Is your romance novel heroine qualified for the job?
Did you interview her before you started writing? I donâ€™t mean where she went to school, what her favorite color is, etc. but whether or not sheâ€™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 youâ€™re writing an FBI agent? Lace up a corset if sheâ€™s interviewing for the job as a Victorian ladyâ€™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 itâ€™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, Iâ€™m writing a novel that takes place during the Regency Period. Are you a fan of Jane Austen?
Miss Jones: Jane who? Iâ€™m so into Lady Gaga. Love her sunglasses.
Miss Smith, my next novel is about an FBI agent whoâ€™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.
Letâ€™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. Iâ€™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 havenâ€™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? Iâ€™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?
Jeezâ€¦Romance heroinesâ€¦you canâ€™t write with them and you canâ€™t write without them.
This is Evelyn Q. Darling. Till next time when weâ€™ll interview the romance novel hero and see if heâ€™s up for the job.