The final installment in The Night Stalker Q&A series is brought to you by Banana (TM). Bananas are good!
Perhaps the most important thing to know about any story is why the author wrote it. Why did they put the time and the effort in to writing, editing, and publishing this particular story? What's so important about it?
As I was growing up, I always felt like there were more books for boys with manly, handsome action heroes and ditzy girls. The girls were princesses who wait in towers to be rescued and can hardly pick up a pillow. I was never that girl. Ever. I was the strongest girl in my grade and could beat all of the boys at arm wrestling. Perhaps that is why my imaginary friend and my first ever not stollen from another story character was a B.A. elf named Arya Poisonhold.
I'm still probably one of the strongest girls in my grade, but all of the boys can beat me at arm wrestling. Karma.
For much of my childhood, I longed for the strong, heroic female characters that I was missing. I felt out of place because to be pretty, you had to be Barbie. And Barbie wasn't strong or B.A.
When I started writing The Night Stalker, I think I was trying to fill the void of a strong, female role model. If you look at everything I've written up two about a year ago, you'll find that all of my main characters are strong, heroic females. The first book I wrote where the protagonist wasn't a strong female was Loving Amelia Perfect, which I wrote last summer. The two main characters are Amy, a shy girl who is secretly agnostic; and Ben, a social outcast with major family and relationship troubles. Ben was the first time one of my narrators was a guy.
Now, books are changing. More and more protagonists are heroic females like Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games and Tris from Divergent. Writers are saying that girls don't have to be skinny to be pretty. Any shape or size is beautiful. People don't have to be perfect, they just have to do the right thing and be strong. Don't let people push you around. Make your own decisions.
This is exactly what I'm trying to get through in The Night Stalker. I want to tell girls that they can be independent and make their own decisions, go after dreams, and kick fear in the butt. Gail isn't a perfect person. She's stubborn and very independent. Gail doesn't take orders well and will decide to go off and do her own thing in the blink of an eye. But, at the same time, she knows when to be smart, when to stay, and when to help people. She doesn't try to act stupid around guys, and she repeatedly doesn't do what they want her to do. Though there is romance in The Night Stalker, the romance isn't a huge part of the storyline. Gail is focussed on other things like finding her mother, defeating the Alliance, and deciding, as the Night Stalker, if what she is doing is right. I wanted to show that there is more to life than romance, and that you don't need someone to love you in order to be a good and amazing person.
That's all I have today. Take it away, Banana (TM)!
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Best of Writing!