Here’s to strong smart women. Especially those who fly under the radar.
Amateur sleuths, particularly women amateur sleuths, often don’t seem all that strong or all that smart at first blush. But they are, aren’t they? Whether they have ordinary jobs like small-town librarian, preschool teachers, haunted bed and breakfast owner or for that matter they may be like, pet therapist, Caro Lamont and pet boutique owner, Melinda Langston, in our Pampered Pets mystery series.
Whatever their regular, everyday job…these women are strong. They are smart.
They may seem ordinary, but they’re definitely not.
We love writing (and reading) these seemingly ordinary women because they’re often underestimated, and even at times, overlooked. These ladies can take care of themselves and anyone else who needs it.
Writing a strong heroine can be tricky. It’s a balancing act. You see, a strong woman isn’t just a guy named Lance who’s been given some curves and renamed Linda. A strong heroine is a multi-faceted person with feelings and flaws. She understands her weaknesses, learns from her mistakes and draws on her strengths to face what she needs to face. She’s loyal and fierce and believes in fighting the good fight, not only for herself but for others who can’t fight. She may get knocked down, but she always gets up, ready to try again.
Joss Wheldon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, says he writes strong women because of his mother was a cool, sexy, funny, woman. And because of his father and step-father prized wit and resolve above all things.
We believe part of the fascination with strong, smart women who fly under the radar is that they are going along, leading ordinary lives, and suddenly they must rise to the occasion when faced with extraordinary circumstances. In our books, it’s almost always a murder. But the murder isn’t really the call to action for Caro and Mel. It’s the injustice. Someone is falsely accused. Someone is in danger. Someone has been wronged or someone bad will get away doing something bad.
And don’t we all hope that if we were placed in a situation that called for it, that we’d put on our big girl capes and perform extraordinary feats.
So here’s to us - the daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and friends who fight the good fight. Even if, sometimes, we have to save the world between grocery shopping, special events, and nonstop meetings.
Here’s to you - may your battles be small and your superpowers sufficient to the challenge before you.
What makes a great strong female character for you?
Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Woods aka Mary Lee Ashford and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series. They are friends as well as neighbors so they often get together and plot ways to commit murder. (But don't tell the neighbors.) They love to hear from readers and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, their favorite social media sites.
Their most recent book is The Dogfather, the tenth book in the Pampered Pets series.
Also, if you want to make sure you get updates, sign up for their newsletter via the SparkleAbbey.com website.