Haverdy Oyama , Val Entienne & Amy Edwards
Thinking about W.E.’s 22 anniversary, I can’t help but think about the primary part of W.E., which is the books. Thinking about the books, led me to think about the characters in them. When I was a child, I gravitated towards books with stories about female characters who weren’t afraid to do whatever the male characters did. I was never a big fan of stories about princesses. I was a bit of a tomboy, so stories about ultra-girly characters didn’t interest me. When I started writing, my female characters were bold, brave, and they weren’t afraid to do any of the things the male characters would do. The definition of feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men. I didn’t want to create female characters who were “damsels in distress”.
Take Haverdy Oyama of Fortune’s Wing, for example. Haverdy is a tomboy, through and through. She wears her hair short, like a boy, and she even wears the boy’s uniform to school. When her brother and his friends find themselves fighting monsters created by the Winged Seven, Haverdy has no problem picking up a sword and running head-first into danger.
Val Entienne of Valentine is equally as brave. Despite her pink hair, when her father needs help, she’s a regular “ride or die” kind of girl. She arms herself with a pair of handguns and drives all the way to California to rescue him. She gets caught in a gunfight on more than one occasion, but she doesn’t run and hide.
Even when some of the guys in her life doubt her abilities and her talent, Amy of Our Lady of Righteous Rage learns to play the guitar and become a rock star. She’s also a firm believer in the idea that girls can do anything boys can do. And the person behind the concept for the retail store in the series, the “Urban Collective”, is Vanessa, another female character.
Should the sword-wielding hero always be a boy? Certainly not. What about the gun-toting Patron Saint? The badass guitarist? I enjoy creating female characters who succeed in male-dominated situations. In Fortune’s Wing, all of the girls are ready to stand with Fortune and fight. In Valentine, it’s Val the members of the Syndicate are afraid of. The female characters in the W.E. books have demonstrated the meaning of feminism and redefined what it means to be in a “woman’s place”.