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Welcome to Day 2 of the Battle of the Sexies! Today's guest is a wonderful young woman whose book was just released not even one month ago! Please give a warm welcome to Anastasia Hopcus, author of Shadow Hills!
"Anastasia Hopcus wrote her first book in the 2nd grade.It was entitled Frederick the Friendly French Ferret and was seven pages long. During high school she wrote numerous short stories and started (but never finished) three screenplays, all as an alternative to doing actual school work. At the very wise age of twelve her career ambition was to drive a Mack truck, but when that didn’t pan out, she tried acting, bartending, and being a receptionist in a dojo before finally returning to writing. Anastasia loves horror movies, Joss Whedon, obsessing over music, and British accents. She lives in Austin, Texas and her debut young adult novel is out Summer 2010 from Egmont."
Connect with Anastasia:
Are heroines required to be kick ass or independent in order to be considered a strong lead?
I love this question because it leaves room for interpretation. In my book Shadow Hills, my main character, Phe, is kick ass but not in the general warrior sense.
I think there are different ways that a heroine can possess independence and kick-ass-osity. Some characters, like Buffy, have super strength and strength of character. Not only could she go out and beat up the bad guy, but she had mental toughness, too. She'd pick herself up after any adversity and get back in the fight. While I love this kind of heroine--- because who wouldn't want to have that sort of power over their life?---I find it fascinating when you have a heroine that possesses emotional strength and thinks and acts independently, but is like a normal person in that she has no spectacular physical abilities. For instance, Phe doesn't have extraordinary skills to rely on, which makes it harder for her to save the day, and the fact that she still goes out and does it is even more remarkable.I wanted Phe to be someone that the reader could identify with. I felt it was important that she could be a strong and independent person and yet realize that she couldn't do everything by herself and needed other people. When her sister died, Phe couldn't count on her parents because they were too grief-stricken to help her in any way. Phe came to feel that she could rely only on herself. But over the course of Shadow Hills, she comes to see that she can be strong and her own person and still let other people help her. I think attempting to take on everything yourself is a common human tendency and maybe even more so with women, but eventually you have to find somebody you can trust and let them help you because unless you are Superman, you can't handle everything on your own.