Today, I’m delighted to welcome fellow Evernight Teen author, Meradeth Houston, to my blog. Meradeth is the author of AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT (scroll down for info about her book!). Meradeth and I have been chatting about strong female characters. Thanks for joining us, Meradeth!
Thanks so much for hosting me, and agreeing to swap blogs, Shari!! I love getting to wander around the web a bit and talk about book stuff. :)
So, we’re talking strong female characters, something that is near and dear to me. I will admit that I’ve put books aside when the main character comes across as too passive or weak. I don’t enjoy reading about someone who sits around waiting for someone else to save them, or who only manages to accomplish everything due to sheer dumb luck (something I sometimes call TDTSS: ‘too dumb to survive syndrome’—it’s deadly for a character!).
What makes a character, especially a female character, strong then? Well, honestly, I think that can vary a whole lot depending on the book and setting. There are some awesome examples of leading ladies who are completely capable of leading a revolution, fighting the enemy tooth and nail, and otherwise being strong physically and mentally.
But that’s not the only kind of strength.
Sometimes strength comes in the form of relying on other people, and I don’t have a problem with a character needing to do that (just maybe not all the time). Other times, strength comes in the form of kindness and forgiveness, especially when there’s been some serious harm done. And there are plenty of other ways to demonstrate strength without a gun/sword/ninja skills/fists of steel.
What I’m trying to say is that strength comes in many forms. We are rather familiar with the “kick butt and take names” form that we often see, but it’s not all that there is to strength. In order to form a really well balanced character, I think it’s important to express strength in a variety of forms. It lends humanity and makes the character identifiable for the reader, which is definitely something that you want. This is definitely something that I worked toward with Leah, the main character in An Absence of Light: while she’s able to kill the Shadows with the best of them, and has a brain to figure out new methods, she also has the strength to be flexible when she needs to. And oh does she need to in Absence! For me, that’s one of my favorite things about Leah and what I hope my readers enjoy, too!
What about you? What makes a character strong? Ever come across TDTSS?
Blurb for AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT:
Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.
She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.
When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.
Bio: Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:
- She’s a Northern California girl. And now is braving the cold winters in Montana.
- When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
- She’s also an anthropology professor and loves getting people interested in studying humans.
- If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.
Find Meradeth Houston online at: www.MeradethHouston.com
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Amazon, Goodreads, and of course her blog!
Find AN ABSENCE OF LIGHT on Amazon or Evernight Teen.