Another in my summer series of looking back at past “why they wrote” posts. Today I’m hoping you’ll take another look at S.M. Schmitz’s peek behind Peyton’s Myth:
Earlier this year, I decided to write another science-fiction romance series, my first being the Resurrected trilogy. I wanted to do something different than Resurrected, with a bit more classic science-fiction elements yet still do something unique and experimental since thatâ€™s what I do or at least attempt to do â€“ use fiction to provoke questions about our world, the way it operates, and why.
For The Cambria Code, I decided to challenge some bothersome trends Iâ€™ve noticed in popular fiction, namely that of the â€œalpha maleâ€ whose domineering personality could easily be construed as abusive in a real-world setting. I wondered if readers would tolerate some of those same behaviors from a woman, which is part of the impetus for the development of Zoeâ€™s often abrasive personality.
But there is another, and perhaps more important, reason I wrote Zoe as such a difficult heroine. Truthfully, I think she reflects a lot of the characteristics many people naturally have, and weâ€™ve grown so accustomed to unrealistic, idealized, and completely fictionalized, expectations of femininity in literature that when a heroine is written with so many flaws, as all humans possess, she comes across as hateful and spiteful, and thatâ€™s not who Zoe is at all.
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