Shannon Stacey wrote an entry at RTB last week that got me thinking about how much I crave different kinds of heroines when I read.
Shannon’s point is different than the one I’m going to make – hers is interesting nonetheless about how we may avoid reading storylines or characters because of how they affect us. Certainly, I have hotbutton issues I don’t read – I refuse to read “forced” seduction storylines, slave planet storylines, or any kind of books that have rape as titilation. Not because I fear they may happen to me, but because they make me angry so you know, problem solved, I don’t read em.
But back to me, ME, PEOPLE! Reading Shannon’s entry (and have you read 72 Hours yet, by the way? If not, you should, it’s a great book) made me think about how important diversity in characters is to me.
One thing that continually frustrates me in romance is the lack of heroines over a certain age – and when you do get a heroine over 30 or even more rarely 40, she’s often a stereotype – jealous of younger women, wrinkled, been dumped for her ex husband’s secretary or the nanny. That bugs me. Women over 25 are vibrant, sexual beings and to see them consistently reduced to “issues” makes me sad.
Another thing – the way mothers are written in romance. One thing I really despise is when an author gives children to the heroine to make her seem nurturing but you never see or hear about the children in the story. That makes her seem neglectful to me. TJ Michaels wrote a fabulous mother character in Gift Wrap Optional and Nora does so quite frequently too (and with women over 30 too). If you’re going to make your heroine a mother, don’t forget to write her as one.
I don’t mind heroines who are divorced at all. That’s a reality for 50% of women and certainly it’s nice to see yourself in a character every once in a while. I think it’s important to have heroines with some real life in them but also, to be moving on and not a “victim” of it.
Anyway, I suppose my point after this long ramble, is that I think women are incredible. I think they’re strong and beautiful and they come in many shapes, sizes and backgrounds and I want to see more variety in books. I suppose I could have just said that, it’s a lot shorter than my ramble, but I like to ramble in case you haven’t noticed.