I welcome author, Kelley Heckart, writer of historical romances with fantasy and paranormal elements. Today Kelley discusses why she writes kick-ass heroines into her stories.
I never understood the helpless woman dependent on a man for everything. From an early age, I did the opposite of what was expected of a female. I played sports just as good as any boy and played bass guitar in a hard rock band when it wasn’t as common to see females in hard rock bands.
I got a job and supported myself. But while I liked to compete with the boys, I was not offended if a boy held a door open for me or offered to change my tire. I realized that being a strong woman didn’t mean I had to be like a man or a man hater. With my husband, I know when to assert myself and when to back down and give in.
My experience as an independent female naturally influences the heroines I create.
Since I write romance, the relationship between the hero and heroine is important. Unlike relationships where one is powerful while the other one is weak, I think a healthy relationship should be a partnership, not a competition to see who can be the strongest. Sometimes you need to back off and let the other person lead. It’s all about balance and mutual respect for each other.
This is what I try to do with my strong female characters and their significant others. I can’t stand romances with Alpha males and helpless females waiting to be rescued, but there’s nothing wrong with being rescued.
I just think that on occasion the heroine should be able to rescue the hero. That’s why I was so excited when romance novels changed—the helpless heroine waiting for her prince to come rescue her became passé, and the kick-ass heroines emerged. And they are stronger than ever now in books and on television.
Sometimes my kick-ass heroines unintentionally put their relationships in danger because of their strong beliefs.
In my Dark Goddess trilogy (Cat’s Curse, Beltaine’s Song, Winter’s Requiem), my heroine is Domelch. She has a dark past. As Cardea, follower of the Great Goddess, she is cursed by Levite priests to live an eternity as a Lamia. Later in 564 AD, through magic, her destiny is changed and she becomes Domelch, a Pict warrior princess. She agrees to accept Christianity to help the man she loves, but this is a difficult promise for her to keep and her ambiguity causes much conflict between her and her husband, the king of a Christian land.
Like most people, she isn’t perfect, and her choices cause trouble, but she never gives up on her husband who she loves, even if it means she might have to leave him in order to protect him and his kingship. She also puts her life at risk to do what needs to be done.
To me, a kick-ass heroine is one who makes the right choices, no matter how difficult, despite the consequences—on and off the battlefield. This is why I write kick-ass heroines—to me there isn’t any other kind of heroine.
About The Author
Kelley Heckart writes historical romances with fantasy/paranormal elements. Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic and romance. She can be found online at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/