Strong Females in Fiction
By S.M. Blooding
We need strong females in fiction. More than that, though, we need more females in fiction who are more than the “love interest”, or the “caregiver”, or the other roles that women often fall into.
There’s a lot of fiction out there with females in lead roles. As a matter of fact, the only books I’ve read lately that didn’t have a female lead were the Jim Butcher books I’ve read. You always need a good Harry Dresden day. Also, prior to Devices of War, I had never actually written a book with a male lead. Ever.
So, when Fall of Sky City came out and I started getting reviews that chastised me for not having strong women in lead roles or for having a female as my villain, I got quite upset. I’m a feminist by nature, but I don’t think women should rule the planet because of our woman parts. I also don’t think we’re necessarily the best thing for every role in the world. And I don’t want all of my female characters to be ballsy, or quirky, or sassy, or smart. I want them to be . . . well, human beings.
In Knight of Wands, I shined a light on how women are perceived in their world. They are a bit more advanced than we are in a lot of aspects. Respect for women in general being one of them, but they’re still as backwards as we are. I had Ino Nami (she’s what we would call Japanese, so her last name comes first. Respect other cultures. Always.), who is the matriarch of one of the greatest tribes of the planet, host the “female” tournaments. These games were an insult to our main female characters. They weren’t the ones who voiced their outrage. Well, Keeley kind of did as she chose to burn the dinner she was preparing while she read a book. It was the men in their lives who voiced their displeasure.
That got my readers mad, but in a good way, and it showed in their reviews. They stopped complaining about feminism—or maybe they didn’t pick up the second book because I had the audacity to have the strongest woman (actually, women) as villains.
In Menagerie, I went one step further. We’re in a few POV’s (Points of View), so we’re not just stuck with Synn. We’re in the minds, the hearts, the souls, the skins of some of our leading ladies, and it’s amazing. They’re all strong and weak—but in different ways. Oki is strong of mind and will, but lacks the ability to really stand up for herself against her mother. Keeley is strong of heart, but weak in . . . oh, just about everything else. Nix (we can’t forget Nix) is strong of will, intent, and purpose, but is weak in compassion. That’s kind of what makes her such a fabulous villain.
We’ve also got some new faces. Yvette comes back. Everyone hated Yvette. They couldn’t understand her. That’s largely because she hides behind her face. So, I’m putting the reader behind her face to discover how and why she ticks. Neira is prevalent since she’s the new ruler of the League of Cities. Her tribe, or group of tribes, isn’t matriarchal by any stretch, but they have a deeper respect for the female state of existence.
Synn might be male and he is the main character, but I surrounded him by a lot of women, all of them strong in one sense or another. But I’ve also included a great cast of very diverse males who are strong and weak in their own rights. I hope my fellow feminists see the bevy of human beings in this series. The good. The bad. The downright evil.
Because the road of feminism is about equality. Not about women being better than men. It’s about respect, both given and earned. It starts by seeing people as people instead of as “female” or “male”.
Genre: New Adult Fantasy, Steampunk Adventure
In a world governed by the opposing forces of the mystical House of Tarot and the tribal Great Families, Synn is caught in the crossfire. He witnesses the slaughter of innocent people, and the devastating murder of his father. This act awakens his Mark of power, a Mark greater than any the world has seen in a very long time.
Queen Nix thought she won a great prize when she destroyed Synn’s father, the leader of the strongest Great Families. She had no idea she’d be doubly blessed by capturing his son. However, before Synn can become her treasured weapon, before she can use him to bring the rest of the world to its knees, she must break him and bind his soul to hers.
She does her job with brutal brilliance. Synn’s mind is broken and his soul is seared to hers in an unbreakable bond.
That doesn’t stop him from wanting to be free. She may have broken his mind and claimed his soul, but he will find a way to destroy her.
Experience a world of ships that sail the clouds and cites buried beneath the ocean, and survive the fiery battle brought forth by those who control the forces of nature!
SM Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, Ms. Bird, the Chicken and SistaPITA. It’s quite the zoo. She’s taken a break from the piano, which Ms, Bird is quite happy about, and now knows more than one word in Arabic. Basically, she can say hello, good-bye, give it to me, and hurry up!
She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.