What kind of heroine do you like to write?

Mine are a kind of bombshell babe, very outdoorsy, adept, but usually pushed beyond what they’ve ever experienced. They are loyal and often weighed down with responsibility for others.

My favorites:

Meg, the reproductive zoologist. She was a crusader, did everything with her whole heart and soul. She took no excuses from anyone for doing less than their best. She’d had an affair with her mentor. And she was afraid of birds. I am so going to rewrite her story someday.

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Peyton, the reporter, looking to understand the draw of dangerous jobs after her SWAT husband was killed. She’s a seeker. I didn’t realize how much of one until I started doing revisions. She was a job jumper herself before becoming a reporter, staying with that because it offered her variety and stability. She’s wounded, but pushing herself beyond it.

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Mallory, the archaeologist. Also a seeker, but unlike Peyton, she knows what she wants – a home, children, stability. When her husband couldn’t give it to her, she walked away from him, from her job, only to find out stability isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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Liv, the former doctor, now agent for the government. She’s the darkest of my heroines, my favorite. She’s a rape survivor, a loyal friend, a powerful woman in her field. Like Meg, she does everything with all of her heart, and because of that she risks everything. Yes, I think Liv is my favorite.

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Jordan, the cop. She lost her child to a kidnapper, lost her husband to her own despair, has thrown herself completely into the job. She hates herself, feeling responsible for her dead child, and won't allow herself to be happy. She's stripped her life down to the bare minimum. She's empathetic to others around her, takes their pain as her own, feeling it's her lot, her payment.

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Now, there are fourteen other heroines out there: Lauren, Gabrielle, Kelly, the list goes on. But these are my favorite, my most memorable, I think.

Who are yours?


Anonymous said...

They sound really interesting, Mary. Is Peyton the one from Hot Shot, or am I getting her mixed up with another heroine?

Anonymous said...

This was so concrete. I want to read all your heroines. :-)

Anonymous said...

Love your heroines! Wish I could write those kick-butt women, but I guess I don't have it in me.

My heroines all seem to be lost souls. Women who've endured some event that made them lose their way in life. There's Teresa, who turned to an abusive man after her parents died in a fire. Rebecca, whose family was murdered in a home invasion. Dakota, whose world turned upside-down when she discovered her husband having an affair with her friend. And Caroline, who found out her fiance didn't realize engagement meant he had to leave his other women behind.

Just to name a few, of course. *g*

Stacy Dawn said...

I love the depth of your heroines!! Because I write romatic comedy mine are a little lighter than those but I love pulling out their innermost thoughts and fears and making them face them in humerous ways.

Anonymous said...

I love all your heroines, Mar. They're so wonderful.

My favorite is Selene, my heroine in THREE OF SWORDS. She was strong, but still earthy and motherly, not perfect yet willing to put other things aside and rise to the occasion to do what must be done. She pushed herself past her own fears and pain to save the day, to recapture love, to find redemption. She put herself on the line to protect everyone, even those who didn't like her. Her story was about embracing ourselves and allowing our true selves to live out in the open. For that, I will always love her most. :)


Trish Milburn said...

I think all of my heroines have had some of me in them, whether it was likes such as the outdoors or having to overcome certain types of obstacles that were familiar to me. It helps to bring authenticity to them. And it's interesting how in writing YA or young characters in other books, I can explore who I was at that age and make changes that make the story more interesting than real life.

Dee Tenorio said...

Hey Mary!

Had to popover and offer congrats on the agent! (Yup, I'm behind in my blog reading, sawee!)

Interesting idea, posting your chars. Also, wow, you have a lot, lol. I'd have to say my favorite heroine was my last completed one, an iron butterfly type. (She even has one for a tattoo) She's incredibly fragile, but has a prickly defensive nature. An abused child, she also has a habit of forcing people to give it to her on the chin or not at all, while inside, she thinks little of herself and fears success of any kind. Plus, she's an industrial goth chick...you just don't see that in romance these days.

Hope all is well!

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, Dee! Your heroine sounds very intriguing!

Bonnie, yes, Peyton is from Hot Shot.

Mary Beth, thanks! I have a special spot for each of them.

Lynn, your heroines sound great! I love to see women overcome obstacles. I have an Elizabeth Smart type story, too, about what it would be like to have to overcome something so horrible and not always be a victim.

Stacy, I can't write romantic comedy at all - I bow to you!

JoAnn, I loved Selene, too. I love heroines that push beyond what they think their limits are, mostly because I hope that's what I would do.

Trish, my heroines are who I'd LIKE to be (though like Meg, I'm scared of birds.) Oh, and Mallory has a Land Cruiser like me. But you know what happened when I had to go days without a shower in MN - I could never be like my heroines.

Shesawriter said...


Your heroines are wonderful. I'm writing a tough-lady for the first time myself and it's an eye-opening experience. The way I know how to portray her is this:

Everything I wouldn't do, she would. :-)


Trish Milburn said...

One of my good friends is not an animal person (how we became friends, I don't know -- hee hee), and when she lived in Austin I came down to visit and we went to San Antonio. We ate on the upper level of one of the restaurants on the River Walk and she was totally freaked by the pigeons.

Janice Lynn said...

Mary, your heroines are fab! Just reading your character intros makes me want to know more about each one and what kind of hero you put with each!!!

My favorite heroine...I love Jill from Jane Millionaire. I also loved the heroine (Deanna) from my first book. My current heroine's name is Penelope & I adore her. Ah, heck, I like them all but am no where near as good at character descriptions as you are. YOU ROCK! & so do your heroines!

MJFredrick said...

Tanya, I love that philosophy - what I wouldn't do, she would! Great way to write a tough girl!

Trish, I've been dive-bombed by grackles - it is NOT pleasant.

Janice, thanks! I never really think about loving my heroines. I just have to admire them, you know? But then to make them real, you have to love them, I think.

Unknown said...

Great pics. I love the visual on the hero and heroines. Eve Cartwright, my heroine in Edge of Darkness, was modeled after Rachel Wiesz. Cynthia Abbott, my heroine in Light of Day, was modeled after a model for a hair color product. I saw her face on the box and she clicked. I should have bought that box just for the picture huh?

MJFredrick said...

Ooh, I love Rachel Weisz. I love how she talks, too. When is Edge of Darkness coming out?

Anonymous said...

I have a vampire slayer, a photojournalist, some private detectives, a silent film star, some librarians, a travel writer, an archaeologist/relic hunter, a bounty hunter, an antiques appraiser, a cat burglar.

MJFredrick said...

LOL, again a huge diversity, Tori! Where do you get your ideas?

Anonymous said...

Well, I used to have a lot of really strange dreams that gave me ideas. I may still have them, but I don't remember them like I used to. :) Some ideas I just bat around until I have something that sounds fun. Though lately I haven't managed much of anything writing-related, so...


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