Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at Wacky! Today is all about shining a light on women’s struggles and achievements as we renew our commitment to a gender-equal future. Stories are a powerful medium for showing the world who women can be and what they are capable of, so we’ve rounded up six characters who, we hope, will inspire you to #ChooseToChallenge! Here they are, in no particular order:

Elvira deBriavel, protagonist of How To Marry Your Dragon by Domi Sotto

Raised as an heir to the Throne, Elvira chooses to become a Knight-Errant instead. She is not just a warrior, she also loves to embroider and forms friendship and connections with other women. As the book progresses, she learns to accept the bigger task before her and to play politics to achieve both Queenship and her personal goal, a marriage to her lover. The ties she builds with the noblewomen help her achieve those goals.

Guardian MacKenzie Wright, supporting character in Freed Wolf by Siberiantiggy
(mature story)

Guardian MacKenzie Wright – or Mack, for short – is initially thought to be a man by protagonist Jess, due to her weapon-crafting skillset and Guardian affiliation. Mack flourishes in the male-dominated rank of Guardian and develops a sisterhood bond with Jess, giving the protagonist opportunities to prove herself and grow her confidence. Mack is quick-witted, deadly-skilled, determined and despite her ‘macho’ profession, she remains at her core the kind, loving woman she was before she became a Guardian. She earned her place in a position where women don’t typically flourish, but she didn’t lose herself doing it.

Tabitha Hunter, protagonist of Perfectly Unexpected by Alex Orchard

Tabitha is a 25-year-old, married to her second love. Together, Tabitha and her husband are fighting something women rarely talk about – infertility. In the midst of all the adversity life throws her way, she stays resilient and strong. Tabitha shows how contemporary, modern women still face stigma and feel like they aren’t women if they can’t bear children and how when things like infertility and pregnancy loss happen, it makes you feel like less of a woman (when you’re not!). She also comes back and fights everyone and everything to find her “happy ending” – or more like an “acceptance” ending.

Connect with Alex on Twitter.

Ashanté Stephenson, protagonist of Ashes by Akje Majdanek

Ashanté is an 18-year old college freshman who would love to become a star, but she has social anxiety, and gets nervous whenever she has to get up in front of a crowd. When her friends take her to a country western roadhouse, she drinks for the first time and discovers it takes away her fear. She gets up in front of everyone and sings karaoke, not knowing there’s a music label exec listening – who subsequently offers her a deal. Ashanté signs without thinking what that’s going to mean every time she has to get up on stage and perform. Liquor becomes a crutch, then pills, and she now has two problems – social anxiety and drug addiction. Even though she’s a shy character, her strength shines through in the way she pulls herself together and makes a life for herself where she can be free of drugs and alcohol and yet still achieve her dreams of stardom.

Connect with Akje on: Goodreads | NaNoWriMo | Twitter | Instagram

Isabella Leon, protagonist of Blurred Lines, Wicked Lies by Diana RG
(mature story)

Isabella Leon is a young, Mexican lawyer based in NYC. The story follows her, as she navigates the world of law as a minority (not only because she’s a latina, but because she’s a woman in a world run by men), finding support and inspiration in the few women around her, but also doing her best to break that ceiling glass. The mystery begins when she has to deal with a case involving a young innocent man accused of murder. She gets too involved and ends up trying to solve the murder by herself in order to help her client. What she doesn’t know is that the murderer is closer to her than she is to him.

Connect with Diana on Instagram.

Anemone Sky, protagonist of Anemone Sky by Violet Daylight

Anemone Sky is known as the Happy Girl – she always brings a smile to people’s faces and never fails to see the good in others. Despite her carefree exterior, however, she struggles with self-doubt and a fear of disappointing the people around her. In addition to being the Happy Girl, Anemone is also the Blind Girl. She sees the world in the light shining from within and her friendships are strong as Anemone herself. Her disability doesn’t stop Anemone from living life to the fullest – even though she has trouble understanding how people can judge the world by its colours. It gives her the ability to read people’s emotions though their hearts instead of being blinded by what society thinks the world should look like. She is strong, yet exceedingly vulnerable, because she puts her whole heart into everything she does. She’s a free spirit, trying to spread her wings. After all, her name means “daughter of the wind” …

Thank you all for taking the time to submit your wonder women and for showing us what these characters mean to you!