Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What Makes a Favorite Heroine Today? by Christine Bush

When I first began writing sweet romance,  my heroines were  very young, just embarking on life and love.  The truth is, I was very young, just embarking on life myself. (Yes, it was a LONG time ago.  My first novel was published in 1978!) 

But also, it was the “industry standard”, and what was expected by my editor and publisher at that time.  Heroines fit a certain parameter, so to speak.  The love and excitement was just as real, but  the characters had lived a lot less life.  Back in those early days of my novel writing, heroines had certain expected careers, which included teaching, nursing, or family responsibilities. Not too much more, way back when.

Our books are so different today.  Often heroines are quite a bit older. Often they have experienced many things in life, including failed relationships and successful career building.  I love this.  I love that contemporary romance can follow the parallels of contemporary real life women.  I love that our character development can be rich and deep, from emotions and motives, to conflict and challenges. And career passion is vital and meaningful.

 When I think of my favorite books by my favorite authors, just about every imaginable career has been represented.  I’ve read about heroines who were rodeo riders, government officials, surgeons, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and pilots.  I’ve read stories with heroines into clowning, cupcake baking, and corporate real estate sales.  And I’ve also read a few recent stories with memorable characters who were teachers and nurses.  There are no limits today.  Like our readers, our heroines can explore just about every possible career.  There is something affirming and inspiring about that to me.

This career development aspect has also led to broadening the age range of our heroines. While some are still young, there are many others who find love and their life path in a much later decade.  This too, parallels the lives of women today.  As I age, I find more and more joy in this.  Love can come at any stage in life, and our books reflect that. 

Personality,I like variety. I like to read about heroines in all different occupations and passions.  I like to read about heroines of all ages.  How about you?  Do your favorite heroines reflect a preferred age or occupation? What makes a good book for you today?

Christine Bush is the award winning author of many books and novellas of sweet romance and light mystery. When she isn’t writing, she can be found working with clients as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or teaching Psychology at a local college.  She lives with her family and two crazy cats in northeastern Pennsylvania, and loves to hear from readers and aspiring writers.


  1. Yes, I like a variety of heroin. I usually find myself writing about heroines who are crusading for a cause.

  2. I like a variety too, but I find it easier to identify backwards (younger) than older than me. I guess it is because I haven't had those experiences yet.

  3. I'm in the variety category, too. I like her personality to suit the plot or dilemma. But I am still drawn to the young women just venturing out into adulthood. It would be very dull to only read about one type of heroine, though.

  4. I like variety! I even appreciate a good May-December romance

  5. I love reading about career focused heroines with exciting jobs, and older heroines, but I also love the more traditional young heroines. Reading about youngsters finding love for the first time lets me relive my youth!