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Jane Cousins - AUTHOR

Author of the Southern Sanctuary Series / By The Numbers Series.

Am all about hot instant attraction, writing PNR/Mystery I think every story needs romance, humour and action.


The evolution of a Hero and Heroine

I'm not ashamed to say this out loud, once upon a time I read a lot of MILLS AND BOONS books. Sure they were written to a formula, but they provided a quick, feel good read, and besides, my local library had hundreds of them available to borrow.
I suppose they were my equivalent of trashy TV.

So it was with delight that I stumbled over an old (fifteen years old) book crammed and forgotten at the back of my closet the other day. Cracking it open I was immediately struck by several glaring factors that put my teeth on edge.

The Hero in particular instantly got on my nerves - he was humourless, confident (seemingly just because he was born male), wealthy, kind of a know it all, experienced sexually and really rather condescending.

I seriously found myself wanting to knee this guy in the balls.

Which got me to thinking about the Heroes of stories currently being written.
Sure the Hero routinely seems to be strong, dominant, confident, wealthy (there seem to be an astounding number of billionaires out there) but they don't, for the most part, get on my nerves. Perhaps because the Hero depicted in fiction today is no longer a blank wall of reserved masculinity, as we often get a peek at his thoughts, witness confusion, humour, flaws.

But I think the true making of the modern Hero has been the evolution of the Heroine role.
Think Mills and Boon 15 years ago and what would be the standard? Twenty-two year old, inexperienced, dewy eyed and frankly, kind of submissive girl-woman. Who half heartedly stands up to the H but all too soon buckles under thanks to his sheer maleness. The end - supposedly happy ever after.

But the heroines written about today... think of the vast variety. All ages, sizes, races, dominant, submissive, highly intelligent, average, sexually aware, magical, mundane, focused, ditzy etc, etc.

And more often than not the Hero comes along and doesn't try and change the h, he accepts her for who/what she is. Sure the H and h squabble and challenge each other - that's what makes a good story after all - before eventually working out a compromise or coming to an understanding where both parties get to remain true to who they are.

It will be interesting in 15 years time to take a current book (maybe even one I wrote) and rate the Hero and the Heroine. Here's hoping they age well.