Well, the truth is, I wanted everyone to win because collectively speaking, your answers were all so great. (okay, some of you are better explainers than others, but everyone really rallied behind their choice!) Ultimately, I culled out anyone who couldn't pick only one, although I do have to say that those of you with more than one were truly torn and you made some great points about why you couldn't choose. And I was fascinated by the characters - everyone should read back through the comments (some are on http://joypreble.livejournal.com which is where I cross post)! More than one of you chose some of my favorites - Veronica Mars, Buffy, Temperance Brennan, Rose from Vampire Academy. Scarlett O'Hara, Hermione, Sookie Stackhouse, and Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables were other picks that came up more than once. Captain Kathryn Janeway, Fiona from Burn Notice lots of sci-fi and fantasy characters... even an excellent shout out for Elizabeth from the picture book Paperbag Princess, and one for Lizzie Hexam from Dickens' Our Mutual Friend. And I was thrilled that more than one guy entered and some great things to say. (Read David N. Chang's comment about Buffy!)
But eventually, a winner had to be chosen. So into the Phoenix Suns cap went your slips of paper. Husband was pulled away from watching poker on the Travel Channel. (this was no great sacrifice. He sometimes watches these tournaments twice. I keep marveling at his ability to do this)
The winner of the autographed copy of Dreaming Anastasia is....... Cari_tx, who wrote:
"I would say Clary Fray from Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. She's a teen who gets thrown into a crazy situation in a matter of weeks. Her mom gets taken away, her whole sense of being is shifted and instead of crying about it she fights to get it back. She learns the truth about who she is and she saves her mom, friends, love, and the world. She isn't a typical teen or a girly girl. She is awesome!"
Cari_tx - please email me at joy at joypreble dot com and give me your address so I can send you your book!
Thanks so much everyone for participating. This is seriously such an interesting discussion. As I guess you know, I like my women characters strong. All your characters faced adversity but didn't let it get them down -whether said adversity was battles, discrimination, love, family issues, or some combination thereof. And I loved your love for your choices. That's what good storytelling is all about - writing/creating characters so real that their struggles become our struggles, that we can't stop thinking about them, that we root for them and love them.
If even one person comes to love Anne or Tess or Anastasia or even Baba Yaga in Dreaming Anastasia in this way, how awesome would that be?!
Til next time...