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 be someone else, at least for a little while. The idealized version of myself. The version who always has a witty retort and never comes up with the best comeback two hours later.
I write strong female characters because I’m a strong female character.
- They’re more fun. Seriously. The strong characters get the best lines. The “hey, buddy, get the heck out of my way before I run you over” lines. The “don’t you even think about trying to tell me what to do” lines. The “I’m going to save the world and you can’t stop me” lines.
Writing strong female characters, I get to curse a lot more. In my latest book, In Her Sights, Inara is a sharpshooter. When her life is threatened, I get to write lines like these:
Gritting my teeth, I shove my emotions and fear into a tiny box I can lock and hide away. If I’m going to take a bullet, I need to know it won’t be in vain.
“You want me? Come and get me.”
- Writing the heroes’ reactions to these strong characters is a hoot. Take one alpha male who’s convinced he’s the end all and be all of human kind, and give him a mate who can kick his ass AND outsmart him? Ha! I love taking readers on the alpha’s journey to love because there are always a few bumps along the way.In my latest book, IN HER SIGHTS, Royce wants to protect Inara, but she’s always a few steps ahead of him. It’s such a challenge to write these strong characters and not have them emasculate the alphas.
In my worlds, both men and women are on equal footing. Always.
- I don’t actually know how to write a damsel in distress. Believe it or not, I’ve tried. I can get my heroine into trouble, but then when she’s waiting for the hero to save her, twiddling her thumbs, I somehow write her discovering the key to the whole mystery or a way out on her own or a weakness the bad guy has that no one knew about before…it’s like my fingers have a mind of their own.
- The last reason I write strong female characters? Because those are the characters I like to read. I want more strong female characters—and more strong women—in the world. What’s the saying? Life imitates art? Well, technically, Oscar Wilde’s saying is: “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” I strive to make my art, my writing, contain what I want to see in the world. More strong women.
Their last chance for love.
Inara’s never second-guessed a shot, not until the disaster in Colombia—the disaster that led to Coop’s death.
Drifting, off balance, her emotions out-of-control, she has to pull it together before she’s benched for good.
Royce understands Inara’s pain. A stroke may have broken his body, but a mountain of guilt crushed his soul. He needs to pick up the shattered pieces of his life and rebuild. He’s a fighter, but sometimes even the strongest warrior needs help from someone special.
When Inara’s past threatens Royce’s future, she has to take a stand. Love is a battle, and a good soldier commits fully.
Can Inara pull the trigger when it matters most?
And if so, can she live with the consequences?
Grab In Her Sights now and find out!
Romance Suspense [Page Street, On Sale: April 17, 2018, e-Book, ISBN: 2940155545194 / eISBN: 1230002239705]
About Patricia D. Eddy
All of my books feature strong female characters, dark and mysterious alpha men, and a bit of danger. From shifters, vampires, and witches to Doms and subs, to military men and women, I have something for everyone.
Patricia D. Eddy lives in many worlds. Witches, vampires, and shifters inhabit one of them, military men and women fill another, with sexy Doms and strong subs carving out the final slice of her literary universe. She admits to twelve novels (though there are at least five unfinished drafts on her desk right now), all while working a full-time job, running half-marathons, and catering to the every whim of her three cats.
Despite this whirlwind, she still finds time to binge watch Doctor Who, all of the Netflix Marvel shows, and most recently, The Handmaid’s Tale. Oh, and she hopes to one day be able to say that she plays the guitar. Right now, she mostly tortures the strings until they make noise.