I grew up reading Nancy Drew. Now there was a teen with direction and determination. Did Nancy sit around waiting for Ned to solve her problems? Not a chance. She was a girl who got the job done. I bet every ten year old who read those books wanted to be just like Nancy. I know I did.
In my own teen years, back in the Dark Ages, I discovered romance. (The kind in books people! LOL) Historicals were my favorites and all the rage in the late 70’s. Admittedly, it can be hard to write about strong heroines in an era when women were supposed to be meek shadows following their men. Let’s face it; Barbara Cartland had some pretty wimpy heroines! But Kathleen Woodiwiss gave us strong women we could admire. She threw down the gauntlet, and LaVyrle Spencer picked it up. There is an author who never should have retired!
I believe the huge surge in popularity of romantic suspense novels in the 90’s, with authors like Nora Roberts leading the way, was because of the complex heroines they created. We'd had enough of the typical virginal Harlequin heroine of the 80’s and wanted women we could relate to. Women who had careers and interests beyond the men with whom they fell in love. Today, creating heroines with jobs, kids, and problems to solve while they fall for a man as imperfect as they are, is what we do best. Our modern heroine isn’t a girl wringing her hands and moaning over her hard luck. She’s a woman taking control of the situation and finding solutions.
The heroine of my first published novel, Victim of Desire, is Rachel Carpenter. Ex-soap star, bookstore owner, divorced mother of three with a psychotic stalker on her trail. Maybe most of us don’t have an unbalanced fan following us around (at least not yet LOL,) but I bet you can relate to the frustrations of a mom whose fourteen-year-old daughter dyes her hair pink and gets a tattoo, a woman so busy prioritizing her children and her business she doesn’t have time to date. The mark of a true Woman of Achievement is in how she handles herself and her problems. I think Rachel qualifies!
Are your heroines Women of Achievement? Let’s hear about them.
To purchase Victim of Desire and my other books, find buy links on my website at www.JannineGallant.com.