I started watching Xena Warrior Princess from the beginning on Netflix the other day. Sure, I’ve already seen every single episode. More than once. I’m ashamed to admit how many times I’ve actually seen them! Not only that, but when the series played on TV, I perused fan-sites and fan fiction, completely obsessed.
I cried when the series ended. For days. Yep, that’s me. Crying over fictional characters. But the truth of fiction is often so powerful that your emotions just can’t tell the difference. The truth behind Xena? She represented a feminine ideal for me – a strong heroine battling the forces of corrupt men and the badness of her own dark past. I felt like Xena. A lot. I had my own demons to fight during that dark period of my life (don’t ask!), and Xena provided the impetus for me to live vicariously through her triumphs.
At the same time, I began creating the world of ShadowLight. A lot of Xena exists in ShadowLight, though instead of Amazons, they are Valkyries, the Norse mythology equivalent (not to mention my own personal spin). Even though my main character is male, his counterpart is a mysterious warrior woman.
It was important to me to create a powerful female figure since Xena inspired me in my own life, allowing me to deal with my situation. I wanted that presence to live on, so I created Swan – who is steel and ice, power and magic, yet inside she is only a girl hoping to connect to the one person she has yearned for her entire life. I hope to inspire others through my characterizations, through their trials and triumphs, as Xena inspired me.
Yes. I know. Xena is fictional. But sometimes fiction is more powerful than reality.
Here’s to Xena. Thanks for the inspiration and courage.