Welcome to our weekly guest post on what makes a kick ass heroine in science fiction and fantasy. This week author A.Lightbourne shares about the kick ass heroine featured in her science fiction novel, Space Trippers Book 1 and what it’s like to write about a strong female lead.
I believe a ‘Kick-ass Heroine’ should be smart and spunky, able to take care of herself but with a bit of a vulnerable side.
Holding a doctorate in scientific engineering Valesque Rhaugh is not the violent type. She believes in the sanctity of life and will do everything in her power to protect the innocent crew of her commandeered vessel.
Not that she can’t take care of herself when the need arises. As a Virrilian she possesses not only four sharp fangs, claw-like nails and a virtually indestructible body but also an exceptional ability she calls ‘hunting mode’, where her warm brown eyes turn a bright silver as they film over and her senses elevate, enabling her to see her ‘prey’s’ circulatory and nervous systems, even in pitch dark, and vastly improving her physical prowess.
Although she has not had much need for this natural ability as a scientist, and has in fact avoided using it ever since she was exiled from her home planet, as her unwanted adventure continues, she is forced to use it more and more: to evade alien scavengers, escape captivity, track potential enemies, gain temporary employment as a ‘lie detector’ and to protect herself from the dark forces that threaten our world.
All ‘Kick-ass’ women have the same challenge: interpersonal relationships. Strong women can tend to be loners, preferring to go it alone and do it ‘their way’. Valesque is no different. She had been on her own for a number of years. After being wrongfully accused and put on the most wanted list of her home planet, she moved from place to place, working on engineering jobs, some of which she found ethically challenging, but all of which were a necessity for making a living.
When her under-construction science ship is stolen, with her onboard, she is reluctantly befriended by a young, genius, science officer and an extremely flirty ex-police pilot. These two people did not have much knowledge of Virrilians — since they lived in IPA space which has been at war with Virrilia for longer than any of them had been alive — and thus were extremely surprised at how much her small frame could take. From having fallen over twenty stories with hardly a thought to being barely singed by laser fire, her natural abilities continue to surprise them.
The first time they see her in hunting mode they are taken aback by her unusually fierce appearance, with her glowing eyes and exposed fangs. She breathes heavily and growls at them in her heightened form. As time goes on they are still wary of the sight of her in that state, never sure which is more in control, the scientist they know and love or the beast that surfaces and grins at them with that cunning, blood-red smile.
Writing a strong female lead can be challenging. You always have to keep a balance of good (sweet) and evil (spunky) in her thoughts and behavior, and in others perceptions of her. Although Valesque is not a ‘hard as nails’, violent or gruff kind of person, she is strong willed, sturdy, a bit scary and aloof. Keeping her true to herself in many different situations, and especially while with people she is not sure about want to keep getting closer to, is something that takes a lot of planing, so that we can see her development along the series of books. Things have to be paced evenly over the course of the story.
Writing a ‘Kick-Ass Heroine’ is a challenge and even more so when she is the star of a series, but they are so much fun! Who doesn’t like a cool, talented, self-sufficient, spunky gal?
I began writing stories almost as soon as I learned to write. From my 1st grade ‘journal’ full of tales of rabbit adventures to my first full length book at 14, I have always had a love for writing stories. I am happily married with lots of furry little ‘children’. Most of which I raised by hand when a local rescue group or friends brought me orphaned babies to bottle feed. Most of my writing is YA and Fantasy based. Right now I have Fantasy/Sci-fi mixes: the Space Trippers series and Brass Hearts: A Steampunk Fairytale. All of my writing, especially Space Trippers, is generously sprinkled with humor. I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing it.
For book synopsis, paperback and ebook links (Amazon and Barnes & Noble) go here: http://www.alightbourne.netau.
(Remember! You can always read the FREE sample of the books from the Ebook buy pages!)