With all the heroines in all the world, why Kaidlyn Durant?
I’m a person deeply in tune to my own character flaws. I know a lot about my weaknesses and who I am, which ultimately makes most female action heroes unrelatable. Two things strike me as unforgivable in fictional characters:
First, they never suffer from any form of PTSD. They cry afterward, maybe. Dude hands them a hanky, and they’re good to go. Never mind that their entire world just blew to crud and their friends’ intestines have been torn asunder. Brush it off, heroine, and get back out there. Some of this is pacing, since we can’t have entire books about moping around and commiserating old violence. Even so, some recognition is in order. Humans have feelings, even women.
And we sure as hell do not fight crime in fishnet thigh-highs. Nice try, make-believe land.
I get the appeal, I do. I mean, everyone wants to be sexy. Like, heart-stopping, world-breaking, can fight ultimate evil and still look like a pinup SEXY.
We throw fictional characters in disgustingly violent scenarios because there’s something wild about it that gets our heart pumping. Because we like to watch them suffer and survive.
Bad dreams, PTSD, dysfunctional relationships, fight-or-flight impulses, scarring.
Yeah, I uglied her up. Took out the pert perfection and hourglass advertisement. Gave her uncouth manners and awkward banter. Sure, she has sex once in a while, but it usually comes as a surprise, not something she dressed and fluffed her makeup for.
Am I saying the gun-toting female portion of our law enforcement can’t be sexy? No. Am I saying lingerie on the job is misplaced? Hells yeah.
So I give you Kaidlyn Durant. She’s messy because she has a messy job. Her guns get more story-time than her outfits, because weaponry is crucial to her survival. In fact, book three has two true wardrobe mentions: her bulletproof vest and a ballcap.
Maybe women will find her unpalatable. Quite likely. But I can’t write another bedazzled sex pot in a latex corset with a pretty pistol. I wrote a woman capable of going to war, because that’s what is on her horizon: war. Unending conflict.
Luckily, she has people around her who are aware of her shortcomings, and they’re the kind of friends and family who are strong enough to stand by her side when she least expects it.