Then I started work on an idea for a prison story (you can read more about how that happened here), and Jenna Strong walked into my head. She wasn’t like any female character I’d ever written about before. She was kick-ass, angry, even scary at times. But as I got to know her, I began to find out why. And I realised that this prison story I wanted to tell was hers.
So, this week, inspired by Jenna, I thought I’d do a post about four of my favourite fictional female characters – characters who, in turn, have provided inspiration for Jenna as ACID has grown from a collection of ideas and notes into a fully-fledged novel.
Lol – This is England
This is England, directed by Shane Meadows, has to be one of the best films I’ve ever seen, and as for its two spin-off TV miniseries, This is England ’86 and ’88, well, just… wow. All the characters are incredible, but for me, Lol, brilliantly played by Vicky McLure, stands out. She goes through things no-one should ever have to, yet she remains such a strong character throughout. Her story so far has ripped my heart out. I hope I’ll get to see more of it.
Emily Byrd Starr – the EMILY OF NEW MOON trilogy by L.M. Montgomery
I like ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, but I’ve always found Anne Shirley a little saccharine. She so good – too good. Emily Byrd Starr, on the other hand, is sparky and rebellious. She has violet eyes (I always wanted violet eyes). She’s a little bit psychic. And she’s a writer. Could she get any cooler?
Saba - BLOOD RED ROAD by Moira Young
I loved this book. Saba’s voice is so unique – she gets into your head immediately and stays there long after you’ve finished reading. Along with my final pick, she’s one of the toughest fictional females I’ve ever come across, and as BLOOD RED ROAD is the first in a trilogy, I can’t wait to find out how her character develops.
Lisbeth Salander, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST (Millennium Trilogy) by Steig Larsson.
I have a confession to make – I’ve yet to read any of the Millennium trilogy books (although I’ll be remedying that very shortly, I promise!). But recently, on the recommendation of a work friend, I watched the original Swedish films (I haven’t seen the Hollywood remake yet), and I was blown away by Noomi Rapace’s portrayal of Salander. Edgy and violent, Salander shouldn’t be a sympathetic character, and yet as I came to understand why she’s the way she is, I liked her more and more.
What about you? Who are your favourite fictional female characters, and why?