Post-Apocalyptic Strong Heroine Fights for Freedom

Welcome to our weekly guest post on what makes a kick ass heroine in science fiction and fantasy. This week’s author Cynthia Echterling shares about a complex heroine in a scary time when mutants and outlaws raid the frontier. Her heroine is smart and tough and must face the ultimate sacrifice. Read on!


Catherine Fuller is the female lead character of an ensemble cast in the post-apocalyptic novel, Scavengers. In the novel, the world is beginning to recover from a cataclysmic event that depopulated most of North America. Catherine grew up on an agricultural co-op on the North Georgia frontier where life was hard and settlers were forced to fight off raids from mutants and outlaws in order to hang onto what little they had. The intelligent and strong willed Catherine wanted more. She moved to the northern-most city-state, worked her way through college and became a professor of anthropology at the small university, working in agricultural archeology. Her and her team of graduate students work discovering long forgotten crops and farm equipment to improve life on the frontier. She is responsible for rediscovering the crowder pea and its nitrogen fixing properties and is now working on redesigning a horse drawn combine harvester from studying artifacts found in the ruins.

When her former lover, fellow anthropologist, Thomas Martin, is accused of treason and escapes into the ruins which are inhabited by savages that the government has classified as subhuman, Catherine leads the effort to learn the truth and find Martin — if he has survived. What she and her co-conspirators discover is that not only is Martin’s theory that the savages, known as dregs, are equally human correct, but that a conspiracy within the government is planning a final solution to the dreg problem. She has to find Martin and save a people that she herself was taught to hate.

Catherine is driven by her desire to improve her own life and the hard scrabble lives of the people trying to restart a civilization. She has not only the strength of her convictions, but the survival skills she learned on the frontier and through her archeological and agricultural research. She is also motivated by guilt. If she had backed up Martin’s theories, he might never have lost his position. If she had not convinced her latest love interest, reporter Mike Alvares, to take part in her investigations, he might still be alive. Can she risk getting herself or anyone else killed? Catherine admits her mistakes, learns from them and moves on, always striving to make things right.

She is a no-nonsense person, driven to succeed and able to convince others through her force of will even when the fighting gets physical. Deep down though, Catherine is still motivated by the fear of a little girl growing up in the wilds and finds it hard to risk the position and life she worked so hard to obtain. She learns to give up her own safety to fight for the safety and freedom of all, including those disgusting savages who eat their own dead.

Author, Cynthia Echterling

About the Author
Cynthia Echterling, grew up and currently lives in Northwest Indiana, but has also lived in Georgia where this story takes place. She studied experimental psychology and has had a long time interest in anthropology ever since reading William Golding’s books, Lord of the Flies and The Inheritors as a child. She is also an Army veteran. Her fondest childhood memories were of spending time on her relatives’ farms and still has an interest in organic agriculture. She is also an artist who dabbles in animation, voice over and sound effects. She designed the cover for this book. Besides Scavengers, she is the author of the Help Wanted, Human series, written under the name Stephen Wytrysowski and published by Whiskey Creek Press.

You can learn more about her and her work at her website.

Scavengers is available in all e-book formats at:


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