In the fictional world, evil characters are usually interesting and complex, and good ones are boring and hard to relate to. Yet in the real world, it’s just the opposite, with good people being interesting and complex, and bad people being boring, shallow, and usually unlikable. So, in short, WTH?
Stories in film and fiction have always inspired and entranced me; it’s why I became an author myself. Watching characters resolve their external conflicts and fight their inner demons helps me to make sense of my own life struggles. Yet I admit to never feeling like I could relate to any of the heroines of my youth, whether they were the various Disney princesses, She-Ra, the perfect Sweet Valley High twins, or the older “good” female characters from sitcoms who seemed to do most everything right with only slight slipups. As a girl, I was a far cry from the sweet, demure young lady I was often told I should be. Instead I was full of wild emotions, I didn’t care about wearing pretty dresses, and I wanted to have adventures. One of the reasons I became a tomboy was because the male characters I was exposed to were more interesting; they could go “dark side” in an episode and return to being a hero. They could be less than perfect, and not lose their “good” label, a facet I found incredibly attractive. It wasn’t until the advent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I finally found a heroine I could identify with; a female who was good not because she had no failings or temptations, but becausemost of the timeshe could successfully fight them. Further, she had her weak moments of utter failure and heartbreak, where she tried her best and still her world went south. Yet she always picked herself up and went on, even when all she wanted to do was curl up in a ball and give up. This resonating is probably why Buffy will always have a special meaning to me, even as I have moved my “best heroine” allegiance on to Carol from The Walking Dead.
I have tried to infuse this balance of vulnerability, hope, passion and fear into all of my heroines, as well as my heroes. To me, innate good is not a lack of evil, but quest to do what is just and right in the face of contrary desire and emotion. Its self-control, coupled with peace, love for others, kindness, happiness, and empathy. My kind of superwoman lives in the world I live in: where there is temptation, but there is also strength to overcome it. More importantly, it is okay to have your weak moments, as long as you get it right in the end.
Neither human stripper Sundown nor virgin were-halfbreed Serena knew how their futures would change when catalyst vampire Devlin Dalcon walked into their lives. Sundown was just looking to party and forget her tragic past; Serena was hoping for excitement and love, to be swept away from the dull routine of her short-order cook job and solitary life. Will these very different women finally face their fears in time to seize their own dreams of happiness?
It felt like the day from hell. Everything had gone wrong for me. I’d gotten hit on by an overzealous, middle-aged buffoon who’d fondled me intimately on his second lap dance. That had put me off so much, I’d been a beat behind when I took my turn onstage. The men in the audience hadn’t cared, but I had. I liked to think I was the most sought after girl in Hotcakes, and how could I, feeling like some amateur her first night on the pole.
“Shit.” I drank my seven-and-seven down in a gulp, and decided to pay my tab. It was time to go home.
Leaving some money on the bar, I motioned to Bill, the head bouncer at Hotcakes. He came over grinning snidely, his tanned face sharp, yet still friendly. “Another, Sun?”
“No,” I said tiredly, getting to my feet. “I should go home.” He leaned in close. “Even though you’ve got a fan still here?” I gave him a look that said he’d better not annoy me in the mood I
was in. “What are you talking about?” “That guy in the corner,” he said, with a discreet hand gesture. “He
came in when you were on stage. He watched your set like he’d never seen a woman before.”
“Good for him,” I said dispassionately, though inside I was pleased to hear of the special attention. “It’s nice I can still give a man a lift, even as bad as I was.”
“You weren’t bad,” Bill replied seriously. “Just off by a few seconds.”
“Not good enough,” I replied stiffly. “I strive for perfection. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
As I went for my coat, a soft yet deep voice called out, “Please wait.”
I turned back to see my admirer coming toward me. As men went— especially compared to the type who came in here usually—he was a solid nine. He was handsome, tall, and his body was nicely muscular without being too bulky. He looked sort of young for some reason, yet I reasoned that he had to be at least twenty-one for Bill to have let him in the door. His straight dark hair was pulled sharply back in a short ponytail, which made me think he was older than the early twenties I pegged him for. That hairstyle wasn’t popular with the twenty-something crowd, and the clothes he was wearing also spoke to him being at least thirty-something.
“Can I take you for coffee?” he asked softly, his dark eyes staring at my breasts before looking up to my face.
At least he’s close to my age. It was nice to have a man come on to me who wasn’t old enough to be my father…wait. The stranger’s eyes had seemed red for a moment. Now they were dark again. It must have been a trick of the light. The bartender had just shut off the flashing neon signs in the front windows and announced last call. Maybe it had been the glare of the strobe lights that were still going strong? Maybe I’m drunker than I thought…Nah.
“Or something to eat,” the stranger added, when I didn’t reply. “You look like you could use a good meal.”
“Listen, buddy,” I replied sarcastically. “This isn’t Pretty Woman, got it? I’m not looking for a savior.”
“What woman is these days?” he stated bitterly. “I was just offering company, if you wanted some.”
I was surprised that someone so young could sound so bitter. Maybe he only looked young. Or maybe he’d had a childhood like mine. I reached out and ran my hands over his chest. His muscles bunched reflexively under my hands, making a shiver of desire snake its way through my body.
Maybe this is a good way to end the night. “What are you offering?” I said suggestively, giving him my best bedroom eyes.
Tara Fox Hall is giving one (1) lucky commenter a “You’re My Type” travel mug (U.S. only) . But don’t fell left out if you’re international. If you’re outside the U.S. and your comment is chosen you’ll win an ecopy of the book. So, who’s your heroine? I’m with Tara on Buffy. I’ve always been drawn to the stronger women/girls. Probably why Island of the Blue Dolphins was my favorite book growing up. Share yours to be entered. Good Luck!