Hmm. That title sounds…dirtier…than it did in my head. People often ask if my heroines are based on me. For the most part, the answer is no. Because my heroines (obviously – or it’d be a pretty boring book) all have issues. Quirks. And, frankly, better figures than I do.
But the one similarity to me is that they all have big mouths. My heroines are no shrinking violets. They have opinions, and aren’t afraid to share them. Here’s how my Christmas novella, Tinsel My Heart, begins:
“Christmas is ruined. ” Becca Heglund paced the length of the Loring Park Players’ rehearsal room. Since the middle-of-the-night call, her stomach had been twisted into a gigantic knot. She was running on no sleep and far too many gingerbread lattes. Not to mention the adrenaline boost from sheer panic about the future of her theatre company. Dramatics always got the actors’ attention. But over-exaggeration with their board of directors might detract from the seriousness of the problem. She dialed it back a notch. “At least, Christmas is ruined for all of Minneapolis. Probably a good chunk of St. Paul too.”
Becca doesn’t sugar coat the problem (at least, not at first). She doesn’t ease the room into the bad news. Why waste time? She drops the bombshell. That’s the kind of heroine I write.
The other thing all my heroines do is not hold back on the hero. Ever. Most of my men are alpha, but the women all go toe to toe with them without so much as blinking. Becca doesn’t hesitate to tell the hero when he’s being an idiot. My anti-Christmas hero is sick of holly covered walls and cranberry flavored scones. When a waitress brings him eggnong flavored coffee, he loses it. Becca puts him right back in his place:
“Don’t think of it as eggnog. Think of it as the milk of human kindness. That waitress only wanted to make you feel better.” Jack’s shoulders twitched in a so what shrug. The small motion overloaded Becca’s tolerance. She’d endured just about enough of his holiday grouchiness. “It’s the gesture that matters, not that she didn’t manage to read your mind and bring you your favorite Sumatran dark roast blend. Don’t be an ungrateful douchebag.”
Of course, sassiness isn’t the only thing to come out of their mouths. When it’s the right time, they let the hero know just how they feel. Here’s a peek at my heroine from Friends To Lovers opening up to the hero about what she thinks of him:
“You shared your life with me, Gib. There’s nothing more personal. And now I want to share a different kind of intimacy with you.”
“I don’t need a fucking reward.”
Daphne shook her head. “Not out of pity.” Her eyes closed, and she sighed. “I’ve always admired and respected you as a man. Now that’s changed. My admiration’s tripled. My respect for the struggles you’ve overcome, the road you’ve walked along and the man you’ve become—well, that’s off the charts. I thought I wanted you before.” Her eyes opened, gaze forthright and hotter than a blue laser. “Now, I know I do. I need you. I need to show you how deep my feelings run.”
I write very dialogue-heavy romances. And yes, the heroine is definitely responsible for more than fifty percent of those sharp and smart words. They make her strong. They let you know exactly where she stands. Oh, and they are super fun to write!