Thursday, 16 September 2010



A young lady named Lou has just sent me a list of questions in connection with an interview she'll be doing about me and the DM for the British Fantasy Society. Now I've seen the sort of questions that are usually banded around - 'who is your favourite author' and 'what is the most diffuicult aspect of writing' that sort of bland stuff - so I was mildly (well, a little more than mildly to be truthful) surprised about how insightful her questions were. Lou had obviously read the book (now there's a novelty), evaluated it and was determined to ask some bloody tough questions about it. Totally unfair: I really had to think!

One of her questions especially intrigued me. This was 'three of your main characters are not just female, but relatively young: what was the motivation behind having young women as protagonists, and is it challenging to write not just one but three major players of a different gender?'

Funnily enough I had never really thought about Norma, Ella and Trixie being young and female before, I'd just written them that way because it seemed right that they should be young and female. Of course having two tough-minde, smart and ambitious teenage daughters (and an equally tough-minded, smart, ambitious and sexy wife) might have been an influencing factor but really I think this is a somewhat simplistic explanation.

The answer as to why three of my principal protagonists are female is that women these days are so much more interesting thna men. It pains me to say it but women are more complete individuals than their male opposite numbers - they want to do something with their lives - and, funnily enough they are much more inclined to take risks.

It could be said that I am basing this surmise on a very unrandom sample - the Rees household - but it is odd that the first person to contact me about the DM was a girl - Jackie - who wrote in a very lucid and interesting way about the book and the first person to ask for an interview was a girl - Lou - who is obviously possessed of a similarly incisive mind.

So is it any wonder that when I came to choose the gender of the characters who would struggle with the mysteries of the Demi-Monde that I chose women.

Of course, the DM isn't entirely a male-free zone. There's always Vanka Maykov and I've got BIG plans for Vanka!

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