Welcome back to my occasional series on kick ass heroines in fantasy and science fiction. Please give a warm welcome to today’s guest author, young adult fantasy writer, Kathrine LaFleur.
I love routine. I’m a planner, and spend a lot of time in my head. My comfort zone is very well worn. I’m not a very athletic person, and certainly not a thrill seeker. I’m happy to walk the dogs, show up to Pilates, and work up a good sweat on the dance floor now and then, so creating Moonlight for the Cardonian Chronicles series, a character who is both physically and mentally strong, and who knows her way through a good fight, was an exciting challenge for me.
I don’t think Kiss Ass Heroines are born; they are made. Some are lucky enough to have a mentor, while others blunder through on their own. Moonlight is the result of a combination of both, and in writing her story I enjoyed finding out how she developed from a baby born into privilege to a fierce young woman living by her wits and physical prowess.
Moonlight has many skills. She can strategize, wield a blade, and resist the mind washing effects of a Persuasive. Her teacher also happened to be her father, and he made growing up a thrilling adventure for Moonlight, as he taught her how to stand her ground, fulfill her own needs, and be proud of the blond hair and blue eyes that made her different from everyone else.
By no means is Moonlight perfect. She feels fear and falters. When her knowledge and skill aren’t enough to prevent a tragedy, she chooses self-loathing, punishing herself for events beyond her control. She confuses vulnerability with weakness. Self-reliance and a need to hold herself to unreasonable standards of perfection morph into self blame and isolation, an unwillingness to let others pick up some slack when life starts to get too real.
I’ll be brave enough to admit that these are the same flaws I grudgingly see in myself. Learning to speak my truth, to be me, real and raw, instead of presenting a fragile façade of what I think others want to see has felt like an act of heroism in itself, and the lessons have often been painful.
There are probably pieces from a hundred different Kick Ass Heroines swirling about inside my Moonlight. There’s Robin McKinley’s Beauty, who is driven by loyalty and love, and Mercedes Lackey’s Talia, who is her own worst critic. I recognize Nikki Heat in there, too, rushing headlong into danger in order to find answers she desperately needs. And of course, my favorite Kick Ass Heroine of all time, Xena, Warrior Princess.
All of these heroines are a source of strength and inspiration to me. I don’t know that I would take Moonlight’s initiative and chase down a villain. You won’t find me clashing swords or executing a vise-like headlock anytime soon, but I like to consider Moonlight and the rest of those courageous women to be my cheerleaders when I find myself in a challenging situation. Removing a monstrous wasp from my bedroom, showing up for a meeting that I know will drop me into the terrifying pit of unemployment, or putting my writing out into the world to be scrutinized, I take a breath and ask myself, “What would Moonlight do?”
Editor’s Note: I love Nikki Heat (Castle) and Xena too! Waving hello from the San Francisco Bay Area!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathrine LaFleur grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. As an educator, she enjoys nurturing a love of reading and writing in her students. She hopes that her writing will empower readers to value their unique qualities and see their own potential to transform obstacles into opportunities to triumph.
You can purchase Moonlight Hunting on Amazon.
To see more books by Kathrine LaFleur: http://www.storyminepress.com/.