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Patricia D. Eddy | Top 5 reasons why I write strong female characters
Author Guest , Top 5 / April 19, 2018

A long time ago, in his 2006 acceptance speech for an Equality Now award, Joss Whedon (one of my storytelling heroes) gave a list of reasons why he writes strong female characters. His final reason? “Because you’re still asking me this question.” I grew up on Nancy Drew mysteries. Nancy kicked butt. Yes. She got herself into trouble. But most of the time she got herself out of trouble too. She was also the one who always figured out what was going on long before anyone else. I loved Nancy. I wanted to be Nancy. I still do. And not entirely because I wish I could be sixteen again. Nancy lived. She got out there and just did stuff. Me? Well, I go to work, come home, write, workout, read, and then do it all over again in the morning. Anyway. Putting my Nancy Drew envy aside, why do I write strong female characters? Here are my top 5 reasons. I’m strong. My mother’s strong. My mother-in-law is strong. I write female characters who take the actions I would take in their shoes. Or at least the actions I hope I’d take in their shoes. Writing lets me pretend to…

Melissa Eastlake | Why Consent In YA Retellings Is Sexy
Author Guest / April 19, 2018

THE UNCROSSING is a retelling of Rapunzel with contemporary, queer interpretations of the classic tropey characters from curse-driven fairy tales. Prince Charming-type guys, prone to chasing after girls who are trapped, silent, or literally comatose (come on, man), have not traditionally been awesome at consent. So I knew my Prince Charming for this story, set in a contemporary fantasy world, would be careful with consent. He would be aware of boundaries and navigate them in a way that would feel normal, integrated into the story, but still deeply important to him. And maybe even sexy. Sexiness in YA—not just sexual content, but specifically sexual content that’s appealing and aspirational—is a tricky topic, intricately interwoven with our convictions and personal boundaries. For me, I want to make sure that relevant issues of safety and consent are always prominent, and that swoony moods imbue those conversations and moments. Affirmative consent is sexy! Of course, when we say “consent is sexy,” we mean that consent is a minimum requirement for sexiness. Even if the conversation is awkward, or asking for permission leads to a painful rejection—in other words, even when the process of establishing consent isn’t particularly sexy—it’s still necessary. Without working through…