What Makes a Kick-ass Heroine Powerful by Tash McAdam

SLAM_final01Please welcome guest author, Tash Mcadam, while she talkes about what makes a kick-ass heroine powerful. Doesn’t she have a great cover?! Be sure to enter her giveaway below!


The first kick-ass heroine I ever read a book about was Alanna of Trebond, in the book, The Woman Who Rides Like a Man. I picked that book right up off the shelf and was immediately heard an angelic chorus, was surrounded by a halo of light, and given total, bone deep satisfaction that finally I had proof on a topic I had always known to be true. Women are just as good, and sometimes even better, than men. Yes, it’s true, that physically speaking the average man has certain advantages over the average women. Hell, I’ve lived those! The curse of my life in many ways has always been my height. I’m ‘the average height for a woman’, which would be great, if half the women I know were shorter than me. But they’re not, not many people are. As a martial artist, that’s a huge burden. I often fight people who are six-foot or more, and I also fight men, who can have twice, or three times my muscle mass. One proper blow to the head and I’m seeing tweety-birds, but I once fought a guy I hit full power in the jaw seven times before I won. (In a full contact Karate tournament) Alanna inspired me, and from that day on I sought out books starring powerful women I could relate to. We need more kick-ass heroines in the world, whether they be super-powered, magically juiced up in some way, or just amazing in a more traditional, trained sense.

Because kick ass heroines are very close to my heart, in my series, the Psionics, I explore what that means to me from two different directions. My prequel novella, SLAM, which you can check out here stars Serena, a telekinetic teenager who’s trying to join a rebel army in order to get the training she needs to rescue her baby brother. In the world of the Psionics, I got to make my own laws, and break them. Serena is the best of the best, because she works at it, and she has the basic materials (psionic ability) to work with. Serena is five feet, two inches tall, and for her, that’s not even a problem when she has to reach things on high shelves, her power allows her to compete in every field. She works side by side with other telepaths to try and bring down the destructive agency that continues to hunt them, abduct them, and abuse the powers for their own nefarious purposes. She is a strong, driven, take-no-prisoners sort of girl. The main character in the follow-up novel (August 2015) is also a kick-ass heroine, but in a much subtler way. With no telekinesis, and very little physical strength, Epsilon 17 is one of the slaves the Institute has captured. She uses her telepathic reading abilities and innate intelligence to trick them into thinking she is like the other children, a blank, emotionless slate. It is a lie. The carefully constructed shell she hides behind protects her from their memory wipes. And she lives for the day when she will get a chance to make the Institute pay for what they’ve done.

Approaching the kick-ass heroine character from two, such different angles, has given me real insight into what I think makes someone powerful. I believe mental toughness is just as important to a heroine as physical ability. And I believe that the more kick-ass heroines there are in our media, the more kick-ass heroines we’ll get in real life.

Slam Sneak Peek

Hunkering into the shadow at the edge of the building, she closes her eyes and slips deeply into the centre of her power, imagining the internal light of her Talent filling every cell. Her consciousness has to align completely with her physical body so that she can be both undetectable and ready to act – a perfect zen state of awareness that she’s spent years learning to achieve. She slides into it, her skin tingling with energy that will protect or attack, as she commands it. This is it, this time. No going back. They won’t let her out on the streets unless she succeeds in this, so succeed she must. And this is her last chance.


Rules: Use your Facebook or email to enter the draw. The draw will last for 7 days, I will contact the winners via facebook the day after the draw closes. There are three copies up for grabs, and it is a random selection, so anyone can win no matter how many entires there are!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

IMG_4781I’m Tash, I’m an English teacher by day, superhero… I mean fiction writer by night. I spend most of my free time falling in streams, out of trees, juggling, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, doing Karate, playing punk rock on the piano, and of course, writing. I have a degree in being a nerd, a penchant for colouring tiny plastic animals gold, and an insatiable appetite for tea and books. Preferably at the same time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.