As the mother of adult daughter, I wrestled with all aspects of life that assault a girl’s self-image and society’s ideal of what a woman should be. Most heroines are portrayed as kick butt, take no prisoners, mouthy, independent and cunning. I tried to make Shannan atypical of fantasy heroines and show another side - one of a quiet, unshakeable self-confidence that can allow her to blend into the background or take charge when needed. Central parts of the story hinge on Shannan and her unflappable nature but mostly she in the undergirding support for Ellis and the Guardians.
Girls today are rarely given a role model in fiction that shows how unselfishly giving strong, unwavering support for the hero, friends or family, can be helpful and desirable characteristics for a woman. How there is strength in serenity and beauty in a positive calm, self-controlled spirit.
Shannan is far from dull. She can stand toe-to-toe with Ellis, handle a bow, keen to nature and stare down any Guardian or Shadow Warrior, but not necessarily with weapons in hand rather an unyielding determination to do what is right. Using Shannan, I hope to give girls an example of the beauty of spirit and will that transcend physical appearance or martial prowess to a person’s heart and character.