Ingrid Seymour (@Ingrid_Seymour) on why the YA genre needs to keep pushing gender boundaries – #BFIVoyager

Compared to the not-so-distant past, commercial Sci-Fi now incorporates a significant number of female protagonists between its pages – a very notable fact in the young adult category.

As a female YA author, I couldn’t be more pleased.

Dystopia, with characters like Katniss and Tris, has enjoyed the most benefits. However, it is my hope that this trend will bleed into other Sci-Fi sub-genres such as Contact and Altered States as they are being referred during the #BFIVoyager festival.

It isn’t just the fact that females are now the protagonists of many amazing bestsellers, but that—more commonly—these females are portrayed as independent, strong, smart, and witty. And that readers are demanding these types of characters more and more, and resenting books that depict women by following common stereotypes.

I feel proud that my genre has made such big strides and has brought about changes in both the literary and film industries.

As a female who grew up craving for more accurate representation, I am pleased to see that new generations of writers are working hard to give their readers the gender balance they crave. I can only dream of an even brighter future for upcoming generations, in which females won’t be objectified or belittled

This is a fantastic thing, a step in the right direction, but, as a Hispanic female author, there’s much more I would like to see happening.

Give us a future in which gender politics don’t play a role in cover designs, in which we don’t have to wonder if a female character is strong or not—it’s just a given, in which things as shameless as cover whitewashing don’t occur, in which we don’t have to come up with reasons why we need diverse books.

I hope the YA genre continues to push these boundaries, providing young readers with a more accurate view of their world. This is also part of what inspires me and motivates me to write.

My upcoming novel titled IGNITE THE SHADOWS features Marci Guerrero, a Hispanic seventeen-year-old who has smarts and skills and uses them to fight her enemies both virtually, as a computer hacker, and physically, using her martial art talents.

I look forward to a more balanced future for both authors and readers. We are certainly moving in the right direction. IgNiTe AnD FiGhT!

Ingrid Seymour’s first book with HarperVoyager is Ignite the Shadows, out in April 2015. You can follow Ingrid on Twitter here.

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