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BLOG TOUR: Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Today I am pleased to have a guest post for you from Jennifer Lyn Barnes author of Trial by Fire (see my review on the post from this morning). She has asked bloggers to pose her questions about her Raised by Wolves series for us to discuss.

My question was

Bryn is a girl fighting to survive in a world where it is traditional for men to rule. Can a girl cut it in a world dominated by guys?

I grew up surrounded by guys.  I have one older brother.  Our next door neighbors had three boys (four, eight, and ten years older than me respectively), and there were easily another half-dozen or so on our block.  I was the smallest, and the youngest, and most of the time, the only girl, so my formative years were spent fighting tooth and nail to keep up with kids who were literally twice my size.  Looking at the way Bryn grew up, at the heart of a mostly-male werewolf pack, I can see a lot of my own experiences in her.  The idea of being the smallest and the weakest and the slowest and knowing deep down that everyone around you will probably always be bigger and stronger and faster, no matter what you do is something my inner four-year-old can relate to in a major way.  And my inner-sixteen-year-old remembers very well what it was like once we’d all grown up, and suddenly, I was surrounded by slews of overprotective big brother types, including my actual older brother, who is 6’5’’ and would probably be quite content to put me in a little glass box where nothing and no one could hurt me (or, heaven forbid, date me) ever again. 
That wasn’t a part of my life experience that I’d tapped for any of my previous books, all of which featured almost-exclusively female casts, so the idea of writing a protagonist who was a girl in a predominantly male world really fascinated me.  That said, once I’d set up a world in which werewolves were predominantly male and my character was a girl living in that world, I was surprised by just how central that set-up became in the way the series has progressed.  The logical consequences of the “there are very few female werewolves” rule meant that Bryn wasn’t just growing up surrounded by guys, she was growing up in a world where females were both sought after and highly protected—and that’s a world that is, at many times throughout the series, a very ugly one for the girls involved. 
We see that in Raised By Wolves, when Bryn realizes that Lake has grown up knowing that some people view her as a commodity, and it’s at the center of the conflict in Trial By Fire.  Meanwhile, Bryn has to deal with being a leader—a young, female, human leader—in a world where those things very rarely go together.   As the series progresses, I think it’s becoming more and more about the way that the various female protagonists—Bryn, Lake, Maddy, and Ali, among others—deal with the hand they’ve been dealt.  It’s not about one girl making her way in a world dominated by guys—there’s a whole group of them, each fighting to make their own way.

Thank you Jen for that introduction
So what do you think? Can girls make it in a guys world? Let me know below!


Really wonderful guest post! I love hearing about how Jen's own experiences growing up has shaped the story. I grew up with a single father and an older brother, so I can relate. I was always surrounded by my brother's friends and the football and wrestling teams would stream through the house. I really felt like I had to prove myself to them as well.

Oh, this makes me want to read Raised By Wolves even more now!