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Friday, January 8, 2016

Why I Write About Strong Women by Debbi Mack

Let's start this New Year off to a rollicking start. My resolution for Friday Features is to generate discussion by shaking up preconceptions of who or what strong women are and to explore the concept in 360 degrees. My next guest is New York Times best-selling author of the ebook Sam McRae series, Debbi Mack. She writes hardboiled crime and thrillers with strong women as main characters. Why? Read on and see...

Why I Write About Strong Women by Debbi Mack

Thanks, Connie, for the opportunity to post on your blog!

As the author of four hardboiled mysteries featuring a female protagonist, Im so accustomed to writing about strong women that I hardly give a thought as to why I do it.

I suppose part of my preference for writing about strong women starts with my childhood. I grew up in a family of women who made unconventional choices and believed (contrary to the prevailing view of those times) that women could do whatever they wanted in life, or at least had the ability to make their own choices. I believed this to be true. I also knew that to prove their worth, women usually had to work ten times as hard to get acknowledgment equal to that bestowed upon their male peers. As a result, from an early age, I was raised to believe that women had to be strong in order to succeed in any endeavor.

Second, I grew up a big fan of the hardboiled mystery and thriller genres. Yet, to my dismay, few of the books, movies, or television shows I
enjoyed had strong female leads. If I was looking for role models in my various forms of entertainment, there were few that were female. I would even imagine playing the detective while watching shows like Mannix or Rockford Files. The only catch was I had no idea how to handle what Fred Savage in The Princess Bride called the kissing parts.

There were, thankfully, a few strong female characters that I absolutely loved. One was Anne Francis as Honey West, and another was the amazing Mrs. Peel of The Avengers. I wanted to write books that had women like these, so little girls could grow up with detective role models they could relate to easily.

Not only that, but I continued to be shocked at the low level of self-esteem many women have. My hope is writing about strong women is that they can provide inspiration to others, who may think theyre incapable of making tough choices and doing difficult things.

Finally, I write about strong women, because they are more interesting to me than weak ones. Ultimately, one writes the book that one would enjoy reading. I just dont enjoy reading about women as victims and weaklings. I greatly prefer reading about those who are tough, funny, and independent. Not perfect, of course. How boring is perfect? Very. But, when it comes to solving crimes and kicking ass, why should men have all the fun?


Debbi Mack is the New York Times ebook bestselling author of the Sam McRae mystery series. The first book in the series Identity Crisis was re-released this year by WildBlue Press. Shes also published one young adult novel, Invisible Me, and Five Uneasy Pieces, a short story collection that includes her Derringer Awardnominated story The Right to Remain Silent. Her short stories have appeared in various other anthologies and publications. Her most recently published short stories are Deadly Detour, published as an ebook short, and Jasmine, which appears in Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays. Debbi is also a screenwriter and aspiring indie filmmaker. A former attorney, Debbi has also worked as a journalist, librarian, and freelance writer/researcher. She enjoys walking, cats, travel, movies, music, and espresso.

You can find Debbi online here:

Twitter: @debbimack


FRIDAY FEATURES is a steady presence on Out of the Fog where I explore the concept of "strong women." Who are they? What makes them strong? How do we see them in writing and/or in business? If you're an author, what is their place in the world of thrillers of mysteries? If you're in business, how is the working environment impacted by the presence of a "strong woman" and how are they seen as leaders and team members? If you're an emerging strong woman, tell us about your journey. Have other questions you find compelling? Ask away and I'll post the answers here. 

If you have something to say about the topic of 

strong women, contact me on Twitter: