Can You Stereotype Kick-Ass Heroines? by Author Isabella Modra

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Rouge by Isabella Modra
Help me welcome author, Isabella Modra, all the way from Adelaide, South Australia where she writes about young adult fantasy and kick-ass heroines. Enjoy!


When I think of kick-ass heroines, it’s hard to put a stereotype to the many characters that come to mind. There’s the type of heroine who wears black leather showing WAY too much cleavage with a gun sticking out from her thigh holster and a badass pout on her lips. She kicks ass on a daily basis, has the greatest comebacks, saves the city from evil villains and always gets the hero.

Then there’s the quiet heroines who don’t portray the fact that they kick-ass. Take Nancy Drew, for instance. Do you see her sneaking around in lycra suits with a magnifying glass in her hand? And yet she always manages to catch the bad guys.

These days, heroines are beginning to change their faces. You hear of Katniss from The Hunger Games – an unintentional heroine who fought back for justice when she had no other option.

Most YA books these days feature a heroine of this kind of personality (Tris from Divergent, Hermione from the Harry Potter series, and Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments series to name a few). These heroines are innocent, brave by default and are often thrown into situations where they are forced to choose – to be selfish or to be the heroine?

The main character of my book series Rouge is, in some ways, similar to these heroines. Hunter Harrison was always ordinary until she discovered she had the ability to manipulate and wield fire. This power is often uncontrollable and reacts to her emotions. Give this to a teenage girl with a scientist for a guardian and a new love interest and you can expect her to have some mood swings.

Embers & Ice by Isabella Modra

What’s different about Hunter in comparison to the other heroines in the YA books we read is this; she is not a hero until she learns what it is to be a hero. She is an imperfect, compulsive, angry, whining and ungrateful teenage girl. Part of that is thanks to the fire that eats away at her soul, and she does well in my opinion to stop from ruining every relationship she has. And she’s lucky to have such patient people in her life (i.e her boyfriend, Eli).

I truly believe that in order to become a hero you have to go through hardships and struggles. You don’t wake up one morning with superpowers and suddenly you’re world-famous with a Twitter fanbase of 10 million followers. Yes, every hero goes through hardships. But they’re allowed to make mistakes in order to grow.

That’s exactly what my characters does. She grows. Tormented by her past and the suffering she endures eventually softens her heart. She becomes aware of what and who she took for granted. She figures out that heroines save even those who wrong them, because that’s the right thing to do. She learns to control the fire (I won’t give away how, you’ll have to read it), and she becomes a true heroine.

Perfect people make boring characters. The reader will want to throw up. After all, you’re creating someone as realistic as possible for people to idolize. It’s the same portrayal the media gives young girls about their image: telling them they have to be perfect will only crush their faith in themselves.

A true, kick-ass heroine is someone to look up to, someone to relate to and someone to dream of being. It’s as simple as that.



060214Isabella Modra
Author, Isabella Modra

Isabella Modra was born in Adelaide, South Australia, where she graduated in 2011 and began working full-time. In 2012 she traveled Europe, backpacking from Ireland to Egypt to Sweden and many other countries. She recently spent 7 months working at a ski resort in Alberta, Canada. She is currently living in Adelaide, South Australia.

Isabella began her writing career at the age of thirteen, after having loved reading books all her life. She wrote a mystery series of 9 books (unpublished) by the time she was fifteen, and decided to become a self-published author. ROUGE is her first published novel, and EMBERS & ICE – the second in the series – is soon to be released.

On a more casual note, she enjoys cups of tea, acoustic guitar, dreaming of travelling and meeting people with incredible life stories.

Amazon link for Rouge (first book):
Amazon link for Embers & Ice (2nd book):

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