It’s hard to believe, but for the longest period of time all of my main characters were male. Now, for the first time, I have two female MCs heading my current works in progress: a sci-fi series and a historical fiction novel. And they couldn’t be any different, so it’s been quite interesting dipping into both of them at the same time.
Katya Cassius, from the tentatively called Heritage Verse series, is older at 34, has seen so much of the world — galaxy really — thinks quickly on her feet, and is quite clever in dire situations. She has doggedly pursued a military career all her life, largely being confined to planetary posts, including one of the roughest on a planet called Resnik, before landing a captain position on the outdated Maelstrom. She was adopted by Faustus Cassius, an anthropologist, at the age of three or four after being removed from her homeworld that had just wrapped up a world war and a series of blood-letting purges. For the most part, she avoids looking to that past out of love for her adoptive father and fear of what she might find. While not always emotive, she is capable of great compassion, taking in a preteen and later a toddler.
Dinah Schwartz, on the other hand, is only 15 at the time her story begins and lives within an Amish community in a rural Indiana community at the outbreak of WWI. She easily follows the life she was born into (though she dreads beginning a courtship) and is completely clueless to the world beyond it. However, with the coming war, her world is upturned and she embraces roles normally reserved for Amish men in order to keep her family’s farm a float. She really grows to realize that people both inside and outside her community are not perfect. She finds great joy in her unconventional, frowned-upon friendships and literature — something she’d left behind after leaving school.
These two characters couldn’t be any more different, but I like to see them as kickass in their own unique ways: Katya in a more literal way while Dinah does so in a less physical/more quiet way. They both lead and find their own stories, no matter what craziness is occurring around them.