of those are determined by the size of their muscles.
Who are some of your favorite kick-butt heroines? Are they quiet or bold? What about them do you admire most?
Check back in for more guest posts from the Withering Rose blog tour! I'll be sharing another heartfelt post that's close to my heart tomorrow, and then wrapping things up on Friday :)
Withering Rose is available wherever eBooks are sold :) I hope you enjoy my novel!
Enter the tour giveaway to help celebrate my new release! And, well, for a chance to win some Amazon gift cards!!