Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!
Give a Wonderful Welcome to another RG2E first-timer…Author Seeley James, who’s chatting with us about the evolution of today’s heroine.
Take it away, Seeley…
Heroines have evolved a great deal lately. In the late ’30s and early ’40s, we had the wife of a resistance leader played by Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca and the plucky Judy Garland as Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. Far from passive but decidedly non-violent heroines.
But forty years later, heroines were beginning to change (we’ll skip over the 1961 aberration of ass-kicking, leather clad and aptly named Emma Peel in TV’s The Avengers).
Karen Allen packed a mean right cross in Raiders of the Lost Ark even if it was only one. And of course, Princess Leia of Star Wars fame went from requiring men to rescue her in 1977 to leading her own platoon into battle in 1983. From there, heroines top each other year after year: Vasquez kills as many Aliens as she can to save the others in 1986; Sarah Connor spent her time behind bars pumping iron to protect her son in 1991’s Terminator 2; Trinity kills anything that moves in The Matrix in 1999; Angelina Jolie brings physics-defying fight scenes to the screen as Lara Croft in 2001; and takes anti-gravity to new heights in 2010’s SALT. But the ultimate heroine of late has to be the remake of Snow White as the army-leading one true queen who slaughters entire hordes.
The minimum body count for entry into the Heroine Hall of Fame seems to be rising daily. We have come a long way from when Thelma and Louise killed just one rapist (Hey, he was asking for it).
But then there is Katniss.
The reluctant heroine. The uncommitted heroine. The survivalist who would rather eat poisonous berries than let the Capitol make her the winner. With that ultimate sacrificial bluff, she won more fans than all the rampaging heroines of the last couple decades. In a strange twist, the largest fan base goes to the heroine with the lowest body count. Why is she so popular? What makes her more compelling?
These strange dichotomies in popular culture guided me in the formation of my new heroine, Pia Sabel. I believe readers are looking for someone who can kick ass when necessary but use her wits more than a knife or a fist, resorting to bullets only after all other options have been exhausted. I’ve endeavored to create that heroine.
Several male readers have complained that Pia Sabel’s fight scenes would never work in the real world. These same men don’t mind that in his last movie James Bond was shot in the back, fell 150 feet off a moving train into a river and somehow survived—but an amateur woman boxer beat up a man? Unbelievable.
I’ve observed my younger daughter’s forays into women’s boxing, her ten year career in women’s soccer, and her brief try at women’s rugby. (No, she’s pretty and feminine off the field, thanks for asking 🙂 I swear to readers everywhere that all the moves Pia Sabel makes are not only physically possible, but I’ve seen them performed by women. They are very effective.
If you choose to read my thriller, The Geneva Decision, please let me know what you think. I love hearing from readers. And, if you’d like an Ebook Gift Copy, let us know below. You just might win one!
What do you see as the significant attributes of an ass-kicking heroine?
Seeley James is the author of the Pia Sabel series of thriller short stories and novels. He was first published in The Battered Suitcase, was a Finalist for DeMarini Award in fiction, and was short listed for the Fish Publishing Award and the Debut Dagger Award.
He discovered his love of creativity at an early age, growing up at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Arizona and Wisconsin. He carried his imagination first into a successful career in advertising and marketing, and then to his real love: fiction.
He created Pia Sabel to be the kind of character that his friends and children would want to read. James has three children; he adopted his first, a precocious and beautiful three-year-old girl, when he was a single nineteen year old. Twenty years later he married, and he and his wife have two more children. They live in Scottsdale, Arizona, and enjoy youth soccer games and sunshine.
Connect with Seeley here:
I’m a huge fan of kick-ass heroines, Seeley! And I can’t wait to read your new series!
Thanks bunches for a fabulous look at today’s new heroine and for the Ebook Gift Copies too!
The Best of RG2E Reading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder