Monday, September 12, 2011

Ass-Kicking Babes

When I was a teenager, I was way too mixed up and insecure to go around solving crimes, killing vampires or overthrowing the social order of my high school. (Who wasn't?) Which is why I’m partial to ass-kicking, sassy heroines of the Veronica Mars variety. (And who isn't?)

Some of my other favorites include Violet, from MT Anderson’s Feed, for her righteousness and quiet confidence; Frankie from E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks for her subversiveness; and of course, Buffy of vampire-slaying fame.

Not every story calls for a heroine of this magnitude, and there are plenty of quieter books with less remarkable protagonists that have moved me. Still, there’s something to be said for the extraordinary girl with the unusual talents, dauntless bravery or smarts up the wazoo to really shake things up. Maybe it's just projection, that we like to watch/read about characters doing things we wished we had the cojones to do ourselves.

Willa Fox, the heroine of my novel Pretty Crooked, certainly has some of these characteristics. She’s bold, she’s crafty and she’s got strong moral conviction that makes it hard to just accept the status quo and blend in. When it comes time to act, she takes a stand, even if ends up being the wrong kind of stand. I dare say she’s got a little bit of Mars-ian sass to her, too. So while I never personally got to experience the kind of adventures Willa gets into, accompanying her on the fictional journey has been the next best thing.


  1. I loved Veronica Mars, the character and the show. Why, oh why, did they cancel it???

  2. I know, right? But Party Down was pretty good, too, and lots of the VM cast members reappear.