Rummanah Aasi
  I'm very delighted to have Mary Lindsey, the author of the much anticipated novel Shattered Souls, on the blog today for her blog tour. Much thanks go out to the Teen Book Scene for hosting this incredible tour. I have been thinking quite a lot about what makes a strong, complex, female character that many readers seem to enjoy. So I pitched the question to Mary and was curious to read her answer.

How do you define a strong, complex, female heroine? 

   That is a great question, Rummanah, because I think it varies from author to author, and even from one project to another.
  Complexity is a separate component from strength for me, in that it is possible to write a complex, weak character. And it’s also possible to write a simple, strong character—I’m thinking about archetypes in allegory.
  For me, a strong heroine does not have to be fearless or devoid of weakness; nor does she have to kick butt in combat, be fiercely independent, or never cry. She must have inner strength.Just as with individual people, this inner strength can manifest in different ways. It can be evident from the start of the book, or can grow over the story. Sometimes “doormats” stand up and stomp the oppressor.
  In Shattered Souls, Lenzi is never a doormat, but certainly the growth of her strength is a major part of the story. What I wanted to avoid was having her strength come from a special power or from someone else.
It’s cool she can hear dead guys, but there’s more to her than that. Part of it is the complexity you asked about. She’s not just a girl who can talk to ghosts; she’s a girl coping with the loss of her father and the fear she could suffer from the same mental illness that drove him to take his own life. She’s struggling to fit in at high school while dealing with her mom’s grief. She’s reconciling who she was in past lives with who she is now, all the while, fighting off demons and resolving the problems of hindered spirits.
   Then there’s the issue of love. In my opinion, loving someone enough to make a sacrifice does not make a character weak. Love empowers as long as it doesn’t deny the heroine the ability to make her own choices or rob her of the power to act on her own.
   In Shattered Souls, Lenzi doesn’t step up to the plate solely because of her love for the hero. She steps up to the plate ultimately for herself and for her convictions of what is right. That, to me, is what makes a strong heroine.
  Thank you so much, Rummanah for the fun topic and for hosting this stop on the Teen Book Scene Shattered Souls Blog Tour. 

Thank you so much for being here, Mary! I'm really looking forward to reading Shattered Souls! Readers, be sure to stop by Mary's website for more book information. Shattered Souls will be out in December 2011!

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger...

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.
Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

1 Response
  1. Jenny Says:

    "For me, a strong heroine does not have to be fearless or devoid of weakness; nor does she have to kick butt in combat, be fiercely independent, or never cry."

    So true! The female characters I connect to most are the ones who are aware of their weaknesses and are only stronger because of that recognition. Such a great post, thanks for sharing Mary and Rummanah!

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