I’ve been meaning to blog a lot more often than I have of late. I sometimes even begin a post, but don’t get far. Between having a cold that lasts forever and just being plain busy, I haven’t been able to focus enough to get something written here. Well, except for one whiney post about being sick which you were luckily spared.

I have been thinking of blog posts. Somewhere on Dear Author, now lost in the mists of time, or the mists of my mind, someone was talking about how isolated heroines often are in romance novels. I think that’s true in a number of books. I also think it’s can be a bit of escapism for author and reader. I do like to write of heroines on their own without some of the attendant responsibilities that go with extended family ties and/or jobs, etc. Not always, mind you, as my heroine in The Strength of the Pack quite definitely has family around her.

It reminds me a bit of the discussion of children in romance where some writers and readers want to escape childcare for a few hours, no matter how dearly they love their kids.

Oh, I found where this was mentioned: Janet’s review of Seressia Glass’s No Commitment Required. A book I now want to read.

Anyway, I am sure there are other reasons to have an isolated heroine than the one I mentioned—for one thing it can certainly increase angst and/or the importance of the hero and the romance—but I know I can enjoy identifying with a woman who does not share all the responsibilities I have.

I don’t mean to say this is the only heroine I like the read or write!

I read Agnes and the Hitman awhile back. Liked it a lot. Then read Ally Blue’s Untamed Heart. Loved it. Not much in common, given one’s a caper-comedy with a huge cast and the other’s almost a cabin romance and emotionally quite dark at times. But, they both have assassin heroes.

I like assassin (or ex-assassin) heroes, but rather like amnesia in fiction, I don’t think I’d like assassin heroes in real life. In fiction, they can do the right thing in a way that isn’t possible in real life.

Anyway, I recommend both books! Untamed Heart is still on MBAM’s bestseller list, so I’m not the only one who liked it.

2 thoughts on “Blogging

  1. Jorrie, I think I understand what you mean about sometimes wanting a heroine who is unburdened with responsibilities, but can you say a bit more about how that translates into an isolated heroine? To me, isolated doesn’t mean free from responsibility but rather deprived of emotional and physical support from a network of friends and family. Does that amount to the same thing for you?

    Thinking about some of the isolated heroines I’ve noticed, they’re rarely free and easy in their lives. Leda from Kinsale’s The Shadow and the Star, for example (although Kinsale gives her a foster family so her relationship with Samuel is not the product of her financial destitution), or the first two heroines from JR Ward’s brotherhood series (Mary is particularly miserable because she faces the re-emergence of her cancer, and Jane doesn’t seem all that carefree in her life, either). But maybe we’re thinking of different kinds of isolation or different kinds of heroines.

  2. To me, isolated doesn’t mean free from responsibility but rather deprived of emotional and physical support from a network of friends and family.

    I absolutely agree there is a difference. And my comments are more focused on the former, which I guess wasn’t really your point, so sorry if I misinterpreted.

    Just to be clear, it’s not that I think heroines who are isolated necessarily have easy or carefree lives. But there is a certain escapism (at least for me) when reading about heroines who don’t have certain responsibilities that come with friends, family and job.

    Perhaps escapism is the wrong word, because I think it invokes fun-filled fantasy, which isn’t quite what I mean. If someone’s situation is far from where I’ve ever been, it takes me out of my situation. That doesn’t mean her (or his) life is easy, or that I’d want it in real life.

    One of the books I mention in my post, Untamed Heart, is a m/m romance so in ways not a good example for this discussion. But both leads are extremely isolated as the book begins. There is probably more than one reason this appeals to me. But that neither hero has the worries or cares I have—far from it—is one. (They both have very dark pasts though.)

    So I’m not saying I envy their lives, but that it takes me elsewhere. (Not every book has to offer this to me, I should add.)

    I’m not sure if I’ve answered your question or if I’ve been clear. I don’t want to overstate the case either. There can be plot or storytelling reasons heroines are isolated. I often think that, say, dead parents of protags (in any fiction) can be a means of keeping the character count down. Because if X has parents, why aren’t they in his or her life?

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