Author Shana Galen shares a few of the reasons why she loves writng (and reading) about strong female characters.
First of all, let me say thank you to Romance@Random and Stefanie Sloane for having me. I’m thrilled to be here!
Lest the title of this blog confuse you, let me first say I love all heroines. I’ve written my share of young virgins who certainly had, or developed, a backbone but wouldn’t utter the word ass even if they were talking about a donkey. I have nothing against those types of heroines. They have their pros and cons.
But this blog isn’t about sweet, demure little misses. This blog is about tough, spunky, fearless heroines. And let me tell you they are as much fun to write about as they are to read about. Take Sophia from my recent book Lord and Lady Spy. As the title would suggest, she’s a spy, and there’s pretty much nothing she can’t do.
Accurately throw a dagger? Check.
Hand-to-hand combat? Check?
Set booby traps? Check.
Cipher code? Check.
Fire a pistol? Well…she needs a little work in that area. But I had to give her some weaknesses. She can’t be perfect.
The heroine in my new novel, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride, is far from perfect. Raeven is young, impulsive, and a little spoiled. She likes to get her way. At the beginning of the novel, she’s after the blood of the notorious pirate Captain Cutlass and has no qualms at all about challenging him to a duel. Her weapons of choice are swords.
I had so much fun with these two characters. I loved seeing what trouble they would get into next. And the best part was they always managed to get out of it as well.
So here are just a few reasons why I love writing kick-ass heroines:
You never know what they’re going to do next.
For an author like me, who’s not much of a plotter, the sweet miss can take a bit of work. She wouldn’t be caught dead doing so many of the things that normally makes a story exciting, and while I have to make sure she remains in character, I also want the writing to be interesting for the reader. The kick-ass heroine, on the other hand, isn’t afraid of much. She may have one or two hang-ups, but she’s pretty much ready for any adventure I imagine. Raeven in The Rogue Pirate’s Bride fights a duel with a pirate, is kidnapped, kisses the hero, and shimmies down a ship’s anchor cable to escape. All of this happens in the first two chapters!
They defy all convention.
My stories are set during the Regency era when rules were not simply a suggestion. A lady followed the rules or she found herself living in the country with sheep and a lady’s maid for company. So when one of my heroines breaks the rules, she is taking a big risk and those scenes are really enjoyable to write. It’s also fun to push the envelope. No one reads books about average people who only do average things. We read to live new lives. A heroine who isn’t afraid to step out of her comfort zone is a welcome escape from our own, sometimes routine, lives.
They have great sex.
It stands to reason that most heroines who aren’t afraid to take risks outside the bedroom wouldn’t be afraid to take them in it. I had to think hard about the sex scenes between Sophia and Adrian in Lord and Lady Spy and those between Bastien and Raeven in The Rogue Pirate’s Bride. I didn’t want to write typical sex scenes. I wanted the action in the bedroom to reflect the characters. Sophia, for example, likes Adrian to be a little rough. Raeven has no problem using a dagger for erotic purposes. The kick-ass heroine makes sex scenes more fun to write and read.
What about you? Do you like kick-ass heroines? Who are some of your favorites? I’ll be checking in all day to read your comments. I’m also pleased to offer copies of The Rogue Pirate’s Bride to two readers who comment (U.S. and Canadian residents only).
Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.