I will admit it. I like to read and write books from the male point of view. Why is that? I have found in my writing that I can go on and on for pages on my hero’s point of view, while when it comes to my heroine, I find myself struggling to write a few desultory paragraphs.
Let’s face it. In historical romance, a woman’s life just wasn’t as interesting as a man’s. He could race his curricle with his mates down the streets of London, get drunk, play cards, visit demimonde, box, fence and do just about anything he wanted to.
What can a woman do? She can…embroider. Play the pianoforte. Sit and have an At Home, waiting for a suitor to call. She can visit the modiste, the milliner and go to Gunter’s for ices, all under the watchful eyes of a chaperone.
Perhaps that accounts for the success of the books written by Maya Rodale, with her “Writing Girl” series, or Cara Elliot with the “Circle of Sin” series, both of which feature strong woman who have taken a different path than society set out for them. Maybe this is a trend now in historical romance where women are interested in reading about heroines who have something on their mind besides the next quadrille or cucumber sandwich.
That is to say, we want a strong woman and a strong man. If that is the case, then we have some great stories to tell and great books to read.
But when you read and write your stories, where do you gravitate? Do you look for the dashing rake who is all over town, or do you want your story more to feature the woman? And do you like when the woman has a career?
I find myself interested in stories that break the mold, not to re-write history, in that respect, but to perhaps show that the suffragette movement and the woman’s rights movement didn’t start in the 1960s. Women were always interested in achievement and being recognized for more than having a well-turned ankle or being portrayed as a governess or housekeeper.
What do you think?