Friday, June 27, 2014

Stereotypes...and you know, it's OK to embrace them, maybe?


Can I be reals for a minute?

Emma "Spider" Fisher — adorkable heroine of my upcoming release — is one of those characters writers claim demanded her own story. You know, the characters who jump up and down, waving madly, demanding more attention from an author while she's trying to focus on other characters? Yep. That was Spider. Originally, she was a tiny lil character, a female hacker type, a mere plot device to bring Zach's private security business into the new century in the epilogue of his book. I didn't expect to see her again after a brief mention at the end of "On the Scent."

Oh wait. Suddenly she offered a great way to move a plot point along in "Something Wicked." Okay, so...when I wrapped that book and was thinking about book three, Spider kept tapping me on the mental shoulder and pointing at herself. Biting her lip, glee in her eyes, bouncing on her heels.

I decided, why not? And I'm so glad I did, because out of every character I've written, I had the most fun writing her. I'll even tell you a little secret. Rather than completely defying that new modern stereotype of cute girl hackers...you know the one...it's probably invaded your favorite TV show by now...well, I decided to kind of embrace it.


Here's the thing.

I also wrote Spider's story when I was knee-deep into discovering "Doctor Who" and Amy Pond kept bringing the snark and I decided I like snarky female characters. Then Charlie kept popping up on "Supernatural," bringing the snark, and she was a hacker. And this was after I had already become a fan of Felicia Day and "The Guild" — and Felicia's character Syd/Codex, so it's Felicia who I swear started this trend...



Then Oliver Queen sidekick Felicity became my favorite character on "Arrow" and Joss Whedon created his own version of a cute female hacker (Sky) on Agents of SHIELD, although, let's be honest. Does anyone actually like her? Cause she's more annoying than cute in my book, but I digress, and now you're thinking, wow, you watch way too much TV, Angie! Yes. Yes, I do, but that's besides the point. Well, or only a small point.



The point is, I enjoy this stereotype. Those characters are fun! I would also like to point out there's more of me in Spider than any other character I've written, so I didn't rip off her character from those shows, although it might seem like it based on this post. Because that's the thing. Even though I might have leaned toward this new stereotype of cute girl hacker (and can I give a shout out to Julie Moffet's massively awesome Lexi Carmichael mystery series, while I'm at it?), I also tried to make Spider unique within the genre. Because that's what every writer tries to do. There's a reason my character calls herself Spider and does what she does. OK, so I made her a redhead in a hat tip to Felicia Day, and also in tribute to Daphne from Scooby Doo because I still heart the Scooby gang so much, but Spider is, I hope, her own person. Or character, anyway.

Spider's quirky, a little bit neurotic, kind of anti-social, but also a sucker for anyone in need of help. Her day job is also kind of boring, because, honestly, running computer scripts to find security holes in a website most of the time isn't as exciting as hacking into the FBI recognition software, which every hacker character on TV seems to do now. That's partly why Spider decides to play girl detective, and gets a surprise when it's way harder than it seems.


Spider also feels kind of underappreciated — as if she's the security team's little sister, forever stuck in the dreaded "friend zone" with this group of hot guys. She's also a gamer, a fangirl, and a bonafide geek (like yours truly) — and is trying hard to be an independent adult when she meets Noah West, a complete and utter mystery, not to mention a total hottie.


In book three, Spider starts to realize she is kind of awesome and capable of holding her own with the team. So I like to think Spider's story is as much of a hero's journey as it is a good old-fashioned mystery and romance.


And did I mention she likes to bring the snark?

I hope you'll pick up her story when it releases—which will hopefully be very soon! Seriously, I should be announcing more details about this book soon! In the meantime, here's a teaser blurb:

And along came Spider...

Socially awkward Emma “Spider” Fisher prefers her laptop to people, so she’s more than happy to oblige her boss when he asks her to pet- and housesit while he honeymoons in London. It doesn’t take long for accident-prone Spider to lose a dog, get locked out of the house, and set off the house alarm. Thankfully, her hot new neighbour is more than happy to come to her rescue. But Noah West is a mystery to Spider—and one she intends to solve. Because either the man is seriously living in a haunted house, or he’s a serial killer. Either way, he’s a total hottie, so Spider will have to guard her heart while she and the animals sniff out the truth.
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