Wednesday, January 26, 2011

9 to 5: Love, Danger and Romance for the 21st century heroine

Meet EVELYN Q. DARLING, Romance Reporter at Large, in her first blog today:

In the past, creating a job for a romantic heroine usually meant she was either a governess, a nurse, or in the early twentieth century, a “typewriter,” better known as a secretary.

Take a letter, Miss Jones…

To all writers of romance novels.

Dear Miss, Ms. or Madam:

It has come to this reporter’s attention that several of you have veered away from writing about governesses in dark, gloomy manor houses and pert, red-cheeked nurses and turned to writing about heroines who carry guns, sport black leather and can take a man down in fifty seconds flat.


What happened to the days when all a heroine had to do to get her man was flutter her black lace fan and bat her soot-caked eyelashes? (Ample cleavage didn’t hurt either.)

It was so much easier when all a writer had to worry about was how many flounces graced her heroine’s gown or the number of hooks on a corset. (A heroine’s age at marriage also determined the size of her waist: if she wed at 18, she aspired that her waist remained at 18 inches.)

And if all else failed, there was always the “smart” heroine who wrote novels, solved mysteries or planted her delicate boots on foreign soil and showed her moxie by becoming a globe-trotting adventuress.

Sigh. Ah, for the good ole days before our heroines decided they wanted equal rights between the sheets. And on the job.

Now to create the modern heroine, a romance writer has to know the difference between a Glock and a Sig Sauer (the latter sounds like a deli sandwich).

Be able to “street speak” in urban fantasies, suck blood without smudging her lipstick in vampire thrillers and shape-shift into an exotic creature with all her parts intact.

So I’m asking all you romance writers to drop me a line and tell me what “dangerous professions” for a heroine you’ve seen in recent novels or in a novel you’re writing.

What’s new for a heroine in the 21st century in the world of “9 to 5” that you haven’t seen or written about before?

I’ll be eagerly awaiting your answers.

Who knows?

Maybe we can start a new trend: Dangerous heroines in tight corsets and red high heels who live in an abandoned subway tunnel and belong to a secret society of lusty Victorian vampires who feed on handsome firefighters.

Then again, maybe not.

Best regards,

Evelyn Q. Darling

Romance Reporter At Large

Artwork by Jina Bacarr


Michelle Polaris said...

Hilarious post, Jina. There seems to be a real shortage of actuary heroines (grin). Same with bus and subway drivers. Car saleswomen? My last two heroines have been dominatrixes and manage a food pantry, so I can't say I have a particular pattern of employment. Well, maybe they're all Domme's at heart, but not ALL of them get their paycheck that way.

Jina Bacarr said...

Interesting point about your heroines not having a regular pattern of employment, Michelle, but rather it's their off-hours activity that reflects "danger."

That brings up another aspect to the new heroine -- the fact that she can follow what is perceived as a regular day job and still have a secret life...I like that!

Wynter Daniels said...

Feeding on handsome firefighters? I'm in. Love the post.

Jina Bacarr said...

Thanks, Wynter! Of course, our Victorian vamps don't have to feed exclusively on handsome firefighters...hunks from every profession are welcomed...