by Evelyn Q. Darling
Romance Reporter At Large
Is your romance novel heroine qualified for the job?
Did you interview her before you started writing? I don’t mean where she went to school, what her favorite color is, etc. but whether or not she’s qualified for the job as a romance novel heroine.
For example, does she have the skills needed to perform her job: Can she shoot a Glock if you’re writing an FBI agent? Lace up a corset if she’s interviewing for the job as a Victorian lady’s maid?
Or she may be overqualified for the job. For example, she can type faster than you or she has aspirations to leave the romance novel field and get a literary gig.
How long has she been out of work?
Romance novel jobs are hard to get and if it’s been decades since she slipped between the pages of a novel, you might want to reconsider. On the other hand, experience between the sheets is important for every romance heroine.
A typical interview could go like this:
Miss Jones, I’m writing a novel that takes place during the Regency Period. Are you a fan of Jane Austen?
Miss Jones: Jane who? I’m so into Lady Gaga. Love her sunglasses.
Miss Smith, my next novel is about an FBI agent who’s very physically active to catch the bad guys. Can you drop and do twenty?
Miss Smith: the only thing I dropped was twenty pounds to get this interview.
Let’s try again.
Miss von Rittenhaus, I need a romance novel heroine who sleeps all day and bites all night. Can you list your qualifications to be the vamp queen in my new urban fantasy novel?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Honey, I can snooze and cruise with the best of them. I’ve hit every vamp bar from here to Tampa and let me tell you, no one gets her fangs on better than Lulu.
When can you start?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Tonight. As soon as the sun goes down. (Pause). You haven’t mentioned a benefits package.
What do you mean?
Miss von Rittenhaus: Do I get overtime pay for all this night work? And how about a 401K? I’m not getting any younger and in this economy a girl, I mean vamp, has to look out for herself. What about my e-rights? And health benefits? What if I chip a fang and I have to see a dentist between chapters?
Jeez…Romance heroines…you can’t write with them and you can’t write without them.
This is Evelyn Q. Darling. Till next time when we’ll interview the romance novel hero and see if he’s up for the job.
Evelyn is the alter-ego of Jina Bacarr, The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”