Less Than Three Press put out a call for submissions for their Damsel in Distress anthology last year. The brief; to write about strong women in a dangerous (physical or emotional) situation who step up and fight their way out, or at least don't have to be rescued. (That's why I love the movie Ever After, because Danielle (aka Cinderella) fights back and gets away from her captive (the landowner Pierre le Pieu) and doesn't have to be rescued, but she still has the chance to fall in love with her Prince)
I was immediately up for the challenge.
What would be better than not just one strong woman on the page but two?
An image burst into my mind of a woman falling onto cushions then getting back up not wanting to give up. The character Libby came into existence and it was Helen training her in self-defense – my second strong woman.
These characters suddenly took over and I followed their lead and the story flowed onto my computer. Without planning it suddenly I had another female; an antagonist, Scarlett, and Libby and Helen were going to be in for a hell of a ride, along with myself because I now had to balance three strong women.
But it wasn't easy having three strong women on the page at once or at least two, there's a lot of emotion and its no good if they are all standing their ground getting no where. I know what it can be like in real life with sisters and we are all strong women and sometimes that leaves an explosive hole in the room that ends up creating a black hole.
I didn't want that to happen in my story, or at least I didn't want the characters to over power the story and I wanted them all to get along (some what in a twisted interesting read sort of way), after all sometimes it's fun to have a nemesis that has haunted a character for a long time.
Then there was the opposite problem. I didn't want to tone down the characters strength and determination because then they wouldn't be strong female leads.
It was like being on a seesaw!
To keep things balanced I mixed up the three-way relationships, and set up events for Libby and Helen to endure to get them to choose to stand up and defended themselves. (I can't give too much away or I'll spoil the read!)
Editing certainly played a big role and I kept adjusting the balance until these characters could all play together in the same story and there were three strong women fighting it out.
The Clockwork Heart is available now with Less Than Three Press. It's a short steampunk novella.
Let me know if you would like to hear more of the adventures that Libby and Helen! Connect with me at my blog, Goodreads, Facebook or Twitter. And if you have any sexy looking steampunk outfits please share them with me on Pinterest!
The Clockwork Heart
Haunted by a past lover and left with scars so deep Libby gave up her life as an explorer, she spends her day trying to avoid bad memories and training ruthlessly with Helen, the woman she hired to teach her self-defense. Helen is beautiful, appealing, and could be what Libby needs to climb out of her past once and for all.
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