This week, our hound posed this question: “If you could be — even briefly — one of your OWN characters… which character would you be? Why? For how long?”
Since I write romances with happily-ever-after endings, each book has a male and female protagonist. I like to think that there’s a little of me in every heroine. Their physical characteristics, locations and circumstances vary widely, but each of them has something in common with me, whether it’s a hobby, a quirk, a strong belief, or passion. So I suppose it would be safe to say that I wouldn’t mind trading places with any of them – after they achieve their happy endings, of course.
But the question asks for ONE character. Guess I’d better mull over my heroines and compare.
I’ve mentioned before that despite my interest in history, I would not want to actually live in previous eras. I’m very happy with the here and now, despite the new-fangled issues like cyber-security and new health scares. So despite the fact that the majority of my romances are historical, we can just say that trading places with those characters wouldn’t be something I’d choose to do. There would be too many limitations imposed by societal norms, lack of technology, and health care.
From my contemporary works, here’s an overview of the heroines to choose from:
- A young archaeologist who’s looking for one great find to make her father proud (Aegean Intrigue). It would be fun to be Francie Vasileiou. She travels all over the world on her digs, and has ties to Hollywood. Her handsome hero is French, so she’s probably going to spend a lot of time in another country I’ve had great fun visiting.
- A married former teacher whose idea of retirement doesn’t align with her husband’s (The Calico Heart). This was actually written while hubby and I were arguing about why we never go anywhere. Sylvia and David Miller come up with a compromise that will never happen in our household. But I’m not sure I’d be happy with that compromise for long.
- A young woman who’s in hiding from her abusive ex-husband (The Friendship Star Quilt). Anne Brown works in a quilt shop and falls in love with a band director. Band directors are wonderful people – I studied to be one (ended up teaching something else), and work with them all the time. But they put in an inordinate amount of time on their jobs and I’d probably get frustrated with that.
- A young aspiring playwright who can’t wait to leave her small town (Christmas Wishes). Sophie Gardner was modeled after my youngest daughter. She’s a bit unfocused as to her goals, and while I empathize with her, I’m well past that stage.
- A middle-aged widow whose son has been spending her life savings (Christmas Journey). Helen DeGroot is unlike me in many ways. She didn’t have a career outside the home other than helping her husband build his business. Her circle of acquaintances doesn’t seem to extend much beyond her small community. But she shares several of my hobbies and interests.
- A former nurse turned diner owner who’s starting over after enduring false accusations at her previous job (The Road to Escape). Laurie Matthews is a strong woman who has endured a lot of personal tragedy. She’s found peace in a small town where she’s found purpose, providing good healthy food at her diner and providing a sounding board to people who want to talk.
So, which heroine would I choose to be? I’m going with #5. Helen DeGroot is a woman who learns from her mistakes. She has a wonderful relationship with her sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. And, like me, she loves to travel. And since her happily-ever-after includes marrying a younger man who also likes to travel, I’d be okay with not setting a time limit.