Werner Lind joins the GirlsWithGuns.org team

We’re delighted to announce Werner Lind is joining the site as a contributor, with a special responsibility for covering fictional action heroines. His first review is already up, and here he is to tell us a bit about himself and his background.

Hi, fellow action heroine fans! My name is Werner Lind, and Jim recently invited me to contribute some book reviews, from time to time, to this site. I’m a librarian (great job for a book lover!), and an avid reader ever since I was six. While I read in quite a few genres, I have a special fondness for strong, brave kick-butt heroines, who fight for justice and the underdog. (And I can get interested in the occasional action-style villainess, too, especially if her character is somewhat nuanced. Of course, just because a lady happens to be on the wrong side of the law doesn’t always mean she’s a villainess, either.) Over on the reading-oriented social network Goodreads, I’m the founding moderator of the Action Heroine Fans group and current moderator of the Girls and Guns group. You can access my Goodreads author page. (The heroine of my vampire novel Lifeblood isn’t exactly an action heroine in the mold of some of those represented on this site –but she does have vampire strength, and she can handle herself very well in a fight!) I also review books on Goodreads, but the ones here will be second (and so more polished) drafts of those.

Jim suggested that I tell you a bit about myself. My wife is the kind of lady in real life that I admire in books; she grew up handling guns for hunting, and bagged her first deer at the age of 11. We have three grown-up daughters (the oldest has a green belt in karate), and four grandkids who keep us busy. Like a lot of guys my age, I grew up having a crush on Emma Peel of The Avengers and the ladies of Charlie’s Angels; and of course, what moviegoer in the 70s wasn’t a fan of Princess Leia in Star Wars? Some of my other favorite action heroine films are both of the Tomb Raider movies, Red Sonja, Bad Girls, and Bandidas. (As for my favorite action heroine books –well, you’ll see those from my reviews.) If you’d like to talk about fighting females in fiction, drama, and real life, join Jim and the rest of us over on the Girls and Guns Forum (“putting the ‘bullet’ in bulletin board”  ); we’d love to hear from you!

A quick word about my rating scales! For overall ratings, I use the same scale that Goodreads does. One star would mean I didn’t like a book, and two that it was just “okay.” Three stars means I liked it and four stars that I really liked it, while five stars says that it’s “amazing.” The “kick-butt quotient” for heroines here is my own scale, as follows:

  • One star –Heroine can fight (or maybe meet other physical challenges), but doesn’t kill.
  • Two stars –Heroine uses lethal force sparingly, and may be conflicted about it.
  • Three stars –Heroine uses lethal force occasionally when needed, and takes the necessity in stride.
  • Four stars – Heroine kills quite a few people (or she’s a villainess who doesn’t mind killing good guys and innocents).
  • Five stars –Heroine counts her kills in the dozens (or more), and can basically wipe out small armies.

New banners, courtesy of H Photography

abanner9.jpgThe more observant among you will probably have noticed a change to the header on top of the page. Gone is Kate Beckinsale from Underworld [well, not quite gone – she may still pop up occasionally!], with instead a random pick from a selection of images, relevant to the site’s theme, provided to us courtesy of H Photography. If you want to see more – rather than the narrow slice needed for our banner – you should immediately head over to their Facebook page and give ’em a like. You can also check out:

Thanks to H for letting us share their work, and the more pages you look at, the more banners you’ll see. Gotta catch ’em all… :)

abanner17.jpg

Welcome to GirlsWithGuns.org v2.0

You might have noticed, the place looks a little different today. After more than a decade of hand-crafting each page in HTML, I decided it was finally time to drag the site kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The whole thing has been redesigned from the ground up, using a WordPress engine; the original aim was to have everything done for our 11th birthday in February, but the new version just looked so much better, that I didn’t want to wait any longer.

As a result, this is still a work in progress. I’ve transferred over all the features, videos and started on the reviews. I’m currently back to September 2012, but there are a lot more of the last-named to import: I hadn’t quite realized how much “stuff” I’d generated over the past 10+ years! I do, however, have this week off work, and I’ll be beavering away, with the process being fully complete by the middle of December. I’ve also taking the chance to fix spelling errors, though I’m still using English and not American, so “colour” will continue to have a U in it, dammit. :) I’ve also pruned items which were no longer of relevance (who really cares what action heroine movies are coming up in 2004?), and adjust some ratings, as I discovered we have more five-star films than 4 1/2-star ones, which makes no sense.

The new structure should be beneficial in a number of ways. It’s a lot easier to produce new pieces, since the way it’s set up, things like the review list will be revised automatically, rather than requiring manual amendment every time. Rather than a big chunk being dropped in monthly, you should expect smaller, more frequent updates. This system is also a lot more image friendly – you’ll notice the “Galleries” section – so you should probably expect more visual material, and we’ve also started our own Youtube channel.

It’s all kinda exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 and beyond will bring for the reborn site. Hopefully, you’ll check back often for updates.