Kick Ass Girls!

If you’re not aware, my debut novel The Doors was published by Fire and Ice, an imprint of Melange (you can find the link below if you’re interested in taking a look at a YA with a twist!)

Today marks the promotion of the new project by Fire and Ice #kickassgirlsofya. We’re celebrating the strengths of our female heroines and you can get involved too! Check out the calender below and hold steady for more info. I’m running the Instagram event from 8th April and it’s one that you won’t want to miss!

If you want to take part, here’s the link for my Instagram account and I hope to see you there: https://www.instagram.com/alicejblack/

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Male or Female protagonists?

I just finished reading the last book in the Maze Runner series, The Death Cure. Compared to the other two books, this one didn’t hold my attention the way the first two did but it was enjoyable none the less.

In the Maze Runner series, this third book was the culmination of everything Thomas had been through with his friends, The Gladers, and the people he has met along the way. I’ve seen Thomas grow through the books, develop into a character who fights for what he believes in and will not back down to anybody. He has a lot of courage and a lot of stamina and at the end, when it looks like they might finally get a shot at real life, he’s still concerned about the others in the facility.

The Death Cure brings together all of the trials and tribulations Thomas has been through in a final gut wrenching read.

I have to say I admire Thomas as a character. He’s tough, courageous and loyal. He has to face a lot of things in his lifetime, all the while struggling with his memory loss, not really knowing what he’s doing or why he’s been put to the trials.

What it did make me realise is that I much prefer reading books with strong, female protagonists. Perhaps it’s the feminist in me but I love reading a plot and seeing a young woman develop into someone strong and unafraid. The likes of the Hunger Games for example, with Katniss as she leads the rebellion. In Harry Potter I always felt drawn to Hermoine Grainger who, lets face it, was both the brains and the courage of the operation. If it wasn’t for her Harry wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did.

Women are often portrayed as counterparts, companions for the male, a love interest, but I think that women do and should represent much more than that.

What do you think? Do you prefer to read a male or female protagonist?

Gendered writing?

As I’ve been sorting through all of my notebooks and random pages of writing and novels that I’ve written over the past few years I’ve come to the grim realisation that a lot of my novels include a broken family and a move to a new house/area. I don’t do it intentionally I promise! I come from a pretty ‘normal’ background with parents who are still together and a family that likes to spend time together so I wonder why a lot of what I write features families that are torn apart for one reason or another.

I also have mainly female protagonists. Don’t get me wrong, I write from the point of view of men from time to time but when I do it’s usually a short story. None of my longer works are from the point of view as a man. I feel like I could be missing out here. Of course, it’s easier to write a female character as a female because I have been through it. I know what some of the thoughts, feelings and emotions are that are attached to being a young woman. Do you find you write as a particular gender?

I want to challenge myself to write as a male lead in a novel. I think it’s a big feat but perhaps just challenging enough to stretch my imagination and my writing capabilities!

My protagonist in The Doors (due for publication in September) is a young woman who is moved halfway across England with her parents when her dad gets a new job. She’s one of the favourite characters I’ve written so far 🙂