Deb couldn't blog with us today, but I have a re-post of a great blog from 2013. Enjoy!
by Deb Werksman
I've been doing a lot of exploring in my personal life about men and women, masculinity and femininity. A great topic for a romance editor, don't you think? I've been reading books and listening to tapes by Allison Armstrong in addition to applying all the transformation I get from the courses I take at Landmark Education.
As you may already know, one of my editorial criteria for the romances on my list is, "a heroine the reader can relate to." So I got to thinking about the balance between feistiness in a heroine and her femininity and to what degree a heroine needs to be independent in thought and action and to what degree her femininity (what Allison calls "a strong woman voluntarily vulnerable") empowers the hero to be the man he needs to be to fulfill one of my other criteria, which is "a hero the reader can fall in love with."
I think about, for example, M.L.Buchman's kick-ass military heroines and the ultra-alpha heroes who tame them, or the lovely self-possessed Regency heroines of Grace Burrowes and the gentlemen who initiate them into love and pleasure. I just finished editing Shana Galen's newest Regency spy romance, where the heroine breaks out of her traditional role to find a new expression of her own strength and power, and she becomes even stronger and more powerful as a wife and mother as her wayward husband falls even more in love with her. Also a new Rebecca York romantic suspense where the heroine rescuing the hero starts off the action, and in the end they've both rescued each other. I could go on and on because all of my authors are doing such a great job with this balance.
So, tell me, authors and readers, how do you see this?