Sunday, August 30, 2009

Heroines Stumbling over Obstacles

I loved the lively discussion from last week about flawed heroines. There were so many different points of view offered and everyone backed up their opinion with great reasons. It gave me a lot to think about and I am sure it did the same for you. Thank you for all the comments left here and also on FB.

This week I want to talk a bit about obstacles that face our heroine. I think back to the Jill Lewis trilogy I co-authored with Susan Wales. Jill had a nice inheritance at her fingertips so money was never an issue. She also had a great job as a political reporter for a Washington newspaper and a stunning apartment that looked out over Capitol Hill. Jill was beautiful, smart, and had great contacts. So what problem could she possibly have? Plenty. She struggled with love, she didn’t get along with her sister, her contacts dried up at the worst possible moment, her boss pressured her to uncover political corruption and her mother expected her home for holidays.

In my latest thriller, Wildcard, Ivy Dillon didn’t have the luxury of coming from a rich family so she constantly scrambled for money. Also unlike Jill Lewis, political intrigue found Ivy when the person she interned for, the private secretary of the United States, turned up dead in the Potomac River. Blamed for this crime, Ivy hid from the FBI while trying to solve the murder of her dear mentor. With her face plastered all over the TV and newspaper, the naive young woman had to figure out how to keep safe and figure out whom to trust while she heals from a broken engagement. Added to the problems, Ivy's mother becomes critically ill and Ivy risks her life to come home and say goodbye before she dies.

With my romance series, The Turtle Creek Edition (The Christmas Edition and The Valentine Edition; The Easter Edition will be a 2010 release) we see problems of the love kind. What can get in the way of love? Another woman, I tell you. Lies for another thing, people running inference, low self-esteem, misunderstanding and perhaps a bad past experience tossed in the mix. Although there is nothing better than a good mystery, I will never be a Jill Lewis or an Ivy Dillon. Chances are you won't be either. But you just might be a Lucy Collins who is trying to recover from a bad break up when Mister Right finally walks into your life—unaware he's the one. As far as you know, he could be another heartbreak just waiting to happen. You could also be a Jodi Williams who didn’t get the job she wanted and settled for a rinky dink job in a town so small that none of your friends can find it on a map. But then you not only fall in love with a rescue dog but also with his veterinarian only to find out he is involved with his receptionist—or is he? Or are you could be a Carol Horn who has a call of God on her life that it takes her in the opposite direction of the love of her life. Which does she choose the call or her soul mate?

Man versus man. Man versus himself. Man versus nature. Man versus himself.

Okay, your turn. What obstacles do you like in the way of your heroine achieving her goal? I want to hear from both readers and authors. After all, I write for my readers.


Christine W said...

I mentioned on FB that this question tripped me up a bit and I needed time to think about it. Even with time all I keep going back to in my head are the obstacles of the flesh. First and foremost to me it's food. It's a rare event for me to come across a fiction romance/thriller where the heroine has a weight problem...LOL!

Robin Shope said... gave me great inspiration! Do you watch Drop Dead Diva?

Christine said...

Yay! Glad I could offer something useful:) No, I've never seen that show. Where and when is it on?