Arthur Abbott: 'Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.' from the film, The Holiday
Aren't we all supposed to be the heroines of our own life? Aren't we supposed to be living our own story and not someone else's? When writing a romance, a heroine will be key to the book. Who is she? What is her need? What has she done? What is she yet to do? What is getting in her way?
Of all the heroines out there, and because there are many types of women, there are many choices, I generally choose to write about strong, well-grounded women. I am not fond of even reading stories where the heroines are sitting around waiting for a hero to save their bacon. In real life, those women will sit an entire lifetime waiting for something that may never come. Or mistake someone who is pushy for a hero as he takes them for all they have-- economically and emotionally. Better are strong women who choose to have a healthy relationship, if it comes along, but don't need it.
What I like in a heroine is a woman who has enough strength to let others grow their own abilities. She doesn't need to prove anything because she has worked through her own issues. If she's got weaknesses, and she will, she is aware of them if not always of their causes. When she decides to fix her problems, she will do it directly and without fooling around.
To be honest, I am not fond of superwomen either because they tend to be either unrealistic or enablers to maintain power over others. What I want in a heroine is, what I also like in friends, strong women who know their own mind, understand consequences and will come through in a crunch. They don't go seeking trouble, but they won't hide their heads in the sand to avoid seeing it.
So in Storm in the Canyon I have three of those women. Jessica is a lawyer, won her happily ever after in When Fates Conspire. She is not a deep woman spiritually, but she enjoys nature, her husband, little son, and she supports other women. In her mid 30s, she has a life she enjoys, works for others when she can. When the disaster awaiting in Diablo Canyon makes itself clear, she is willing to put that life on the line for what she knows is right.
Myra has experienced loss, but it has not caused her to lose hope. She is in her mid-50s, of Cheyenne heritage and running a big ranch where in The Dark of the Moon, she found a life-mate to help her. She remembers the old stories of her people and understands something is going on beyond her power alone, but she will be part of working to make things right. She believes in balance, and loving in the moment as she well understands how rapidly life can be lost.
Finally in Storm in the Canyon, there is Racine, Myra's spirit guide in The Dark of the Moon, who has been asked to make the transition to a human body with some special powers in order to help the humans in their fight to end Diablo Canyon's power. She is in her 20s-- by earth years. As a spirit guide, she had not felt she had a lot of success in helping others-- even after doing it for a thousand years. She is surprised to find as a human she has carried over some of those insecurities which she must learn to surmount if she wants to succeed this time when so much depends on it. When the battle is over, she will go back to being a spirit...
Storm in the Canyon has no graphic sex because writing a novella, even a long one at 45,000 words, just doesn't leave room for more than suggestions of what is coming. This one with some of the characters being the Native American mythical monsters had to move right along. It could so easily have been much longer, but I felt the crisp writing suited this story and wanted it part of the broader story of Diablo Canyon.