Joining us today is John F. Allen, rising talent in speculative fiction, creator of bold heroine Ivory Blaque, and author of The Best Is Yet to Come, an exciting new collection featuring an array of stories in urban fantasy, fantasy, science fiction, horror and more!
Writing the Female Hero: Subverting Gender Stereotypes with Female Heroes
When I created Ivory Blaque, the protagonist of my debut novel, The God Killers, I immediately knew that she would be the connective tissue of my entire literary universe. She was patterned after the various personalities of the women in my life, from my ex-wife, to my mother, grandmother and female friends. There is also a healthy dose of my own personality ingrained into her as well. While she isn’t the most powerful of my female protagonists, she is far more important to my literary universe than any other character, thus it is aptly and affectionately named The Ivoryverse.
I also knew that based on the heroines I’d read from the female authors whose work I admired and respected, that she wouldn’t be the typical damsel in distress, from the sexist days of the past. Women were often portrayed in fiction as subservient to the male characters and unable to fend for themselves, or triumph over life obstacles without the support of a man. Ivory Blaque was destined to be different, mainly because of the women she was patterned after were strong individuals with dominant personalities. But also, because I didn’t want to create as stereotypical female character and continue to perpetuate those very stereotypes in my writing.
I also didn’t want to enter into a battle of the sexes, scenario. So, the male characters who surround Ivory wouldn’t be watered down versions of male heroes, in an effort to leveling the playing field. I created the male characters to be equally as strong, yet in different ways. My male and female protagonist complement each other, and I DO NOT make one more powerful than the other based on gender. When writing Ivory’s adventures, I didn’t want to give her stereotypical male traits either. She had to stand on her own merit solely because of who she is as a person and not because of her gender or that of those around her.
Ivory is who she is because that’s how the character spoke to me, and not in order to make a social statement. However, I’m a strong believer and supporter of gender equality and I refuse to feed into stereotypes where gender is concerned. I sincerely hope that these sentiments and my position on gender equality is translated through my writing.
About the Author
John F. Allen is an American writer born in Indianapolis, IN. He is a founding member of the Speculative Fiction Guild and a member the Indiana Writers Center. He began writing stories as early as the second grade and has pursued various forms of writing throughout his career. John studied Liberal Arts at IUPUI with a focus in Creative Writing and Literature, received an honorable discharge from the United States Air Force and is a current member of the American Legion. John’s debut novel, The God Killers was published in 2013 by Seventh Star Press, and he has had several novellas, short stories and articles published since. He is also an avid reader, accomplished visual artist and Jazz music aficionado.
John currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.
About the Book
The Best Is Yet to Come
by John F Allen
Seventh Star Press, LLC
September 29, 2019
Featuring ten stories collected for the first time ever, The Best Is Yet to Come, presents nine years of creativity spun from the mind of John F. Allen. Action and adventure are ever present in these stories, but be prepared for some drama, horror, fantasy and science fiction as well.
This volume includes a holiday story, “An Ivory Christmas,” featuring Ivory Blaque, Allen’s bold heroine from his acclaimed urban fantasy series The God Killers, and the center of his literary universe, The Ivoryverse.
Also included are:
“Forest of Shadows” the debut of a fabled, ancient warrior named, Jaziri, Prince of Kimbogo Province.
You may want to think twice before venturing out into the dark woods of rural Indiana in “The Legend of Matchemonedo.”
A young, set assistant of a 50’s science fiction serial gets to embark on the journey of a lifetime in “The Adventures of Star Blazer.”
A young woman in late 1970’s Indianapolis, learns to be careful what you wish for in “HoodRatz.”
When a woman struggles to care for her ailing father, she discovers the truth behind her troubled past in “The Sweetest Autumn.”
Long ago, a noble samurai finds forbidden love with a beautiful, ebony skinned princess in “The African Princess.”
A mysterious, military operative is sent on a covert mission in Egypt, when he encounters an alien monster bent on revenge in “Lazarus.”
Forty years ago, a young boy discovers that family means everything in “The Chocolate Malt.”
The Best is Yet to Come also features the special bonus short story, “Witch Way is Up.”
Explore the words of John F. Allen today!
Tour Schedule and Activities
1/13 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape http://mylifemybooksmyescape.wordpress.com Author Interview
1/14 Jazzy Book Reviews https://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/ Author Interview
1/15 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews http://sheiladeeth.blogspot.com Guest Post
1/16 I Smell Sheep http://www.ismellsheep.com/ Top Ten’s List
1/17 Beauty in Ruins – She Leads he Reads https://femledfantasy.home.blog Guest Post
1/18 The Literary Underworld http://www.literaryunderworld.com Guest Post
1/19 The Seventh Star Blog http://www.theseventhstarblog.com Guest Post
1/20 The Book Junkie Reads . . . https://thebookjunkiereadspromos.blogspot.com Author Interview
1/20 Willow’s Thoughts and Book Obsessions http://wssthoughtsandbookobsessions.blogspot.com/ Review