What’s Great About a Strong Female Lead by Shannon McRoberts

For our regular guest post on a kick ass heroines, please welcome Shannon McRoberts. She’s a fantasy and science fiction author, and an artist, illustrating her own covers. Please note that her first book in her series, Athine Verses: The Beginning is free through the 4th of January. As an added bonus, Shannon will give away to one of our readers a 5×7 print of some of her art. All you need to do to enter is comment below on your favorite kick ass heroine. Be sure to leave your email so we can contact you and Shannon can mail you your prize, if you win. We’ll pick a winner Monday, Jan. 7th, 9am PST.


Athine Book 2 Purple

I have always found myself attracted to the kick ass women in books and TV.  When I was about 5 or 6 Conan was popular.  It was out on VHS and I remember watching it and liking it (although my mother had a fit because it was rated R).  However, Red Sonja was my favorite.  I could give a crap less about Conan after that and wanted to see the female leads on the screen all of the time.  This is why I probably enjoyed Xena, Buffy, La Femme Nikita…do you see a pattern here?  I’m also a gamer, but I have to be able to play a girl character…preferably a fantasy styled female character.  It’s just who I am.  To think I almost didn’t want to watch Star Wars because there was no girl LOL!

I think this is why all of my books feature strong, kick ass, smart, stealthy, ladies—I have this inherent desire to see a strong female lead that is both feminine and kick ass.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy stories with helpless damsels in distress from time to time.  Yet, I would rather watch the damsel pick up a sword/gun/pipe wrench and knock the crap out of their captor!

Athine Book 4 Crossover

One of the questions I have been asked was to name some challenges writing a strong female lead.  I think for me it isn’t a challenge because I am a strong female like my characters.  I just put my own personality into my characters.  Take Athine for instance–she is always trying to prove herself to her doubting men that seem to think women cannot be strong leaders. I myself have fought this stereotype my entire life and have often come out on top of the pack.

I also like to combat the stereotype that strong women can only be physically or emotionally ugly or they have to be a homosexual to be “strong” or you have to be “ugly” to be smart.  I see that theme over and over in books/movies/TV.  I know I took great offense to the fact that everyone said Xena and Gabrielle were lovers just because they were two females that kicked ass and traveled together.  I don’t remember anyone saying that about Hercules and Eolis. This is just wrong.  You can be strong, beautiful, smart, and sexy no matter what you look like or who you choose to love.  You can be kick ass and a wife/mother/companion.  You can be beautiful and deadly.  You just can’t let society tell you that it is wrong.  Maybe this is why I liked the Kill Bill movies so much?

I started writing my own series and creating my own fantasy art surrounding the series because I saw a real lack of strong female entertainment after Xena and Buffy ended.  I needed something to love again; so, Athine was born.  Originally she was only supposed to be a single story, but as of this date she has spiraled into four stories and has now connected with another kick ass heroine Zarra from my The Secret of Genetic Corp X.  In Worlds Collide the fantasy like world of Athine crashes into the sci-fi like world of Zarra.  The story will then continue in my current work in progress Cursed Bloods.  I take what you think you know about mythology and mix it up.  I also take your normal character set up for fantasy–some heroic muscular bound male–and throw him on the sidelines.  In my books there is a lot of role switching if you want to think of it that way.  The men are not weak, but they play second fiddle to most of the ladies!


Shannon McRoberts currently resides in Kentucky and is a full time working mother and wife.  She loves playing MMORPGs like Guild Wars 2 and has now become addicted to Skylanders Giants.  Of course she only plays with Hex, a strong female necromancer, and is anxiously awaiting the Ninjini giant to be released..yes she is a female too!

Shannon’s books are here: http://www.amazon.com/Shannon-McRoberts/e/B0060ZFD60.

You can connect with Shannon at her sites here: http://www.shannonmcroberts.com and here: daughterofares.com.

2 thoughts on “What’s Great About a Strong Female Lead by Shannon McRoberts”

  1. I love this post! I have always been a fan of strong female characters. When I was a teen, my favorite books were historical romances where the heroine not only stood up to the hero, but defended her castle, fought societal norms in some way, or stood up for whatever she believed in. I love Buffy because she’s strong and vulnerable, wants the typical “girl” stuff, but can also kick butt. I love when the women are physically strong, but even if they are not, they have to be morally or socially strong- at least by the end of their character arc. I love reading YA where the heroine grows into her strength. 🙂 My biggest pet peeve in any movie/show/book is the heroine who whines, manipulates, or waits helplessly for someone to rescue her. Even if she’s not a Buffy, I expect her to do whatever it takes to save herself, even if she ultimately gets rescued.
    Thanks for the wonderful post, and I’m sorry for my long comment! This is definitely a subject I’m passionate about. 🙂

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