Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Making of a Young Adult Heroine

by Traci Hall
June 2012

From Merriam Webster online dictionary – HEROINE
a: a mythological or legendary woman having the qualities of a hero b: a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities
a: the principal female character in a literary or dramatic work b: the central female figure in an event or period

I write young adult stories that are mostly female centered. I love it when girls get to be the ones with the power. Not that they should use such power unwisely…I just want them to have it. It’s fun. I grew up in a world that was riddled with Girls Wear Pink and Boys Wear Blue rules.  Boys are stronger, more capable, worth more money.  Though my father might have thought so, my mother, thankfully, did not. I was encouraged to wear whatever color I wanted. My daughter has chosen a career in the male dominated Navy Aviation Structural Mechanics department and I see an entire generation of girls kicking the rest of the Gender Doors down.  What great heroines there will be to choose from when it comes to writing fiction!

As a reader, I want excitement, drama, or romance, maybe throw in some fear. I want to be sucked into emotion, where the stakes are high, and my heroine has to work for that happy ending.  I have a confession to make: I did not care for Bella in Twilight. (ducking for cover) Let me explain! She fits the description of a heroine, being the principal character in a literary work, but for my personal tastes, I found  Bella to be overly melodramatic.  She waited. She sighed. She cried. I couldn’t identify with her.  However, the brilliant and talented Stephenie Meyer tapped into a market craving teenage angst, and she delivered – the hot, sparkling vampire boyfriend was a bonus!  And the gorgeous werewolf next door? Great drama. The fact that Bella sighed, lost sleep, wasn’t happy, ever, made me want to scream. But Ms. Meyer created the perfect angsty heroine.  I just saw Kristen Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman. She did a lot of silent crying, waiting, etc. but the story was good. Typecast heroine?

Hunger Games is an example of the heroine I like best.  The character of Katniss Everdeen is clearly motivated from the beginning. She’s a hunter, she’s a rule breaker, and she loves her youngest sister enough that she volunteers for a death sentence so her sister can be safe. There’s a teasing hint of love unrequited, and a backbone of steel as she tells her mother to be strong. She needs all of these character traits if she is to survive the games.  The stories are amazing. If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it – especially if you’ve read the books. The producer/director people did a magnificent job of staying true to Suzanne Collins’s story.

In Zombyre, My Love, I’ve created a character, Lolita, who –unlike Katniss, lol – is no hunter. In fact, there are no living creatures around.  Her world consists of hot, hot days, comet showers, cold nights and curfews in a deserted town that rolls up the streets at sundown. Her parents are infected with the zombie virus, her best friends are infected with the zombie virus – she’s just waiting to get it and die, too. She lives with death shadowing her like a dark cloud.  Yet there is a light within her that shines bright enough to attract a monster. Lolita cries, like Bella, she feels angst, but she also pops the zombie trying to kill her over the head with a candlestick. She’s a survivor.

A heroine doesn’t have to wield a bow and arrow, or cry pretty, silent tears.  What makes a heroine strong is their willingness to take on the enemy, or evil, to protect someone they love, or an idea they believe in with all of their being. Katniss did this, volunteering to take her sister’s place. Lolita combines a sassy mouth with a huge heart, determined to love and live despite the bleak odds. Even angsty Bella shows strength as she struggles to find the good within the monster and justify her love.

There are many, many heroines in our lives, unsung champions. Moms, sisters, daughters, friends. Take a second and give ‘em a hug, a text, let them know you consider them a hero – talk about fun!


Award winning author Traci Hall writes paranormal romances for teens as well as historical romances for adults. She’s co authored a non-fiction book about adoption, and written a coming of age story.  Traci has been interviewed on the radio, web tv, and Fox and Friends. She lives in South Florida with her husband and children, reading, researching and writing.
Book 1 in the Mile Post 42 series : Zombyre, My Love
Book 1 in the Queen’s Guard series: The Queen’s Guard: Violet

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Writing Inspirationals ~ June Q & A Panel

Join us on June 23, 2012 for an informative workshop on writing inspirationals. Four inspirational authors will be on hand to answer questions, provide insights, and discuss the genre. Our speakers will be:

Linda Rondeau

A native of Central New York, Linda Wood Rondeau graduated from North Syracuse High School and later Houghton College. She moved to Northern New York where she met and married Steve Rondeau, her best friend in life, and managed a career in human services before tackling professional writing. She has recently relocated to Jacksonville, Florida to start a new adventure…leaving rural America to live in a city of one million.

While writing occupies a great deal of her time, the author takes greater pride in being a wife of one patient man, the mother of three, and the grandmother of nine…not to mention the owner of a very adorable cat.

An award winning author, The Other Side of Darkness is Linda Wood Rondeau’s first published novel.  She is the winner Selah award for best first novel 2012.  She also has a new release July 1st…America II:  The Reformation.  Linda is the founder of an on-line support group for writers called Pentalk.  When not writing, Mrs. Rondeau enjoys golfing, hiking, and Community Theater. 

The author enjoys receiving notes and questions from readers.
Blogs: This Daily Grind, Back in the Daze

 The Other Side of Darkness is available on, Barnes and,,, Pelican Books, and wherever books are sold. It is available in both ebook and softcover format.

Kathryn J Bain

Kathryn J. Bain has been writing for over ten years now. Her first release Breathless came out January 13, 2012. Her novella Game of Hearts was released on March 1, 2012. Her third book Catch Your Breath will be released later this year. She has two daughters, and is the former President of Florida Sisters in Crime. Currently, she is the Public Relations Director and Membership Director for Ancient City Romance Authors. To survive and pay bills, she has been a paralegal for over twenty years and works for an attorney who specializes in elder law. She moved from Idaho to Jacksonville, Florida in 1983 and has lived in the sunshine since.

Visit her at her website at  or on her author facebook page.

Selena Fulton

Selena started writing poetry at the age of nine and never stopped writing. She loves anything to do with the ocean. She enjoys camping and making jewelry. A multi-published, award-winning author, belongs to First Coast Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Ancient City Romance Authors. She won the Golden Acorn Excellence in Writing contest, and has finalled in the Unpublished Beacon and Finally a Bride contests. She also has a couple short stories published. She believes in “paying it forward” by working with fellow authors in her critique groups.

Her first novella, a sensual time travel romance called Never Let Go, came out on June 20 with The Wild Rose Press and is also available on

Come check her out on Facebook or go to her blog at, because it’s all about the journey

Diane Burke

Diane Burke, award winning author, writes inspirational romantic suspense for Love Inspired Books by Harlequin. She lives in Florida and loves everything from the hustle and bustle of theme parks to walking on the beautiful beaches and swimming in the surf. She loves to hear from her readers at:

If you'd like to join us...
Where:  Southeast Regional Library, 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32256
Time:  12:30 to 4:00
(Bring your lunch and eat or socialize from 12:30 to 1:00, Workshop begins at 1:00, Break, then General meeting to follow.)