Leigh Bardugo on Female Leads and “Competent” Boys

EW’s Shelf Life caught up with Leigh Bardugo and author friend Veronica Roth (Divergent) to discuss YA lit and what makes their characters tick!

Veronica-Roth-Leigh-Bardugo

Here’s a pretty spectacular snippet!

The love interests in your books, Tobias/Four and Mal set readers’ hearts aflutter. What qualities do they have that reflect what you look for in real-life partners?

L: I’m about to give the least sexy answer ever. Ready? Mal, and the Darkling, and Sturmhond all have one thing in common: they’re spectacularly competent. They’re really good at what they do. I guess I also love the sense of honor at Mal’s core. He’s someone you’d always want at your back in a fight. I feel like that’s true for Four, too.

V: I LOVE that answer. I think competence is extremely sexy, actually. And it’s what Tris is attracted to when she sees Four jump on a train for the first time — she admires his physical competence, and the ease with which he does it. I also think something your boys have in common in Shadow and Bone is that they feel like whole people — you don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on their looks, and instead you focus on the things that make them tick, their strengths and their flaws and their desires. That, I think, is what makes them appealing to readers, even if they can’t quite put their fingers on it — they feel real. I tried as hard as I could to make Four feel as real as possible, so this is something I think about a lot.

With Four specifically, he’s always appealed to me because he’s utterly convinced of Tris’s strength even when she isn’t. He respects her and respecting women is sexy, I don’t care what anyone says.

L: Hold up, who says respecting women isn’t sexy?

V: I mean, no one in particular, but sometimes you see love interests who completely disregard the main character’s opinions or feelings or even clearly expressed wishes, and I think that is the antisexy. There’s a difference between, say, impulsive or protective and straight up controlling and disrespectful, and that’s something I try to be pretty careful about. I think you’ve done a good job with this, actually — Mal wants to take care of Alina, but he’s not pushy or condescending about it. Two thumbs up, Bardugo.

L: Okay, now I’m the one blushing, Roth. It’s funny, I said that both Mal and Four would be people you’d want at your back in a fight. I think they’d say the same for Alina and Tris. That trust, that respect is fundamental. I like alphas. I like bad boys. I like a guy with a protective streak. But all of those archetypes fall apart if they’re just running roughshod over the heroine.

Fear and darkness are themes in both the Divergent and the Grisha trilogy. Do you ever have nightmares about the characters/scenarios in your books?

L: Ha! No but I had a nightmare about a bird pecking its way into my mouth after I read Divergent. (I did once dream that I was at King’s Landing, one of the locations from Game of Thrones. The Pet Shop Boys were playing.)

V: And I have been haunted by a particularly horrifying image at the end of Siege and Storm since I read it. I don’t want to spoil it, but you know what I’m talking about. So I guess we’re even!

L: Is it wrong that I’m pleased? I’m pleased.

Read the full interview here!

Advertisements

New Fandoms Will Be Introduced in TheFandom.net Site!

thefandomlogo-withslogan-02-small

Last night, TheFandom.net had their first ever live hangout session in which we got to talk about the movies that are coming up for some of our fandoms that we have on the site.  However, one of the most exciting news to come from the hangout happened near the beginning of the hangout, where we revealed that we will be adding more fandoms to the site in the very near future!

A little after the 4:20 mark, I get to announce which fandoms will be getting their own fandom site, which are listed right here:

  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone (book series by Laini Taylor)
  • Graceling (book series by Kristin Cashore)
  • Legend (book series by Marie Lu)
  • Shadow & Bone (book series by Leigh Bardugo)
  • Sherlock (BBC TV Series)
  • Supernatural (The CW TV Series)
  • Under the Never Sky (book series by Veronica Rossi)

As to the reason we chose each series, it’s really just a matter of the quality of the books and the TV shows.  They either have a certain unique quality about them, either through the story that’s told, through the characters that we learn of, or both, and we’re very excited to give these fandoms an opportunity to grow on the site and expand the fandom to many other people who are looking for new books or shows to gush over.  We hope you agree with us when you do get a chance to learn about each one of them.

You can watch the rest of the hangout episode below:

I’ll send you notice when the new fandoms have been integrated into their new homes!