I love a kickass heroine. Whether I’m reading, writing or watching a screen, I adore finding a woman who can slay her dragons—literally or figuratively.
She doesn’t need to be a martial arts expert or gunslinger. Her courage can be of the quiet kind, the kind that develops slowly as the book progresses. For me, the most intriguing heroines are those who are strong and imperfect and principled (even if their principles are questionable) and fight in their own way for what they believe in.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve adored strong heroines so it’s no surprise that as a writer I’ve gravitated toward the romantic suspense genre. These women are as fun to write as they are to read or watch. Give her an ambitious goal, empower her with the skills to pursue it, pair her with a hero who is equally strong and flawed and, boom! Fireworks.
I love that in modern romantic suspense it’s no longer the hero getting all the glory—you’re just as likely to have the heroine dash in to rescue him. Female spies, agents, detectives, soldiers, hustlers or everyday woman forced into extreme circumstances…strong women are everywhere, and that’s a wonderful thing.
Here are the top-five kickass book heroines I grew up with, who helped shape me and the heroines I write today. Who are your favorite book (or screen) heroines, past or present?
- George from the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton
George is a fiery tomboy who rails against sexism in an era when girls were expected to help Mother in the kitchen while the boys did the man stuff outside with Father. Blyton later admitted that George was based on herself as a child, which must have made the character cathartic to write.
- Éowyn from The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkein
A noblewoman of Rohan, Éowyn feels caged by expectation as her kinsmen ride off to a war that will decide her fate. The outcome of her rebellion creates one of the most satisfying kickass moments in literature.
- Scarlett O’Hara and Melanie Hamilton Wilkes from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The brash and bold Scarlett is an obvious choice, but her quieter friend and rival Melanie is underrated. Melanie is grounded and intellectual where Scarlett is wild and impulsive, and their vastly different strengths and weaknesses provide the perfect foil for each other.
- Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
An intelligent, driven and witty woman of limited means turns down a wealthy and eligible suitor because of her principles and her pride? Go, girl.
- Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
As a book-loving, fanciful, indignant redhead child, I was Anne-with-an-E. Passionate, scholarly, fiery and a writer—Anne Shirley refused to let anything get in her way, and a part of her will always live inside me.
Who are your favorite heroines?
DECEPTION ISLAND is author Brynn Kelly’s debut novel, released on May 31st, 2016 and has already generated a lot of buzz from some of the biggest names in the romantic suspense genre.
A stolen boy
A haunted soldier
A cornered con woman…
Rafe Angelito thought he was done with the demons from his past—until his son is kidnapped. Blackmailed into abducting an American heiress, the legionnaire soon finds himself trapped in paradise with a fiery, daring beauty who’s nothing he expects…and everything he desires. But when he uncovers her own dark secret, Rafe realizes he’s made a critical mistake—one that could cost him everything.
Playing body double for a spoiled socialite was supposed to be Holly Ryan’s ticket to freedom. But when she’s snatched off her yacht by a tall, dark and dangerous stranger, the not-quite-reformed con artist will make a desperate play to turn her captor from enemy to ally, by any means necessary.
Yet as scorching days melt into sultry nights, Holly is drawn to the mysterious capitaine, with his unexpected sense of honor and his searing touch. When they’re double-crossed, they’ll have to risk trusting each other in ways they never imagined…because in this deadly game of deception, it’s their lives—and hearts—on the line.
Find it: Amazon| Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads