In my new novel, Game of Fear, the heroine is Deborah Lansing, a ex-Army helicopter pilot who left her career to watch over her younger sister. Deb has survived some dark times and made difficult choices during her life and career. A Search and Rescue pilot, Deb takes risks no one else will. She will NEVER leave anyone behind. Not again. So when her sister vanishes, Deb will move heaven and earth to find her. No matter what it takes. I love Deb’s strength. I really like writing strong heroines, so today I thought I might share a bit of insight into my inspiration for Deb.
To prepare to write Game of Fear I researched women in the military. My heroine didn’t have a name yet…then I came across Deborah Samson. You may not have heard of her. Not surprising. Her story isn’t well known.
Taller than average, rigorous farm work broadened Deborah Samson’s shoulders and strengthened her muscles. From Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1781 Deborah enlisted in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment under the name of her deceased brother, Robert Shurtliff. She became a seasoned combat veteran and served for seventeen months during the Revolutionary War where she was wounded twice in raids along the Hudson. She even cut a musket ball out of her own thigh so no one would discover her deceit.
Finally, a doctor discovered her true identity after she came down with a severe fever. Despite her deception, she received an honorable discharge and later she became America’s “first woman lecturer.”
Deborah Samson is a heroine. She fought for what she believed, she took risks and she never gave up. I try to instill my heroines with just those characteristics. So, tell me, dear reader, who are your most beloved and favorite heroines? From the world of fiction, or from real life. I’d love to know the woman or women you would call a hero!