So Commander Katherine Kirk wasn't originally the lead of H.M. Clarke's novel, but the character had such a strong presence and influence over the story, the author could no longer deny who the true star was.
What to do when the sidekick becomes the Boss Lady? Let's find out!
Author Interview: H.M. Clarke
Tell us about your book in the Daughters of Destiny box set. Who is the heroine, and what is she like?
Commander Katherine Kirk is one of those awesome kick-ass heroines who takes crap from no one. She is a Commander in the Republic of Australia Navy and is devoted to her duty. She has not had an easy time, and she’s not looking for one. Vengeance drives her, but she also shows a vulnerability at times that proves the humanity behind the uniform. What she wants is to make the universe a safer place and that the atrocities in her past will never happen to others in the future.
What went into creating her, and how does she interact with the other characters around her?
Katherine was created by accident. Tom, her best friend, was originally supposed to be the ‘Star’ of The Enclave. And The Enclave was not supposed to head in the direction it did. The book is a fast paced military sci-fi, which begins at a fast pace, and builds up to a crescendo. When I started writing it, Katherine just took over and over countless drafts, the story developed with her as the main character.
In public she acts the military commander that she is, but in private she is relaxed around her friends. She takes control when needed, but is not afraid to ask advise from those she trusts. And she is very loyal to her friends – the stereotypical Aussie Mateship trope.
Do you believe it’s easier to write a female main character rather than a male one? Why?
I think they are both the same to write. Men and Women do think and move differently and come at problems and situations from different angles and thought. But if a writer has enough life experience behind them, then this should not be a problem. The only issue with writing any character is to make the reader believe that the character is a real person - someone that could actually exist in their world - and you can only get that by making a character relatable to them in some way, either through their own experience of others or in their situation.
What would you define as a “strong heroine”?
A strong person, no matter who they are, is someone who stands up for what they believe in and value. And is a person who takes responsibility for their actions and the results that may happen from them. They also will acknowledge their faults and failings and will continuously work towards self-improvement. They are also someone who sticks up for their mates.
Name some of your personal female heroes (real or fictional).
One of the women that I look up to is Dame Roma Mitchell – the first woman in Australia to be appointed a Judge (she was a Queen’s Counsel beforehand), the first woman to be appointed a State Governor (of South Australia), was Chancellor of the University of Adelaide and was on the council for the Order of Australia.
Where can readers find out more about you? Give us the details!
They can find out about me at the following places
@hmclarkeauthor on Twitter