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Stuart R. West Author of the Tex, The Witch Boy Series Weighs in on Females in YA

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on August 12, 2013 in Books, Females in YA, Guest, MuseItUp, Stuart R. West, Writing |

Stuart R. West, whose second book in his Tex, The Witch Boy series Tex, And the Gangs of Suburbia released last month, is guesting on the blog today. He was inspired by my Females in YA posts and decided to add his voice to the discussion. Welcome, Stuart!

Tex and the Gangs of Suburbia 200x300Katie’s been going on at great lengths about strong feminist characters. Bravo.

Here’s a new perspective.

I’m a guy. And a writer. My young adult series, Tex, The Witch Boy, has a male protagonist, told from his narrative viewpoint.  I actually set out to write a YA series of books that teen boys could enjoy. I know I would have liked them back in high school, but then again I’m slightly biased.

Here’s the deal, however. The series turned into something different from what I first envisioned. They’re still cool for guys, but…another writer, a female, told me I’m a highly feminist writer.

I said, “What?” She told me the strongest characters in all of my books are female (she’s read all of my books, YA and adult thrillers). Huh. Set me to thinking (and that’s a dangerous thing).

After much contemplation, naval-gazing and fear, I thought about it. She’s right. All of the female characters in my books are the strongest personalities.

In “Tex, The Witch Boy,” my protagonist is a teen male witch. But he’s sorta’ introspective, rarely ready to take action unless forced into it. Slacker. He’s almost the “damsel in distress.” The female characters carry the action.

Tex’s friend (potential girl-friend), Olivia is a warrior. Small and fiery, she single-handedly takes down the scariest bully at Clearwell High. And when the principal and police start questioning people about the murder of a school bully, she’s mighty angry she’s not considered a suspect. Sexist, she rants!

There’s Mickey, Tex’s witch mentor. Stereotypically a daffy ol’ woman on the outside, she has moves that would frighten the whiskers off of a mouse. Hm. Think she does that, maybe.

In the second book, Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia (just out!), I introduce my favorite character yet. Elspeth. I’m not going to give away who (or “what”) she is. But she takes no prisoners, stands up for her rights against sexist idiots, puts people in their places. She sorta’ threatened to derail the second and third Tex book ‘cause she’s so strong. Being no fool (and frankly, a little afraid of her), I listened.  She gets her own follow-up book next year.

Just finished an adult thriller set alternately in 1935 and 1969. My female writing mentor told me one of the major characters is a role model for early feminism.

Okay. Point is I’m a guy writer. But I’d be foolish not to pay tribute to the better sex. Duh. The strongest people in my life are female. My wife’s a brilliant college professor who tolerates no foolishness. My daughter is amazingly adept at reading people. My mother is a master manipulator (not sure if that’s a bonus or not). I can’t count how many female friends I have who give better advice to me, and frankly, can handle stress better than we men.

My dude friends (illiterate, beer-swilling, football watching cro-magnons) don’t even care that I’m writing. And they’d be especially angry that I’m a “feminist” writer. Doesn’t matter. They’ll never read my books, anyway. I’m not afraid to tell the truth. Guys have more physical muscle. But women are the real warriors.

Tex The Witch Boy 200x300Super special AmazeBalls Deal! Act fast, hit up the MuseItUp website, and you can buy both the Tex books for the price of one! My publisher’s going cray-cray! But don’t tell her and buy! Our lil’ secret!

Tex, The Witch Boy on Amazon: (.99 Special!): http://www.amazon.com/Tex-The-Witch-Boy-ebook/dp/B00B3U5OWU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374849079&sr=1-1

Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tex-Gangs-Suburbia-Witch-ebook/dp/B00E5RWBGA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374849134&sr=1-1&keywords=Tex+and+the+gangs+of+suburbia

BLOG: http://stuartrwest.blogspot.com/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/stuartrwestwriter?fref=ts

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14 Comments

  • I keep saying I have to buy this and I’m going to do it. My boys would just love this. Love the booktrailer.

  • Thanks, Suzanne! Hope you enjoy it. And thank you, Katie, for letting me blather on!

  • Meradeth says:

    Go Olivia! I loved her! And I can’t wait to meet Elspeth 🙂 Great post, Stuart!

  • Kai says:

    “But I’d be foolish not to pay tribute to the better sex. Duh.” *Snort*

  • Thanks for all the comments, gang. Sigh. I wish there were more enlightened male writers out here. Well, and frankly, in real life as well. You gals know you rock.

    • Ha! I always like to think there are more enlightened males out there that just don’t speak out and it’s just the crazy ones who make themselves heard…maybe wishful thinking on my part. You rock too, Stuart!

  • Great blog post, Stuart. (We are no relation, btw, despite the similarity of our names. ) So, Stuart, I have a question? Ever thought of running for public office? We could use a few more enlightened males! LOL You books sound intriguing. I’m passing on the info to my librarian friends in elementary and middle school. Good luck with sales.

  • Loren says:

    When I followed the link to the MIU site and read an excerpt, I had to treat myself to these books.
    I’ve been scrounging around lately for YA novels by male authors, so I must thank you Katie, for introducing me to the works of Stuart West.
    Stuart, if Tex has a pint of your honesty and true manliness(the courage to acknowledge your betters!) then I’m sure I’ll love his character.
    Loren

  • Well, first of all (adjusting my politician hat), let me just say that I have absolutely no strong viewpoint on anything that may be considered somewhat mildly upsetting to any important demographic group and if I offended demographic group compilers, it was a mistake that feel deeply in my heart.

    Yeah, yadda, yadda. Politician hat’s off, gals. Not for me.

    Crazy I am, Katie. But, honestly…isn’t crazy more fun?

    Marsha! That’s so way cool of you! Thank you, my friend. And I keep seeing your name pop up everywhere, thinking “wait…distant cousin or something?” I remember you liked my blog post about my handicapable father on the Muse site.

    Loren! Thanks for the compliment! Courageous? Me? I’m like my boy, Tex…we know when we’re licked and ain’t afraid to admit it. When fighting a guy? Run! When fighting a female (not physically, of course)? Bow down to your superiors and admit defeat!

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