There have been outstanding alpha female characters in fiction (commercial and literary) since the dawn of time. But I happen to believe this is a great time in the commercial fiction world to develop and craft outstanding leading ladies.
In fiction – especially romance- we’ve heard the term Alpha Male for years. It usually refers to the male lead (hero) who is an opinionated, take charge, ‘my way or the highway’ sort of character. He knows what he wants and (he thinks) he knows how to get it. He expects people to fall in line with his plan or suffer the consequences of opposing him. He often rides in on a white horse or gleaming motorcycle and saves the day.
So that must mean that an alpha female character is simply the same, minus the boy parts. Not so fast!
Though alpha females occur in every genre, with the continuing swell of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels authors and readers get to explore what it means to be an alpha female character. This is fabulous news for everyone involved, as alpha female characters boldly define and redefine the term ‘feminine strength’.
Alpha female characters can be warriors or administrative assistants. They can be human or paranormal. In any form in any genre, these leading ladies have a distinctive world view and it takes a great deal of evidence and drastic circumstance to get them to reconsider or revise that view.
This can lead a reader on amazing adventures, from lighthearted to intense, whether the alpha female does her best work in an office or a dark alley (like Jaden of Justice Incarnate).
In Nora Roberts’ latest contemporary quartet, four independent (alpha female) women refused to compromise their dreams as they found their life partners. Jayne Ann Krentz (and all her pen names) always features women determined to reach the goal despite social mores or personal obstacles. Sabrina Jeffries has me captivated with her latest historical series – Hellions of Halstead Hall – so far the heroines aren’t close to ‘missish’ and in the January release, the heroine is taking interviews for her husband. Definitely not what proper English society expects!
Live the adventure!