I have long been a fan of fantasy. When Stephen King didn’t fill my world, Tolkien, Lewis, Brooks, and Eddings did. Dragonlance Chronicles and anything by Anne McCaffrey were staples on my teenage bookshelf. If I had known author David Wiley then, like A.L. Mabry, his books would be on my shelf too.
If you’ve read his first book, A Merchant in Oria, you’ll recognize the world in Monster Huntress. While they are different stories, they come from the same world. I was first introduced to the protagonist of Monster Huntress, Ava, during a series of writing David did. Once upon a time, he was one of the “fabulous four,” a quad of writers who wrote 4 piece stories together. In fact, A Merchant in Oria began as a Fabulous Four story.
Today, I am very honored to be a stop along David’s book tour for Monster Huntress. Instead of an interview or release announcement, I asked David for a guest post…
Why Write a Female Main Character?
“So, why do you write these strong female characters?
Because you’re still asking me that question.”
[Equality Now speech, May 15, 2006]
That quote from Joss Whedon has stood out in my mind for years, ever since I first heard it. The fact that it was a question being asked, not just once, but supposedly 48 times, shows that people can still struggle with the idea that women are just as capable of being awesome major characters in books, television shows, movies, etc. Granted, things have changed since that response by Whedon in 2006, but I am fully aware that I may encounter the same question because my debut series features a strong female protagonist.
Ava received her beginning as a character as a piece of flash fiction, that turned into a serialized piece of fiction, which spawned a sequel serialized fiction. At the time I was writing weekly, sometimes several times a week, and posting flash pieces on a blog. If I had to guess, about 90% of the fiction I wrote starred a male protagonist, so when Ava surfaced it was like a breath of fresh air. It was a complete shift in perspective, and her fiery attitude was very much in full effect for the adult version of Ava.
As I explored her more through those serialized posts, I grew to really love the character. She was a badass in every sense of the word, and that personality demanded to get a longer treatment in story form. Of all the story snippets I created during that year, hers was the one that stuck. But I never considered changing the gender when I decided to explore that character further. I probably could have and few would have ever known.
Yet that is precisely why it had to remain her story. While there might be subtle differences, there is no reason why a heroic adventure can’t feature a young girl who is more than capable of taking care of herself. There are so many great stories out there now with female protagonists, so I’m not breaking new ground here, but there can never be too many books featuring a strong female lead. My son can walk into any library or bookstore and grab a fantasy book that has a hero he can identify with and strive to be like. I wanted to make sure my daughter, should God bless me with one, will have that same opportunity.
So really, in a way, this book has always been for her. The little girl I’ve dreamed of being a father to, bonding together in a way that only a father and a daughter can bond. I wanted to make sure she could find those books that she could fantasize about and reenact with her friends much like I used to do with the Star Wars movies. If she wants to hunt down monsters, I’ll happily provide her with the sword and let her imagination take her places that I’ve dreamed up in print.
In addition to writing a strong female main character, I also like to read literature that has those strong female characters. When the time comes, that daughter will have so many great books to read and I’ll happily reread them all with her. If you’re looking for other series with strong female protagonists, here are a few series recommendations:
- Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
- Graceling series by Kristen Cashore
- Alanna series by Tamora Pierce
- Abhorsen series by Garth Nix
- Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
- Green Rider series by Kristen Britain
- Seraphina series by Rachel Hartman
- Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld
- Eon duology by Alison Goodman
What are some of your favorite books or series with strong, complex female characters?
About the Author
David Wiley grew up around stories. He would frequently bring stacks of books to his mother at bedtime, always eager to have another book read before bed. Several decades have passed since those days, but little has changed: he still has a passion for stories.
His first short story to be published was “Lost in a Familiar Place”, a short piece of flash fiction that appeared in Firewords Quarterly. Since then he has seen several shorter pieces published in anthologies. His first solo publication, A Merchant in Oria, was published in the spring of 2017 by OWS Ink. David’s first full-length novel, Monster Huntress, is releasing in April 2018 and is set in the same fantasy world as his novella but follows a new protagonist: Ava, a young girl with aspirations of hunting monsters for a living.
When he isn’t writing, David can often be found enjoying the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Sarah J. Maas, and many others. He also likes to delve into the literature of the Anglo-Saxons, such as Beowulf, and the Icelandic Sagas.
During his free time he also likes to sit around a table with others, pulling out modern board games such as War of the Ring, Mage Knight, Lignum, A Feast for Odin, and many other games.
If you want to reach David, he’d love to hear from you! You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and stalk him on Social Media (you can find all of those links over at http://authordavidwiley.com. Be sure to sign up for his newsletter to stay on top of Book 2 progress, news of sales going on for his works, and more.
About the Book:
Consecrated with her mother’s blood and blessing
The world tells Ava she’s just a little girl who should know her place, but Ava wants a sword not a crown.
Ava and her father are following in her mother’s footsteps, hunting monsters in the 13 Kingdoms, seeking revenge for her mother’s untimely death. Little do they know that the monster responsible is building up a dangerous force. When The King requests the help of Ava’s father in exchange for her becoming a princess, Ava is not pleased. Can Ava escape her fate and the obnoxious prince of Harborg to live the life she’s always known, or will the dark plans of the monster catch her in his trap.
David Wiley combines the action of Tomb Raider with the fantastical elements of The Witcher to create the exciting world of The Young Huntress high fantasy series.
Track down Monster Huntress today and slay your need for good fantasy.
Title: Monster Huntress
Author: David Wiley
Publication Date: April 21st
Digital Price: $2.99 Preorder, $4.99 after release
Ebook ISBN: 9781946382269
Our Write Side and OWS Ink Tour Announcement Date April 7th
Phoebe Darqueling interview April 8th
Teaser Announcement https://cloemichaelsreads.wordpress.com/ April 9th
Book release announcement The Write Read Blog April 10th
Guest post with Naomi Rawle: World Building, The Promise of Something Greater April 11th
Book review An Angell’s Life of Bookish Goodness April 12th
Why I Wrote a Female Main Character, Guest Post by David Wiley on Stephanie Ayers blog Friday April 13th
Stacy Overy guest post Character Interview April 14th.
Character interview with Ava’s Father April 15th.
Guest post https://anglorumbooks.wordpress.com/ April 16th
Book review https://thebooknookuk.wordpress.com/ April 17th
Release announcement April 18th
Facebook Event April 20th-21st celebrating the release date!
David’s Release Announcement April 21st
Teaser Release announcement April 24th
Teaser Announcement AF Stewart April 26th
Book Review on Stephanie Ayers Author blog April 27th