Welcome debut author Tiffany Truitt
to the Book Boost today!
She's here to discuss the like-factor in regards to female characters and here's what she had to say...
Part of entering into the strange realm of being a published author is fortifying yourself against the onslaught of reviews that will no doubt range from "I hate this," to "I can't wait to get the next one."
Well, if you're lucky you get a few of the latter. When I found out that bloggers had received Advanced Review Copies of my debut novel, The Chosen Ones, I made a vow to myself not to read any reviews. It's a tough thing to put your writing out there for public consumption, and I didn't want to be scared off while attempting to finish the second novel in the series.
But...that lasted about a week. Soon, I was off to Goodreads like a madwoman. For the most part, I've been rather lucky that the reviews for The Chosen Ones have been positive. One comment that has made the rounds, in both positive reviews and those who didn't love the novel, have been that they couldn't connect with the female protagonist at first.
And I've had a lot of talks with my editor and friends about this. I didn't want my character to be loved right off the bat. There seems to be an archaic need for female characters to welcome their readers with open arms. Tess isn't this. She's tough. Selfish. Flippant. Introverted. Downright unsympathetic at times. But she lives in a cruel world, and I didn't want to create a story of a hopeful girl who lived in a dark place....I wanted to create a story of a lost girl living in a dark world who found hope. Male characters have been getting away with this for decades both in print and in television. You want to tell me girls don't still swoon for Gossip Girl's Chuck?
Tess goes through a lot in the course of the novel and she does change. But even at the end, she isn't perfect. I didn't want her to be. Her story is not done. She still has questions: about why we do the things we do, how much of our self does society demand we sacrifice, can we truly love someone? These might not be comfortable questions to ask, or even politically correct, but that's why I loved writing her. We love reading about the bad boy. The one who doesn't seem like he feels anything, only to discover he feels too much.
Do we offer the same chance to our female characters? Or are we as readers too tough on even them? If we want to see real character growth, we have to accept that our characters, like ourselves, have flaws. And no one is perfect.
A Note from the Book Boost: Tiffany, I've had this same problem with my female leads. Readers either think they are "too tough and selfish" or "too weak and awkward". This just goes to show that you'll never please everyone. Tell your character's story--whatever that may be--and be proud of the work you've created. No matter what others say about it, know you've done more than most of them ever will. Thanks for joining us today and please tell us more about your release!
I pushed down a key. The hair on the back of my neck shot up, and my skin tingled.
I imagined this was what it felt like to fall in love.
In that moment, I was ready to fall.
Life is bleak but uncomplicated for Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity’s extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.
When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?
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Tiffany Truitt is an 8th grade English teacher in Suffolk, Virginia. When she’s not traveling the world, she enjoys reading, writing, and obsessing over coffee. Lost Souls: Chosen Ones is her first novel.
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