This was a guest blog post that I wrote some time ago, but I thought it fitting to post on my own blog this time around. I have begun writing the third book in the series and, after almost a year having passed since book two, I needed to reacquaint myself with Katie’s world; her ideals and her strengths. It also serves as a reminder of why I created Katie Reid.
In an age where many young girls consider the pop stars and reality TV stars of today to be role models, I find it increasingly important to bring to light female characters that are far from being shrinking violets and who know that they are more than just their physical selves. Women who are not only capable of standing on their own two feet, but often take the lead in situations that even some men would fear.
Katie Reid, the heroine my Redwood Violet series, is just such a character. However, when we first meet her, she is still naïve to the ways of the world. But, she is young and idealistic and never had a strong female influence while growing up. At least, that’s what we are led to believe. It’s much later that we find out differently.
It can be difficult to create a female character who is strong, yet vulnerable; who is powerful, yet fearful and one who can maintain the idealism of love and family.
We see some of each of these qualities in Katie. Some characteristics are prevalent early on and others develop as we watch her struggle with a difficult reality from which most people would run.
My inspiration for Katie came from an assortment of influences. Of course, my mother was perhaps my biggest influence. She overcame a painful past and raised her daughters to be confident and independent. I have also grown up with an amazing group of female friends who are just about the strongest women I have ever met. It is primarily with their support that I am here today talking about my novels.
But when we watch Katie evolve; transform as a result of her discovery, we see the woman inside the girl emerge. Her strength grows beyond what even I could have imagined.
I guess you could say that I have a very idealistic view of how women should be. I believe we all should stand tall and confident; never fear what others think of us and always be true to ourselves. I’m not sure that I always behave that way, but when I start to second-guess my actions, I look to my characters for inspiration. They keep me strong and I, in turn, pass that strength along to my own daughter. I try to teach her that she does not need to conform to societal expectations. She can be happy with a partner in an equitable relationship, maintain a career of her choosing and pass along these same traits to her own children one day.
I believe this is how Katie Reid would live her life.
The as of yet untitled, book three in the series is due out later this fall.