I read in Writers & Artists that there was a dearth of fiction with females as the central or lead character, and that, more than anything else, was the trigger to start writing my book.
My central character / hero is female and named Simone. Many other characters had changes in name and gender during the writing process yet Simone always stayed. The name has no special meaning; I just chose and stuck with it.
I read that all the bestsellers of the last decade had males as the central character.