It was early Friday afternoon, and I managed to get off of work. It was my intention to go to the Saturday bookfair that the RT convention would be holding, however, I was hoping to partake in Friday’s activities as well. While I did arrive there late in the afternoon (3:25pm to be exact), there were still a couple of workshops and events that I could attend, before the highly anticipated “Vampire’s Ball” (a yearly party thrown by Heather Graham and her crew). The RT Staff was extremely accommodating, and ushered me into the workshop that I was hoping to arrive in time for.
The first thing I was able to sit in on, was “The Good, The Bad and the Paranormal: Heroines Kicking-Ass Across Urban Fantasy Worlds”. Panelists included Ilona Andrews, Jeaniene Frost, Mark Del Franco, Rachel Vincent and Jeri Smith-Ready. Since I was a huge fan of Ms. Frosts series (Catherine, aka “Cat” was one of the heroines the panelists discussed), I was anxious to hear about the author’s approach to writing such a character.
Subjects that were discussed included how the authors managed to keep the strong and assertive male characters in balance with the equally dominant female characters. Surprisingly, Jeaniene’s response was that in the next novel, the balance would waver, as “Bones” was going to get a run for his money with “Cat” when he realizes that she will forever be headstrong.
Another subject discussed was how a heroine’s past (and family upbringing) influenced her decisions, and possibly, her “character flaws”. I found an interesting comment that stuck with me, in regards to how, throughout a series, a character could learn through experiences, to dispel her past prejudices. However, even though one character flaw could be alleviated, another could soon take it’s place. The characters would never be perfect, and would continuously grow to learn, and yet still make mistakes.
I was introduced to a few series that I am quite interested in reading. There is a series by Rachel Vincent (The Shifters Series) that is about a female werewolf, who is isolated within her pact. Females are greatly protected due to their ability to bear future pact members. I got the impression, from the author’s perspective on this panel, that the main heroin in this series is resistant to the close-knit yet smothering environment she was raised in, and decides to venture out on her own.
Another series that I picked up over the weekend included a book by Jeri Smith-Ready. This one is about a human female, who was raised by bamboozling, crooked parents, and herself, as an adult is a recovering “con-artist” (however, not a violent one, as per Jeri, as violent con artists are criminals, and the heroin in this series, does not consider herself a criminal). She realizes that her entourage includes Vampires, and of course, one particular Male Vamp becomes a focus in this story.
Overall, the workshop was enlightening, and it was fun to see how the different authors related to each other in the creation of their characters.
Here are some great pics of the event: