Thursday, March 1, 2012

Strong, Self-Empower Female Characters to Root for

The Dalai Lama's proclamation that "the world will be saved by the Western woman" only highlighted the reality that women are emerging as the leaders of the global change movement.

This year's theme for me is all about the self-empowerment of women. I also started the California Girl Chronicles last year out of a desire to create a strong female character. I was inspired not by True Blood Sookie Stackhouse but by Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse. I want to be clear, I am not a huge fan of the Harris' series per se. I think she has created a wonderful character in Sookie, and I adore the Sookie and Eric Northman romance. The rest of the stories only resonate part of the time; however Sookie spoke to me. When I was little I started writing because Laura, the little girl from the Little House books who inspired me. I have apparently always been intrigued with strong girls. I don't like the way Alan Ball's team has diminished Sookie's self-empowerment by having her go back to Bill Compton after he very nearly kills her. In the book, he rapes her! Regardless, Sookie began to go downhill when she fell into the typical femme fatale role, and I was disappointed and turned off. Out of my disappointment arose the idea that I would write a strong, self-empowered, non-traditional woman, who would struggle with the same issues most women struggle with when it comes to sexual politics, but would not fall into the cliched traps. I want a woman who knows what she wants, goes for it, makes mistakes, and falls on her face, but she gets back up, takes responsibility, and moves on. 

As readers have the opportunity to see what I did with Brea in book two, they will enter the world of the behind-the-scenes Hollywood where sexual politics take on a new whole new level. Here is the deal, some of the stories in the second book are based on things I've experienced throughout my career and stories shared with me by real actresses. So when Johnny talks about his manager exchanging sex for audition favors, that was not made up. My girlfriend has similar tales to tell only she does not sink to such a level as Johnny and laugh about it. The sexual harassment story line is not on the nose to anything in particular to my career, but I have been harassed by men trying to throw around their power. I even had a guy who worked for me try to do that ... he was stupid enough to write his thoughts in the email! Can you imagine! Well, the offending email certainly made it easy to deal with him. No he said she said in that scenario for sure. So, as you read book two in the California Girl Chronicles just know that our girl will prevail over these situations and not convert into a weak woman who would return to someone who beat her -- that friends will never be written into my book, period. 

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