A few of my favorite characters from the teen section have been Plain Kate Carver of Erin Bow’s Plain Kate, Tessa Grey of Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, and Donia of Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series.
With so many choices, I wondered who the Smart Chicks liked and who they remember as role models from when they were growing up.
Kami Garcia, Melissa Marr, and Kelley Armstrong contemplate their answers.
Margaret Stohl’s favorite female character is Margaret from A Wrinkle In Time, because she wasn’t cute or popular; she was miserable—but she was an excellent sister. Growing up, Margie had several diverse role models. She remembers when she was younger, she wanted to join the All of a Kind Family. Later, she looked up to Susan Cooper. After that, Emily Dickinson joined the list. Margie even named her college literary magazine, Madness This, after a line from one of Dickinson’s poems.
Kami Garcia is also a fan of Donia from Wicked Lovely. Donia had to “make peace” with her circumstances and live in a world completely unlike what she’d been expecting. She’s “heroic” for “making the best of a bad situation.” Kami admired Southern author Flannery O’Connor, because she “did what she wanted.”
Melissa Marr says her favorite character as of late has been Val from Holly Black’s Valiant, because “Val is awesome. She doesn’t give up.” As for her role model, Melissa replies “Eve from the Bible. She chose knowledge over comfort.”
Kelley Armstrong says she connects more with entire books than specific characters, but she offers suggestions of Megan Crewe’s Give Up The Ghost and Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder as recent impressive titles. Kelley recalls Anne of Green Gables as a role model because she was a “quirky, headstrong, creative girl.”
Rachel Vincent enjoys Courtney Summers’ Some Girls Are and Cracked Up To Be. Both novels feature characters that are “gloriously flawed” and trying to “putting back together shattered lives.” Since Rachel read a lot of horror novels growing up, she says that most of the time her role model was “anyone who survived.”
Melissa de la Cruz loves Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones partially because Sophie spends the entire novel being old. One of Melissa’s role models was Jo from Little Woman, because she was a writer and she didn’t get married to Laurie. Melissa also cites I’ll Take Manhattan as the novel that inspired her to move to New York.
Mary Pearson says her favorite character recently has been Frankie from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. Growing up, Mary admired S.E. Hinton because “she was the first author who wrote a book for me” and “about my world.”
Rachel Caine is a fan of Tamora Pierce’s Beka Cooper, because she’s “fearless.” Rachel also mentions Lisabeth Lewis from Jackie Morse Kessler’s Hunger, as Rachel really “believed the reality of [Lisabeth’s] existence.” Growing up, Rachel’s role models were Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.
Alyson Noel mentioned Ai Ling from Cindy Pon’s Silver Phoenix, because of the character’s “great growth” over her journey. When Alyson was 13, she wanted to be Billy Winthrop from Judith Krantz’s Scruples.
What about you? Who is your favorite female character you’ve read about? Who do you look to as a role model?
Thanks again to all the authors, Karen Wadsworth at Media Masters, Vania Stoyanova and Yvette Vasquez. Photos by Vania Stoyanova, VLC Photo. Used with permission from the Smart Chicks Kick It tour.