Writers who need writers are the luckiest people in the world.
We build on the work of other writers. We draw inspiration from their creations, and their success. We’re usually too busy building our own careers to notice.
It’s time to notice.
You don’t know me but I would like to thank you for helping to create the character of CW McCoy in Peak Season, a series I hope someday will approach the benchmark you’ve set. You didn’t just paste male characteristics onto women or use violence to attract attention. You were the trailblazers, the authors who turned the noir subgenre on its head and ushered in a generation of smart, tough, proficient female investigators.
That said, here is my list of writers whose female characters have traded cookies for cojones:
- Sara Paretsky, for creating V.I. Warshawski, a character whose toughness serves her sense of justice
- S.J. Rozan, for her evocative sense of place in the Lydia Chin outings
- Lee Goldberg, for the deft portrayal of a secondary character, Natalie Teeger, in his series of Adrian Monk novels
- Julia Spencer-Fleming, for Rev. Claire Fergusson’s moral compass
- Laurie R. King, for the daring intelligence of Mary Russell
- Sue Grafton, for revealing the conflicted love life of Kinsey Millhone
- Janet Evanovich, for the push and pull of drama and humor in the Stephanie Plum novels
- Marcia Muller, for Sharon McCone’s allegiance to family and friends
- And Jennifer Crusie, for giving her leads a heartbeat and not just a pulse.
Writers who need writers are the luckiest writers in the world. Thanks to you, I’m one of them.