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Women Steel wrapped in warm, loving flesh

Our guest blogger today is author, Vonnie Davis. I know you will enjoy her comments. Feel feee to ask her questions or leave your comments.

Women: Steel Wrapped in Warm, Loving Flesh

I love the typical alpha-male in romance, but what I love even more is when a strong female gets in his face and tells him what he can do with his alpha-nonsense. Don’t you? I mean, really…

In years past, heroines in many romances were frail, emotionally fragile, weepy things. When I’d read their stories, I’d grit my teeth and mumble remarks equivalent to the modern day slogan: Put on your big-girl panties and deal.

They weren’t reality. What is reality? Strong women.

Look around you; they’re everywhere. They’ve survived more of life’s storms than the Caribbean Islands have hurricanes. Yet women are still standing, still surviving and still struggling in this crazy world. Whether they’re corporate executives or stay-at-home moms or single mothers holding down two jobs to keep hearth and home together, they’ve all brought multi-tasking to an art form.

Women are steel wrapped in warm, loving flesh. We are the backbone of this country. Take us away and what do you have? A man, trying to maneuver the aisles in a grocery store with a screaming toddler in a dirty diaper, an energetic first grader with eight arms reaching for and tossing every sugar-laden product into the cart and a sullen teenager, whining that she’s bored. Said man is two heartbeats away from a nervous breakdown. The whole scene is just too much stress for him. But for a woman, this is her reality—and she deals.

So to honor women’s strength—whether innate or gleaned from the school of hard knocks—I create strong heroines in my books.

These are women, like you and me, who have turned adversities into advantages. Women, who like the old toy “weebles,” wobble under the weight and strain of life’s many problems, but they don’t fall down.

When I’m starting a new story, I try to create my characters from the inside out. First I decide on their points of pain. We all have them. Perhaps we feel our parents loved a sibling more than us. Or we have feelings of abandonment because our fathers were absent. Perhaps there’s a weight issue we’ve battled most of our lives, or fears of public speaking or heights or confining spaces. How have we been hurt in the past? These are our points of pain; things that make us act and react in a certain way to situations.

Then I decide on education levels and hobbies. I choose a favorite color and food cravings. Will my heroine crave chocolate or cheesecake? When she’s angry, will she grab a pint of Ben and Jerry’s or snatch an apple? What things pluck my characters’ last nerve? Lastly, I think about appearance. For what does it matter what they look like if I don’t have them nailed emotionally and mentally? They need to be complex, multi-layered women just like all of you.

Early today I received an email from the One Hundred Romances project. They’re on a quest to find the best one hundred romances of 2011, published by ePublishers. Since my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, publishes full-length novels in both paperback and eBook, I entered Storm’s Interlude. Imagine my shock when it was given a 5-Star rating and added to the list of the top romances for this year! I’d love to share the review:

“I’m in love with this book! Amazing! Storm was just so… Wow. And Rachel was just darling. Our hero was just a magnificent piece of man, and our heroine was a lovely complex woman who felt all the same things any other woman would have felt. What I enjoy the most was that even the secondary characters were amazingly well written and added a wonderful blend to the story as a whole.

Vonnie Davis wrote such wonderful real characters that once I started this book I finished it in hours! I’m disappointed with myself because I skipped over this book originally when it was on the list of books to review. This author is now on my auto-buy list. Please keep them coming Ms. Davis!”

Please drop by my blog to visit. http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com.

My website is http://www.vonniedavis.com

 

NOTE: Feel free to share your example of how women are indeed steel wrapped in warm, loving flesh.

 

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sylvia, thanks for having me here today on your delightful blog.

    August 17, 2011
  2. AMEN to that! When I was first reading romance, as a young girl, I can remember reaching a point of such utter frustration with the heroine that I threw the book out the window. She was a drippy, whining thing who kept letting the hero(if you could call him that) bully, badger and even physically abuse her(yes the early romances had plenty of physical abuse that went under the guise of “love”) all in the name of romancing her.

    I’m so glad that girls and women reading romance today can have an choice in books like yours, Vonnie, that show the amazing character and strength of true women.

    August 17, 2011
  3. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    Vonnie, thrilled to have you here, and Karyne–I agree. Threw a few books across the room myself. Great to see the times/romance novels are a changing!

    August 17, 2011
  4. Karyne, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You know I recently read a re-release of a book written by a top romance writer. The original copyright date was 1985. The hero–and to quote you, “if you could call him that”–was so emotionally abusive, so juvenile in his reactions I could barely finish. I kept thinking, “please don’t ever write anything like this.” What message was it sending? Men can yell and call us names and then ignore us for days all under the guise of love. Would I want my 17-year old granddaughter to read this? Heavens, no. I want her to know that a “soul mate” respects you in all things. Better to be alone than to be abused in any form. This is the message I try to convey: be strong, be true to yourself, be better than you ever thought you could, be awesomely YOU.

    August 17, 2011
  5. I really like the way you analyze your protagonist before you begin. It makes total sense yet most of us rarely do that.

    August 18, 2011
  6. Profile photo of Sylvia Dickey Smith

    I agree with you, Helen. It is neat to see an author really know her character in advance and head that direction with story development. Thanks for stopping by.

    August 18, 2011
  7. Vonnie,

    I read your awesome words about a soul mate and let me tell you that is so touching. You have a way with words. I adore you so

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

    August 20, 2011

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