It was International Women’s Day last week and I thought it would be fun to celebrate women by sharing who has inspired me, some of my ideas about strong female characters, “perfection”, and a few little tidbits about my two main girls, Gryphon (Hybrid) and Ibbiana (Wings).
Writing strong women is crucial, as is writing strong men. In fact, I’d say writing strong characters is the biggest asset to your book. A strong, dynamic plot follows and then you get to writing quality. Characters trump plot and plot trumps writing. Books can sell if you have brilliant characters or an engrossing story. But no matter how well you write, you won’t sell your book if you have no story or weak characters. (!My opinion!)
But I digress. There are so many strong women in the world, and even more strong women in fiction. I have been inspired by so many people throughout my life and writing career. Starting with my mother, who, despite not being a reader herself, ferried me to and from the library every week and helped me carry the enormous stack of books that I invariably returned with. My mum is the hardest working person I know. She is also one of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. I am forever grateful to her for being a strong role model for me, for accepting (if not understanding) my obsession with reading, and most of all for being my mum.
Next up are all of my amazing cousins, aunts and the strong women that make up my extended family. I have a big family. On my mum’s side, we number in triple digits with cousins, aunts, uncles and cousin’ children. This means there are a helluva lot of women to inspire one another. They do good 😛
Friends are the family we choose, or so the saying goes. They also come and go. I am blessed to have a few amazing friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin <3 My wonderful and beautiful girls are strong and so friggen fantastic.
I am sooo damn inspired by all the indie’s out there making it on their own and taking that chance; making that change. You all ROCK!
Right! So female characters. They are awesome, and we need more of them. But there is a struggle with this idea of perfection in my mind. Gryphon started as my idea of “perfect”. My sixteen-year-old self’s idea of perfection in an adult. I was attempting to write someone who was older than myself. Which did NOT work. Mainly because I didn’t have the maturity for it. What it did allow for was a lot of faults… and I do mean a literal sh*tonne of faults. She was reactive, temperamental, angry, irrational, hormonal…. She wasn’t great… But I loved her, she was mine. As I grew, she grew. I learnt and she learnt. This was true for a long time. Until she stopped growing with me. Because she is only 23 at the beginning of Hybrid and I am now 26. She is also now fully developed as a character. She is strong, kind, and beautiful. But she is also reactive, temperamental and has no patience for cooking. I kept the faults, because they were, and still are, a real part of who she is. She is not me, I am not her, but she will always be a part of me. We do have things in common though *cough reactiveassh*t *. Gryphon isn’t perfect, and that is fantastic. All too often I see this “perfect” character, with no flaws. They can do no wrong and get everything they want. Whoop, good for them! Doesn’t happen in real life, though. So, despite aspiring for perfection, I created someone real because, for me, perfection is imperfect.
I think I’m rambling a little – I’m very tired. Please indulge me =)
So as promised, meet Gryphon, Hi and Ibbiana, *yo*.
Gryphon is the lead in Hybrid, Broken and Rising (title pending). The titles of my book don’t really inspire confidence in my survival… Heh, yeah sorry in advance. It’ll be okay, I promise! When? I’ve seen the books you read. They get their happy endings! Yeah, Gryphon at the end! Now shut up, I’m trying to introduce you.
As you can see, she can be pushy. Hey! But she is also super awesome. She loves to read (like me!), and she is a Hunter (really not like me). Hunter’s are essentially Bounty Hunters. They are paid for their services once their job is complete and they survive. The primary service they offer is (as you can guess) hunting. But they don’t hunt bunnies or deer Unless it’s to eat. I happen to like venison. *You’re on your own there. Yuck!* Ahem! Instead, they hunt Shadow creatures. Deadly, malformed creatures that are interested in one thing: death. They go about killing everything in their path and they are f*cking good at it. Gryphon is better. Damn, right I am! Most Hunters primarily hunt in small groups to ensure their continued survival. Gryphon hunts alone. Other’s will only get in the way. Entirely fair enough, Ryph (her nickname.) As mentioned above, she doesn’t like to cook. Meaning she ends up going to Braekon’s home for dinner more often than she would like to admit. Hey, I admit it! He is my Hunter liaison after all. It’s good business. Oh, right. Yes. Because Gryphon doesn’t really want to be easily found, Braekon is her liaison. He finds jobs for her and passes them on if they would suit. They almost always do. I am one of the best, after all.
Now on to Ibbiana. *About time* She is sixteen and has grown up in a small community. She has gone through school with all the same people, lived next to the same neighbours all her life. Everyone has skills; things they’re extra good at. *You can’t see me but I’m nodding. The good bit is coming up.* Ibbie’s (her nickname.. I like nicknames) skill is flying. You see she is part of a race of people called Avians. Descended from soldiers who were genetically modified to become an evolved race of people. Now declared a seperate species. All Avians can fly, but not like Ibbie. *You can stop now. Zo would have been able to fly like me.* Oh, sorry… Zo, or Zoe, was Ibbie’s twin. Things.. Happened when they were younger. She didn’t survive. Ibbie and Zoe were two of six. Marcus is the oldest, *arrogant as he is* next comes Leena *she looks like Mum*, in the middle is Ibbie and Zoe. After them came Elody *with a voice like an angel. You should hear, El, Leena and Mum singing.* and Simon. *Love ’em all. Even if Marcus has a stick up his arse* Ibbie we don’t swear on here! *If you bleep it I’ll annoy you for a week.*
So there you have it. My girls. *that’s it?! You spoke about Gryphon heaps!* Because her book is out soon. I don’t want to give too much away about yours. Spoilers and all that. *oh… next time, right?* Yup!
I hope you enjoyed this peek into two of my MC’s and their personalities. You might also have an idea as to why my podcast is called thevoicesinmyhead…. I hope you enjoyed. Happy (belated) International Women’s Day! Until next time!