NOTE: THIS IS A STICKY POST. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE MOST CURRENT POST.
I’m taking part in the Mistletoe Madness Blog hop. The hop is a huge one, involving oodles of authors, and goes from 16 – 23 Dec. Plenty of time for you to explore new-to-you author websites.
What am I giving away? How do you enter?
I’m going to pick four names from all the people who answer my question below. International entries are welcome. The books I’ll be giving away are:
1 x Lessons in Seduction by Sandra Hyatt (This is my friend Sandra’s last book. Sadly, she passed away earlier in the year.)
1 x Reclaiming His Pregnant Widow by Tessa Radley (Another NZ writer friend. These ones are autographed)
1 x Summer in the City of Sails by Shelley Munro
1 x Sex Idol by Shelley Munro
A few months ago I wrote this post on heroines for Savvy Authors. I’m going to reprint it below, but as a quick aside, if you’re a writer, either pre-published or a more experienced one, do go and check out Savvy Authors. You can join for free or if you’d like to take advantage of more of their resources go for the premium membership of $30. They run workshops, have chats and agent/editor pitches and are an excellent community. I highly recommend them for writers at all stages of their career. Right! Back to business. Heroines. One of my heroines wrote me a letter, and this is what she said…
I realize your job isn’t the easiest one. You sit in front of a computer hour after hour, day after day creating me, along with my hero and the cast of characters who populate your stories. You spin a plot as you write the first draft, then you spend even longer polishing the story until it’s ready for submission to publishers. Without you, I wouldn’t exist.
Mostly, you do a great job, but I’d like to remind you of a few things pertaining to writing a good heroine:
1. I know popular opinion says heroines are slender and pretty, but how about making me stand out from the crowd? Make me sexy–sure. I like sexy as much as the next girl, but I can be sexy and an average size. Give me a few curves. Don’t you know I enjoy food? Oh, and if you give me curves, don’t go on and on about my size. I’m happy this way, really I am.
2. Don’t make me go down to the basement when there is a killer on the loose. Credit me with a little common sense and help me do something intelligent. I don’t want readers to snigger at me and call me Too Stupid To Live. I deserve more than that, don’t you think?
3. Don’t foist a stereotype on me. I’m not a hooker with a big heart. I’m not an ice princess. I’m not a geeky librarian. I’m a combination of a lot of different things. Give me individuality.
4. I like alpha men–really, I do, but give me a spine so I can stand up to them. Readers don’t like wimps who can’t handle their man. Let me best him now and then. It’s good for his ego if he doesn’t get his own way all the time.
5. I’m not perfect. I know that, but do you realize it too? Give me some flaws and balance them with some of the good stuff. Make me human because readers will like me better that way.
6. Give me a snarky voice. I’m cool with that, but don’t make me snark all the way through the book. Readers won’t like me if I do that. They might call me a bitch, you know, and wonder what the hero sees in me.
7. Likewise, if my hero is going to be a bastard, let him fall off his high horse at some stage. Make him see the error of his ways or at least let me use my knee in his private parts. It might hurt him, but it would make me feel better after all the verbal abuse.
8. If you want me to behave badly, give me proper motivation. Dig into my past history, exploit my emotional baggage and make the readers want to cheer for me. Believe me, I’ll forgive you if I end up with Mr. Spunky plus a diamond ring on my finger.
9. Match my personality with my actions. Make me act consistently…unless you have a damn good reason to make me look stupid.
10. And finally, if you’re into kink and want to paint me the same way—authors look away if you’re easily offended—if you’re gonna make me have anal sex, please, please, please give me lots of lube.
Now dear visitor, you’re welcome to add your fifty cents to the above letter, but what I’d really like to know is this…
If a hero wrote a letter to you what would he say? Finish this sentence and go into a draw to win one of the above books. Dear Author, you do a good job with me but remember that a hero…….
Check out these other contests while you’re here!
I’m giving away a copy of Reclaiming his Pregnant Widow by Tessa Radley. Details on my contest page. Closes 24 Dec.
Win a print copy of Sex Idol at Goodreads. Sex Idol giveaway closes 18 Dec.
And finally, I’m visiting Maria Zannini’s blog today and talking about a project to make for Christmas. I’m also doing a giveaway. Drawn 22 Dec.