A Note:

6/2/13

I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles.

https://twitter.com/Book_Faery

And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3322973-tori-book-faery

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)

xoxo
Tori

Friday, March 9, 2012

AAD NOLA Author Spotlight: Kelly Meding




Connect with Kelly:
{Website} {Blog} {Twitter} {Facebook} {Goodreads}



When you ask people why they read urban fantasy, one of the reasons that comes up over and over again is "strong female protagonists." Yes, there are lots of other reasons, including awesome male protagonists (hello, Harry Dresden), creative and unique world-building (Downside, anyone?), and magical critters of all sorts. But strong female protagonist is one of my top reasons, and it's something I've been thinking about a lot this week.

Some of you may have noticed the Cage Match 2012 happening over on Suvudu.com (handy link: http://suvudu.com/tag/cage-match-2012). When I found out my Dreg City series heroine, Evangeline Stone, was one of the participants, I was excited. Given the competition (as well as being a lesser-known author), I knew she wouldn't have a snowball's chance of making it past round one, but it sounded like a great way to expose new readers to my books and my awesome, strong heroine.

The thing I didn't expect, however, was the way her match (handy link: http://sf-fantasy.suvudu.com/2012/03/cage-match-2012-round-1-the-fool-versus-evangeline-stone.html) was written. Under disadvantages, she's described as "boobalicious." Her "very feminine curves" are mentioned in paragraph one. She's then written as getting distracted by her "sensitive" side over the way her opponent smells—I mean, she's a girl, right? Obviously a whiff of Cute Guy means she'll forget she's in a death match and start dreaming about "masculine things."

At least she goes on to kick his ass in short order. You'd think she'd won, yes? Except her opponent had a friend outside the ring, waiting to ambush her. A hot friend with a "sexy" broken nose (don't ask, I don't know what's sexy about a broken nose). And then Evy falls victim to the ambusher's love charm, and is assumed to lose the match.

Yes, a love charm.

The Cage Match is all in good fun. It's glorified fanfiction, and it's a huge effort from the folks at Suvudu that's done for the love of SF/F. However, the fact that Evy is portrayed based on the model on THREE DAYS TO DEAD's cover, rather than how she actually acts, is disheartening. And it makes me wonder if people who don't read a lot of Urban Fantasy really think all of our heroines act this way.

I am absolutely not saying that a strong female character can't notice that a guy is hot, or even let her attraction to a man (or vampire, or whomever) drive her. She can and many amazing books have very sexually confident heroines. The great thing about Urban Fantasy is the sheer variety available—you can find just about any type of hero or heroine, in just about any kind of paranormal situation. There is something for everyone in this amazing little genre.

I just wish more people saw that. Despite the way the genre has expanded in the last few years, people still boil it down to "sexy hot chick in leather" and all of the negative stereotypes that go along with that. But UF is so much more (even if you can't always tell from the book covers, but that's all part of branding and a completely different blog post). Our strong female protagonists are more than just the bits that make them female. They are brains and brawn and faith and loyalty and tenaciousness and heart. They have individual personalities, and they don't all react the same way to the men in their lives.

So yes, it irks me to see Evy Stone boiled down to a few out-of-character stereotypes (fans of Dreg City know Evy goes weak-kneed for no one, not even the man who holds her heart). It irks me to see other UF heroines in that Cage Match treated differently than the heroes (and I'm not the only one [handy link: http://www.stellarfour.com/2012/03/are-heroines-getting-shortchanged-on.html] ) when they are just as strong and capable.

Tell me about some of your favorite strong female protagonists in Urban Fantasy? What do you love most about them?

2 comments:

  1. You are right! Every time I see the "same" cover (sexy girl in leather, usually showing a midriff) I wonder if the story is going to be like all the rest. I know that the author has no control over the cover art but it's as if all the characters are painted with the same brush. I've been reading more UF lately featuring women and I'm looking forward to being exposed to characters with very different personalities and traits. I actually just bought Three Days to Dead and I look forward to meeting your kick ass female heroine.

    Other favorite females in UF are Ciara from the WVMP series and most of the women in Charles de Lint books.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Kelly, thanks for this great blogpost, your books sure go to the top of my Wishlist now. My all time favourite UF heroine has to be Anita Blake (LKH). I keep rereading those books, even though there are so many shiny new ones waiting to be read on my shelves.
    She doesn't give in, doesn't give up, and weathers all the nasty things that keep happening to her. Yes, she is surrounded by gorgeous males, and slowly she falls in love with them all, but she is the one in charge.

    ReplyDelete