What does it mean to be an alpha female in paranormal romance or urban fantasy novels? In the real world it seems as though we equate the term alpha female with bitchy bosses, tough women in male dominated jobs, or family matriarchs.
In fiction it seems alpha female is personified by Lara Croft and the urban fantasy type characters who followed. Can a quiet type of woman be an alpha female in fiction?
For Trina, the heroine of Tracking Shadows, it’s pretty easy to tag her as alpha female since she’s one of the best assassins in the industry. She knows how to take care of herself and her business.
More recently, as I got to know my character Mira, the heroine of the next 2096 novel (look for it in December 2011) I figured she had to be an alpha female. It is a 2096 book after all, and readers expect strong leading ladies in my adventures.
Which is fine. I prefer writing kick butt heroines actually. But I discovered Mira is strong in a different way. She’s a loner, by necessity, and she’s made her own way in a world that is not very receptive to her particular strengths.
Mira is a healer. Making people better goes beyond vocation or calling, it’s more like a compulsion, an integral part of her very soul. And while she’s made tough choices and gotten creative to keep herself out of trouble, she isn’t a martial arts master like Jaden (Justice Incarnate) or Kelly (Veil of Justice).
She’s not even quite like Petra (Invasion of Justice) who was also a quieter heroine.
I think an integral part of Mira’s growth through her adventure and romance with Jameson is finding a way to define and empower herself as a person, not just the mysterious nurse who heals with a touch.
Turns out Mira is an alpha female character who has to build on her inherent strengths to become a complete person ready to embrace her own happy ever after.
Live the adventure!