Friday, January 24, 2014

Round Robin Blog. Topic: Heroine(s)

       According to :

Heroine is defined as:
1. a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.

What type of heroine(s) traits, personality, in particular always drew you into a story?

Pride and Prejudice follows the traditional Cinderella plot, while the heroine is very unCinderella like.   During Lit class i found Austen's "heroines' have a subordinate role in the family,...their dutifulness, meditativeness, self-abnegation, and self-control" are apparent.  Still, In my opinion (not necessarily opinions of Austen scholars)  the heroine's self-awareness and awareness of the world around her a contrast to an exceedingly traditional environment-- that appealed to me,  as did her strong-will, and determined nature.  She also showed character growth in discovering the visible and hidden character traits in everyone (particularly the 'designated' villain).

While in the third and fourth grades, I read  Nancy Drew mystery novels.   Fortunately, the books I devoured were from my mother's collection, published in the 1930s. When I read the later editions I found Nancy much less appealing. It only goes to reason that fictional series characters must evolve over the decades to accommodate changes in US/international culture and tastes. (I discovered later that books were extensively revised, beginning in 1959.)  I felt the revision process changed Nancy into a less assertive and more feminine character.  I did not find this watered down version helpful in defining a girl's 'sense of self'.

I think spunky, determined, intelligent heroines that have a quirky way of viewing life have always appealed to me.  I like my heroines to have strong beliefs yet have the ability to help others whose views/beliefs are different from her own.  My heroines are strong women (often in a quiet, unassuming way), women you would like to have as your friend. And. Always, always my heroines have a sense of humor.

Has it changed with time?
A bit.  Afterall, just like are heroines, we all learn from life experiences, meet intertesting people, and try to deal with our flaws--be they physical or character (real or often imagined).  However, I think the changes are due more to the genre of the novel than the heroine herself. True gothic novels require a softer heroine, a historical novel has more constraints placed upon the heroine; scifi provides an edgier and bolder heroine, and paranormal--here  rules change with the world!

Do you write this type of heroine?
Rachel Scott (Lynx, Rodeo romance Book1) has had a lifetime of heartache.  She believes in a better tomorrow and in the goodness of others.  She is feisty, witty, and loyal.

Amberlynn Maddox ( Brede, Rodeo Romance, Book 2), is strong-willed and a bit spoiled but she is willing to protect those she loves--no matter the cost or danger to herself.

Tay (Whisper upon the Water), is vulnerable but she is a survivor and learns to adapt to her new life.  She shows kindness to others and learns to forgive.

Meredith (TBA: Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow), is quirky, gutsy, and very funny.  She navigates a world of the supernatural with determination colored by a 'how-did-this-happen-to-me' reality check.

Are my heroines like those in my favorite novels?  
No.  I think my heroines are influenced by my life experiences and my 'voice'.  I think they are influenced by the story I am writing.  But I also believe that their morals and their personal truths are like those of all memorable heroines-- entirely their own.

Thank you for joining me for this month's Round Robin Blog. And I'd like to thank Rhobin Courtright for including me in her Round Robin monthly blog.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about my heroines.  I certainly enjoyed sharing their experiences with all of you.  Please stop my next month to discover what my heroes have to say!

Next up on our Round Robin Blog is Geeta Kakade./

Happy Reading,


And just in case you'd like to explore everyone's blog from my Word Slinger weblog, here’s the full list of authors writing for this Round Robin event:

Ginger Simpson at
Rhobin Courtright at


Round Robin Blog. topic: Hero

1. a man distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility, fortitude, etc
2. a man who is idealized for possessing superior qualities in any field
3. (Classical Myth & Legend) classical myth a being of extraordinary strength and courage, often the offspring of a mortal and a god, who is celebrated for his exploits
4. the principal male character in a novel, play, etc.

What type of hero traits, personality, in particular always drew you into a story.

True, heart-stopping, emotion-wrenching, all consuming hero-power comes from a whole range of qualities, not all of them instantly, or even ongoingly, lovable. And Mr. Rochester (isn't it funny how seldom he is referred to as Edward) has unlovable qualities in spades.  Mr. Rochester has always been my # 1 favorite literary hero.  I read Jane Eyre when I was twelve (along with Jason and the Golden Fleece). However, Jason and Simbad never measured up to Mr. Rochester as far as I was concerned.

# 2. Perhaps the most well known example of a Byronic hero is none other than Bram Stoker’s timeless Dracula.  In his simultaneously horrifying yet seductive Count Dracula, Stoker created a Byronic hero for the ages, a character that exemplified the menacing combination of  charm and cruelty.

# 3.  Sherlock Holmes is a private detective who doesn’t decide which case to take based on prospective profit, risk level or who happens to ask.  He takes the cases that interest and challenge him. He has been known to draw conclusions from the smallest and most intricate of details, such as the scratches on the edge of a man’s pocket-watch.  He is smart and aloof.

Has it changed with time?
Yes.  I've read every genre of fiction and watched many movies since (both good, and not so good) but usually there is something interesting about the hero.  Dennis Quaid in The Big Easy displayed southern charm and developed into a hero worth character.  Downton Abby, the current British import to American television, displays heroes, unlikely heroes, and heroes in training.  So, yes my heroes have changed and are still changing. 

Do you write this type of hero?
I begin my stories with a since of place and time, however, the kernel of the novel is developed from the snatches of dialogue that will run through my mind.  With Lynx it began because I heard a sexy, Texan's drawl.  Brede was Brede, as rugged and as dependable as harsh west.  In Whisper upon the Water, Jacob Five-Wounds, is a teenager who has lived through extreme hardship to become a leader.  In my soon-to-be novella, Here Today, Zombie Tomorrow, Viktor is the perfect man for my heroine (however neither one of the seem to realize this!

Thank you for joining me for this month's Round Robin Blog. And I'd like to thank Rhobin Courtright for including me in her Round Robin monthly blog.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about my heroes I certainly enjoyed sharing their experiences with all of you.  Please stop my next month to discover what Rhobin's next blog adventure will be!

Next up on our Round Robin Blog is Aimee -- A.J. Maguire at

Happy Reading,


And just in case you'd like to explore everyone's blog from my Word Slinger weblog, here’s the full list of authors writing for this Round Robin event:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Interview @ Books We Love

Dear Readers,

It’s 2014 and an unexpected 73⁰ here in SoCal!   Let’s all settle in at the Books We Love Blog.  I’ve tuned into on my iPad.  New Orleans Jazz is blasting, a mug of Starbucks' Christmas blend coffee with a dash of leftover (nonalcoholic) eggnog is at my elbow, and I’m ready to rock!

BWL: Why did you choose the genre you write in? Is it your favorite to read, or another reason?

CV:  Western Contemporary Rodeo Romance is an action-paced, yet down-home genre—one of the reasons it appeals to me.  I was blessed in living both a rural and urban--somewhat nomadic life-style during my childhood.  I enjoy the sport of rodeo and when my children were young, Pro Rodeo events were included in our vacations.  My father is from Texas, competing in bronc riding during high school years.  As you can see, my familiarity with the sport is one reason I include Western Romance in the genres I write, however, it is not the only reason.  For those of you who have visited the Western states, you know how intensely rugged the geography can be; and have encountered the strong-minded and independent thinkers (both men and women) that this type of remoteness fosters.  Just placing individuals such as these in a room together creates memorable heroes and heroines, don’t you think?

Look at Lynx Maddox and Rachel Scott; Brede Kristensen and Amberlynn.  The mountains of Montana, the remoteness of New Mexico, and the state of Texas & its cowboys--these are the real-world settings that my readers remember and write to me about.  Lynx and Brede are the heroes that my readers fall in love with.

BWL: Describe yourself using 5 words.

CV:  Curious. Friendly. Complex. Reflective. Witty. 

BWL: What might a reader be surprised to learn about you?

CV:  (I still can’t believe I did this!)  Mr. Theodor Geisel (Dr. Suess) requested to read my short-story, twice.  And I refused. Twice. (What can I say? It was junior in high school, and I didn’t wantanyone reading what I wrote).

BWL: What was your favorite book as a child or young adult?

CV:  Jane Eyre.  My favorite quote, “I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because have seen more the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”  Delightfully spunky, our Jane!

BWL: What super power would you like to have and how would you use it?

CV:  Healing.  Not only could I heal minor injuries like cuts and bruises, but I could also help ease the pain of people suffering from serious illnesses. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and AIDS would all be history.

BWL: If you could go back in time for one day, which time period would you like to visit?

CV:  47 BC, Alexandria, Egypt. Before Julius, Caesar ordered the ships in the harbor set on fire. At that time the Library of Alexandria held over half a million documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and many other nations.  Over 100 scholars lived there to lecture or translate.  I can’t even begin to comprehend all the knowledge that was lost. Plus, getting a glimpse of Cleopatra would be a real perk!

BWL: Choose one person, living or dead, you’d like to share a meal with.

CV:  Nigella Lawson.  She is a delightful television personality, has lived a very interesting life --and I’d really like to know how she comes up with so many ways to prepare green peas.
BWL: Name one thing you’d like to change about yourself if you could.

CV:  Quit being a night owl.  (Going to sleep at 11:30 or 12:00 and getting up at 5:30 AM is nuts!)

BWL: What’s one genre that interests you, but you’ve never tried to write?

CV:  Epic.  The idea of a celebrating the exploits of a hero appeals to me, yet my ability and the attention span to produce a 404k novel eludes me. 

BWL:  Thanks Connie!

Please come back over the next couple of days to read excerpts from Connie's BWL titles. Find her books here:

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

My Interview at Books We Love

Stop by an see my interview.  Surprising questions! And even More surprising answers!
Excerpts from my novels will be posted starting tomorrow.

Remember to sign-up for he contests and giveaways Books We Love run each and every month.