Happy Bday to Obsidian Threads!

Today, as a Friday special, we have a guest post by Charlie Pulsipher, who has just released book 2 in his Lost Shards series, Obsidian Threads.

Obsidian Threads

After that teaser of a cover, here’s the blurb for the book:  Rho has awakened. Its acolytes will tear worlds apart to release their deity from its prison. Any hope of Rho’s defeat lies with two people lost in a strange universe. Kaden and Aren must learn to harness all their unique gifts if they are to rival the god of darkness reborn. They will not fight alone. A brilliant geneticist, a furry dwaro, two less than friendly elves, dragons, and a spunky red-haired computer stand with them. But if Kaden and Aren fail to reach their full potential, all of reality will be devoured until nothing remains but Rho.

Sounds like quite the adventure, wouldn’t you say?  Today Charlie will share a bit more about the book, and his perspective on Developing Strong Female Characters!

When I was in college I was given an assignment that many writers fear. I was asked to write a short storyfrom the perspective of the opposite sex. I fretted. I sweated. I wrote. To this day, that piece is probably one of my most powerful and emotional works.Writers are usually voracious readers and, if you read often, you have been honing empathy for years. That’s what it truly takes to write from someone else’s perspective.

Empathy and a little imagination will take you far, but please make sure your female characters are as strong as they deserve to be.I recently learned about the Bechdel test. This test looks to see if female characters with names ever talk to one another in a scene about anything other than men. I didn’t know about this test before I wrote my books, but I’m happy to say I pass it in several places. It shows that women have depth and relationships that don’t simply revolve around men.I decided early on that I wanted to put my female characters on equal ground in my novels. There are less female characters than male, but every female I have in there is strong, smart, and powerful in someway.

Aren, my main female character, is able to read minds and experience memories. She’s also the only reason Kaden is on an adventure in another world and she’ll be half the reason they succeed or fail. Angie is a love interest for James, my brilliant geneticist. She’s also his boss. She’s driven and her inventions are just as important to the storyline as James’. Penny is my favorite. She’s a spunky, redheaded computer program that steals her identity from my villain, switches sides to back James, fights off everything they throw at her, and she’ll play big roles in every book. Diresh is a female character who stands as counterpoint to the king. She holds a god at bay, conquers, destroys, and wields more magic than anyone else we see. It doesn’t end there. The leader one nation is a smart, funny, cynical old woman. The lovely elf-like Hasla is sharp and a little scary. The aging queen is hard, deeply intelligent, and strong willed.

I refuse to paint any female as helpless, needing to be rescued, or dumb. Take a good look at the women in your life. They aren’t simple, flat, or helpless. I think strong women make your writing better and more believable. Yes, it’s a little more work and it takes some flexing of your empathetic muscles, but the results are well worth the effort.

–Charlie

Best of luck to Charlie in his launch week, and many thanks for posting with us today!

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