Diana Pharaoh Francis has stopped by to talk about one of my all-time favorite female characters, Max. If you are a fan of fantasy series full of magic, action and tough, kick-ass characters, then Horngate Witches is a must-read.
The next installment, Blood Winter, releases on December 26th.
Hi everyone!Thanks to Cat for having me here today!
I want to talk about my main female character, Max. She’s tough as nails. She’s one of those heroines that comes under the heading of “kick-ass heroine.” In fact, some might say (I think wrongly) that she’s too masculine or hard and that she’s difficult to connect to.
The truth is, Max is as hard as iron. She has suffered a lot and become a warrior who is always fighting. She’s been enslaved by a witch and that’s her job—to fight. She has no choice, and in fact, the truth is she likes it. She likes being powerful enough to fight for the people she cares about, even if she doesn’t always believe in what she’s fighting for. She’ll, quite literally, chop off heads, kill people, torture them . . . she’s a tough cookie.
But even though she’s capable of doing really terrible things, she’s still an emotional person. Now maybe that’s what some readers think of as the difference between feminine and masculine—that only women can feel, and men shouldn’t show their feelings. They should be stoic. I think sometimes some readers think that any character that does the violent work of fighting is masculine. I don’t happen to agree with that. I think being human means being emotional—which is why my male characters show their emotions. They get hurt, feel loss, anger, hope, love . . .
Back to Max: She’s passionate and she makes mistakes. She hates injustice and does her best to make sure that justice happens, even in a world where mostly things are unfair and those with power tend to abuse it. She protects the innocent. But she could never have been a man in my eyes. She was always herself and always female. What makes her feminine to me? I think it’s her relationships with other people. How she interacts with them. I think too it’s a natural sort of nurturing and caretaking. Not that men can’t have that. But sometimes I think of her as a female wolf who is more vicious and more dangerous in the care and protection of her pups and family than any male could ever be.
One of the rather odd things that inspired me was the song “Beer for my Horses.” There’s a line in there that says, “justice is the one thing you should always find,” and I think Max lives by that motto. She breathes it. Everything she does is motivated by it. And love. Love and Justice.
So tell me, what are your favorite female heroines and why? What makes them feminine for you?
NEW GAME. SAME RULES. SHE FIGHTS. THEY DIE.
Max always does her job, no matter how brutal and bloody. That’s how it’s been ever since she was enslaved by a witch, turned into a supernatural warrior, and assigned to protect the coven of Horngate. But her job just got harder. . . .
Waves of wild magic have returned much of the world to a time when fairy tales were real and danger now lurks behind every tree and bush. As winter descends and food, heat, and water are harder to come by, many have turned to Benjamin Sterling for protection. Leader of the Earth’s Last Stand cult, Sterling claims to be the Hand of God, but his power and charisma secretly come from a dark and terrible source. With devout followers eager to do his sadistic bidding, he has his eyes on Horngate and its magical inhabitants. To save those she loves, Max will knowingly walk into a trap. But when the cult strips Max’s soul bare for all to see, will even Alexander—her lover and her strength—remain? And if she were to lose him, what does it matter if she gains the whole world. . . .