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Songbirds And Superwomen

Emmie Mears has been searching for superwomen her whole life.
The Texas-born, Maryland-primarily based writer, whose debut novel The Masked Songbird debuts July 1st, spent her childhood questioning why the ladies in the dog-eared genre books she was devouring simply weren’t performing the identical heroic deeds as the males. Ultimately she realized that one of the best ways to find the stories she wanted to learn was to write down them herself. Within the Masked Songbird, the sepia-toned life of meek Scots accountant Gwen Maule gets a steroidal injection of Marvel Technicolor when a informal swig of a mysterious liquid grants her superpowered healing, senses and energy. Pitched initially as “Bridget Jones meets Spider-Man,” the story sees Gwen and her new talents caught up in a sinister conspiracy tied to the looming referendum on Scottish independence. The e book is the primary of two parts, kicking off Mears’ profession in the wheelhouse she loves best.

With the explosion in popularity the superhero style has seen since the beginning of the 21st Century, questioning where the superwomen are would appear to be a logical question. While bookshelves spill over with supernaturally-empowered female heroes, the large display stays largely a man’s world. With the taste of decade-old flops like Catwoman and Elektra lingering in their mouths, studio executives remain wary of woman-led genre movies, even within the face of recent smash hits like Frozen, Maleficent and The Heat. Mears admits that the seed of The Masked Songbird was planted when she went to see 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, and felt frustrated that a studio was rebooting a well-recognized (and considerably burned-out) male superhero franchise relatively than letting, say, Surprise Woman have her first shot. As she factors out, a lot of this springs from the fact that the folks with the ability to greenlight movies and Television exhibits are predominantly men, and that while audiences can vote with their dollars, the process of adjusting the outdated boys’ club attitudes will be painfully slow. It would not matter what number of Hunger Games or Divergents break field-workplace records; you’ll nonetheless get the croaky dude chomping on his cigar in the boardroom opining that ‘broads in capes don’t promote tickets.’

The Masked Songbird boasts all the elements to become the form of breakout hit that will make cigars drop from astonished mouths: loads of heroic derring-do, a plot torn from breaking news, and most of all, an identifiable, likeable hero. Gwen Maule grabs you from the opening scene, wherein she’s being dressed down by her expensively-manicured boss for a minor mistake – shades of Workplace Space and TPS experiences, solely way more humiliating. According to Mears, Gwen “is a product of the global recession as well as a child of poverty. She has what I believe is the under-represented mainstream millennial generation mindset of simply form of… plodding ahead. While people like to call this era entitled, I believe for the overwhelming majority of millennials, reaching adulthood on the zenith of worldwide recession has put many on autopilot. Work, sleep, lather, rinse, repeat.” What units Gwen apart from the Bruce Waynes and the Clark Kents is how deeply she is engaged within the common world, struggling to make ends meet. “Her journey,” says Mears, “is recognizing the facility she has at all times had to alter her circumstances and effect change in her personal life and others. She is just a person with particular abilities, studying how to use them in tandem together with her pre-current latent – very human – strengths.”

The very human Emmie Mears has all the time had one foot planted within the superhero world, and that passion is remodeling her into one thing of a thought chief for geeks. The web site she started a little over a year ago,, gets upwards of 30,000 hits a month with its common posts from a dozen totally different contributors on books, movies, comics, conventions and fandom in general. “I think the attraction of the superhero genre is the power to undertaking yourself onto somebody extraordinary,” she says. “Even the gritty superheroes call again to human nature, to the desire to slot in star trek night shirt 2017 or the necessity to show oneself. I feel that is one of the things that makes them so alluring. Fantasy as a whole gives us the ability to imagine ourselves away from this world in a special manner — to think about higher worlds, or scarier worlds, but worlds where extraordinary issues occur. At the heart of all nice fiction is humanity, although. That’s where superheroes and fantasy usually shine brightest: telling human stories through a different lens.”

Unfortunately, it is not just the prototypical male studio executives who chafe at the idea of women playing on this wealthy and rewarding toy field. An ugly undercurrent programs beneath geek culture, as some male fans have taken to questioning the motivations of what they call “faux geek girls,” harassing women who cosplay (for the uninitiated, that is the creation and sporting of outfits based on characters from fantasy, sci-fi and comics, normally at conventions) and usually making the life of a feminine geek one which have to be lived on the defensive. Arguments about whether or not Han shot first can get nasty sufficient without bringing misogyny into the combo.

Never shy along with her opinion, Mears is resigned to the notion that speaking out means preparing for an onslaught of sexism that simply will not be skilled by her male counterparts. What it doesn’t mean is letting that potential response intimidate her into silence. What perpetuates the perspective, she says, is an ongoing lack of understanding of just how completely different life is for girls and girls: “We need to operate from a viewpoint that every unusual man is a possible threat. Should. I can’t emphasize that sufficient. It’s ingrained in us from childhood, and it is past stranger hazard. Women are taught laundry lists of how to remain safe that do not all the time succeed. Because if we let our guard down and deal with unusual males like they are protected by default and something DOES occur, we’re All the time going to get blamed for it by someone. It is a given. There is no if.”

Though Gwen Maule would possibly be capable to dispense such threats with a nicely-positioned roundhouse kick, in the real world, Mears is calling on the supermen to strap on their neon-coloured tights. “Whenever you exist in an area the place women should not current and also you see or hear men saying issues that you already know are wrong or disrespectful or toxic or shaming to ladies, Communicate UP. The Web is sweet proof that many men listen extra to different males than they do to women. If I name a guy out on a rape joke, I get advised to lighten up. If a man calls his good friend out for making a rape joke and makes it abundantly clear that it’s not cool, possibly that man will think twice next time. We all know someone who has been assaulted or raped — we simply won’t understand it as a result of folks do not exactly wear it on their foreheads. And past that, women are people who should benefit basic courtesy and respect by default, just like males. Ultimately, we should create a space where the Elliot Rodgers of the world are challenged by the very folks they think will settle for their bullshit with out query.”

Following the release of The Masked Songbird and its sequel, Mears will likely be publishing A Geek Woman’s Information to Fandom, a nonfiction collection of articles and essays, and beneath improvement are works in both magical realism and epic fantasy – the latter star trek night shirt 2017 inspired by her love of the tales of Robert Jordan and David Eddings. Within the meantime, the search for superwomen continues – though, for Gwen Maule, her creator Emmie Mears, and geek ladies the world over, the search need not go additional than the nearest mirror.