Before we can avoid writing her, or accidentally scare ourselves into a corner and avoid writing women altogether, it’s important to ask: What exactly is a Mary Sue, and why don’t we want one?
The discussion is ongoing, but the panel was insightful, educational and full of actionable steps that authors, readers, and industry professionals can take to further an fully inclusive, fully intersectional romance genre.
And in knowing better, and understanding that romance is both subversive and aggressively feminist and forward thinking, I now hold it to a much higher standard than I ever did in the past.
From the wilds of the Faroe Islands, to the rolling countrysides of Ancient Erin, Juliet’s tales have taken the fantastical and made it human, taken the human and made it fantastical.
When writing a large cast, you have to know your characters really well. More importantly than that, however, you have to know how they interact with one another. Here are two exercises you, as an author, can do to ensure your characters are rounded and fully-developed before they ever hit the pages of your book.
Inspiration, to me, comes in many forms. It’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. It’s J.K. Rowling and Pablo Picasso and Stephen King. It’s my grandparents, my mom and my dad.
The themes and lessons so to speak, that show up in my books are more a reflection of my own deep and fundamental values, things that I feel are important, beliefs that I have that I need my characters to share.