Today we have a guest post from Tanya Landman. One of Tanya's many previous books, Apache, was shortlisted for the Carnegie. For her latest, Buffalo Soldier, she returns to America, to the time of the Indian Wars. (For a review, see here.) Read on to find out about the inspiration behind her heroine.
I grew up very confused.
My grandmother was born in 1903: her generation had lived through WW1 and WW2, keeping the home fires burning and the country running, dealing with grief and loss with heroic fortitude. All around me I could see strong, intelligent, capable women: there was nothing weak or feeble about any of them!
And yet when it came to film and TV, if a woman appeared on screen at all, you could guarantee three things. She would:
2) fall over
3) need rescuing.
Oh yes – and if she was being chased she’d be in high heels and she’d never ever have the sense to take her shoes off so she could run properly. I seemed to spend most of my childhood yelling at the screen, “Don’t do that, you stupid woman!”
But as far as female role models on screen were concerned, Scarlett was kind of it.
It’s true that every so often a character would come along who would be hailed by the press as a feminist icon. I remember when Sarah Jane joined Doctor Who she was said to be something new and different. She had a job! Sarah Jane was a journalist, no less. Wow! Here was a companion with brains!!!!
I watched the first episode with avid interest. As I recall she did the guaranteed 1 – 3 in about five minutes flat.
It was the same with Marian Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost
When I started writing I wanted to create female characters who were not only capable of saving kind of people I’d have enjoyed reading about in my youth: the kind of ones I’d have loved to have seen on TV: people like Charley O’Hara, the subject of my new novel, Buffalo Soldier. Charley – born