Our next heroine is so badass that she doesn't let a minor nuisance like death get in her way. Meet Adela Darken, and her maker, the insanely talented author H.M. Jones.
Author Interview H.M. Jones
Tell us about your book in the Daughters of Destiny box set. Who is the heroine, and what is she like?
Adela Darken is a Potent working on her Post-Potent exams in order to become a Wizend. Wizends are respected alchemists/botanists/wizards of a sort. She is making a potion for her Post-Potent project that will save New Drearia’s crops from dying. Unfortunately, making the potion goes south and she accidentally kills herself. Never one to do things the way other girls do them, she rises from the grave a couple days later determined to finish her Post-Potent potion and help the citizens of New Drearia. Adela is caring, intelligent, measured and daring. She’s not interested in wearing any clothing that will get singed by her burner or being distracted by any person who will interfere with her work.
What went into creating her, and how does she interact with the other characters around her?
I got the idea for Adela when looking at a beautiful piece of art on Charlie Hoover shared with our Google+ geek community, Geekscapes. There was a picture of a girl running through a dripping, old world alley in a blue beat-up cloak. She is so pale she looks undead, but she’s clearly not a “zombie.” She has purpose, drive, a place to be, urgently. To me, she was Adela and she had a mission. That mission just started to flow from knowing who she was, the fact that she is a caring, concerned daughter and citizen. It came fairly effortlessly, her story, her character. She is, of course, shy to interact with other people since they attended her funeral and think her dead, but those she chooses to interact with find her respectful, unless they do not respect her. She has no patience for ignorance or mean-spirited people.
Do you believe it’s easier to write a female main character rather than a male one? Why?
I actually don’t. I have written male characters who flow with just as much ease as Adela does. My characters tend to have strong personalities, so it’s never too difficult to figure out what they want or where they are going. I’m also someone who studies people of all kinds. I like to listen to others. Once I have a backstory, the gender plays very little part. The men and women of my books are who they are.
What would you define as a “strong heroine”?
Someone who achieves her goals despite obstacles, social, physical and emotional. A strong heroine does not have to be physically imposing (though poor Adela becomes inhumanly strong, alas), but has a strength of character, of mind or of body that helps her achieve her goals.
Name some of your personal female heroes (real or fictional).
Elizabeth Bennet is my all-time favorite heroine. Her wit, her humor and her character is so compelling, so strong. She does not allow exterior factors to motivate or change who she is. I love her steadfast love of her sister, her family (even when they disappoint her). Hermione Granger is my second all-time favorite character. She is so fiercely loyal, intelligent, brave, quick-thinking and STRONG.
That point in the book where she erases her parents memory, so that they can’t remember that they ever had a daughter to save them the grief of losing her? I’m shivering as a think of it. Crying, even. She’s an amazing person. She feels so real to me. Katniss Everdeen. People say “I’m so sick of the chosen one,” but she never felt that way to me. She is strong, fast and clever. She is unemotional in her attachments, logical. The fact that people cling to her is an annoyance to her.
She despises the play acting she must do to help her family. She is self-sacrificing and well drawn. Drama has no appeal to her; she only wants simplicity. She knows she is strong, is not surprised that she comes out on top. She’s a complexly written character who should not be generalized down with a snarky “chosen one” claim. I’m also fond of Moxie from Lemony Snicket’s All the Wrong Questions. She doggedly pursues knowledge, is brave and puts herself on the line for her friends. Some of my other favorites are Violet Beaudelaire, Eleven (Stranger Things), Isabella (Gray Tower Trilogy), and Keri (Spell in the Country). These are all female characters who I felt compelled to root for, to like and to connect to.
Where can readers find out more about you? Give us the details!
Oh, I’m all over the internet. Adela’s publisher is Madame Geek Publications.
You can find us on twitter @Madames_Geek
on our website www.madamegeekpub.com, and on Facebook.