So here’s the thing. When you start writing a character in a wheelchair, you realise quite how privileged your position is. And you take the time to get your work checked and double-checked, knowing all the time that you’ve got a platform and the person whose story you’re telling hasn’t. That you’re taking up space on their platform.
Then you get to the point when you’re marketing what you’ve done, and people start asking you, “Who is this person like? What books or characters can we compare to?” And there’s tumbleweed.
It’s really difficult to find strong female characters in a chair. Comics, there’s Batgirl’s foray into being Oracle. In books, I couldn’t find any.
Actually, that’s not strictly true. I was too scared to look at romance books on the subject because I know there’s a whole load of ‘female in wheelchair gets rescued by knight in shining armour’ or ‘female in wheelchair gets healed by the power of love/thought/god/magic/technology (delete as appropriate)’. Even Oracle winds up in this category if you follow her story arc far enough.
T.V does slightly better with Silent Witness. Which is where I confess I haven’t watched it and you get to throw things at your screen. Just look at this image of her playing the character though, it tells you all you need to know: she’s doing.
And also, look at the outfit, the hairstyle: this is a whole person, not just producers ticking boxes. A character that’s doing, not being done to. The kind of characters we all want to get behind.
So I guess while being a bit of a musing, I’m asking for help here. If people remember any strong, women wheelchair users, in any kind of media: books, films T.V, anything. Can you let me know in the comments? That’d be awesome. And obvs go buy Cady Grey from Amazon this week (or get it for free on Kindle Unlimited, doesn’t matter either way!) I’m trying to win a place in Kindle Storyteller 2019, and sales means getting noticed!
Till next time 🙂