Monday, July 25, 2011
Character Monday: Who is Melissa Stone?
SD: And thanks for giving me the opportunity to appear on Character Monday. Let me just start out by saying that I think StoneHouse Ink is doing something unique and, quite frankly, somewhat amazing. Five years from now, I personally believe that everyone will know the name StoneHouse Ink as a publishing house on par with any of the traditionally established publishers.
SH: You flatter us. How dare you reveal our evil plans.
SD: That's just what I believe. But I don't think I'm too far off the mark.
SH: Okay, well, enough about us and our dark secrets. Who do we get to meet today?
SD: I have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to Melissa Stone, the protagonist and main character of Inherit The Throne. And she is able to kick anyone's butt, and I do mean anyone, who stands in her way.
SH: Y'know, there haven't been many female action heroes in books. Of course, there's Angelina Jolie as the Tomb Raider, but that's Hollywood, not, ahem, literature. So, why a female action hero for you?
SD: Female characters have a dynamic that just can't be replicated when using a dude. Melissa is not all sugar and spice and she does have some "puppy dog tail" elements within that enable her to rain down the pain on anyone who comes between her and what she wants. And this happens quite often during the book.
SH: That sounds pretty freakin' cool. So what'd you do, just write a male action hero and then use Microsoft Word to find and replace, say, "Sergeant John X. Slaughter" to something all feminine like Melissa Stone?
SD: Not at all. She was a female character from the first concept all the way through publication. When we first meet her, she is a waitress in a small town. But she is conflicted. I don't want to give away too much, but due to circumstances beyond her control, contacting her estranged son would put both of them in danger. In this situation, a male character would suck it up and do what's in everyone's best interest, and the child would never hear from him again. But Melissa risks contacting him on a regular basis so that she can still be a mother to her son. It is this difference that shapes everything in the story.
SH: So, you wanted to bring in the dynamic of how a female would react to a plot that is dominated by male action heroes?
SD: Not entirely. There are also all the other characters in the book to consider. They all react differently to the main character, because it is a she instead of a he. The whole flavor of the book is changed when the kick-butt character is female. And I think it worked very well.
SH: Is there room for a female action hero in today's book market?
SD: My readers seem to think so.
SH: Who would win in a fight? Melissa Stone or Jack Reacher?
SD: Whew. Jack Reacher is pretty tough. I am afraid to admit that in hand-to-hand combat, Melissa would most likely be crushed by his sheer physical power. But this is where I am able to introduce the difference between the male and female minds in my book. Melissa uses her wits to defeat an opponent who is physically bigger and stronger. She thinks before charging into any situation and this gives her a level of strength beyond pure muscular dimensions.
SH: So, is Melissa's story finished with this book?
SD: Not at all. I have recently rebranded Inherit The Throne as the first the Melissa Stone Adventures series. She will be returning to fight another foe. Her nemesis, Hannah, will also be returning. Readers will have the chance to find out more about this mysterious villain in future books.
SH: Why did you decide to commit to writing another Melissa Stone book?
SD: Because I received too many emails demanding to know what happened next for Melissa.
SH: Ha ha, that's hilarious. You gotta love being goaded into writing more, especially when the character is this compelling. Alright folks, be sure to check out Inherit The Throne and Steve DeWinter's other books at Amazon.
SD: And be my friend on Facebook and Twitter!
SH: Ahh, a social marketer to the core.
SD: It’s the best way to connect with readers and fellow writers.
SH: Looks like Steve's got most of the game figured out already. Thanks again, Steve, and happy reading, Dear Reader.