Award-winning romance author, Karen Marie Moning, shares her list of her top ten favorite fictional heroines. Her highly-rated new romance book and latest release in The Fever series, "Iced," continues to have fans singing her praises.
I jumped at the opportunity to share my most beloved leading ladies. Although they span genres from fantasy to romance, adult fiction to children's books, these women define the ‘extra’ of extraordinary. They explode from the page because they take chances, they demand more and at the end of the day their cup is always half full.
In no particular order, accompanied by a favorite quote, my inspirations are…
1) Dagny Taggart (Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand) Brilliant, strong, committed, fearless, Dagny inspired me at 15 to push myself as hard as I could to achieve my life goals.“You don’t have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, is—say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
2) The Khaleesi (A Game of Thrones Series by George R. R. Martin) Her evolution from abused, manipulated child into powerful, self-possessed woman is intense and inspiring. “I am Daenerys Stormborn, of the blood of Old Valyria and I will take what is mine, with fire and blood!”
3) Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins) Resilient, a survivor who can think outside the box, she will protect those she loves at any cost. She is: "The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol's plans. The symbol of the rebellion."
4) Ramona (The Ramona Collection by Beverly Cleary) Smart, emotional, irrepressible, fearless, she simply can’t be subdued.“She was not a slowpoke grownup. She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next.”
5) Kate Daniels (The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews) Kick ass heroine, strong, determined and funny as hell. When she’s not being scary. “If you come, you better come in force because I will kill every single one of you. My hand won't shake, my aim won't falter. My face will be the last thing you'll see before you die."
6) Mrs. Whatsit (A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle) How can you not admire a star that sacrificed itself to destroy a part of the Black Thing? "Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”
7) Hermione Granger (The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling) She is smart, tenacious, loyal, loving, and not afraid to be ruthless when she must. I love her for the following quote alone,"Oh, HONESTLY, don't you two read?"
8) Elizabeth Bennet (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice) By today’s standards she may be deemed an imperfect heroine but for her era she was extraordinary, demanding her fair measure of life despite societal circumscription. Intelligent and fiercely independent she says it best:"There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me."
The following two choices are neither hubris nor self-promotion. The day I’m not writing my favorite heroines, I should do us all a favor and stop writing.
9) MacKalya Lane (The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning) She lost everything along the way but came out stronger, wiser and surprisingly more whole for discovering her own ‘beast’ within. "It is our actions that define us. What we choose. What we resist. What we're willing to die for."And…“Hope strengthens. Fear kills. That simple adage is master of every situation, every choice. Each morning we wake up, we get to choose between hope and fear and apply one of those emotions to everything we do. Do we greet things that come our way with joy? Or suspicion?"
10) Dani “the Mega” O’Malley (The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning) Trained as an assassin before she was old enough to make her own choice about what she wanted to be, Dani doesn’t play by anyone’s rules but her own. Her evolution from teenager to woman is my favorite tale of transformation yet. “I lock eyes with my reflection and don’t look away. The day you look away you start to lose yourself. I’m never going to lose myself. You are what you are. Deal with it or change.” And, like Ramona, Dani believes “Life is a choice: you can live in black and white or you can live in color. I’ll take every shade of the rainbow and the gazillion in between!”
My top ten heroines commit to what they believe in and live passionately, vibrantly and fully.