Welcome to our weekly guest post on what makes a kick-ass heroine in science fiction and fantasy. This week sci-fi romance author, K.G. Stutts shares about her kick-ass heroine featured in her science fiction novel, Mirror Image, and how much fun it is to write a strong cloned female lead.
Mirror Image is about a brilliant woman, Madison Mackenzie Rhodes, who goes by the name Maddie. Her entire world is turned upside down when she finds out she’s a clone, created by a secret government agency called the Intergalactic Security Commission. Clones are created to keep the peace and protect Earth from the knowledge that we aren’t alone in the universe. Maddie must work with her counterpart, using the name Mack, as they are both being targeted. But soon an enemy from within the ISC threatens not only Earth, but countless other worlds as well.
I take pride in my strong female main characters in my books. Each one of them is beautiful and unique and I hope they will be inspirational to anyone, male or female, reading one of my romance or sci-fi romance novels. I subscribe to the Joss Whedon school of thought when it comes to my girls. I want them to be relatable and charismatic. I’m tired of reading books where the women are background characters or secondary to the guys. Some genres are sexist or geared toward a particular female archetype. I want to shatter the stereotype especially in my sci-fi books.
In Mirror Image, clones are thought to be docile, meek and cower in the face of danger. It’s a protocol created when the clone is created because the life of the clone is directly tied to the agent. If one dies, so would the other. So clones are supposed to lead simple, mundane lives. Maddie is the exception to the rule. When she was expected to curl into a ball or cry, she stood up against the odds and defended those around her. She’s kick on her feet and doesn’t get rattled easily, even when there is destruction and chaos all around her. Although she would rather pick up a book than a gun, Maddie is capable in a fight. Mack and Maddie are tenacious, sharp witted, and pioneers in their own world and ways. Maddie is brilliant, sweet, and stronger than she appears.
Being Maddie is her clone, the main difference between Mack and her counterpart is the life experiences differ from the last five years. Mack is the top squadron leaders in the ISC. After Commander Charlie Westlake, Mack is who everyone looks up to. The five years she spent with the ISC made her harder than Maddie, who is always open and friendly. She definitely has a rougher edge about her and doesn’t let people in, but she is still true to herself.
One of the challenges in writing this book has been to show these two women are very different yet similar. Maddie is the other side of Mack’s mirror, but they react differently. Partly due to the training from the ISC and going to other alien worlds and coming to face different races changed Mack. She is comfortable with a gun and doesn’t sweat high pressure situations. Maddie would rather think her way out of a situation but won’t hesitate when it comes to physical fights.
Just because you can throw a punch doesn’t make you a bad ass. Neither does handling a gun. What makes a kick-ass heroine is the ability to know the difference to use your head or physical strength. Being able to throw your body on the line in a moments notice with no thought of your personal safety, only those around you, that’s kick ass to me. And both Mack and Maddie do that during the course of Mirror Image. I could give examples, but you’ll have to read the book first.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: K.G. Stutts
She is the author of Mirror Image, the first in a sci-fi romance series as well as several romance stories. She has a degree in massage therapy. As a contributor to Independent Writers Association (IWA) her insights can be seen regularly there and on her own blog at kgstutts.blogspot.com and her website at kgstutts.webs.com
When she’s not weaving words, she enjoys reading, playing RPGs, hockey, wrestling, and football, and is a big sci-fi nerd. Currently she resides in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Brad.