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Louisa George on Heroines!

We decided to ask Medical Romance author Louisa George on types of heroines so here she is....


Girl Talk

 What makes a good heroine?

 Hi Nas! Thanks for having me here again, so lovely to be back!

 There’s much talk in romance writers’ circles about heroes. What makes a perfect hero? Alpha? Beta? What are the most attractive male personality traits, what are the best body bits (LOL)? Is sense of humor important?- you get the picture.



The Australian Edition
 cover of Louisa George's
 ONE MONTH TO BECOME A MUM
But, as a writer, my main focus is to make a connection with the (usually female) reader from the heroine’s POV. As Leslie Wainger (author of RomanceWriting for Dummies) puts it: the heroine is the reader’s alter-ego. As my editor puts it: the reader should want to be the heroine. Some writers have gone so far as to say that romance heroines are all about women’s rights- that they never settle for second best, that they give readers hope that they can be heroines of their own lives. And, as such, romance heroines are great role models.

This brings about all kinds of issues for a writer- I was told, for my second book Waking Up with His Runaway Bride, that my heroine’s reality was too bleak. She was grieving, her business was failing, she was in the middle of a bush fire…could I please make her world more aspirational? As a newbie writer I’m learning all the time and this idea was new to me. I’ve read so many books about women in desperate circumstances I almost thought this was a pre-requisite, but then I realized good heroines usually had one thing: a sense of humor, a best friend, a resource and resilience that made her world bearable. Sure- I get that there should be a connection, but does the reader really want to be the heroine? And then I thought about my reading habits and preferences and yes…I do imagine myself in the heroine’s shoes, I live her emotions and dream her dreams.



The French Edition cover
 of Louisa George's
ONE MONTH TO BECOME A MUM
That got me thinking about the kind of women I write about, I like sassy, feisty, up-front heroines. I like independent thinking women. Women who can stand up for themselves. I like heroines who are brave enough to say and do the things I would like to say and do. (So now I understand the backlash against Bella in Twilight- a girl who reacts rather than acts, who doesn’t take charge. And also why women like Scarlett O’Hara and Stephanie Plum are so popular).  When I was younger I used to want to be like Linda Hamilton (John Connor’s mother in Terminator Two- boy, that woman was strong.)
As a medical romance writer all my main characters are based in the health professions. I make sure that there is a meeting of minds, an equality between the hero and heroine (things have definitely moved on from the unequal doctor/nurse relationship of old. Believe me, as a nurse married to a doctor, I know!). I try to write intelligent and independent characters- all different, all flawed in some way. Most of my characters have body issues of one type or another, they’ve usually got baggage, and none of them believe they are beautiful. But they are strong and healed.



Is that what my readers want, though?  What kind of a heroine do you enjoy reading? Any heroine you’d like to BE? Do you like to see them swept away by a powerful man or do you think the heroines should be powerful enough to do the sweeping (but allow the man to do it anyway! LOL!). Any memorable heroines? Any heroines you hated?

Louisa on the web:
Website      Blog       Facebook       Twitter         Author Page
One Month To Become A Mum

Blurb

Some things in life are worth waiting for…
Jessie Price has lost her only chance at motherhood – it’s a constant hurt, until she meets sinfully sexy single dad Dr Luke McKenzie and his gorgeous little girl. Luke’s intoxicating kisses and his daughter’s adoring hugs have Jessie
longing for the impossible. But she's a temporary locum, the clock’s ticking – and there’s only a month to make all her wishes come true…


Buy Links:

Mills & Boon         Mills & Boon eBook          Amazon Kindle

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44 comments:

  1. Since you love romance, you might like this Janet Evanovich quote Evanovich quote

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  2. I like feisty, smart heroines too. My female characters are strong. Most of all I loved what you said about having a sense of humor and a best friend. The world is always a better place with a best friend, even in books.

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  3. Hi Carole and Melissa!

    Thanks for coming along to read this post!

    I like to read a strong, fiesty heroine with witty dialogues and comebacks!

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  4. Hi Carole and Melissa!

    Thanks for coming along to read this post!

    I like to read a strong, fiesty heroine with witty dialogues and comebacks!

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  5. Hi Louisa,

    I loved reading about your heroine in One Month To Become a Mum. She was strong, with good dialogues, funny comebacks and was hurting as well. Though she kept her emotional insecurities under cover.

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  6. Good interview Nas and Louisa.

    I don't have a good answer for your questions, but I like Louisa's answer on developing heroines. Knowing ones audience is essential so that the author can connect what is exciting to her/him with a reader--and when done correctly, it is a wonderful sight.

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  7. I love reading about a heroine who is a better, braver version of myself. I can relate to her and maybe come away with a tip or two.

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  8. I definitely prefer heroines who have inner strength. If the heroine is wimpy or whining, I usually end up closing the book.

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  9. Hi Carole! Thanks for the Janet quote- LOVE IT! Here's to more cake and less peanut butter!

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  10. Hi Melissa! Thanks for stopping by! There's something so special about best friends, isn't there? Mine just moved away and I miss her heaps ;-(

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  11. Hi Laura, you just made my day! I'm so glad you liked Jessie- she had a lot going on, but I hope she was brave and saw the funny side of things too.

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  12. Hi Slamdunk! Thanks for commenting. I know not everyone likes the same thing in a book- so I thought I'd just go ahead and ask! I'm getting some great answers too!

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  13. Hi Leslie! Thanks for popping in! I love the idea that we can learn from our heroines too. I don't know that I'd be as brave as some of mine.

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  14. Hi Carol! I like a strong heroine, definitely not a wimpy one, but my editor sometimes has to curb my sarcasm- she thinks they can be a little too tiring with all those snappy comebacks. So now I try to balance them a bit and show the strength and the softness too.

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  15. I don't mind if a heroine isn't feisty. I've read and loved stories where the heroine looks a bit wimpy but her strength lies in loving unconditionally and enduringly. Sometimes that patience is exactly what is needed for a particular type of hero. ON the other hand I do enjoy a story with good repartee. Classic Hepburn Tracey wit and humour always goes down well.

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  16. I love any type of heroine but I am mostly addicted to the I am strong and can handle anything on my own type, I guess maybe because I use to doing exactly that most of the time in real life.

    Desere

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  17. I'm with you! I like independent heroines. Anyone who needs to be rescued by a man... boo.

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  18. Oh my goodness. What a fabulous post!! Such a great point about aspiration.

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  19. I think it's such a fine line when it comes to heroines. Too independent and readers find her harsh. Too weepy and readers just get fed up with her. Personally, I have a hard time connecting with contemporary heroines. They have all these things that make their lives so easy, and yet they end up complaining about the littlest of things. I suppose that's why I write historical during time periods that pose a challenge for the heroine right away.

    Very insightful, all the same!

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  20. Hi, Louisa and Nas,

    I'm into a feisty heroine who knows what she wants and is independent and has achieved certain things before she meets the hero. Makes for some interesting stories.

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  21. I like that idea of the reader wanting to be the heroine. I agree. When I can't connect with a protagonist, it's because I don't want to BE the protagonist.

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  22. All wonderful advice, Louisa! I like a heroine who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to get it. Bravery is a key trait of a heroine I relate to, mostly because as you said, I want to BE courageous like her.

    Thanks for having Louisa, Nas!

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  23. Hi Fiona, thanks for the comment- yes, you're right- the heroine needs to fit the stormy and to fit the hero too! (And some men do require a LOT of patience!)

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  24. Hi Desere, you rock! I wish I was strong- I'm getting there, but there are times when I'm completely inept! That's probably why my heroines are brave- they make up for my inadequacies.

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  25. Hi Talli! Yes- rescuing by a man is a no-no I think in today's society. I've just written a scene in my fourth book where the hero rescues the heroine and she's not happy at all! Sparks are flying!

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  26. Hi Peggy, glad you stopped by, and glad you enjoyed your visit!

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  27. Hi Mary! You have a very valid point- I love reading historicals because there are so many different societal constraints and it's interesting to watch how this is managed. I certainly don't like a winging heroine whether contemporary or historical!

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  28. Hi JL- Yes- I like reading about an experienced heroine too. It's always fun to see how she tackles the hero as her equal!

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  29. Hi Theresa! Sometimes it takes time to get under the skin of the heroine, and so I always give the story I'm reading time, but if I can't connect then I often give up. That's why as writers it's so important to make the protagonists sympathetic from the get-go. I heard once that you should always start your book with a heroine/hero either in difficulty or doing a good deed...good advice as a jumping off point!

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  30. Hi Emily! So true- how I wish I was braver!

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  31. I love reading about strong women best of all. They can be in dire circumstances, but as long as they maintain their strength I'm happy.

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  32. I enjoy main characters who take action and have strength. I relate to heroines who overcome obstacles on their own, with their smarts and great attitude. I do prefer them to do the sweeping, even if it looks like the man is doing it.

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  33. I like to see a woman in charge of her own life, but also able to understand how being in charge isn't the same as being right. She should be strong, but also able to accept love and support from the men in her life.

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  34. "Most of my characters have body issues of one type or another, they’ve usually got baggage, and none of them believe they are beautiful. But they are strong and healed."

    It sounds like you've got a great set of characters! :)

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  35. I like to read about a woman who comes across as strong and fiesty but has hidden issues so that she needs the hero to make her whole. I loved Jessie in One Month To Become a Mum as she had issues, scarred abdomen and she was scared inside of opening herself up emotionally and physically for the hero.

    Riya.

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  36. Hi Lynda! THanks for your comment! Yes- I'm with you on the strength, and I love a story of triumphing over dire circumstances!

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  37. Hi Medeia! Thanks for visiting me here! I have to admit to liking being swept off my feet (doesn't happen any more!) too.

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  38. Hi Clee- ooh, yes, I take your very valid point- a heroine must believe in a mutual respect and understanding and be able to accept the love he offers!

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  39. Hi Riya! Yes, poor Jessie had a few issues she needed to get over. But hopefully it shows that beauty comes from within.

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  40. Hi Golden Eagle! Thanks for your comment! I can only hope they are a great set of characters! I wanted to make them 'real'

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  41. Wow! Loved reading all the comments here! Thanks friends and Thank you Louisa!

    Romance Book Paradise

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  42. Hi Nas! Great to be here, thanks for having me!

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  43. I like my heroines powerful women, even if they don't appear to be that way at first.

    Thanks ladies!

    Denise

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  44. "Sinfully sexy single dad"! My oh my!! I'm swooning already!

    Hi Nas, Hi Louisa! I don't think I like to BE my favourite heroines cos they tend to be either on the "naughty" side (Madame Bovary, for e.g.) or the edgy crazy kind (Lisbeth Salander, for eg)so I guess I just want to be their bestest friend!

    Take care
    x

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