Thursday, September 19, 2013

Guest post and giveaway with ADRIAN LILLY

There’s just something about a strong woman
Guest Post
Adrian Lilly

Why I like to write strong female characters
Everyday we’re bombarded with images, videos, and texts telling us how to be and who to be. The worst part: many of them contradict.
Especially for women.
Case in point: I was recently reading a great novel: suspenseful and well written...a best-seller, in fact. I almost couldn’t finish it, though, because the only lead female character (the mom) was a dupe. She lacked dimension and she was weak.
Now I’m not saying there’s no room for flawed, weak characters. But the only woman in this novel was so flawed that she couldn’t see through her predatory paramour—even when her 16-year-old son could. The author failed to include a strong female character as a foil, exposing the flaws of a male author who didn’t take the time to make his female characters as complex as his male characters.
When I say I like to write strong female characters, I mean ones who make decisions on their own. Ones who can fight for themselves. Ones who are brave, intelligent, and beautiful in their own way. I also like complex characters who have flaws and fears and biases and conflicts with people, even people they love. Approaching characters this way helps me avoid the binary: good vs. bad, weak vs. strong, victim vs. superwoman. Characters should resemble people as closely as possible: a mixture of good traits and bad traits, right decisions and wrong decisions, and moments of power and powerlessness.
Because, for me, that seems more like the people—the women—I know.
I mostly write characters who are involved in some sort of paranormal, supernatural, or horrific situation. The main characters in my first two novels, The Devil You Know and Red Haze, were female. In The Wolf at His Door, the main female characters are supporting characters, but they sometimes steal the show. From my point of view, that’s great. If a character has few scenes but leaves a strong impact, then I feel like I’ve done right by that character.
In the end, I feel, that as an author, I have a responsibility to leave readers entertained and, at my best, feeling better about themselves (or at least their day) after reading one of my books.
As a reader, I know that when I read a character that misrepresents or stereotypes an entire group, it leaves me deflated and unhappy with my reading experience.
I hope never to do that to my readers.
The Wolf at His Door      

Book One of The Runes Trilogy

The wolf in his town...
In the last two weeks, five innocent people have vanished, leaving investigators without a clue and families in turmoil.
The wolf on his street...
A brutal attack leaves one brother dead and his twin in a coma.
The horror has only begun for Alec Rune as he learns that werewolves have a much darker plan for him, and he must confront...

Available at: Amazon / Smashwords / B&N  

Wendy's Review: HERE

About Adrian W. Lilly
Adrian W. Lilly is the author of the e-novels The Devil You Know, Red Haze, and The Wolf at His Door: Book One of The Runes Trilogy. All three novels have paranormal elements and lean toward the dark fantasy genre.
Adrian is a fan of Gothic suspense movies and novels, which greatly influence his writing, which focuses on strong character development and the nuances of fear that build toward horror. The mansion in his first novel was inspired by houses in the Victorian neighborhood where he lives.
Adrian writes novels, short stories, and poetry and has spent many years as a copywriter and editor in the advertising industry. His poetry, fiction, and interviews with celebrities and CEOs have been published internationally. In addition to writing, Adrian has directed two short films and co-directed a feature-length sci-fi comedy.
Author Links: Website   Facebook


  1. thank you for the giveaway! (((hugs)))

  2. I absolutely agree with you about female characters. Sometimes I feel as though they are either too weak and more poor decisions, or too stubborn and still make make poor choices. I have read a few novels where I have been satisfied with the female character but I think the (and I hope I'm not offending anyone by saying this) Twilight / 50 Shades trend has set this weird trend for stupid female characters in motion.

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  3. "Characters should resemble people as closely as possible: a mixture of good traits and bad traits, right decisions and wrong decisions, and moments of power and powerlessness"
    Thank you for saying this.

    I read a lot of urban and paranormal fantasy, and although there are many female lead characters, they are so often depicted as "strong" in the physical sense (the typical "kick-ass heroine") while their weaknesses are, well, weak (a "fear of commitment", or a "stubborn streak").

    Women are best served by female characters who are multi-dimensional, and who add value to the plot. Flawed, weak, unsure, tough, smart, sexy, nerdy...whatever. The point is, they should be like real women, and that should be enough.

    Thank you for taking the time and care to write complex characters of both genders! :)

  4. Great interview. I love when writers write strong, well-rounded characters- its especially nice to read about a male author's thoughts on strong characterization of female protagonists. I get tired of whiny, wimpy portrayals that (I think) are meant to make main characters look more powerful *sigh* Great review, excellent author insight... I'll be looking for Adrian's books on my next 1-click spree.

  5. Thanks to everyone who read the post, commented, and entered the giveaway. Happy reading!