Monday, December 31, 2012

STRONG HEROINES


“I have been in love with story all my life,” says Gayle Roper, the award winning author of more than forty-five books. “Give me a story with strong characters and a captivating plot, and I’m one happy reader. Or writer.”

Among Gayle’s awards are the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award, the Carol Award from American Christian Fiction Writers, two Inspirational Readers Choice Awards, and three HOLT Medallions. She has been a Christy finalist three times and has received the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Reviewers Choice Award from Romantic Times Book Report.

For her work in training Christian writers Gayle has won special recognition from Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, St. Davids CWC, Florida CWC, and Greater Philadelphia CWC.  She lives in southeastern Pennsylvania. She enjoys reading, spending time at the family’s Canadian cottage, gardening, and eating out every time she can manage it.

 
STRONG HEROINES
 
I recently saw a movie that left me very dissatisfied. It had big name stars, and they did their usual good work, but I wasn’t engaged. Why didn’t the story work for me?

Because the heroine was a wimp.

“Why doesn’t she just tell him off?” my cousin kept asking.

Why indeed.

I know there are women like this character in real life, but they don’t make good story leads. They are too passive and their victories are so small that they seem without value because they scarcely move the story forward. I want to watch or read about someone who fights through with grit and bravery no matter how much she’s shaking in her stilettos.

It’s not that I’m against subtlety and small realizations. Story don’t always have to be big aha! moments. However it does have to be about stepping forward and doing something.

One of the great strengths of current romantic suspense is strong heroines. Oh, they may start off being knocked sideways by the calamity they’ve fallen into, but they don’t stay there. They rise to the occasion, facing the danger, going toe to toe with the bad guy. They are intelligent women, and they behave rationally (going down to the dark cellar with only a wavering candle excepted).

I want heroines I can respect, women I can emulate. Sure, I probably don’t have to one up a murderer but I do have to figure out how to face my more mundane life crises. If she can face her fictional threats, I can face my real life ones. After all, mine don’t carry guns and wield knives.

Who are your favorite heroines? One of my favorites is Abby in my Summer Shadows.
 
 
 
Enter to win a copy of Summer Shadows so you can meet Abby, a gutsy, funny lady I know you’ll respect and appreciate.

 

40 comments:

  1. This book sounds wonderful. I enjoyed your blog today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed 2013, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee@yahoo.com

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    1. Happy New Year to you too, Susan. Glad you enjoyed the blog.

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  2. I love Gayle's books!

    My favorite heroine is Scarlet O'Hara. That girl had Moxie! I loved that she couldn't be pushed around. You know, God doesn't want us to be door mats! I can't wait to read about Abby in Summer Shadows!

    Blessings and Happy New Year everyone!
    Judy
    judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Scarlett is hard to beat for gutsy. No door mat there!

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  3. would love to win this book! Happy New Year!

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    1. forgot email: rhonda_nash_hall@comcast.net

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  4. The book sounds intriguing and a strong character not afraid to make difficult choices is always compelling www.susanskitt.com

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    1. You're right, Susan, that strong women characters are compelling. They make us want to be like them.

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  5. Starting the new year off by winning a new book would be a great way to start the year! One of my favorite heroines is Marty in the Love Comes Softly series. She is a strong woman who endures tragedy and also the challenge of marrying a stranger whom she grows to love. She becomes such a strong woman over time!

    authorkathyeberly(at)gmail(dot)com.

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    1. Marty is a strong woman in a gentle book, not an easy feat to pull off. Happy New Year, Kathy.

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  6. I love gutsy women characters in romantic suspense. Please count me in. prompt[underscore]return[at]bellsouth[dot]net

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    1. Hi, Sybil. Remember how the guy always used to rescue the girl? Give me a gutsy woman who rescues the guy!

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  7. This sounds like a great book!
    Happy New Year!
    superstarsarah94@gmail.com

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  8. Happy New year! I'd love to start out by winning this book!
    michyellowrose@gmail.com

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    1. May your New Year be blessed and full of wonderful God-surprises.

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  9. donitacorman@ yahoo.comDecember 31, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    I have so many favorite heroines that I cant choose just one.This sounds like an engaging book and I would love to read it.Happy New Years. donitacorman@yahoo.com

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    1. I know what youmean about having lots of favorite heroines. That's me too. Happy New Year!

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  10. So happy to hear you are finally in your new home! What an adventure you had to get there!
    I would love to win this book, as I have been a fan for many years. God bless!

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    1. Sitting here in my new living room answering you is so great, Sara. Loving having a home again! I hit 6 states and Canada on my adventure.

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  11. As always, Gayle is inspiring and motivating! I love her stories and can't wait to read more of them. She was my instructor at a CWG conference years ago and her advice helped me see my first novel published! I love Gayle! Hope to win this book! igottawrite at bellsouth dot net

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    1. Sherri, so wonderful about your first novel! May there be lots more over the years. Congratulations!

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  12. Love to read a suspense novel with a gutsy woman. Congrats on your book and thanks for offering a copy to a lucky winner. Definitely would like to read this one. Happy New Year!
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

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    1. Brenda, will we ever be as gutsy as the women we read and write about? Should this be our New Year's resolution?

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  13. Of course, now that you ask the question, my mind goes blank!! I would probably end up being one of the wimp ladies instead of the heroine type. ;) probably why I like reading your books so much...I can pretend I am them!!! :)

    Pen
    pmettert at yahoo dot com

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    1. Pen, pretending we're as strong as the heroine's is one of the genuine pleasures of reading! And I'm sure you wouldn't be a wimp.

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  14. I agree that books (and movies) need to have strong characters. Mary Conneally's books always feature very strong, gutsy women.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. So glad you enjoy Mary's books and that one of the main reasons are her heroines. Three cheers for strong women.

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  15. Would live to win this one. Happy New Year!

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    1. Oops, forgot my email donnaeharmon@yahoo.com

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    2. Happy New Year to you too, Donna!

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  16. I'm totally in agreement with Gayle on the strong heroine. We read romantic suspense partly to receive courage and encouragement from inspiring heroines. Well, the heroes too, of course, but so much of the story's success depends on the heroine. None of you will be disappointed if you win one of Gayle's books!

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    1. Jill, you're right. We do like strong heroes, but even more we like the strong women who are a match for the men. No swooners for us!

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  17. I'm interested in winning one of Gayle's books.

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  18. I completely agree with Gayle...a strong character is so much easier to root for. I find myself not caring about characters that dont' try to stand up for themselves. I would love to read this book. Keep writing! Chris
    fotofanatic@hotmail.com

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    1. Chris, it's having the strength to fight the threat that makes us love the strong women. Hopefully when something threatens us or those we love, we would be equally strong!

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  19. I have to agree. If the heroine is sappy I find myself putting the book down. Women should be strong, but humble. :)

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    1. Misty, strong but humble--an interesting pair of words. A challenge for all of us.

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  20. ABsolutely, Gayle! I remember reading a ms for a well-known non-fiction writer who wanted to cross over into fiction. His heroine kept dissolving into tears. "No way," I told him. "Have her stamp her foot." It was an historical, so his choices might have been a bit more limited, but she needed to show spirit so I didn't long to hit her up the side of the head.

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