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Strong female role models from The Kingdom of Walden Trilogy.

Having strong female role models in fiction are important.  Women aren't supposed to be prizes for men to "win", nor are they arm candy.  However, you don't have to write a character as a butch to slap on a "strong woman" label.  
With the Kingdom of Walden Trilogy, I created a few strong female characters with both flaws and strengths.  Yes, I based a few off of people I do know personally, but these two are only a minority in comparison with the others I created from scratch.

And they weren't easy to create.  It took many rounds of revisions in the character creation to create these so they lived and breathed...

They are all strong in their own way and have their own set of strengths, flaws and quirks... and this is a small sample.  There are more than just four strong female characters, but the others come and go.


Marissa does not rest on her, or even her husband's, laurels.  In After Oil, the first thing she's doing is yelling out the window at her husband.  Whether Derek chooses to really listen in this case is another... but he's his own person too.  The two are not codependent on each other, but play off each other's strengths and weaknesses as a well-oiled machine throughout the book.  If Derek has doubts, it's Marissa who puts it all back into perspective for him.  In fact, later, in The Last Iron Horse, it's Marissa who takes charge after Sheridan receives word about her father's death and, understandably, needs time to grieve.  Marissa is a prime example of a strong female character over the age of 55 (*The character is actually older than that, but the archetype of over 55 is usually either of a senile older woman or a strong widow after her husband's death).  It's strongly implied by Derek that both he and Marissa are Christian, but the exact denomination is unsaid.

How else Marissa proves her chops is a MAJOR spoiler for Between Silence and Fire and Ghostwalker.  You'll have to wait for that answer.


Sheridan has a few things going for her.  First, she's a surgeon and capable of making hard choices -- especially those in regards to running her clinic -- and then later when her skills as a surgeon are truly put to the test.  As Queen, her ability to think critically, and logically, is often brutally tested.  While she may not like making those choices, and this is evident, she does not back down from them.

From a minority standpoint, Sheridan, like her cousin Shiloh, is Native Canadian on their father's side (in fact, their great-aunt, Marie Batineau -- also a doctor -- lives on the neighbouring Reserve in Whitefish.  Shiloh and Sheridan worry throughout much of the first book when they realize that that side of the family is unexplainably missing... especially when slavers are discovered to their immediate west), which makes Sheridan (and Shiloh) Native women under the age of 40 at the start of After Oil, and Sheridan is also rather open about her choice in faith being Wiccan.

Also, remember where both Derek's armour and bow came from -- this implies that Sheridan was active in the SCA (a historical reenactment society) as an archer and, in some part, a martial combatant.  She also learned karate and kendo from an uncle.  While her combat expertise doesn't immediately get put to the test, it's worth noting that no one sidelines her because they're afraid she can't defend herself--her skills are too valuable to lose.


Derek's protege, and his immediate second-in-command.  Gina is Australian Aboriginal and is, therefore, a female person of colour in a position of importance (just how important will be very evident in Ghostwalker, but to say any more will tread into spoilers territory).  I usually picture Halle Berry in the role of Gina.  I realize it's not the best casting but when I created Gina that was the actress that kept coming to mind.

Add to it that Gina comes out to Derek by telling him, in one scene, that he's a lot like her girlfriend her girlfriend is Japanese... and obviously female, which makes Gina a gay female person of colour.  It's not immediately evident, but other than what is evident about Gina (ie: how seriously kick ass she is, and how smart), this makes Gina stand out... even in the Kingdom of Walden.  The other characters don't know about Gina's past and this gives her a bit of mystery.  The only thing anyone knows, throughout all the books, is what she's capable of and that she's loyal to the Kingdom of Walden, and more so to Derek.  She doesn't reveal what faith she is (or if she even has a faith).

I think that speaks strongly about the strength of her character.


The former Mayor of Sudbury had better be strong to be what she is -- and this is clear from the first introduction.  Victoria can make hard decisions, but still feels losses deeply.  They don't cripple her but instead only serve to temper the steel spine she already has.  The ultimate social chameleon lets others think what they will of her before she comes around with a proverbial left hook.

Victoria also is able to sense what people need to hear for morale, and lift their spirits.  
Harnet, the primary antagonist of the trilogy, spends much of his time trying to see her dead and Kaine, the other antagonist, keeps trying to use her.  Neither are successful -- even early on -- as she keeps turning the tables on both of them.

Victoria is the same age as Sheridan and even went to school with her.  She's of Italian descent, and is honest about her Roman Catholic upbringing... but is also equally honest about how she's more a "Sunday Christian" than a devout one and tends to prefer hard science over blind faith.


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