Please welcome author, Sharon Kay, sharing about how about her paranormal romance kick-ass heroine packs a punch!
The character of my female lead, Nicole, formed in my head one weekend and wouldn’t let up with the drop-kicks to my frontal lobe until I sat down to write her story. Able to summon air currents, Nicole was a gale force in my mind, and I had a blast writing Wicked Wind. Her sisters, who share similar talents, are waiting impatiently for me to write their stories.
I wanted a heroine who my female readers would want to be. One who could unleash her inner bad-ass on nefarious creatures, yet who still loves kicking back with ice cream and her best girlfriends. I realize not many of us want to tangle with venom-spitting demons, but we do want to face down our troubles and fears. We want the strength to handle whatever life throws at us. We want to be able to kick ass, even if we don’t actually go out and do it.
Nicole always sensed she was “different” but, being raised on Earth, never thought she was anything but human (albeit one with a weird ability). At age twenty-eight, she is still discovering the extent of her skills. I wanted an adult main character who had yet to realize her full potential, a woman capable of doing incredible things through sheer force of will.
Nicole’s power grows throughout the novel. In the beginning, she uses her mixed martial arts skills to balance her nascent ability to command the wind and alter air temperature. No one expects her. In the demon realm or on Chicago’s gritty streets, stealth and surprise are on her side. And on one dark city night, the unexpected finds her – a mouth-wateringly sexy demon warrior named Gunnar.
Self-discovery is an important detail of the kick ass heroine. The writer can go in two different directions with this – the heroine could reach inside to find her inner strength, or she could run from what she knows lurks deep in her soul. This parallels life’s journey. When bad or disappointing things happen to us or to loved ones, we have a choice in how we deal with it. Fight or flight. Nicole fights for the underdog: the downtrodden and weak. She dispenses her own brand of vigilante justice, because she is searching for the reason behind her talent. Pushed by the question WHY, she chooses to act.
Another key to Nicole is her uniqueness. When she learns her true lineage, she also learns that it has been centuries since any of her kind has walked the realms. So she must learn as she goes, getting a crash course in all things demonic. Though she is rare, she is far from alone. As she searches for answers and builds up her power, she has the help of her sisters, Gunnar, and a host of supernatural sidekicks.
A challenge to writing a kick-ass heroine is remembering that she has a softer side. She is not a machine! Nicole is eager to take down the creatures she was born to fight, but she works tirelessly to understand Gunnar’s fierce protectiveness of her. She could tell him to take a hike; instead, she peels back the layers of his lethal façade to realize that they have endured similar struggles at young ages.
Nicole has to discover the full range of her abilities. She and her sisters will be called to challenge themselves, to become stronger physically and with their elemental talents. They also must learn to open their hearts to the men who love them. Kicking ass can be a journey. Sometimes you do the kicking, and sometimes, a demon has your back.
Sharon Kay lives near Chicago with her husband and son. Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons. She is busy revising her second book.