Heroine Doe

What do you look for in a romance heroine? Or the heroine of a space opera, or of a quest fantasy? What kind of heroine always makes you want to read further?

Does she need to be an orphan, or have a big happy family, or a mean and awful family?

Should her eyes be amethyst or only ever brown? Can she ever be conventionally beautiful?

Is she spunky? Angry? Sweet? Cynical? Kickass?

Can she physically defend herself? Does she have cool specialties?

Is she lonely? Vengeful? Weary? Angry?

What are the characteristics that, if you were given them in a blurb, would make you want that novel immediately?

What kind of heroine do you wish you were reading about right now?

Published by Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s writing showcases her voracious lifelong love of books. She reads over 120 new books each year, especially historical romance, fantasy, and space opera, and incorporates these genres into her erotic fiction. Her first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. When not writing, Victoria conducts research in libraries and graveyards, lectures about writing and selling erotica, and speaks at literary conventions on topics such as paranormal romance, urban fantasy, erotic science fiction/fantasy, and the empowerment of women through unconventional means. Her daily writing blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and author interviews. She also guest blogs for Heroes & Heartbreakers and The Criminal Element. She lives in Philadelphia.

8 replies on “Heroine Doe”

  1. I like all kinds of heroines. She can be innocent, experienced, shy, outgoing, gorgeous, or average.

    However, there are a couple of types that I DON'T care for: I don't like the "victim" heroine who has a history letting of people (men) take advantage of her and then she meets Mr. Right who's a really nice guy and rescues her from a cycle of bad relationships.

    And while I like kick-ass heroines, I don't care for the overly tomboyish type who fights, shoots, smells like automotive grease, was raised by a pack of wolf brothers and has never felt feminine until she meets Mr. Right who thinks she looks so cute dressed in fatigues.

  2. I prefer strong women but not man-haters. And I don't want to read about women who are "rescued" by a man. She should have enough strength and motivation to rescue herself, even without the relationship.

    Other than that, I'm not picky about looks or background.

  3. I have thing for underdog heroines. Smart, sassy but not too fortunate ones. Preferably with a few weaknesses or flaws. I have a problem relating to happy, successful and very nice characters.

    Also, I like heroines who, to quote Susan Isaacs, are passionate about something other than passion. Not fanatics; I just like them to have a sense of self and values they don't haggle with to please others. I think I like girls who aren't desperate to be loved or liked.

  4. Also, I like heroines who, to quote Susan Isaacs, are passionate about something other than passion.

    YES. This.

  5. I like flawed heroines who are strong, or discover their strength in the course of the story. They should make the occasional mistake, but not be to stupid to live. They can be plain or beautiful, but if they're beautiful, they ought to know it. Books with amethyst-eyed (or other jewel-toned) heroines oblivious to their own beauty make me wretch.

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