We’ve already told you that we didn’t like alpha males. If there’s one thing we like less, it’s weak simpering giggly girly heroines. Flawed, for sure, and sometimes foolish, but consistent and never stupid.
Writing that is harder than it sounds. We’d decided to make Sam a bit of a SNAG and not especially practical and thought we’d really like a heroine who could fix her own house. One who wore a tool belt, was really good at her job, but wasn’t your stereotypical girl. Combine that with our setting of an old house and Christa very quickly identified herself as a builder. We like to think she gets confused, but that she’s a good mother, independent, sexy and has a great sense of humour. She’s also fiercely loyal and sensible, for the most part. She is scared though – after losing a great love, she’s not sure she’s brave enough to be that vulnerable again.
Verity is completely different. She’s really brave, but also flirty, floaty and frivolous! She’s a real girly girl and revels in it. She’s also had a huge number of career changes and amongst their group there’s a general perception that she’s completely impractical and can’t stick to anything for more than five minutes. That’s a misconception really, as she has studied and built a successful business. She’s quite private and quite modest. And also, very open to the paranormal, which she’s dabbled. She’s very smart and reads extensively across a huge range of subject areas. She presents as a bit of a rainbows and unicorns person and does have that sense of wonder, but underneath it all she’s got a backbone of steel.
Jaime was harder. Caroline didn’t like her for a long time, which was unfortunate as I had a very clear picture of her in my mind. This was great though because in order for us to tell Jaime’s story, she had to become more likeable. Hopefully, you’ll find that she grows on you as she radically changes and grows through the book.
Another thing we were really keen on was real people. No Greek shipping tycoons or virgin princesses or Celtic heroes or witches for us. Nope. We have builders, gardeners, history professors, electricians and actresses. Oh wait, how did that last one happen? Oh well, Jaime wrote herself a part – originally Noah and Christa did not have a younger sister and then BOOM, there she was, acting in a long-running soap in the UK.
We have a couple of heroines on the boiler. They’re quite different to Christa, Verity and Jaime, but appeared unexpectedly with their own back story and we found that we had to spend an evening plotting out book four (aka shutting up the next heroine for long enough to concentrate on the current one) when we were supposed to be writing book three! You have met both of them already, and at least one of their suitors.
We’d love to hear what you look for in a heroine – do you like them to have an extraordinary life and be something out of a story, or do you prefer someone a bit more real and down-to-earth?