Friday, August 2, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Strength of the Female Heroine

We're proud to present Michele N. Zugnoni to the Salon today with a wonderful post on strong females. Be sure to checkout her new novel Starfire and swag entries in the Scavenger Hunt.

When I was fourteen-years-old, I threw my first Buffy the Vampire Slayer slumber party. A bunch of my friends gathered in the living room of our split-level home and stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the TV screen as Kristy Swanson, the original Buffy, battled the undead and fell in love with a boy named Pike. It was the first time I’d ever seen a girl go head-to-head with the boys. For a little over an hour, my world transformed. No longer was I Michele Zugnoni, shy high school outcast; I had become Michele Zugnoni, Vampire Slayer. Joss Whedon changed my life with his outlandish sense of humor and his uncanny female heroine. Ever since, I’ve savored watching and reading about strong female characters who aren’t afraid to break a nail.

Too often, girls are inundated with weak-minded female heroines who depend upon the boys to fight their battles, to keep them safe from the wicked, wicked world. Take, for example, the archtypal romance heroine who fainted at any sign of conflict, or the traditional YA teenager who was taught that looks came before brains and if you had brains, then you certainly couldn’t be pretty. I still remember an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, in which David Silver struggled to come up with an adjective to describe his girlfriend, Donna. Donna had decided that if he called her pretty, then it meant she wasn’t smart; if he called her smart, then it meant she wasn’t pretty. In the end, David stammered his way through to calling her smart and pretty, and if I remember correctly, I don’t think Donna was very impressed. And what of it? Are we trying to tell our teenage girls that their options are limited? Why?

Today’s novels and television shows are introducing stronger heroines. I’m thinking here of tales like Vampire Diaries and Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. But the weak female character is still prevalent in fiction; she pops up in a variety of novels and television shows, risking the loss of everything we’ve gained. And I wonder why that is; why do we feel the need to teach our girls that it’s okay to be weak, and that they don’t have the strength to take care of themselves? Why must we teach them to be entirely dependent on their male counterparts?

As I wrote Starfire, I found myself crafting strong female characters with minds of their own. They didn’t need the boys to fight; they didn’t need them to keep them strong. And while the romance is definitely sizzling in much of my novel, and the boys have minds of their own, equality is the order of the day. I love my heroines strong and feisty; I love creating women who can lead their men to war, who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. In more than one scene, Julia Kirkwood, my heroine, stands up to her father, the man who scares most of her world so badly, they cower in fear and avoid him in fright. Her strength acts as a catalyst, driving the story forward in much the same way any woman’s strength might spur her to greater heights. And isn’t the what fiction should be all about? Helping the character reach her full potential so that the reader might then realize potential of her own?

How about you? What do you think about today’s female characters?

Guest Vlog with Except from the Novel!

About the Author:

Michele is a recovering demon (AKA attorney) who left the legal field to follow her dreams of writing and teaching college-level English. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling as far as her credit card will take her, reading an assortment of fantasy and paranormal, and playing with her frisky animals (two black cats and two loud-mouthed cockatiels).

She’s loved vampires since she was four, when her BFF confided that her older sister was a vamp who enjoyed drinking blood. Like any four-year old, Michele thought this was the most awesome thing ever. Michele currently lives in Modesto, California, but will move to Santa Barbara to begin a Ph.D. program in education and literacy this fall. 


Starfire is coming out July 30, and to celebrate, we're lookin' to give away some loot. To enter
this rockin' contest, simply follow the actions below, and you'll receive the corresponding
number of entries!!!

*Comment on any tour or Facebook post (see for tour dates and info)
*Like Michele's Facebook page (
*Share Michele's Facebook page on your own Facebook or blog
*Like Michele's Twitter account (

*Purchase Starfire and comment on Michele's Facebook page "I just purchased this fiery new
paranormal romance! Can't wait to read."

*Review Starfire at Goodreads, Amazon, on your blog, or anywhere else on the web (but be
sure to let us know on Michele's facebook page).
*Host Michele on any virtual tour stop (interview, review, spotlight, etc.)

*1 Starfire shot glass
* 3 Starfire mugs (2 Julia/Clay, 1 Mia/Brennan)
*5 autographed copies of Goddess Kissed, the Starfire short-story prequel coming out Sept. 1
*10 red or black velvet bookmarks (with assorted charms)
*2 $25 gift cards to
*1 $50 gift card to!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

Michele N. Zugnoni said...

Hi, Marilyn! Thanks so much for hosting me. Your hard work is so appreciated.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...