Blood in the Water – Guest Post by Tash McAdam

Tash McAdamPlease help me welcome Tash McAdam to Writer’s Fun Zone as she shares with us  “Blood in the Water,” a kickass heroines post. Enjoy!


I’m Tash, and I’m an English teacher by day, superhero—I mean fiction writer—by night. I spend most of my free time falling in streams and out of trees, learning to juggle, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, doing Karate, playing punk rock on the piano, and of course, writing. This is my second time dropping by for a Kick-Ass Heroines post, and this time I’m going to talk about my new series, which is hitting the virtual shelves next week.

Blood in the Water Warp Weavers is set in alterna-London, so my friends and I have dubbed it story ‘low fantasy’—using the world we know and live in, but with twists of magic. Think Harry Potter, or Buffy. My editor tells me that this is actually called urban fantasy, but I like my version better. So what’s it all about? Basically, the world at large is ignorant to what really goes on around it … and of course there’s more going on than the world would ever want to know. Like monsters. And tears in reality. And lots of magic. Warp Weavers follows students at the London branch of the Protectorate—a school for people who do know—as they learn to harness their magical abilities. Those abilities are in one of three branches: Warriors, who are gifted with the strength and speed to fight demons from other worlds, warlocks, who support them with magic, and weavers, who can open and close the doors between the dimensions.

Hallie, a weaver, is the main character in Blood in the Water, a short story releasing on July 7th. She’s a sarcastic, irreverent, hilarious smart-mouth. And she is, incidentally, the real subject of this blog, because she’s my current kick-ass heroine. Writing her has been tough, because, much to my shame, I am not actually funny in real. So coming up with the one-liners has been a stretch. But man has it been fun. I love the way she uses humor to defuse tense situations, to make her colleagues relax, and to drive her friends to greater achievements. She’s a really impressive person under the brash outer layers, and in my mind that’s what makes her kick-ass, despite her subpar fighting skills—her ability to see to the heart of a situation and figure out what needs doing. She makes snap decisions, trusts her judgment, and knows that her friends will be able to do what needs to be done when it comes down to it. She’s very much growing into herself in Blood in the Water, too, having just started training. But the person she will become is clearly visible, if blurry round the edges, what with her teenage self-absorption and silliness.

Still, she sees what she has to do and she doesn’t run from it. She’s terrified but she does her job. And it makes her an amazing character to connect with.

Her best friend, Cam, is a warrior. She’s six foot even, a black belt in five disciplines (Wado Ryu, Tan Soo Doo, Quan Fa, and Kenpo, if you’re interested), and is a skilled weapons user and tactician. But she’s kind of cheating. When people get woken as a warrior, innate skills are brought to the surface. You’ll never get someone with poor hand-eye coordination becoming a warrior, for example. So you have to be sort of kick-ass already, if you’re going to be in Cam’s position. But this character isn’t kick-ass because of her ability to actually kick some ass. Far from it. Cam is calm and supportive, and has more patience than anyone I’ve ever written. She can be playful and silly, but she’s also mature and driven. She has a will to actually make the world a better place, and help as many people as she can on the way. To Cam, every individual is worth saving, and that’s why she’s a heroine. It’s different than anything I’ve written before—this sort of behind-the-scenes hero—but it doesn’t make it any less. In fact, I’d say it’s even more powerful because it doesn’t require action. It’s all about heart.

In my last post here, I told you about Serena, a telepath motivated by the loss of her brother, and Epsilon 17, a slave to the Institute agency that abducts young Psionics and uses them for their psychic powers. Warp Weavers was a big veer to the left for me, both in terms of genre and characters. As I’m stretching my wings as a writer, I’m learning that there are as many ways to be kick-ass as there are characters, and I’m excited every single time I discover a new one.

Thanks for having me!

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  • Beth Barany says:

    We’re glad you stopped by, Tash! I always love hearing about your strong heroines!

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