Author Guest Post: Nalini Singh On Strength

Fiction Vixen is pleased to welcome author Nalini Singh. The 13th book in her Psy-Changling series, Shield of Winter, was released yesterday. You can check out Jen and Angela’s review here.

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh Psy/Changeling series #13

Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh
June 3rd 2014 by Berkley Hardcover
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On Strength

I’ve been thinking about strong female characters recently. Back when I first started reading romance, there were a lot of waifs and wards around (with the hero the older, mature man, of course), and in the medical romances, the doctor was always the male, while the nurses were all female.

Times have changed and now romances feature heroines who run the gamut from being surgeons and scientists, to soldiers and artists, to stay at home moms and businesswomen. These are just a few of the heroines in books being published today—and written well, each of them has her own kind of strength.

I’ve always believed that strength is not one-size fits all. The heroine of Shield of Winter is an empath. She cannot harm another being, because that person’s pain will rebound back on her. Does that make her weak? Oh, hell no. Because being an empath also means helping people deal with the most traumatic emotions they will ever feel—these emotions might break another person, but it is something an empath must deal with time and time again.

That is strength.

Another of my heroines, Mercy, is a dominant predatory changeling. She can take down a man twice her size without blinking, handle security for an entire region, and fight back to back with her fellow dominants. Mercy is physically tough, and highly combat-trained. She is a sentinel who stands as part of her pack’s last line of defense. That, too, is strength.

Then there’s Grace, a sweet, submissive wolf changeling who knows she could never win a fight against a dominant packmate. Yet Grace is able to care for those very same predators, to live with them and help them stay calm when their wolves threaten to go out of control. Even knowing that any one of them could take out her throat with a swipe of his or her claws. What is that if not an intense internal strength?

These women are utterly different from one another, but each has her own unique strength. I love that about the genre today, that we can all find heroines to read about who resonate with us, and that feminine strength is showcased in so many different ways. I love a strong heroine, whether her strength is physical, mental, psychic, or emotional.

Nalini Singh color c Deborah HillmanWhat about you? Who is your favorite heroine (or heroines) and what do you love about her (them)?


To find out more about Nalini’s books or to read full-chapter excerpts, please visit her website:  While there, Nalini invites you to join her newsletter, which goes out once a month with a roundup of news, as well as exclusive goodies like extra excerpts and free short stories. You can also find Nalini on Facebook: and Twitter: @nalinisingh.

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