Unless you’ve been living under a rock or on a desert island, strong female leads are quite popular now in movies, television shows, and books. Women who can kick butt, both figuratively and literally, are everywhere these days. Think of Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, or Sarah Connor in the latest Terminator movie, Dark Fate, or the two sisters in Frozen 2. It’s a refreshing change from the guys always saving the day, and from what I’ve heard, many men also enjoy this trend of strong female characters in entertainment.
In the book world, especially in the Romance genre, such strong female characters are often described as “feisty.” The definition of the word according to Google dictionary is, “a person, especially one who is relatively small or weak, who is lively, determined, and courageous”.
“Feisty” definitely evokes an image of a take-no-crap, say-what’s-on- her-mind lady. It’s far from the shy, virginal heroines of yesteryear who had their bodices ripped. If her bodice is ripped today, it likely happened in a battle.
I realized how strong this trend is when I was recently invited to be part of a collection of Romance short stories called the Feisty Heroines Romance Shorts Collection.Organized by authors D.F. Jones and Tia Didmon, it releases June 16, 2020. Over thirty authors are on board, each writing a short story featuring a strong, compelling heroine in one of four Romance subgenres: Contemporary, Historical, Fantasy and Paranormal. Several of the authors are already award winning, USA Today, or New York Times Best Selling Authors. These ladies know their stuff when it comes to creating feisty female characters.
The female characters in my books tend to all be strong and independent. Sarah in the Higher Elevation seriesfaced a series of trials, including escaping death, averting a kidnapping, and unexplained supernatural forces, not to mention single parenthood!
The tagline for my second series, the Love Grows series, says it all— “Strong, protective heroes, feisty, independent heroines. When they meet, love grows in unexpected ways!” Both Sacha, from Not So Broken, and Melanie, from Not So Wrong, are quite capable of fighting their own battles, and they do. Meeting their match in the heroes they fall in love with only serves to strengthen them.
I must be pretty feisty myself (though my husband calls it, “stubborn”), because I can’t imagine writing any other type of female character. I’ve faced a few hard knocks in life, and I know I’m stronger as a result. Being feisty doesn’t mean a person (or a fictional character) is rude or insensitive—far from it. It means they have a strong sense of who they are, and they will fight passionately for what they believe in. Feisty women are also protective of the ones they love, and those who are in need.
That’s something that I hope will never go out of style. Perhaps one day soon, Feisty Heroines will be the norm.
To preorder the Feisty Heroines Romance Shorts Collection: