When I think of a heroine, I often think of women like Joan of Arc, or as she was called during her lifetime, Jeanne d'Orleans, a woman who helped the French throw off their English overlords, a woman who turned the tide of history and saved France. I think of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who married two kings and ruled England and it's holdings in her own right when her son Richard I rode off on Crusade.
It is this kind of woman I think of when I write my romance novels. Now, my romance heroines never slay dragons, lead men into battle or marry kings. But I like to think that, if their circumstances were different, these ladies could.
The heroines in my new series, Terror of the Ton, are brave. They face the obstacles of their lives with open eyes, and they do not flinch from leaping over them, whether they're mounted on a horse or not. Though they are ladies of the Regency period, they do not expect men to solve all their problems. But when they are offered help from the men they love, they are strong enough to accept it, and gracious enough to say thank you.
My favorite romance heroines are resourceful. In one of my favorite novels of all time, The Devil In Winter by Lisa Kleypas, Evie sets out to marry the man no one else will have in order to free herself from her oppressors, and ends up bringing out the best in him, and in herself.
Another favorite heroine of mine is Nita in Tremaine's True Love by Grace Burrows. Even when faced with losing the man she loves, she holds to her convictions and keeps serving her community as a healer. She and the man she loves come to a compromise they can both live with, but not before he learns to value her skills as a healer, and to admire her for who she truly is.
Basically, heroines face difficulties with aplomb and courage, and take responsibility for their lives. They take risks, and make things happen, when in their world they would normally be required to sit, be silent, and embroider. I am all for women of courage, in any age.
Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. Sometimes an actor, always a storyteller, Christy works happily with Sourcebooks Casablanca to bring the knife-throwing women of her novels to life. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in western North Carolina.