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Did You Miss Why SM Schmitz Wrote Peyton’s Myth?

Cambria Code Cover Art

Another in my summer series of looking back at past “why they wrote” posts. Today I’m hoping you’ll take another look at S.M. Schmitz’s peek behind Peyton’s Myth: 

Earlier this year, I decided to write another science-fiction romance series, my first being the Resurrected trilogy. I wanted to do something different than Resurrected, with a bit more classic science-fiction elements yet still do something unique and experimental since that’s what I do or at least attempt to do – use fiction to provoke questions about our world, the way it operates, and why.

For The Cambria Code, I decided to challenge some bothersome trends I’ve noticed in popular fiction, namely that of the “alpha male” whose domineering personality could easily be construed as abusive in a real-world setting. I wondered if readers would tolerate some of those same behaviors from a woman, which is part of the impetus for the development of Zoe’s often abrasive personality.

But there is another, and perhaps more important, reason I wrote Zoe as such a difficult heroine. Truthfully, I think she reflects a lot of the characteristics many people naturally have, and we’ve grown so accustomed to unrealistic, idealized, and completely fictionalized, expectations of femininity in literature that when a heroine is written with so many flaws, as all humans possess, she comes across as hateful and spiteful, and that’s not who Zoe is at all.

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Perilously yours,

Pauline