The protagonist of my novel Tyrmia is a white, human female. The protagonist of Starforgers is also a white, human female. The protagonist of Starstrikers is a white, human male. The protagonist of Starveyors is a blue/black, human/Votainion mixed female.
The origins of my protagonists are pretty different. Szeredy, the hero of Tyrmia was very consciously created as a white human female. I needed her to be a woman because I wanted her character to naturally be more protective of life and I believe that’s a very positive female attribute. I needed her to be white because I wanted to contrast her to the primitive and colored alien natives. I wanted her to stand out and be completely different to the green skinned Tyrmians and the blue skinned Votains. I could have gone with a black woman, but I chose to make her white so that she would appear more other-worldly to the primitive natives. I also chose to put the white human in a position where her skin color would not be an advantage. White really stands out in a green jungle.
The hero of Starforgers, Devon Ardel, was my attempt to feminize Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica. I wanted a rough and tumble woman who was also beautiful. Unfortunately, Ronald Moore came along and did the same thing with his remake of that classic TV show. There are still many similarities between Devon Ardel and Kara Thrace. Both are physically strong and have scars, physical and mental that cause them to falter.
The hero of Starstrikers, Centar Havic, is a white male with a black beard. Starstrikers was based on a story my buddies and I filmed when we were in Junior High School. We animated twelve inch G.I. Joe’s in an epic ten minute silent 8mm film. So naturally, Centar Havic looks just like my G.I. Joe doll. Go figure. A stunning lack of creativity that I didn’t change as I wrote the story for my first novel.
The hero of Starveyors, Cryse, is a blue-black human/Votainion female. This character was originally supposed to be the daughter of Szeredy from Tyrmia. But I soon realized that the story had to have happened before Tyrmia. So I recast her as a human/Votainion half breed. She then became just another mixed breed working in a combined, human and Votainion branch of the military. But then I had another realization and she crystallized as a black human woman and blue Votainion mix. I can’t say why without causing spoilers.
The heroes of my next two novels will be a human male and a female Silicant – The Rising, and a blue Votainion male – Voton.
As a writer, I’m more inclined to have female heroes in my novels. I just find them more interesting then males. But what it comes down to in the end is story. My characters are usually created after the story is conceived. I just insert who I feel best serves a particular story. I don’t have a hidden political or racial agenda. At least not that I’m aware of. The challenge is always the same: come up with interesting, flawed and likable characters that people can relate to and then set to work causing havoc in their fictional lives.